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ATM charges

Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
#1
My wife and I just walked from Burgos to León. I followed my usual pattern of ATM withdrawals. First at Madrid airport (admittedly not the best idea because of risk of the machine eating my card, but my wife has hers as backup). My next withdrawal was on the Meseta and I spotted a Santander bank in Fromista, which I knew could be used for a withdrawal. Santander's charge for the withdrawal was 6 euros. I made a final withdrawal a few days later in Mansilla and used Caja Espagnol hoping that bank would be cheaper. I didn't keep any of the withdrawal receipts which would have tracked the Spanish bank charges for these withdrawals, but I think that the charges have increased, significantly in Santander's case, since last year.

Has anyone else noticed this?

Tom
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2010, 2015)
Camino Norte (2011)
Rue de la Plata (2018/9)
#2
Were you notified at the time of the transaction what you would be charged? If not, then is it possible that it was a fee by your bank? I suppose it could also be another effect of the popularity of the Camino. The most I have ever been charged, anywhere in Europe, is 5 euros for using a foreign card. It may be a bit late in your case, but in the future, it is helpful to get an bank who reimburses you for all foreign transaction fees. I know Charles Schwab does this, as well as Capital One credit cards.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
#3
Thank you, WalksInWinter...

Yes, I was notified by the Spanish banks of the fees. My own bank added $3 US for every withdrawal. And yes, I never recall seeing a service charge as high as 6 euros before. My credit card does not charge me for foreign transaction fees and I use that when I am not using cash on the Camino. The issue is just ATM charges.

I worry a little that banks on the CF might be increasing their charges because of the many foreign hikers who are a captive population.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2010, 2015)
Camino Norte (2011)
Rue de la Plata (2018/9)
#4
Thank you, WalksInWinter...

Yes, I was notified by the Spanish banks of the fees. My own bank added $3 US for every withdrawal. And yes, I never recall seeing a service charge as high as 6 euros before. My credit card does not charge me for foreign transaction fees and I use that when I am not using cash on the Camino. The issue is just ATM charges.

I worry a little that banks on the CF might be increasing their charges because of the many foreign hikers are a captive population.
I wouldn't be surprised! :/ Well, if you get a chance to try Charles Schwab I recommend it. ATM fees are annoying.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#6
Schwab Bank (and a couple of others) charge no fees for ATM use AND they reimburse any fees charged by the dispensing ATM bank.
It really is a no-brainer for use on the camino. The accounts are easy to set up if you start with a bit of time before you leave. Many of us have used for years with no issues......
 
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
#7
I looked at Schwab and I thought their ATM card was linked to a brokerage account. Am I wrong on this?
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#9
Liberbank has not charged us on the Norte, nor did Caixabank. BBVA charged 1euro 87cents. Card's own charge of 2euros applied as expected.
Liberbank and BBVA made policy clear on the ATM. We have been using a MasterCard card,euro loaded.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Part 1 (2017)/ Part 2 (2018), VF Part 1 (2018)
#10
There seems to be a move to ‘transparency ‘. So us Europeans will be shown a charge but others will get it ‘free’ but pay on the XE.

Hug a banker week
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2010, 2015)
Camino Norte (2011)
Rue de la Plata (2018/9)
#11
I looked at Schwab and I thought their ATM card was linked to a brokerage account. Am I wrong on this?
Yes, but minimum balance is minimal or nil. I've had $100 sitting in it for years and if I need to access it I can. No buying/selling needed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
#12
I looked at Schwab and I thought their ATM card was linked to a brokerage account. Am I wrong on this?
According to some online reviews, you need to open but not necessarily fund the Brokerage account. Some articles/posts (and several old reviews on the Schwab site) say that they do a "Hard" credit pull on Equifax and Chexsystems.
Also, if you are planning to open a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking® Account, make sure you do it quite a bit of time in advance of when you need it (to allow for mailing of documents/card and transfer or deposit to bank account).
¡Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#13
I looked at Schwab and I thought their ATM card was linked to a brokerage account. Am I wrong on this?
If you open a Schwab account, there are actually two accounts that are opened. One is a brokerage account. There are no fees, nor do you have to fund it in any way. You can basically ignore it.

