Up to 3% Cashback With the Santander 123 Credit Card

by from money.co.uk, 20 Sep 2011
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With the new Santander cashback credit card you can earn 3% cashback on fuel, 2% cashback at department stores and 1% cashback every time you shop at the supermarket.
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Product Details

Santander - 123 Credit Card
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What's the deal?

Santander have joined the cashback credit card market by launching the Santander 123 credit card.

The card pays different rates of cashback depending on where you spend, so you'll earn 3% cashback at petrol stations, 2% cashback at department stores and 1% cashback at supermarkets.

There is an annual fee of £24, but providing you spend more than £66 a month on fuel, £100 at department stores, or £200 at the supermarket you should be able to cover this relatively easily.

Similarly, the card's purchase rate is steep at 18.9%, however this would only apply if you didn't pay your balance off in full when you got your statement - so do this and interest charges can be avoided completely.

What makes it great?

The Santander 123 credit card rewards you with cashback at the places you're likely to spend most at, most often. This in itself means that you should be able to earn a decent return on your day to day spending using the card, even when you take the annual fee into account.

While Santander will only pay cashback when you spend with selected retailers, the list is extensive and includes all of the big supermarket, department store and petrol station chains so it's very likely the places you shop at will be on it.

There's a full list of the retailers you'll be able to earn cashback at on the Santander website. It's definitely worth checking this out before applying to make sure you'll be able to benefit without having to change your shopping habits.

Who would it suit?

The Santander 123 credit card is available to UK residents over the age of 18 who earn at least £7,500 a year and have a good credit history.

However, it's likely to be most suited to people that are looking for a way to make money out of their day to day spending and have the willpower to make a cashback credit card work for them.

To take full advantage of the card's earning potential you can use the card to pay for all of your supermarket, fuel and department store spending over the course of the month, all the while setting money aside in your current account (or a high interest savings account) so that you have the money available to clear the balance in full when you get your statement.

Fail to pay off your credit card and you'll end up paying a hefty amount of interest that's likely to negate any cashback you earn so you should only consider getting this card if you're confident you'll be able to do this.

The Santander cashback credit card doesn't offer anything in the way of 0% interest on purchases or balance transfers. So, if you're looking to spread the cost of a large purchase without paying interest, or cut the cost of existing borrowing by transferring it to a 0% balance transfer credit card, this isn't likely to be the right option for you.

Finally, because there is an annual fee you need to be sure that you'll spend enough on the card to cover this and then make a profit; if you don't then the card will simply end up costing you. 

Of course, the annual fee also means that you'll need to remember to cancel the card if you stop using it at any point.

What's the alternative?

There's been an influx of cashback credit cards on the market of late, so you have plenty of choice. It's simply a case of working out which card will pay you the most.

If you're planning to make a big purchase, or a number of bigger purchases over the course of a couple of months (like shopping for Christmas presents or making bookings for a wedding), then look for a card that offers an introductory cashback bonus to maximise your earning potential.

The Capital One World MasterCard is leading the way at the moment, paying 5% cashback on all purchaes you make in the first 99 days. A £100 cashback maximum does apply to this bonus, but this equates to a total spend of £2,000 over the 99 days. Take a look at our article: New 5% Cashback Mastercard from Capital One to find out more.

The American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card pays a 2.5% bonus rate of cashback for 3 months, again up to a £100 maximum. However, it does pay a flat rate of 1.5% cashback on all spending thereafter with no maximum - although a £25 annual fee does apply. Read our article: New Cashback Card - 1.25% Flat Rate plus 2.5% Intro Bonus for more details.

For ongoing spending the MBNA Amex (1.5% cashback on fuel and supermarket shopping plus 0.75% on everything else) and MBNA Visa (1.25% cashback on fuel and supermarket shopping plus 0.5% on everything else) cards are worth a look at, as is the AA Rewards Plus Credit Card (3% cashback on fuel for AA members).

You can compare all the cashback deals available in our cashback credit card comparison table to see which will work out most profitable for you.


The biggest catch is the annual fee as it does mean that the first £24 cashback you earn over the course of a year won't go to you. That said, providing you spend a reasonable amount on the card you're likely to be able to cover this and still earn a fair amount.

Another stickler, however, is that a monthly maximum does apply to the amount you can earn at petrol stations.

You'll only be paid cashback on the first £300 you spend on fuel each month. So while the limit is relatively generous, if you drive a lot then it may be worth getting another cashback card to use at the pump once your petrol or diesel purchases have exceeded this amount.

Similarly, as the Santander card only credits you with cashback when you spend with certain retailers, you may want to consider applying for another cashback credit card to cover your purchases elsewhere.

Finally, the 18.9% p.a. rate of interest applied to purchases is relatively high compared to the other cards out there. It's for this reason that you need to make sure you clear your balance each and every time you get your statement - do this and interest will never be an issue.

We have done our very best to make sure that the information included in this Deal is accurate. However, sometimes offers can be withdrawn or changed at the last minute so please do check that you're able to redeem this Deal before parting with any money, or going out of your way to take advantage of the offer.
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