It’s important to stay in control of your credit card account and your repayments, to avoid paying fees and charges. We’ve got a variety of tips, guidance and tools to help you.

Setting up a Direct Debit is the hassle-free way to pay your credit card bill. It will take a few minutes to do in Online Banking and will then happen every month without you having to do anything further. 

You can set your Direct Debit to pay in one of 3 ways.

  • Full payment: which pays off the entire balance each month.
  • Minimum payment: a percentage of your balance which we require you to pay each month. It’s shown on your statement.
  • Fixed payment: an amount that you decide to pay each month. 

If you do already have a Direct Debit set up to pay your credit card balance, you could increase the amount you pay each month to pay off the balance more quickly. This will also reduce the total amount of interest you pay. 

You can see the amount you’re currently paying on your statement. See the ‘your statement explained’ section for guidance on where to find this information.
 
How to set up or change a Direct Debit
The easiest way to set up or change a Direct Debit is in Online Banking in the credit card section.

How long will a Direct Debit take to set up?
It takes about a month to set up a Direct Debit so if you need to make a payment to your credit card in the meantime, you'll need to pay your credit card using another method which you can find on the back of your statement. 

You can also set up or change a Direct Debit by calling us on 0800 9 123 123.

Log on to Online Banking

Take a look at our Online Banking video guides to learn more.

Making extra one-off payments when you have the money can help you clear your credit card debt more quickly. The easiest way to do it is by using Online or Mobile Banking, where you can pay from your Santander current account. If you don’t have a Santander current account, you can set up a bill payment from any other UK bank.
 
To get the maximum impact from a one-off payment, we recommend you make it up to 5 working days prior to the Direct Debit being taken (you’ll find your Direct Debit claim date on the ‘Account Summary’ page of your statement). This way, the one-off payment will be taken as well as your Direct Debit.  
 
Alternatively, if you make the one-off payment outside the above timings the amount will reduce down your Direct Debit amount and won’t be on top of your usual payment.

Log on to Online Banking

These are the general fees and charges for your credit card. You can find the specific fees and charges for your card on the back of your statement.

Fees 

 

Late payment fee

If you don’t pay us by the payment due date on your statement, or don’t pay at all, we’ll charge you a £12 late payment fee.

Over limit fee

A £12 fee charged when you have spent more than your credit limit.

Payment returned fee

We’ll charge you a £12 fee if your payment to pay off your outstanding balance does not go through, for example if your cheque bounces or the Direct Debit doesn’t get paid.

Other credit card interest rates and charges

Cash transactions

Cash transactions include withdrawing money from a cash machine, buying foreign currency, purchasing lottery tickets or using your card for gambling.

Interest is charged from the date the cash transaction is added to your account – there’s no interest-free period on cash transactions. So even if you pay your balance in full on your statement date, you’ll still be charged interest on any cash transactions.  
 
A fee may also be charged for cash transactions.

Balance transfers

If you transferred a balance during a 0% offer, you’ll be charged interest at your standard rate on any balance remaining after the 0% interest offer ends.

If you transfer a balance at any other time, you’ll pay a balance transfer fee and interest will be charged at the standard purchase rate. 

Your standard interest rate is printed on your monthly statement. This is the interest that you’ll be charged if you’re not in a 0% interest offer period.

Purchases

If you have a 0% offer, you’ll be charged interest at your standard rate on any purchase balance remaining after the 0% interest offer ends.
 
If you use your card for new purchases after the 0% offer period ends, you’ll get up to 56 days interest free if you pay your full balance on time and in full each month.
 
If you don’t pay your balance in full, you’ll be charged interest on new purchases, as well as any remaining purchase balance.
 
Your standard interest rate is printed on your monthly statement. This is the interest that you’ll be charged if you’re not in a 0% offer period.

Monthly or annual fees

Some credit cards will have a monthly or annual fee. You’ll be told about this when you open your account and you can always check the ‘fees and charges’ section for the credit card you have on our website:
All in One Credit Card
Everyday Credit Card
Zero Credit Card
Santander World Elite™ Mastercard® 

Foreign transaction charges

When you use your card abroad you may be charged additional fees and interest for making non-sterling transactions.  There may also be fees to withdrawing cash abroad.  Find out more in our travelling guide. 

