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Essential Checking

When all you need are the essentials without surprises like unexpected overdrafts1, Essential Checking offers predictability and a low Monthly Fee.
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Bank better with no overdrafts or overdraft fees1

Account details

Monthly Fee2

$4 Monthly Fee, waived if any owner on the account is under age 26 or 65 years of age or over. 

Minimum balance

No minimum balance requirement.

ATM withdrawal fee3

Reduced cash withdrawal fee of $2.50 for domestic non Santander ATM withdrawals.

Account opening deposit

$10 minimum.


This account is not interest bearing.

Statement delivery options

  • Reduced Paper Statement Fee of $2 per statement.
  • $0 for paperless statements.

Certified low-fee account

Santander Essential Checking has been certified by Bank On as a low-cost, low-fee checking account.

All the ways we help you bank better

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Convenience in the palm of your hand

The trust you need to bank confidently

Advantages of your Debit Mastercard*

A Debit Mastercard® deducts money directly from your checking account. You can use it to withdraw cash and shop anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
Deposit with Mobile Check Deposit
Just take a picture of your signed check while you’re on the go.
Secure biometric authentication
Only you can unlock your information with Touch ID® and Face ID® for Apple and fingerprint for Android.††
Just tap and go
Conveniently make fast purchases with contactless payments. Just insert your card, swipe, or tap and go.
Manage your account
Make deposits, send money with Zelle®4, check
balances and more, all from the Mobile Banking App.
Digital Banking Guarantee‡‡
Shop online, in-store, or make bill payments with Santander PROTECHTION by your side.
Shop securely
Shop online, in-store, or make bill payments with Santander PROTECHTION by your side.
Fraud protection
For digital security, our firewalls protect all your information stored in our database.
Works like cash
Use your card like cash with no interest or late payments.
Control over your cards
Create or update your PIN, update contact information, and report a lost or stolen card.

Bank anywhere, anytime

Manage your account whenever and wherever you want with our Mobile Banking App.

Download our
Mobile Banking App

Unlock on-the-go features with our highly-rated Mobile Banking App.

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4.7 out of 5 Rating. Based on 354k ratings on the app store as of 5/16/2024.

Enroll in Santander
Online Banking

Manage your money securely by enrolling in Online Banking.

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FAQs: Checking

To open an account online, you will need a Social Security number, a valid email address, and an initial deposit. To open an account in a branch, you will need two forms of Identification, including a Primary ID — which is a valid, government-issued photo ID (driver s license, passport, state or military ID), AND a Secondary ID some examples include bank-issued ATM or debit cards, major credit cards, utility bills, and birth certificates. You ll also need your Social Security number (non-residents can still apply without a SSN or can use their Individual Tax Reporting Number, if they have one), a valid address and phone number, and an initial deposit.

Support resources: Checking Accounts

We’ll guide you on your financial journey.

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Santander Mobile Banking App

Learn more about getting started with our highly-rated Mobile Banking App.

Read more

Direct Deposit

Learn more about how direct deposit works, and how to set up deposits directly to your checking account.

Read more

Getting Started with Online Banking

If you haven’t enrolled yet, read this easy step-by-step guide to get started.

Read more

Find Us
Branches across the Northeast and in Miami, Florida, plus 2,000+ ATMs.

Are you a Santander Client

Log in to Online Banking for a more seamless experience.

1We do not pay overdrafts at our discretion on this product. This means transactions that would overdraw your account will generally be either declined or returned, and no overdraft fees will be charged. In rare situations where an overdraft cannot be avoided, you will still not be charged any overdraft fees, though you must promptly repay the overdrawn amount per your account agreement.

2Per service fee period. 

3Domestic ATMs are ATMs in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. ATM owner may charge a separate fee.

4U.S. checking or savings account required to use Zelle®. Transactions between enrolled consumers typically occur in minutes and generally do not incur transaction fees. In order to send payment requests or split payment requests to a U.S. mobile number, the mobile number must already be enrolled with Zelle®. Zelle and the Zelle-related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.

††If you share your device with other individuals, please note any fingerprints or face image stored on your device may be used to log in to the Santander Mobile Banking App and access your account.

‡‡Digital Banking Guarantee: When you use Online Banking, we guarantee that your money is protected against online fraud or losses and that your bills will be paid on time. You are protected against unauthorized online transactions as long as you check your statement and promptly notify us of any unauthorized activity. Refer to your Digital Banking Agreement for details on guarantees and your responsibilities for promptly reporting unauthorized transactions, as well as a list of supported mobile devices.

Apple, the Apple logo, Apple Pay, and Touch ID are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

Santander Bank, N.A. is a Member FDIC and a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Santander, S.A. ©2023 Santander Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Santander, Santander Bank and the Flame logo are trademarks of Banco Santander, S.A. or its subsidiaries in the United States or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their owners.