Find out more about this high street bank’s savings options
No prizes for guessing which Spanish city was the birthplace of the bank Santander.
Since its entry into the UK market in 2004, Banco Santander has acquired three former British building societies and formed the retail and commercial bank that stands today.
Whether you’re looking for flexibility or maturity, Santander might have the saving account for you. Here’s what you need to know.
What savings account options are there?
- Regular savings accounts eSaver
- Fixed-term bonds
- Cash ISAs
How do I decide which account is for me?
Firstly, you need to decide what you’re looking for in a savings account. How often are you planning to draw out money? How much money can you afford to save each month?
Typically fixed-rate bonds and ISAs give you better interest rates. So, if you’re looking to put away a lump sum to mature, then these might be what you’re looking for.
Easy-access or instant-access accounts, on the other hand, give customers more flexibility. So if you’re saving on a budget, or you’re trying to store up cash for a big spend in a few months time (a wedding perhaps), then these might be for you.
Work out what you need before comparing the different offers available for certain types of savings accounts. Once you’ve done that, it’s useful to look at:
- Interest rates
- Fees (if there are any)
- Access to cash (if you need quick access, for instance)
- Rewards and loyalty schemes (if you’re into add-ons or switching bonuses)
Santander’s savings products in more detail
Instant or easy-access savings
- Exclusively for 1|2|3 World, Santander Select or private banking customers.
- Decent interest rate. While less than regular savings options from M & S and first direct, this one rolls on with the same interest rates.
- Pay in from £1 to £200 a month.
- You can withdraw from this account, by transferring funds to your Santander current account.
- Can manage through online or mobile banking.
- Lower interest rates than the regular eSaver but deposit larger sums and get instant access.
- Save from £1 to £2 million.
- Unlimited deposits and withdrawals.
- Manage online or on your mobile.
- Lowest interest rates out of all of Santander’s savings accounts.
- Unless you want to manage your account in branch or over the telephone, then opt for the eSaver.
- Entirely the same as the eSaver (above), but you can manage your account in person at a branch or by calling its customer service.
- 1 or 2 year bonds. Fixed interest rates mean you know how much you’ll get back.
- However, no additional deposits, withdrawals or account closures allowed. Prepare for your money to be locked away.
- 1|2|3 World and Santander Select customers get better rates.
- Santander Select customers can get a 3-year bond with even better interest returns.
What is a cash ISA?
A cash ISA is a savings account where you don’t pay tax on the interest you earn. There’s a limit on the amount you can deposit into ISAs each year, which is set by the government.
2 year fixed-rate ISA
- A guaranteed and quite respectable rate on your savings for 2 years.
- Minimum opening deposit of £500.
- No partial withdrawals.
- It charges 120 days’ interest if you close your account early.
- A variable rate on your savings for 1 year.
- Instant access lets you withdraw or deposit freely, though.
- Minimum opening deposit of £500.
- Manage your account online or on your mobile.
- Basic but easy to use account. Comes with instant access.
- Low interest rates compared with other ISAs on offer from Santander.
- Manage your account through online, mobile, branch, or telephone.
Help to buy ISA
- Tax-free savings account for first-time property buyers.
- You can’t get this if you’ve owned property before.
- You can pay in an initial deposit of up to £1,200. After this you can regularly pay in as much as £200 a month.
- Eligible for government bonus of 25% on balances from £1,6000 to £12,000.
Does Santander offer internet or mobile banking?
Yes. It offers both physical and digital banking services. You can open any of its savings accounts and ISAs by going online, on your mobile, or heading in branch.
However, you can’t manage all types of account online or in the app. Fixed-term bonds, for instance, are “view only” in online and mobile banking.
Does Santander offer savings accounts for children?
Yes. Santander offers a junior ISA for children under the age of 18. No withdrawals or closures are allowed until the account matures on the child’s 18th birthday.
Santander’s basic junior ISA has a decent interest rate. You can get better elsewhere. However 1|2|3 World or Santander Select customers get a higher junior ISA rate – one which is very competitive.
You’re allowed to transfer a junior ISA to or from another bank at any time, though. Bear in mind your child can only have one junior ISA at any one time.
What are the pros and cons of banking with Santander?
- Online banking. Apply for its savings accounts online or in the app. You can manage many of its savings and ISA account on your phone or computer too.
- Physical presence. There are around 1,000 branches in the UK. If you’re unsure about opening a savings account, head to your local branch and get some advice.
- Steady Regular eSaver. This option doesn’t suddenly drop its interest rates after a year. M & S and first direct give a great deal for 12 months then take it away.
- Exclusive rates. You have to switch your current account to Santander to get the competitive rates.