Santander pulls 123 Credit Card
Santander has pulled up the ladder on its 123 Credit Card, denying new customers up to 3% cashback on their shopping.
Existing cardholders are not affected by the change, so people who joined before January 2016, can continue to earn uncapped cashback of up to 3%, while those who joined later can earn up to £9 per month. All existing customers will pay a £3 monthly fee for the card.
Santander says it is “constantly evolving” its products, and has replaced the 123 Card with three new cards.
The “All in One” Credit Card charges no interest on balance transfers for 40 months with a 1% balance transfer fee (£30 on a £3,000 balance), pays an uncapped 0.5% cashback on all spending and charges no fees to use abroad. It does, however, have a £3 monthly fee. Most people who qualify for the card will be charged 15.9% interest, outside the introductory deal.
The “Zero” credit card charges no fees on transactions overseas and no fees for cash withdrawals (though like most credit cards, it will start charging interest on cash withdrawals immediately). The card has an 18.9% APR.
Santander’s “Everyday” Credit Card offers 15 months’ 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers, and has no fee for balance transfers either. The card charges 18.9% APR representative.
Santander is also offering new customers extra cashback deals of between 5% and 25% with some retailers. These include Argos, Morrisons, Superdrug, Pizza Hut and Costa. To qualify for these offers customers need to use online or mobile banking services within a month of getting the card.
The Zero Card looks like a great deal to use abroad, charging no extra fees on overseas spending. However, using the card to withdraw foreign currency could quickly get expensive as the card charges 29.9% interest on cash.
If you’re looking to transfer an existing balance, the All in One Card is nothing special. While the 1% introductory fee is low for a balance transfer of this length, it’ll quickly be offset by the £3 monthly fee. Likewise, it’s not a great card for cashback as while it’s uncapped, most people could earn more elsewhere. American Express's Platinum Cashback Card is both more generous and cheaper, paying 1% with a £25 annual fee.
Santander’s Everyday Credit Card could be a good option for people looking to spread the cost of a purchase, or move an existing debt. However, longer interest-free periods are available elsewhere, such as Halifax’s 25-month fee free, interest free balance transfer card, or Tesco’s 28 month interest free card.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.
Moving money from one account to another, whether switching bank accounts or more likely transferring the outstanding balance on your credit card to another card that charges a lower – or 0% – rate of interest. Some card providers may charge a transfer fee that can be a percentage of the balance transferred.
This is used to compare interest rates for borrowing. It is the total (or “gross”) interest you’ll pay over the life of a loan, including charges and fees. For credit cards where interest is charged at more frequent intervals, the APR includes a “compounding” effect (paying interest on interest). So for a credit card charging 2% interest a month (equating to 24% a year), the APR would actually be 26.82%.