The other account is your personal checking account. Again, there are no minimums and no fees. Any balance in that account will pay interest at 0.20% monthly. It is free. It has a separate account number from your brokerage account. And it is free. Oh, and did I mention it is free?

Any fees for any ATM use by any ATM anywhere is automatically refunded. There are no foreign currency conversion fees. There are no foreign transaction fees. And in case I forgot to mention, the account is free.

Once you open and then fund your checking account, Schwab is very quick to send you their debit card. Once received, a quick phone call activates the card, and then you are able to choose your own PIN number. For foreign travel usage, just to be cautious, choosing a four-digit PIN can be done. Apparently the number of digits in a PIN is not as much of an issue for overseas as it once was, but that is your choice.

And the account is free.

:)
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#15
The Schwab bank account has been highly recommended by members for quite a long time. I do not remember a negative post regarding the account.

It is perfect for the camino (and other travel) because of it no fee structure and the reimbursement of any fees charged by third parties. Thier exchange rate has always been on the excellent end of the scale.
It is just hard to find a better product for what we do.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugués (June 2018)
#16
If you are referring to the Schwab account, it is free.
Not only is it free, they will pay you $100 to open one.

https://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/nn/refer-prospect.html

This link is because, if you are referred to Schwab, you can open up a checking account, and they will add $100 after about 30 days. If you don't want to trust my link, you can call them and mention the code "REFER," or I believe they have a box where you can enter the code when setting up your new account.

---
A few points about this deal:
- Yes, it opens both a checking and a brokerage account for you, but you never have to fund, nor use, the brokerage account.
- No fees or ATM charges, and they refund ATM fees.
- You allegedly* have to start with $1000 in the account to get the $100 within 30 days... and you must maintain a $1000 balance for the first 90? days (maybe a year), or they MAY charge you the $100 back. There is no minimum balance required in order to avoid fees, nor to be refunded any ATM fees you incur elsewhere.
- The person who refers you gets nothing. So this doesn't help me at all, and you (unfortunately) can't chain it to get benefits on both ends.

*I say allegedly, because when I called and asked a representative about it, he actually said the $1000 deposit could be in either account, and that it wasn't even necessary to keep that level of funds in there beyond the day that you get the $100.

---

I only started researching the Schwab accounts early this afternoon, because of this thread. I have excellent credit, and am very suspicious and thorough. After plenty of research, and reading the fine prints everywhere, I decided to go ahead with it. So, while I do not have any personal experience with Schwab (beyond having just opened my own account), I figured I would share what I learned. I can't promise any of the above, but it is true to the best of my knowledge.

Use it or don't; no skin off my feet. ;) I just thought I'd share with fellow peregrinos. And a big THANK YOU to everyone else who shared enough to get me looking into it.


Oh... and it's free.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Walked from O'Cebreiro to Santiago in 2016
Planning to walk from Burgos this June, 2018
#17
If you open a Schwab account, there are actually two accounts that are opened. One is a brokerage account. There are no fees, nor do you have to fund it in any way. You can basically ignore it.

The other account is your personal checking account. Again, there are no minimums and no fees. Any balance in that account will pay interest at 0.20% monthly. It is free. It has a separate account number from your brokerage account. And it is free. Oh, and did I mention it is free?

Any fees for any ATM use by any ATM anywhere is automatically refunded. There are no foreign currency conversion fees. There are no foreign transaction fees. And in case I forgot to mention, the account is free.

Once you open and then fund your checking account, Schwab is very quick to send you their debit card. Once received, a quick phone call activates the card, and then you are able to choose your own PIN number. For foreign travel usage, just to be cautious, choosing a four-digit PIN can be done. Apparently the number of digits in a PIN is not as much of an issue for overseas as it once was, but that is your choice.

