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Santander World Elite Mastercard review 2021
Frequent fliers will enjoy this premium card with impressive perks.
The Santander World Elite Mastercard has some generous benefits that make it an ideal travel companion, but they come at a price.
You say: ★★★★★We say: ★★★★★
Doing its job: 4/5
In a nutshell:
per £2 spent
Balance transfer fee
0% interest on balance transfers
|Annual/monthly fees||£15 per month|
|Balance transfers||0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%|
|Balance transfer fee||0% for 18 months reverting to 3% (min. £5)|
|Purchases||0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%|
|Purchases interest-free period||Up to 56 days|
|Min credit limit||£2,000|
|Max credit limit||Not specified|
|Additional cards available||3|
|Incentive||0.5% cashback on £1 to £3000 of monthly spend. Maximum of £15 cashback paid per month. Cashback paid monthly into card account.0.5% cashback on monthly spend of up to £3,000. Access to over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots, no foreign transaction fees, discount on travel insurance.|
|Lounge access||Membership to LoungeKey, complimentary access to over 1000 airport lounges worldwide.|
|Cashback details||0.5% cashback on £1 to £3000 of monthly spend. Maximum of £15 cashback paid per month. Cashback paid monthly into card account.|
Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.
Only available to existing Santander Select or Private Banking customers, and going head-to-head with the slightly-more-expensive HSBC World Elite, this card offers interest-free periods on both balance transfers and purchases, as well as significant rewards and travel perks.
Cardholders can travel in style with free LoungeKey membership – one of the most popular programmes going – allowing unlimited access to airport lounges in over 120 countries. Plus when you use your card overseas, you won’t have to worry about pesky non-sterling transaction fees.
Other benefits include ongoing cashback, 24/7 Mastercard Concierge and World Elite Privileges discounts and offers.
The obvious downside here is the fairly hefty monthly account fee, but if you take advantage of the 3 additional cards available, you could get more out of the rewards and benefits schemes – potentially making that fee worth swallowing.
The Santander World Elite Mastercard is issued on the Mastercard network so it's accepted at nearly 53 million merchants across more than 210 countries and territories.
Pros and cons
- Earn cashback on purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees on purchases.
- 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for an introductory period.
- No balance transfer fee within introductory period.
- Mastercard Concierge.
- Free LoungeKey airport lounge membership, with complimentary access for additional cardholders.
- No extra fees for up to three additional cardholders.
- Did we mention the monthly account fee?
- Must be a Santander Select or Private banking customer.
- High annual income requirement to open Select or Private bank accounts.
How does it compare?
Other popular reward cards
You can make manual repayments through Santander's app, by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (0800 912 3123). Alternatively you may wish to set up a direct debit.
A direct debit protects you from forgetting to make a repayment and either damaging your credit score, getting hit with a penalty fee (£12) or losing any promotional rates as a result.
You can arrange a direct debit for repayments when you apply for the credit card. The table below shows the options available.
Choose from the following direct debit options for your monthly repayments:
|Minimum amount||Fixed amount||Fixed percentage||Full amount|
How to apply
If you've compared cards and settled on the Santander World Elite Mastercard, completing the secure online application form takes about 15 minutes. Before you apply, check that you meet the eligibility requirements and have the information and documents you'll need to make the process as straightforward as possible.
Frequently asked questions
What credit limit will I get with the Santander World Elite Mastercard?
If Santander is able to offer you this deal, the offer will specify a personalised credit limit based on Santander's assessment of your situation. The minimum limit offered on this card is £2,000 and Santander does not specify a maximum. Once you've had the card for a while and shown Santander that you're reliable, you may wish to apply for a credit limit increase.
Can I withdraw cash using the Santander World Elite Mastercard?
Although it's possible, withdrawing cash from a credit card account is generally not a good idea, as "cash-like transactions" (withdrawing cash at an ATM, getting cashback at the till, spending at a casino, buying currency, etc.) often incur steep fees and/or higher rates of interest.
The cash advance fee on the Santander World Elite Mastercard is 3% (min. £3). For example, if you withdraw £50, you'll incur a fee of £3.00. Withdraw £250, and you'll incur a fee of £7.50.
The interest rate on this part of your balance will be 29.9% (chargeable from the day of the transaction – the card's usual "up to 56 days interest-free" grace period won't apply).
What is the minimum payment on the Santander World Elite Mastercard?
Each month you must pay at least 1% of your balance at that point or £5.00 – whichever of the two figures is greater. So if you had, say, £450.00 outstanding, you'd pay £5.00, and if you had £2,000.00 outstanding, you'd pay £20.00.
Paying only the minimum required amount each month is generally not advisable as it makes it much harder to get debt-free before that introductory 0% period expires.
Can I request an additional Santander World Elite Mastercard?
Yes, in fact, you can request up to 3 more. There's no fee for additional cards. Plus, with additional cards, you could earn cashback at a faster rate. Bear in mind that card debt accrued by additional cardholders is the sole responsibility of the account holder – not the additional cardholder.