Santander Travel Money

Santander markets itself as the only credit card that does not impose fees for withdrawals made abroad. The Santander Zero card allows users to complete transactions in foreign countries using the local currency free of charge. However, if users pay in sterling pounds, then the bank or retail outlet will have to convert it to local currencies, meaning that they will incur a conversion fee.

However, the bank charges interest on ATM withdrawals immediately, meaning that customers have to clear the balance to avoid incurring interest charges.

Santander Currency Exchange Rates

Last updated: Jan, 21 3:00
Currency Rate 750 GBP Buys
Euros 1.1434 857.55
US dollars 1.2682 951.15
Australian dollars 1.8415 1,381.13
Bahraini dinars 0.4642 348.15
Barbados dollars 2.412 1,809.00
Bulgarian lev 2.2076 1,655.70
Canadian dollars 1.6533 1,239.98
Chilean pesos 921.71 691,282.50
Chinese yuan 8.5044 6,378.30
Colombian pesos 3797.8 2,848,350.00
Costa Rica colons 665.36 499,020.00
Croatian kuna 8.4382 6,328.65
Czech koruna 28.61 21,457.50
Danish krone 8.4013 6,300.98
Dominican pesos 64.105 48,078.75
East Caribbean dollars 3.2193 2,414.48
Fiji dollars 2.5499 1,912.43
Hong Kong dollars 9.6907 7,268.03
Hungarian forints 371.7 278,775.00
Icelandic krona 152.38 114,285.00
Indonesian rupiahs 16085 12,063,750.00
Israeli shekels 4.2129 3,159.68
Jamaican dollars 161.5 121,125.00
Japanese yen 139.09 104,317.50
Jordanian dinars 0.8718 653.85
Kenyan shillings 121.74 91,305.00
Malaysian ringgits 4.9421 3,706.58
Mauritian rupees 44.159 33,119.25
Mexican pesos 23.068 17,301.00
New Zealand dollars 1.8903 1,417.73
Norwegian krone 11.101 8,325.75
Omani rials 0.474 355.50
Peruvian nuevo sol 3.9594 2,969.55
Philippine pesos 60.115 45,086.25
Polish zloty 4.7658 3,574.35
Romanian leu 5.1618 3,871.35
Saudi riyals 4.6199 3,464.93
Singapore dollars 1.6802 1,260.15
South African rand 18.245 13,683.75
South Korean won 1396.2 1,047,150.00
Swedish krona 11.842 8,881.50
Swiss francs 1.2281 921.08
Thai baht 38.243 28,682.25
Turkish lira 7.2458 5,434.35
United Arab Emirates dirham 4.5767 3,432.53
Vietnamese dongs 26600 19,950,000.00

Benefits

Santander offers users a chance to earn cashback on its Retailer Offers initiative. This initiative gives users five discounts at retail outlets. Users who redeem the cashback can save up to 25% of the transaction cost. The welcome offer is a one-off that expires immediately after shopping at the chosen retail stores. However, users also get an extra 15% cashback reward whenever they use the card at select retail outlets. Some of the retailers who offer discounts include Morrisons, Costa, and Subway.

Santander’s All in One card is another option for customers and does not impose fees for foreign transactions. However, there are charges for withdrawing cash. It offers 0.5% cashback on all purchases and 0% periods for expenditure and transfers for 26 months. It charges users £3 per month and has a representative APR of 21.7%.

Exchange Rates

Santander uses the services of a third party to process customer transactions, so the exchange rate you pay depends on the company responsible for processing the transaction. Most travel card companies transact through Visa or MasterCard. Santander uses MasterCard, which offers better exchange rates than most of its competitors. Users traveling abroad should always transact in local currency to avoid paying conversion fees.

Quick Response

Santander is very responsive to complaints of lost cards. Customers who misplace their cards abroad are required to report the loss immediately. The company will try to help though the type of intervention you get depends on the type of card you hold. In most cases, they cancel the previous card and allow users to apply for immediate replacements.

However, holders of premium cards get more assistance. For instance, holders of Gold Visa get an emergency card or contingency funds. Meanwhile, holders of the World Elite Mastercard get a fully functional replacement within two days. Premium cards often come with insurance protection to compensate users who lose their cards while staying abroad.

Comparison with Other Travel Cards

The fact that Santander Zero does not charge fees for overseas transactions makes it a popular option among travelers. However, other travel cards such as Barclaycard also rival its offerings. The Barclaycard Platinum Cashback Plus offers 0.25% cashback on all transactions completed before August 2023. The offer includes a start off rate of 0.5% cashback for transactions concluded within the first three months after acquiring the card.

Just like Santander Zero, the discounts apply to transactions conducted in the UK and overseas. Moreover, Barclaycard does not charge fees for purchases and cash withdrawals made abroad. It also does not charge users interest as long as they clear the balance within 30 days of withdrawing. The main difference between Santander Zero and Barclaycard is that the latter charges a higher representative APR of 21.9% compared to 18% for the former.

Tandem card also compares well with Santander Zero. It does not charge fees for foreign expenditure and cash withdrawals. However, just like Santander Zero, interests for such withdrawals start accruing immediately. However, Tandem Card offers better cashback terms than Santander Zero at 0.5% for both local and foreign transactions. The representative APR for Tandem Card is 18.9%.

Santander compares well with peers for transaction fees, but some rivals offer better cashback benefits and longer interest waivers for new customers. Several competitors offer better 0% interest terms for cash withdrawals than Santander. Indeed, travel cardholders can get up to 26 months interest-free, introductory periods from some competitors.

Santander offers:

  • Better transaction services than most rival travel companies
  • Relatively similar representative APR to that of the main competitors
  • Limited discount offerings
  • Shorter interest-free introductory periods than most competitors
  • Has quick response rates for lost cards

Conclusion

Santander travel money compares favorably with other travel cards on the market. It does not impose fees for foreign expenditure and cash withdrawals. Considering that some travel cards charge up to a 3% fee for cash withdrawals completed overseas, Santander is suitable for travelers who like to make cash transactions while traveling. The free cash withdrawal for travelers is a valuable proposition for holidaymakers in developing countries where some traders only accept cash.

Santander might also serve as a backup card for travelers due to its friendly replacement policies. However, it will not suit users who want cashback wherever they spend.