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Cash on the Camino Frances

ShelleyW

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plan to walk mid Sept to end of Oct, 2018
Any issues obtaining Cash / Euros on the Camino?
Did you find ATM’s belonging to obscure networks vs “Plus, Star, Interlink, Money pass”.
Open to any advise on money matters while walking the Camino
 
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Glenshiro

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
No problem getting cash with a Visa or Mastercard. ATMs in all towns and large villages. (If you are offered the choice to pay in your own currency - don't take it. It always costs more.)
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
Never had a problem on the Camino or elsewhere in Spain with ATMs. Sometimes, though, you end up paying a lot more in ATM charges than you might want. They do vary a bit. So if you happen to see a couple different ones and you try the first and don't like the price, cancel the transaction and try it's neighbor. Usually, the cost is 2 or 3 Euros plus whatever your bank at home will charge you. Not a killer.
 

Shalaw

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015
We ran out of money once, because we ASS-U-ME-d there would be a bank machine in the next town we were heading to, but there wasn't one. And of course, not realizing we could have taken a quick 10 minute taxi ride to find and ATM?! Lol. It's amazing how much bigger the world is, when travelling on foot. We did have enough for our bed and a meal, but no money for breakfast and coffee the next day, and the next town was at least 10kms away. As it turned out, we found a bar that took credit cards so we had breakfast and also bought two ponchos (the Camino always provides!!) as we were close to entering Galicia. We did learn a valuable lesson though, and that was to keep 100 euro tucked away at all times for emergency situations that I recommend doing.

Buen Camino!!
 

Oddyspapa

My soul is staying on the way, always.
Year of past OR future Camino
Full CF (May/Jun of 2014, 2018 )
Full CF+Finisterre (2016 May/Jun)
Will go again 2020
Never had any problem to find ATM. Only one thing to be careful is when you use the ATM of BANKIA. If you make any mistake to key in, ATM machine eat your card. During business hour, it is no problem, but after hour or weekend, you have to wait until bank is open or give up your card.
 

celinehenriette

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Zwolle - Rome 2013
Jacobsweg Austria 2018
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Portugues 2018
Finisterre 2018
Just don't use the ATM machines inside where you need your bank card to enter. In Logrono I was trapped inside one because I couldn't open the door from the inside. With my friend outside rolling on the ground laughing there was no one to help me. After 5 minutes (my friend was getting help) some Spanish opened the door with their card from the outside. Not my finest moment..please learn from this ;)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
I walked into Belorado realizing I had only 10 Euros. How did that happen! Fortunately, there was a bank at the far end of the Plaza Mayor. After this, I carried around 300 Euros in cash and used my Deutsche Bank debit card for hostals, pensions, and Santiago expenses. Albergues, of course, required cash.
 
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Saranger

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Samos-Santiago 2015 & 2016
Porto-Santiago 2017
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Ferrol-Santiago May 2019
Note for American pilgrims, sign up for a free Charles Schwab Bank account. Fund it with your money for the Camino. ATM fees are automatically refunded back to your account. I've had this card for years and have had hundreds of dollars refunded!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
For Australians, same deal with ING Direct. As long as you use the account a certain number of times a month, you get all ATM fees refunded.
 

Saranger

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Samos-Santiago 2015 & 2016
Porto-Santiago 2017
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Ferrol-Santiago May 2019
I, too, have this benefit from Schwab; I've just not used it since I work part of the year in Germany and am paid in Euros. Your point is a good one, Saranger.

Online access to views or transfer funds in/out make it very easy to use the Schwab card.
 
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MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
I discovered that my debit card only works on Plus ATM's. So, to add to all the good advice here, please make sure you know the types of ATM's you are allowed to use your card on, (found on the back of your card), and do not attempt to use it in an unfriendly ATM. You never know when those little machines will get hungry for another bit of plastic.
 

rickyt

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I will make it at some point or another. I don't know when, but I do know I will.
Note for American pilgrims, sign up for a free Charles Schwab Bank account. Fund it with your money for the Camino. ATM fees are automatically refunded back to your account. I've had this card for years and have had hundreds of dollars refunded!

This is probably a dumb question but, oh well. Do you have to have an investment account with Charles Schwab in order to have a checking account with them? Thanks!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Hi Rickyt. Short answer: no. I moved our investment accounts elsewhere years ago. I have had and continue to have a checking account with Schwab. I do not use the ATM benefit because (as I've reported in this forum) I'm paid in Euros and have a Euro denominated debit card. Hope this helps.
 

BucketBabe

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances planned for October 3-mid November (2018)
Note for American pilgrims, sign up for a free Charles Schwab Bank account. Fund it with your money for the Camino. ATM fees are automatically refunded back to your account. I've had this card for years and have had hundreds of dollars refunded!
Also USAA refunds fees and charges no transaction fees if you are lucky to qualify with current/prior military service or close relatives with same.
 

mguillen

MGuillen
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Note for American pilgrims, sign up for a free Charles Schwab Bank account. Fund it with your money for the Camino. ATM fees are automatically refunded back to your account. I've had this card for years and have had hundreds of dollars refunded!
Hello- do you need to use this account several times a year in order for it to be free? Or have a minimum balance? Thx!
 
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Saranger

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Samos-Santiago 2015 & 2016
Porto-Santiago 2017
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Ferrol-Santiago May 2019
No minimum balance required or need to use it several times throughout the year. It’s a great product for travelers. ATM fees are refunded in the USA as well, so even if your travels don’t take you out of the country, you still have the ability for fee-free withdrawals at home.

Adding funds to the account are easy with their free transfer service.
 

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