And the account is free.

:)
Question for you....
I’m setting up a Schwab account for the first time. I opened the account but haven’t transferred any money yet because I’m not sure how I want to do it.
Do you have a link to your other bank so you can transfer money, or did you send a picture of a check from another account (these were two ways a customer service rep. told me about when I called)?
I’m just not sure which I feel more secure about. I feel as though we have to be extra diligent about our security these days.
Thanks!
Lynne
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#18
Question for you....
I’m setting up a Schwab account for the first time. I opened the account but haven’t transferred any money yet because I’m not sure how I want to do it.
Do you have a link to your other bank so you can transfer money, or did you send a picture of a check from another account (these were two ways a customer service rep. told me about when I called)?
I’m just not sure which I feel more secure about. I feel as though we have to be extra diligent about our security these days.
Thanks!
Lynne
I made a link at Schwab to my checking account at my primary bank. It's a pretty straight forward process. Or if you'd rather, you can create the transfer link at your primary bank for transfers into Schwab.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugués (June 2018)
#20
I made a link at Schwab to my checking account at my primary bank. It's a pretty straight forward process. Or if you'd rather, you can create the transfer link at your primary bank for transfers into Schwab.
Does transferring money between accounts this way not incur "wire transfer" fees, from either account?

My plan is to use a check image via the app, once that is approved for me. I have used check images to deposit checks via apps for other banks many times, so I consider that a fairly simple and safe method.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#21
Does transferring money between accounts this way not incur "wire transfer" fees, from either account?

My plan is to use a check image via the app, once that is approved for me. I have used check images to deposit checks via apps for other banks many times, so I consider that a fairly simple and safe method.
No. It is not a wire transfer. Online transfers are exceedingly safe, as they require encrypted portal access at both banks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#22
Question for you....
I’m setting up a Schwab account for the first time. I opened the account but haven’t transferred any money yet because I’m not sure how I want to do it.
Do you have a link to your other bank so you can transfer money, or did you send a picture of a check from another account (these were two ways a customer service rep. told me about when I called)?
I’m just not sure which I feel more secure about. I feel as though we have to be extra diligent about our security these days.
Thanks!
Lynne
I linked my other bank account to my Schwab account. Don't leave the transfer of funds to the last minute - it takes a few days for the funds to be verified and available in your Schwab account.
Does transferring money between accounts this way not incur "wire transfer" fees, from either account?
Nope, no wire transfer fees from either account.
 

Sunisa

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
in 2019 - 2021
#23
wow 6 Euro are outrageous. You really should check if the charge is from your bank or Santander. I am aware when i use my card in overseas (USA or Asia) i get hit with 4 Euro by the other bank (not mine) but this should not happen inside Europe
 

nathanael

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#24
My wife and I just walked from Burgos to León. I followed my usual pattern of ATM withdrawals. First at Madrid airport (admittedly not the best idea because of risk of the machine eating my card, but my wife has hers as backup). My next withdrawal was on the Meseta and I spotted a Santander bank in Fromista, which I knew could be used for a withdrawal. Santander's charge for the withdrawal was 6 euros. I made a final withdrawal a few days later in Mansilla and used Caja Espagnol hoping that bank would be cheaper. I didn't keep any of the withdrawal receipts which would have tracked the Spanish bank charges for these withdrawals, but I think that the charges have increased, significantly in Santander's case, since last year.

Has anyone else noticed this?