How payments are applied to your account

The payments you make pay off items that are already on your statement before paying off any more recent transactions. These recent transactions are the ones made since the last statement was issued.

Payments are allocated to the transactions on your statement that have a higher interest charge before those incurring lower interest. For example, a cash withdrawal will be paid off before an introductory 0% interest offer because it has a higher interest rate but this only happens once the transaction has been applied to your statement.

Set up account alerts to help you avoid fees and charges
We’ll send you alerts when you’re near your credit limit to help you avoid fees and to make you aware of certain activity on your account. You can manage your alert settings through Online Banking, calling us on 0800 9 123 123 or visiting a branch.

Find out more about account alerts

Stay up-to-date on the go with Mobile Banking
Check your credit card balance, make payments to your card, view your credit limit and more with our mobile banking app. 

Stay within your credit limit
Your credit limit can be found on your monthly statement and in Online or Mobile Banking. If you spend over your limit you’ll be charged an over limit fee.  You can manage your credit limit preferences in Online Banking
 

Avoid using your credit card for cash withdrawals
If you use your credit card to take out cash from cash machines, you’ll be charged interest from the day you withdraw the money. This differs from interest on purchases, as you have 56 days before that is applied. To avoid any interest charges from a cash withdrawal, you need to pay off the entire existing balance and any outstanding interest as soon as the cash withdrawal is made. If you don’t, you’ll be paying interest on the amount of cash you took out until your balance is cleared. 

Change your payment date to suit you
You can choose a convenient date to have your credit card Direct Debit taken out. Call us on 0800 9 123 123 to change your payment date.

Check your rates and fees
Take a look at the ‘understanding fees and charges’ section. Keeping in mind what you’ll be charged may help you spend less. You can also find useful information on the relevant product page on our website, and also in our credit cards guide

Your credit card statement is available in Online and Mobile Banking.  If you’re not yet paper-free, we’ll also send you a paper statement each month showing all your recent transactions, including your minimum payment and the date its due.  

You can switch to paper-free anytime within Online Banking.  

If you’d like to change your payment due date and the date we send you your statement, please call us on 0800 9 123 123.

To help you get the best from your statement, we’ve designed a simple guide.

Front page of your printed statement:

front-page-statement-90419-left
front-page-statement-90419-right

Transaction page of your printed statement:

transaction-page-statement-left
transaction-page-statement-right

A credit card isn’t ideal for long-term borrowing, but a personal loan could help you consolidate your debts into one monthly repayment at a fixed rate.  Find out more about other borrowing options

What is ‘persistent debt’?
The regulator has introduced new rules and guidance to help credit card customers. If you make minimum or low payments over a period of 18 months or longer, you may pay more in interest, fees and charges on your credit card than the amount you have paid towards what you have borrowed. This may be referred to as ‘persistent debt’. 

If you’re in persistent debt, you’ll receive a letter or email from us. We’ll give you some options for repaying it more quickly.

Paying more per month will save you interest and reduce the time that it takes to pay off your balance

Here's an example of how an increase in payments reduces the interest and the repayment period on a credit card balance of £2,000 with an APR of 18.9%

persistent debt payment infographic

What do I need to do?

The only way to avoid this type of debt is to pay off more than the minimum payment, and really, as much as you can. This way you’ll save money on interest charges and repay your debt in less time.

You may also want to consider:

  • Taking out a loan to pay off your balance. If you can take out a personal loan charging less interest than your card you’ll have one monthly repayment at a fixed rate.

Take a look at our borrowing options

If we’ve sent you a persistent debt letter we’ll continue to monitor your account to see if you’ve changed your repayments and we may write to you again.

If you’re worried about your finances, please visit our money worries page for further support.

To talk to us about your credit card, call us on 0800 9 123 123.

There are also a number of organisations detailed below that can give you free impartial debt advice.

These organisations aren’t linked with Santander and they can help you manage your creditors and debt problems. Please note that some of these organisations may charge for their services.

Business Debtline
bdl.org.uk

Cardcosts from UK Finance
cardcosts.org.uk

Citizen’s Advice Bureau
adviceguide.org.uk

Money Advice Service
moneyadviceservice.org.uk

National Debtline
nationaldebtline.org.uk

Payplan
payplan.com  

StepChange Debt Charity
stepchange.org

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