Santander Edge cashback credit card review

Earn up to 2% back on spending.

There’s a new cashback credit card from Santander that could earn you up to £180 a year, though you’ll pay a monthly fee. Here’s what you need to know, and whether we think it’s worth getting.

Santander Edge credit card features

Up to 2% cashback rate

This new card from Santander has a boosted rate in the first year, which then drops for all purchases after this. You’ll earn:

  • 2% in the first year
  • 1% after the first year

These are far higher than you’ll see on any non-Amex cashback credit card, while the 1% matches what Chase offers on its debit card.

Every month, whether in that first year or later, there’s a £15 cap on cashback you can earn. A month is defined as between statements. So if you get your statement on the 12 of a month, your spending total resets to £0, and you’ll keep earning until the next statement date or you reach the cap.

Cashback is added to each statement and will come off what you owe – so if you decide to close the card down make sure you do this just after you’ve had a statement so not to lose out on earnings.

What can you earn cashback on?

Most of your everyday spending is going to be eligible for cashback. However there are some exclusions:

  • Balance transfers and money transfers
  • Buying foreign currency or travellers’ cheques
  • Withdrawing cash from a cash machine or over the counter at a bank
  • Gambling, including internet gambling and buying lottery tickets
  • Direct Debits and standing orders

Fee free spending abroad

The other key feature for this card are zero foreign transaction charges for using it overseas, whether on spending or to withdraw cash.

However, there will be a 3% charge (minimum £3) added if you do use it to take money out of an ATM, at home or abroad, along with interest charges. So it’s not a good idea to use the card for this. Here are our alternative options.

How much does the card cost?

This is where that attractive cashback rate suddenly looks less appealing. The card has a £3 fee every month, adding up to £36 a year. There’s no way to wipe this out.

Who can get the Santander Edge credit card?

This card is only for people with a Santander current account. This is not restricted to the Edge or Edge Up current accounts and includes options no longer available to new customers such as the 123 and 123 Lite.

If you close your linked current account then you’ll stop earning cashback on the credit card (the fee will also be paused). Though if you open another current account within 60 days you’ll start to earn again.

As with most credit cards you can ask for additional cards to be added (up to four) and these will be in your name, so there’s no requirement for the people you give these to to also have a Santander current account.

There’s an eligibility search option on the Santander website, which is worth using before applying. This’ll tell you your chances of getting accepted without appearing on your credit report. If you decide to proceed, then a hard search will be made on your credit file.

How much cashback can you earn with the Santander Edge credit card?

Ok, so what could you actually make from the card?

First there’s that £3 monthly fee. That’ll eat into the profit from the card. In the first year you need to spend at least £150 to cover the fee, and £300 a month when the rate drops to 1%. And this is the biggest reason the rate will not really be 2% or 1%.

Then there’s that £15 monthly cap. It remains the same in both year one and year two, despite the double cashback rate when you start off.

In year one you’ll reach £15 each month if you spend £750. Then in later years you’ll hit the max return on spending of £1,500 a month. Any spending on the card above these levels will reduce the effective cashback rate you earn further.

These tables show what you’d get from a few different spending amounts once the fee and cap are factored in. First the 2% rate in year one.

Spend2% cashback after fee (month)Effective cashback rate
Cashback in year one after fee

As you can see you’ll need to be spending at least £100 every month to match the 1% you can get from Amex Nectar and Chase.

Then you can peak at a rate of 1.6% if you spend bang on £750 a month, though every penny above and below that rate will see it taper down.

So what happens when the headline cashback rate before the fee is removed is reduced to 1%?

Spend1% cashback after fee (month)Effective cashback rate
Cashback in year two after fee

Well you need to be spending a lot more on the card to push the effective cashback rate up, though you’ll never reach the 1% available elsewhere. At best you’re looking at 0.8%, but that’s with a very high monthly spend.

Should you get a Santander Edge credit card?

Andy’s analysis

It’s great to see a higher paying cashback credit card out there, especially one that isn’t American Express. And in the first year, as long as you spend more than £300 and less than £1,200 on it each month, you’ll match or beat the 1% available from Chase or Amex Nectar, making it potentially worth a punt.

However, if you’re eligible for a welcome offer from American Express that’s likely to be more lucrative and a better option. You can see if any of these offers are currently boosted in our Amex deals page.

After that first year you’re never going to reach 1%. If you spend the maximum £1,500 a month where cashback is applied you’ll actually get 0.8% back. Less than the top cards already mentioned.

Of course, if you want a non-Amex cashback credit card, the two cards you’re comparing against are the Barclaycard Rewards (0.25%) and Barclaycard Avios (0.67% if you swap your Avios into Nectar). So a spend of £400 would match the first card, and a spend of £900 would equal the second.

However, if you are going to be spending on higher paying cards most of the time, I think it’s a risk to pay this £3 fee when there’s a chance you won’t need to spend much on it. Really it’s only for those you want Section 75 consumer protection and regularly spend at retailers that won’t take Amex.

What do people think of Santander?

Since this is a brand new card, there are no reviews of the product over at Smart Money People. However you can see what customers think about the bank itself and it’s other credit cards.

  • The bank scores 3.85 out of 5
  • The 123 credit card scores 3.92 out of 5
  • The All in One credit card scores 3.2 out of 5

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Santander Edge Credit Card

Fee£3 a month
Card issuerMastercard
Cashback2% back in the first year
1% back after this
Restrictions£15 maximum cashback earnings each month
RequirementsMust have a Santander current account

2 thoughts on “Santander Edge cashback credit card review

  1. Is the £3 fee in addition to the £3 fee already for the Edge account?


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