Tom
I was told my bank in Canada that they have from 5 euros to 7 euros. For myself, I am able to use Duestch banks when does not charge. so check with your bank. nevertheless, Duestch banks are few.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#25
wow 6 Euro are outrageous. You really should check if the charge is from your bank or Santander. I am aware when i use my card in overseas (USA or Asia) i get hit with 4 Euro by the other bank (not mine) but this should not happen inside Europe
Not everyone is charged the same fee at the same ATM. There are EU rules for EU customers getting money from an ATM in another EU country and they’ve changed a few times in recent years. Obviously, these rules don’t apply to customers of USA banks, which is the topic here.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#26
I've just gone through such a ATM fee list and a 6 € fee for withdrawal at an ATM with a debit card is more the norm than the exception for a customer of a Eurozone bank withdrawing money in a non-EU country which is similar to the situation of a customer of a USA bank withdrawing money from an ATM in Spain.

ATM fees, when applicable, can be charged to the foreign card holder or to the foreign card issuing bank and then the customer may not see them at all.
 
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Peter Fransiscus

Do good and good will come to you.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
#27
When I do a withdrawal outside the Euro zone with my bankcard I pay 2,25Euro + 1,2% currency exchange rate .
 

Peter Fransiscus

Do good and good will come to you.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
#28
There are EU rules for EU customers getting money from an ATM in another EU country (roughly, the foreign bank can't charge you more than your bank at home would charge) but they’ve changed a few times in recent years.
I was in Santiago for a few weeks , used a ATM 3 times all from different banks .
They can charge you for the use off there ATM.
Two banks charged me 1,50 Euro and Santander charged me nothing .
 
Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#29
You can download a free guide https://www.helpmycash.com/guias/43/de-que-cajeros-podemos-sacar-dinero-gratis/, 22 pages, with a huge table, 40 rows by 20 columnes, which tells you, as a customer of a Spanish bank, how much if anything you will be charged at an ATM in Spain if you are for example
  • a Santander customer at a BBVA ATM : 1,87 €
  • an ING customer at a Liberbank ATM : 0 €
  • an Ibercaja customer at a Banco Popular ATM : 1,50 €
  • and so on. There are 40 x 20 = 800 different combinations of bank customer and bank ATM !
So that explains the different ATM fees reported by @Peter Fransiscus and @Tia Valeria since they were charged in the same way as domestic (Spanish) customers. There's another table on withdrawal at a foreign ATM within the €-zone and in countries outside of it, and here the ATM charges, if fixed, range from 0 € to 6,50 €. Again, no standard ATM fee structure and it's looking from the inside to the outside. People coming from these outside countries to Spain - sorry, you are on your own ;) but it's probably safe to say that you ought to expect similar ATM withdrawal fees: anything between 0 € and 6 €, depending on the bank-to-bank combination.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
#30
I have really received some in-depth and reliable information from several posters. I have travelled to Europe about 8 times in the last 5 years and I often travel to Canada. So like diligent @NobleSpaniard, I think I'll go ahead and try to set up my Schwab account and have it on standby mode, hopefully with the $100 signup bonus.

My US bank is a Canadian one, TD Bank. And I would just mention that my bank recently started charging for certain incoming electronic funds transfers - my pension payments and US social security payments are not subject to this fee. This may be a predictor of changes to come (at Schwab?) as US brick and mortar banks are under intense competition from each other and the newly arrived online services.

Thanks to: @davebugg @NobleSpaniard @Kathar1ina @trecile and to all other posters for helping to "drill down" on this subject.

Tom
 

lissie45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Frances 2019
#31
Schwab Bank (and a couple of others) charge no fees for ATM use AND they reimburse any fees charged by the dispensing ATM bank.
It really is a no-brainer for use on the camino. The accounts are easy to set up if you start with a bit of time before you leave. Many of us have used for years with no issues......
But only if you are an American...
 
Camino(s) past & future
St. Francis Route 2017
#32
I used my Deutsche Bank Euro debit card for cash withdrawals last year on the Camino. The ATM fees, regardless of bank used, were 5.99 Euros per transaction regardless of amount withdrawn. I withdrew cash 5 times on the journey. Importantly, there were no foreign exchange transaction fees which can add to the total transaction cost. When I used my DB debit card at restaurants, hostals, etc. there were never any transaction fees. Most albergues required cash payment.
 

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