Santander Sphere Visa Signature Credit Card review July 2018 | finder.com

Review: The Sphere® Credit Card July 2018

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Few cards offer 0% APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers. Even fewer offer rewards to boot.

  • If you want a card with a market-leading 0% APR promotion and rewards, you’ve found a rare product in the Sphere® Credit Card.
  • If you want a card with powerful rewards, try a different card. The Sphere® Credit Card offers decent rewards, but nothing truly exciting.
Product NameSphere® Credit Card
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$0
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases14.24% to 24.24% variable
Introductory Purchase APR0% for the first 18 billing cycles (then 14.24% to 24.24% variable)
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first 18 billing cycles (then 14.24% to 24.24% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee4% or $10 (whichever is greater)
Cash Advance Rate26.24% variable
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of the transaction amount
Interest Free PeriodUp to 21 days
Minimum Interest$1.5
Late Payment Fee$35
Returned Payment Fee$35
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age
Reward Value per Dollar1 points
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

Our review

If you’re looking for a strong interest rate, the Sphere® Credit Card is a natural pick. It offers 0% APR for a stellar 18 months on purchases and balance transfers.

That’s the same 0% APR period offered by its closest rivals, the Citi Simplicity® Card and U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum. But the Sphere® Credit Card pulls ahead of both with its rewards: 1x points on all purchases. It’s not the most powerful rewards scheme, but it’s a rarity among cards offering market-leading 0% APR promotions.

If you’re willing to accept a shorter 0% APR period for better rewards, try products like the Discover it® Cash Back and Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card.

The perks

  • ANNUAL FEE: $0 annual fee makes it easy to keep the Sphere® Credit Card long term.
  • INTRO APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 18 billing cycles.
    This is an excellent 0% APR promotion, making the Sphere® Credit Card one of the top balance transfer cards you’ll find. For an even stronger introductory interest rate, consider the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. It offers 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 months. The tradeoff, however, is you’ll get 0% APR on purchases for only 12 months.
  • REWARDS: Earn points on every purchase.
    You’ll earn 1 point per dollar you spend on all purchases, which is equivalent to 1% cash back.Redeem points for cash back in the form of statement credit.It’s nice to have rewards, but you’ll earn more with other cards. For example, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers 1% cash back on everything you buy and another 1% as you pay for your purchases.

    Other benefits

    • No over-the-credit-limit fee.
    • Get a Debit Mastercard from Santander Bank.
    • No over-the-credit-limit fee.
    • Instant Card Hold. If you think you’ve lost your card, call Santander to place a temporary hold on it. This will block most transactions on your card.

    Great alternatives to the Sphere® Credit Card

    Updated July 22nd, 2018
    Name Product APR for Purchases (Purchase Rate) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual Fee
    14.74% to 24.74% variable
    0% for the first 21 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
    $0
    Lowest intro APR for 21 months plus VIP Access.
    13.74% to 24.74% variable
    0% for the first 14 months from date of first transfer (then 13.74% to 24.74% variable)
    $0
    Earn 5% Cash Back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
    14.24% to 24.24% variable
    0% for the first 18 billing cycles (then 14.24% to 24.24% variable)
    $0
    0% introductory APR on balances for 18 billing cycles within the first 90 days of opening your account.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    How does a balance transfer work with this card?

    What to watch out for

    • Potentially high APR.

    If you have a weaker credit history, you may be given an interest rate up to 24.24%.
    That’s high, considering the average APR is around 16%.

    How does credit card interest work?

    • Penalty APR.

    Santander may apply a penalty APR of 31.74% variable to your account if you miss a payment, pay late or make a payment that is returned.

    The penalty APR applies until you make six consecutive on-time payments.

    A penalty APR is never fun, and it increases the consequences of slipping up on payments. Don’t be afraid to compare other credit cards, as there are plenty of banks that don’t charge penalty APRs.

    What to know before you apply

    To apply for the Sphere® Credit Card, you must be at least 18 years old. The card is available only 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

    • Your full name and contact information.
    • Your residential status.
    • Your annual income, source of income and employment information.
    • Your 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 300 to 850.
    What’s a good credit score?

    How to apply for the Sphere® Credit Card

    1. Go to the Santander website and click? Apply Now.
    Santander Sphere Visa Signature step 1
    2. Select your state from the dropdown menu and enter your ZIP code.
    Santander Sphere Visa Signature step 2
    3. Complete the application with details like your name, address, annual income and Social Security number.

    4. Review and submit your application.
    Santander Sphere Visa Signature step 4

    How long will it take to be approved?

    Typically, a credit card provider will make a decision on your application within 10 days. In some cases, your application may be approved immediately.

    If there are issues with your application, you may need to wait up to a few weeks to hear back.

    I got the card. Now what?

    • Make timely payments. Pay your card bill online at the Santander website, where you can enroll in autopay.
    • Avoid interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of at least 21 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
    • Avoid fees. Late and returned payments come with fees of up to $35. Balance transfers and cash advances also come with fees.
    • Contact customer service. If you have questions, call Santander at 877-768-2265.

    Bottom line

    The Sphere® Credit Card offers a top-of-the-line 0% APR period. A few other products give you a comparable introductory interest rate, but the Sphere® Credit Card offers the uncommon perk of rewards. This sweetener gives the card a leg up on the competition.

    Still not convinced this card is for you? Compare your options with our comprehensive guide to credit cards.

    Frequently asked questions

    Images: santanderbank.com

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