How does Santander's All in One credit card compare?

How does Santander's All in One credit card compare?

Santander has scrapped its popular 123 Credit Card.

The 123 Credit Card offered customers tiered rates of cashback. You could get 3% on travel spend, 2% on department store shopping and 1% at supermarkets and attracted a fee of £3 a month.

Existing customers will still be able to use the card to earn cashback, but the deal has been pulled from the market.

New borrowers that want to earn cashback on their spending can go for the new All in One Credit Card instead.

What you can get

The All in One Credit Card has a host of dazzling features.

It offers 0.5% unlimited cashback on all spending at home and abroad.

There's also six months 0% on purchases and no fees on foreign transactions when you spend in the local currency and make cash withdrawals in another country.

But one of the big draws, which seems slightly at odds with the above features that reward spending, is that it's got a great debt-busting offer too.

The All in One Credit Card comes with 40 months interest-free on balance transfers with a 1% transfer fee, making it the cheapest longer-lasting deal around when you just look at the transfer fee.

However, the card also has a £3 monthly fee, meaning you will pay £36 a year to have it, which will limit how beneficial this card will be for most.

Is it worth going for?

The £3 monthly fee means you need to really think about whether the All in One card suits your needs.

If you have a lot of expensive credit card debt to tackle, the balance transfer deal looks competitive, but once you factor in the monthly fee, it's less so.

If you had a £2,000 debt to shift, for example, it would cost you £20 to move onto the All in One Card. But on top of this you will need to pay £36 annually.

So after one year you would have paid £56 to shift debt and keep the card, which means you've effectively paid a 2.8% fee.

If you kept the card for three years (which is about the length of the 0% balance transfer period), it would cost you £128, meaning you've effectively paid 6.8% overall.

Of course, spending on the card can help you limit the impact of the fee as you can earn 0.5% cashback.

But you will need to spend £600 a month to cancel out the £3 a month fee, which might be quite steep for many, especially those struggling with debt.

Don't forget that spend needs to be cleared in full each month or you'll start racking up interest once the 6-month 0% new purchase offer expires.

The card also offers fee-free transactions and cash withdrawals abroad,but there are better deals available that don't attract an annual fee – such as Santander's other new deal, the Zero Credit Card.

It's also worth pointing out that making cash withdrawals on a credit card (anywhere) is a really bad idea as you attract a higher rate of interest immediately.

The problem with all-in-one deals in general

The problem with jack-of-all-trades cards like Santander's All in One is that sometimes you are often better off with a card that does one thing really well.

So if you're after interest-free purchases, the Santander All in One Card's six-month offer is paltry compared to the fee-free Tesco 28-Month Purchase Credit Card.

Meanwhile the 0.5% unlimited cashback Santander offers is tempting but there are better fee-free alternatives around.

For example, the Asda Cashback Credit Card offers 1% back on Asda shopping and 0.5% on all other spending with no fee.

There are also credit cards that you can use for spending abroad that are fee free such as the Post Office Money Platinum card.

Finally, when it comes to 0% balance transfers, Santander's 40 month offer is one of the longest-lasting offers and has the most competitive fee at 1%, so is probably it's key feature.

But as we explained earlier you need to spend heavily to earn enough cashback to cancel out the monthly fee, and it's worth considering whether that's a wise idea if you already have a hefty debt to clear.

If you don't earn cashback, the balance transfer offer really doesn't stack up against the top deals on the market.

The Bank of Scotland Platinum 40-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card and the Lloyds Bank Platinum 40-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card, for example, offer 40 months with a 2.39% fee, which works out £8.20 cheaper than the Santander deal on a £2,000 debt over one year.


Overall, the All in One Credit Card seems a bit mismatched and you will need to think carefully if the card makes sense for you based on your circumstances and how you spend.

If you're in a lot of debt you should get the longest lasting deal for the cheapest balance transfer and no ongoing fee, which is the Virgin Money 40-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card.

Meanwhile if you're in a manageable amount of debt you could be better off going for a shorter 0% balance transfer deal that doesn't charge a balance transfer fee. The best in this space at the moment is the Halifax 25-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card.

And when it comes to spending there are better options for cashback, interest-free purchases and transactions abroad.

Compare credit cards

How to dispute your credit record
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How to dispute your credit record

Don't wait until you need to apply for credit to view your credit record – do it now so you know where you stand and can deal with any disputes. When applying for credit, you give the lender permission to view your record, so it makes sense to view it yourself first.

You can access your record via any of the main credit agencies in the UK. By law, all the credit agencies are required to provide you with a one-off copy for just £2 so don't be hoodwinked into signing up to pay a monthly fee.

Your report shows what credit accounts you've had and whether you've made repayments on time and in full. According to Experian, items such as missed or late payments stay on your credit report for at least three years, while Court Judgments for non-payment of debts, Bankruptcies and Individual Voluntary Arrangements stick around for around six years.

Your credit report shows the current address at which you are registered to vote as well as details of other addresses you've been linked to in the last six years. Another section lists people you have a financial connection with, such as a joint mortgage. When you apply for credit, lenders are able to look at their credit history as their circumstances could affect your ability to repay what you owe.

Scrutinise your record to make sure there are no mistakes. Even a minor error such as an incorrect address or wrongly linked account could hinder your chances of being approved for credit so make sure all your details are correct and that all your borrowings are on record. If there is a discrepancy, contact the three main credit agencies to get it corrected.

A default notice is note that a lender puts on your credit file if you fall behind with your payments. It is a warning sign to future lenders about your reliability to repay credit and could mean that they will be less likely to lend to you or will increase the interest rate.

If the default notice is incorrect, perhaps because you have repaid the loan in full or did not take out the credit and suspect that you have fallen victim to fraud, you can apply to have a default notice removed. A default notices will only be removed if it is factually incorrect – not simply because you are embarrassed by it.

Start by writing to the agency asking it to either remove or change the entry that you think is wrong. It will investigate the matter and find out whether you have been the victim of ID theft or a bank's mistake.

Within 28 days from receipt of your letter the agency should tell you how the bank has responded. If the bank agrees to change the entry, they will authorise the agency to update their records. They should also send updates to any other credit reference agencies they use.

You can also contact your lender directly to query a mistake. If the lender agrees to the discrepancy, ask them to confirm this in writing on their letterhead and send a copy to the agency, asking them to update your file.

If you are unhappy with the response or would just like to explain a missed payment on your file you can send a Notice of Correction. This is a statement of up to 200 words that will be added to your file. Although lenders don't have to take this information into account, it at least gives you the chance to tell your side of the story.

Experian states that agencies will also help you escalate the dispute to a third party arbitrator if necessary, such as the Information Commissioner's Office.


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