A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Camino Forum Store

Advertisement

ATMs on Camino Frances

Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2017
#1
hi. I'm walking the Camino for the first time next month. I'd like to open an account at a US bank to use for this trip. DOES anyone know which U S bank might have an associated sister bank with the most atms along the camino frances? VERY EXcited that it's getting close!
 
Last edited:

Advertisment

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés Sept. 2017
Camino Portugués Apr-May 2019
#2
hi. I'm walking the Camino for the first time next month. I'd like to open an account at a US bank to use for this trip. DOES anyone know which U S bank might have the most atms along the camino frances? VERY EXcited that it's getting close!
Unless things have changed since I was there last, I don't believe there are any US banks in Spain. You will be able to use your ATM card at any Spanish bank. Just check with your bank here in the US and ask how much they charge for transaction fees. Whenever possible it is best to use your credit card as you will generally get a better exchage rate.

Buen Camino!
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#5
I have used Charles Schwab for many years.
It's an online bank; they have very few brick/mortar buildings.
I have had no problems using their card in the ATM's all over Western Europe and at the end of each month I get ALL fees returned, whether ATM fees or exchange rate fees.
 

Advertisment

trecile

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#7
Let your Bank know before you leave that you will be in Spain for whatever time period and then purchases and withdrawals will go smoothly. Their are ATM's in almost every town or city you will stay in.
There are a few stretches where there are NO ATMs. Astorga to Ponferrada comes to mind.
 

BShea

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(9/2013) Le Puy
(5/2015) CF
(5/2016) Le Puy
(5/2017) CF
(9/2017) Le Puy
#8
I bank at BBVA Compass. I believe there are several branches throughout Texas. The parent company (BBVA) is a Spanish bank. There are no ATM transaction fees and they only charge a 1% international exchange fee on ATM withdrawals from any bank in Europe. There are BBVA banks all along the camino so I feel like I something happens to my card (gets demagnetized, lost, etc.) I can easily pop into the bank and resolve the problem.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#9
Whatever your budget and whichever card(s) you carry always have a stash of emergency cash. It need not be much say 4 × 20 and 4 × 5 euro notes. This might be very useful when an intense storm knocks all power out and no ATM works or during a long holiday weekend when the machines are 'milked dry'.

As always it helps to be prepared.
Also keep some euro bills in small denominations; breaking a 50 euro bill in a remote village can be impossible! However, gas stations will often make change even if you don't buy gas!
 

Sr.Bigote

Three Weeks - Three Caminos
Camino(s) past & future
Unknown
#10
I use Bank of America in the USA and was told by them that they have a relationship with Duetscher Bank . . . .and therefore do not have international fees for withdrawal. My assumption is that DB has ATMs (at least in major cities), but I do not know that for sure. Did anyone else see DB branches?
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#11
I use Bank of America in the USA and was told by them that they have a relationship with Duetscher Bank . . . .and therefore do not have international fees for withdrawal. My assumption is that DB has ATMs (at least in major cities), but I do not know that for sure. Did anyone else see DB branches?
Try Googling the 4. words --Deutsche Bank locations Spain
to obtain a list.
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#12
We have a Santander branch in town. Two years ago I asked them questions to see if it would make sense to open an account there. In a word, NO. They said they were run independently.

You want an account with exactly a four digit pin.

We brought our Bank of America debit card as a backup card. We needed it for our last (non-camino) week in Spain. We used it at Deutsche Banks in Pamplona and Barcelona.

ATMs are not as abundant as in the US. I only remember them being outside banks and there are plenty of small towns with no banks. Always have a few days cash on hand.

Here are some other ATM tips I've written previously:

We decided to take out 300 euros each time we got down to 100 (but then that is 2 of us; also our bank didn't charge us.) By taking out the same amount each time we could more easily see if there were any unauthorized withdrawals (that came in handy when we got home.) We probably should have drawn 280 or 320. We used Telebanco for all withdrawals but one. It is easier to use familiar machines.

Other tips: Use machines at banks so if something goes wrong you can get help. Do it well before siesta or quitting time. Plan ahead so you don't use an ATM on Sunday when the banks are closed, just in case. Also Google here: http://www.google.com/search?q=atm+site:ricksteves.com
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF011, CF012, CP013, CF014, CA015, S.Anton015, CF015, CI015
Ditch Pig016, CF017, CP017, CdN(018)
#13
I use Bank of America in the USA and was told by them that they have a relationship with Duetscher Bank . . . .and therefore do not have international fees for withdrawal. My assumption is that DB has ATMs (at least in major cities), but I do not know that for sure. Did anyone else see DB branches?
I doubt it. I have never seen a ATM that wasn't a Spanish bank. I banks with BNP Paribas and trust me they have no outlets in Spain.
Most of the ATM's will have stickers on them telling which credit card they honor and like every one else has said previously only use ATM when the bank inside is open and w/d at least 300 Euros if you can.
 

Patch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago (June 2014)
St Jean to Leon (Sept 2015)
Burgos to Santiago (June 2016)
Porto to Finisterre (June 2017)
#14
make sure any card you get has a visa logo preferably or at least a mastercard. Many ATM machines will only accept local cards, you need to check the logo on your card matches one of the many on the display before you put it in machine
 

Chacharm

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Frances (2012) Vie Del Norte (2015) Via Frances (2016) Le Puy (2017)
#15
6000 are the only ATMs I can reliably get cash from without any issue using either my BoA debit or my Visa credit card.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#17
make sure any card you get has a visa logo preferably or at least a mastercard. Many ATM machines will only accept local cards, you need to check the logo on your card matches one of the many on the display before you put it in machine
How would you define "local" here? I am from the UK and have never had a problem using any of my cards - Visa or Mastercard - in a Spanish ATM.
 

