Sphere(SM) is Here: Sovereign Bank Launches New Sphere(SM) Visa Signature Credit Card

Sphere(SM) is first credit card issued under Sovereign-Santander dual brand

Jan 13, 2012, 09:43 ET from Sovereign Bank











BOSTON, Jan. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --  Sovereign Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Santander, announced the launch of Sphere(SM), the new Sovereign Visa Signature Credit Card.  Sphere is Sovereign's first credit card since becoming a part of Santander and is branded with the Sovereign/Santander dual logo.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120113/PH35483 )

"We are very excited to launch the new Sphere consumer credit card," said Nuno Matos, head of Retail Banking at Sovereign.  "The credit card business will be a key driver in our continued strategic growth in the United States and Sphere is the ideal product for us to successfully introduce the first ever Sovereign/Santander dual branded consumer credit card to the U.S. market."

The launch of Sphere is the latest step in the evolution of the cards business at Sovereign.  In June 2011, Sovereign Bank finalized the purchase of the Sovereign-branded credit card portfolio from FIA Card Services, N.A.  The portfolio consists of approximately 105,000 credit card relationships representing nearly $200 million in balances.

"The purchase of the Sovereign-branded credit card portfolio last year was a major step in the development of Sphere," said Eduardo Tobon, Head of Cards at Sovereign Bank.  "Sphere is just the beginning and positions us well to build a full line of credit card products that provide customers with a range of value propositions."

With Sphere, customers will receive one reward point for every dollar spent on purchases.  Rewards will be flexible and can be spent any way the customer chooses including cash back, gift cards, merchandise, or travel.  There is a special low promotional rate on balance transfers taken during the first 60 days of the account, good for up to 10 months depending on creditworthiness.  After the promotional period, card holders will be eligible for a competitive variable rate on all purchases depending on creditworthiness.

"Sphere is a credit card built on the premise that rewards should be simple," Tobon added.  "We designed Sphere with the intent of offering a consumer credit card that has features and benefits that allow individuals and families to focus on what is important to them."

About Santander Holdings USA, Sovereign Bank and Banco Santander

Santander Holdings USA, Inc. (SOV:US) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Santander, S.A., and parent company of Sovereign Bank and Santander Consumer USA.  Banco Santander is a retail and commercial bank, headquartered in Spain, with a presence in 10 main markets: Spain, Portugal, Germany, the UK, Poland, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and the U.S.  Founded in 1857, Santander has 100 million customers, approximately 14,700 branches – more than any other international bank – and more than 191,000 employees.  For more information on Santander, visit http://www.santander.com.

Sovereign Bank is a financial institution with principal markets in the northeastern United States. Sovereign has more than 700 branches, nearly 2,300 ATMs, and approximately 8,500 team members.  For more information on Sovereign Bank, visit http://www.sovereignbank.com or call 877-SOV-BANK.

SOURCE Sovereign Bank