Santander Bank, the new name for the former Sovereign Bank, launched a new checking account that allows customers to earn up to $240 per year by meeting certain requirements that include direct deposits and online bill payments.

Santander Bank extra20 checking account image
JuliusKielaitis /

Extra20 checking account deal

The bank’s new extra20 checking account pays customers $10 for each month that they post a total of $1,500 in deposits and another $10 when that they pay two bills through Santander’s online bill pay service. The bonuses earned are deposited into an accompanying extra20 savings account.

The extra20 checking account has a $10 monthly fee, which can only be waived with a total combined direct deposits of at least $1,500 per month. Not only do you earn $10 for post $1,500 in direct deposits, you also avoid the monthly fee.

The extra20 savings account has a $3.50 monthly fee, but it can be waived when linked to an extra20 checking account or with a $100 average daily balance.

How it came about

“The idea for extra20 checking came from Santander’s desire to create a banking product that could be made available to a wide range of consumers, that would be simple to understand and that would help customers achieve their financial goals,” said Fabio Collazo, director of retail product development at Santander, in an email statement.

Santander also offers an account-switching service that will help customers reroute their direct deposits and online bill payments, both of which are important to earn the monthly $20 bonuses with the extra20 checking account.

“Most customers will find it easy to switch their existing checking account over to extra20 checking on their own,” Collazo said. “For customers who need a bit of extra assistance, they can visit any of our branches in person or call our dedicated Switch Services team.”

Cashing in

The financial incentive behind Santander’s extra20 checking account is likely to draw the deposits of many consumers.

At $240 in cash bonuses per year, the account pays the equivalent of 2.40% APY on a balance of $10,000. In a low-interest-rate environment, the cash bonuses for common financial activities are attractive.

Some customers may even opt to split their direct deposits between the extra20 checking account and a high-yield savings account to maximize their earnings.

However, for tax purposes, the bonuses are treated the same way as interest earnings, which are reported to the IRS through Form 1099-INT.

Would you consider signing up for the extra20 checking account from Santander Bank? Why or why not? Share your thoughts by commenting below or share your experiences by writing a bank review if you already have an account with Santander Bank.

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    Do Not – I repeat, Do Not Trust Santander! Their reputation in Spain is terrible and they are well known for being extremely aggressive and non-humane in their approach to customer service. They will turn on you like a wild animal, with no regard for your welfare! My advice is – go somewhere else to do your banking!

  • M

    Thanks for the heads up, I just moved to the US and was seriously thinking of opening an account with them…im with BofA…I know I know you’ll say they aren’t much better…but then who do I bank with?:P

    • kat

      I use PNC bank. If you direct deposit at least 1500 a month then they waive the 10 checking fee and also refund ATM fees that you paid to other banks by making withdrawals. They have online banking called virtual wallet that you can view your savings and checking accounts. I switched to them because I think that Chase, Wells Fargo and BofA have too many fees and don’t care about their customers.

      • C

        BofA waives the monthly fee for a checking account if you have direct deposit… there isnt a requirement of 1500 either.


        Kat, Chase is terrible, too! They, like Wells Fargo, are out for nothing but more money for their investors. Steer clear of them as well. Bank of America has lots of fees, but I’ve heard better things about them then all the others I’ve mentioned. USAA is great, but if you’re not military-connected, you can’t get them as your banking institution. Good luck!

  • Tom

    Santander wants to help people achieve their financial goals? I guess that’s why they took 22 overdraft fees since I switched to their Santander20 account. They helped me by telling me I had money available to make small purchases and then they switched the order they processed my debits and crashed everything. They claim everyone does it, and claim it’s legal. Point I want to make is that if they want to help people, they don’t screw them like that. Off to Capital One I go.

    • Small Fry

      Why did u overdraft in the first place? Still 2 years after you made your comment we can see its 100% your fault. Any bank would have charged you a fee for overdraft.. silly rabbit..