Patch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago (June 2014)
St Jean to Leon (Sept 2015)
Burgos to Santiago (June 2016)
Porto to Finisterre (June 2017)
#18
I have had cards rejected by some of what I assume are local CASAS ATM machines - I think, but then I dont read or speak any Spanish. Not all cash cards work with all ATM - pretty sure many people have found that.
 

marylynn

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-12-14-15-16-17-18 CF
2013 Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 Hærvejen DK
#19
I use Bank of America in the USA and was told by them that they have a relationship with Duetscher Bank . . . .and therefore do not have international fees for withdrawal. My assumption is that DB has ATMs (at least in major cities), but I do not know that for sure. Did anyone else see DB branches?
I never saw a Deutsche Bank (or ATM) on the Camino Frances, although I watched for it because they do not charge fees to use my credit union debit card. A quick internet search just now shows one DB in Leon and one in Burgos, but not necessarily on the Camino route through the city.

Also, be sure the ATM machine has one of the symbols that are on the back of your debit or credit card - PLUS or Cirrus or Interac or Maestro, etc.--and that your pin number is 4 digits.
 
Last edited:

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#20
My ATM is branded as PLUS network, which is a division of Visa. The only time it was not rejected in on the Camino in Spain, or in other locations in Europe on other travels, was a single machine in Portomarin. I simply walked down the street to another machine in the next block and got my cash. As others have said, you do need a 4-digit PIN number on whatever ATM you carry. ATMs are available in almost every town or city along the Camino except the smallest villages. @mspath's recommendation about carrying at least 100€ in 20€ and 5€ bills is good advice.

Here's a website with information about using ATMs abroad: http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/money-and-insurance/atms-abroad
 

Cyclinggeo

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017-Sarria to Santiago and Lires to Finisterre
#21
I bank at BBVA Compass. I believe there are several branches throughout Texas. The parent company (BBVA) is a Spanish bank. There are no ATM transaction fees and they only charge a 1% international exchange fee on ATM withdrawals from any bank in Europe. There are BBVA banks all along the camino so I feel like I something happens to my card (gets demagnetized, lost, etc.) I can easily pop into the bank and resolve the problem.
I also bank at BBVA Compass and they are all over the southern US. I likewise feel comfortable that there are numerous BBVA banks along the Camino. I agree about using the card in an open bank as I had a card eaten in an ATM at night in Italy and had to cancel it that night. I did, however use my card at a BBVA bank in Lima, Peru and was still hit with a good sized transaction fee. Hopefully Spain will be different.
 

Sr.Bigote

Three Weeks - Three Caminos
Camino(s) past & future
Unknown
#22
I never saw a Deutsche Bank (or ATM) on the Camino Frances, although I watched for it because they do not charge fees to use my credit union debit card. A quick internet search just now shows one DB in Leon and one in Burgos, but not necessarily on the Camino route through the city.

Also, be sure the ATM machine has one of the symbols that are on the back of your debit or credit card - PLUS or Cirrus or Interac or Maestro, etc.--and that your pin number is 4 digits.
You seem to be correct. I did find this URL that points to all the DB ATM locations in Europe -- just in case that folks are interested. https://www.deutsche-bank.de/pfb/content/pk-filialsuche.html?label=BRANCH&searchTerm=burgos, spain
 

Stets

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2018)
#23
Bank of America has an alliance with banks around the world. As mentioned above this is Deutsche Bank in Spain and BNP Paribas in France. HOWEVER, Bank of America now charges a foreign transaction fee at their alliance ATMs outside the US of 3%, which no longer makes this much of a deal. (https://locators.bankofamerica.com/international.html)

Charles Schwab and Fidelity ATM cards rebate all fees from all ATMs everywhere and have no foreign transaction fees on ATM withdrawals (they do have FTF on debit card purchases). They're easy to get, you just need to sign up for a money management account with them (basically a checking account, no brokerage needed). I've used my Fidelity card everywhere in the world, never had any issues with it. It's a Visa network -- of the dozens of times I've used it, I only once saw an ATM that didn't take Visa (in Ecuador). It has saved me hundreds of dollars over the years in fees and without the hassle of ever having to look for any specific ATM brand.
 

trecile

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#24
Before I opened my Schwab checking account I used BofA, because they used to have partner banks in different countries, and with no extra fees if you used those ATMs. I especially liked being able to use the Santander banks in Mexico. But that changed about 5 years or so ago. It's so much easier to use my Schwab card, and not worry about finding the right bank.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2017
#25
Thank you so much everyone! I opened a Charles Schwab account. Leaving Texas on April 25 with two of my friends. We're so excited and so happy! I'm reducing, reducing, reducing now because I am the Just In Case kind of person, but I'm fighting it!
 
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
C Camino Frances 0
K Camino Frances 52
G Camino Frances 2
C Camino Frances 3
bmj91 Camino Frances 23

OLDER threads on this topic



Advertisement

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 7 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 24 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 85 15.8%
  • May

    Votes: 142 26.3%
  • June

    Votes: 43 8.0%
  • July

    Votes: 12 2.2%
  • August

    Votes: 9 1.7%
  • September

    Votes: 146 27.1%
  • October

    Votes: 58 10.8%
  • November

    Votes: 7 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 3 0.6%
Top