Santander Zero Credit Card review 2020

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A great travel companion with big savings on fees.

Travelling abroad is easier with the Santander Zero Credit Card. Take advantage of fee-free currency conversion and cash withdrawals wherever you are in the world.

You say: ★★★★★We say: ★★★★★

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).


Representative APR

12 months

0% interest on purchases


Foreign transaction charge


Account fee


Annual/monthly fees£0
Balance transfers0% for 1 months reverting to 18.9%
Balance transfer fee3% (min. £5)
Purchases0% for 12 months reverting to 18.9%
Purchases interest-free periodUp to 56 days
Cash advances18.9%
Min credit limit£500
Max credit limitNot specified
Additional cards available3
IncentiveRetailer offers - 5 Welcome offers of up to 25% cashback at well-known retailers (must switch on Retailer Offers within 60 days of activating card).

Expert review

Chris Lilly

Review by

Chris Lilly is a publisher at 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.

Expert review

The “Zero” in this card’s name refers to both the fees on non-sterling transactions and the rate of interest on purchases at home and abroad (plenty of 0% purchase cards will still charge you interest on non-sterling transactions). If you’re about to head overseas and have a hunch you might come back with a bit of card debt, this card’s got you covered. Impressively, it also boasts the significant benefit of charging no cash withdrawal fee wherever in the world it’s used (just watch out for any fees that the ATM provider might charge).

Put all this together with the fact that there’s no account fee to worry about, and you’ve got a very respectable card both to spread the cost of your holiday and to take with you on said holiday.

The downsides? If you do withdraw cash on the card, then that part of your balance will be charged interest from the date the funds leave your account, at the card’s standard purchases rate of 18.9%. That makes the whole no-ATM-fees-anywhere-in-the-world perk a lot less, well, perky.

Additionally, if you’re simply looking to spread the cost of a large expenditure, then there are numerous longer 0% deals on the market.

If you opt for this card, be sure to opt in to the Retailer Offers scheme as soon as you can (you can do this in your online/mobile banking), to enjoy cashback from major retailers.

The Santander Zero Credit Card 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


  • Customers report excellent customer service when dealing with Santander
  • A year to spread the cost of purchases
  • Avoid currency conversion charges when spending abroad
  • No annual fee


  • Minimum annual income requirement of £7,500
  • Applicants with low credit scores are unlikely to be eligible

How does it compare with other cards for overseas spending?

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Data indicated here is updated daily
Name Product Purchases rate Foreign transaction fee Foreign cash transaction fee Interest-free days on foreign transactions Interest-free days on foreign cash transactions Representative example
Ulster Bank Credit Card Mastercard
3% (min. £3)
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).
The Royal Bank Credit Card
3% (min. £3)
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).
The NatWest Credit Card
3% (min. £3)
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).
Metro Bank Personal Credit Card Mastercard
0% within the EU and 2.99% in other countries
0 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 14.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 14.9% APR (variable).
Santander Zero Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 12 months reverting to 18.9%
Up to 56 days
0 days
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).

Compare up to 4 providers

Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The APR shown represents the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.

The verdict

When it comes to credit cards costs, nothing is always better than something, and that’s the case with the Santander Zero credit card. It offers 0% interest periods on balance transfers and purchases, zero annual fees, and zero cash advance fees.

If you’re a serious traveller and sick of being charged fees on your spending abroad, it also offers fee-free cash withdrawals and currency conversion anywhere in the world. Of course, you’ll still need to watch out for local ATM fees, and interest will still be charged on any cash advances.

Repayment options

You can make manual repayments through Santander's app, by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (0800 389 9905). 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 want to apply, you’ll need to visit the Santander website and complete an online application. Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria before applying.

Frequently asked questions

How does the Santander Zero card's 0% interest work?

When you use your credit card, any balance you have needs to be repaid each month, otherwise you'll be charged interest on the outstanding amount. With the Santander Zero Credit Card, any purchases you make will be interest-free for the first 12 months. After 12 months, you'll need to pay interest on your balance.

What is a balance transfer?

If you having an existing credit card balance, you can choose to transfer it to a different card with lower rates or better perks. Many credit card provides offer 0% balance transfers, which means you can move your balance without paying interest.

What does "fee-free currency conversion" on the Santander Zero card mean?

Most credit cards will charge a percentage fee when you use your card to make a purchase in a foreign currency. With the Santander Zero Credit Card, you won't pay any fees when paying in a foreign currency or getting money out abroad.

What is Santander Retailer Offers?

When you make a purchase at certain retailers using your Santander credit card, you can receive up to 15% of the amount as cashback on your account. This includes purchases at Vue Cinemas, JD, Subway, Costa and Morrisons.

Finder credit card ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor

Our experts score travel credit cards to determine their value against similar products on the market. We look at a number of important factors, like the cost for non-sterling transactions, any caveats or restrictions related to using your card overseas, travel-related perks/benefits, plus the potential costs involved with running the card both in the short and longer term.

You can read more about our scoring criteria on our credit card methodology page.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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