Santander Bravo Credit Card review | finder.com

Bravo® Credit Card review – January 2019

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Bravo® Credit Card

Rewards for everyday purchases and an excellent balance transfer promotion.

30-second take

  • Get this card if you want excellent rewards in everyday-spending categories.
  • Pick something else if you want flat rewards or don’t want to pay an annual fee.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Product NameBravo® Credit Card
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$0 annual fee for the first year ($49 thereafter)
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases16.74% to 25.74% variable
Introductory Purchase APRfor the first 90 days (then 16.74% to 25.74% variable)
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first 18 billing cycles (then 17.49% to 24.49% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee$10 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate27.24% variable
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of the transaction value
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Interest Free PeriodUp to 21 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $35
Returned Payment FeeUp to $35
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome OfferEarn $100 cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in your first 90 days of opening your account
Reward Value per Dollar1x points
Rewards Points ExpirationNever

The basics

The Bravo® Credit Card is a strong product for everyday purchases, offering rewards on gas, groceries and dining. If you spend $5,000 or less in these categories each quarter, you’ll consistently benefit from the card’s accelerated rewards.

You’ll also appreciate this card if you’re looking for a strong balance transfer promotion. With a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 billing cycles, the Bravo® Credit Card offers a powerful incentive to switch to Santander. After that period is up, your APR will be between 17.49% to 24.49% variable.

The perks

  • Rewards: More for everyday purchases.

    Earn 3x rewards points on gas, groceries and dining, for a total of 15,000 points per calendar quarter. Earn 1x points on all other purchases.

    The card is most useful if you’re a moderate spender, as you’ll earn accelerated rewards on up to $5,000 in gas, grocery and dining purchases per quarter.

    You can redeem points for a variety of rewards, such as cash back, charitable donations, travel, gift cards and merchandise.

  • Intro APR: 0% on balance transfers for 18 billing cycles.

    After that, your balance transfer APR will be 17.49% to 24.49% variable. The intro APR applies to balance transfers you make within the first 90 days of opening your account.

    This is an excellent intro APR for balance transfers and one of the longest promotions you’ll find.

You’ll also like…

  • Santander Instant Card Hold.

    If you misplace your card, you can freeze your account with Santander Instant Card Hold. This prevents unauthorized transactions on your card while you locate it.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.

    Starting the second year, you’ll pay a $49 annual fee. It’s a lower annual fee than you’ll pay with similar cards. Still, consider whether you’ll earn enough rewards points to make the fee worth paying.

  • Penalty APR.

    If you make a late or returned payment, Santander may apply a steep 31.99% variable APR to all of your balances. This rate will apply indefinitely until you make six consecutive months of on-time payments.

Compare rewards credit cards

Name Product Welcome Offer Reward Value per Dollar APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Annual Fee
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
1x points
17.99% to 24.99% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening - that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
1x points
17.99% to 24.99% variable
$450
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Earn $150 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
1% cash back
17.24% to 25.99% variable
$0
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
Earn $150 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
1.5% cash back
17.24% to 25.99% variable
$0
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
$150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months.
1% cash back
15.24% to 26.24% variable
$0
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
$200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months.
1% cash back
15.24% to 26.24% variable
$95
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership
1.5% cash back
15.24% to 26.24% variable
$0
Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months.
1x points
See Rates & Fees
$250
35,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months Rates & Fees
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
2x miles
18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
75,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
2x points
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
75,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Rates & Fees
125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card after you use your new card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
3x points
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$95
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
3x points
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
Earn a $150 cash rewards intro bonus after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months. 10% Anniversary Bonus on all Cash Rewards earned once a year.
1.5% cash back
15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
1x miles
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$0
Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first 3 months.
1x miles
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
30,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
1x points
17.24% variable
$495
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
1x points
17.24% variable
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
1x points
17.24% variable
$995
Earn 1x points when redeemed for airfare through the Luxury rewards program.
1% cash back
19.99% to 25.99% variable
$0 to $99
Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases.
1% cash back
19.99% to 25.99% variable
$0 to $99
Seeing if you pre-qualify is fast, easy, and secure.
1% cash back
19.99% to 25.99% variable
$0 to $99
Get 2x cash back rewards at the NASCAR.com Superstore.

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Discover it® Cash Back review – January 2019

How does a balance transfer work with this card?

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the Bravo® Credit Card, you must be at least 18 years old. The card is only available to customers in these states:

  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Delaware
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

Information you’ll need

  • Full name and contact information
  • Residential status
  • Annual income, source of income and employment information
  • Social Security number

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of being approved for this card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 to 850.
Here are a few other factors that might affect your odds of approval:

  • Hard pulls on your credit report. If you have several hard inquiries — or hard pulls — on your report, it could imply you’re having trouble managing your debt. Santander might think you’re desperate for credit and may be less likely to take you on as a customer.
  • Factors that tie into your credit score. Your credit utilization is a major factor that Santander considers. The bank prefers a customer with low balances relative to their credit limit. Having many new card accounts may be a red flag, too, as it could indicate you’re desperate for credit.

What’s a good credit score?

What do customers say about the Bravo Credit Card?

Santander Bank is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, but it earns an A rating from the agency. As of August 2018, nearly 90% of its reviews are negative and it has over 200 customer complaints. Santander customers report difficulty opening accounts, signup bonuses that aren’t honored and unresponsive customer support.

The company earns a Trustpilot score of 1.4 out of 10. Many negative reviews cite extremely slow customer service, difficulty getting fees reversed and inflexible company policies.

How to apply for the Bravo Credit Card

  1. On the Santander website, click Apply now.
  2. Select your state and enter your ZIP code.
  3. Complete the application with details like your name, address, annual income and Social Security number.
  4. Review and submit your application.

How long will it take to get my Bravo Credit Card?

Since conditional credit card approval is automated on the website, you may get a decision immediately. If there are issues with your application, it may take a few days to a few weeks to hear back. After you’re approved, you’ll typically receive your card within seven to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make on-time payments.
    Register for an account on the Santander website to pay your balance online. You can also enroll in autopay.
  • Avoid the penalty APR.
    If you make a late or returned payment, Santander may assess a penalty APR of 31.99% variable to all of your balances.
  • Avoid fees.
    For each late or returned payment, you’ll incur a fee of up to $35.
  • Contact customer service.
    If you have questions about your account, call the number on the back of your card. Alternatively, call 877-768-2265 to speak with a representative.

Cashback offers that actually work

Bottom line

The Bravo® Credit Card offers competitive rewards in everyday categories. It’s an optimal pick if you spend less than $5,000 on gas, groceries and dining each quarter.

If you’re not sure the Bravo Credit Card is right for you, compare the best credit cards on the market.

Frequently asked questions

Images: santanderbank.com

Kevin Joey Chen

Kevin Chen is a world-travelin', copy-writin', Game of Thrones-watchin' credit cards writer for finder.com. When he's not crunching the numbers on bonus points and comparing APRs, you can find him flying around the world in search of the perfect beer.

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