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Collecting a list of cash-machine / ATM fees in Spain

0 Euro Camino Bank Note

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Abanca? I'm sure they're fairly cheap too, as witnessed by my continual use of them on my last camino, but I can't for the life of me find any more of the slips to check.
@H Richards, can't you work out on the basis of the bank statement what you were charged? Does it show an amount in €? The ATMs gave me only multiples of €10 or sometimes multiples of €20 .... so just look at the digit before the decimal point and the two digits after the decimal point ...
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
@H Richards, can't you work out on the basis of the bank statement what you were charged? Does it show an amount in €? The ATMs gave me only multiples of €10 or sometimes multiples of €20 .... so just look at the digit before the decimal point and the two digits after the decimal point ...
I don't have the statements to hand, but I recall that they only listed the round amount on the statement. It's weird, because I know they were charging a small fee or it would have gone into my list of "free" banks, but I can only suppose that for some reason it's not listed in the primary amount. Perhaps they factored it into the exchange rate instead. I'll dig up the old statements and have a look again, when I next have the chance.
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
As we're now onto two pages (woo), here's a quick link back to the full table of free banks, for anyone who arrives first on this page and wonders what we are talking about:

Our list of Spanish ATM fees
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
The stuff I now know about ATM withdrawal in Europe. For example that your UK Metro Bank card is better for ATM withdrawals in Spain than @Jeff Crawley's UK Halifax card. Metro will not charge a cash fee for ATM withdrawal in Europe and a fee of £1.50 elsewhere abroad while Halifax will charge a cash fee of £1.50 for any ATM withdrawal abroad.
Yes Metro Bank have been very good. They are Mastercard too, not Visa, and apparently Mastercard offer better exchange rates :)
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
I don't have the statements to hand, but I recall that they only listed the round amount on the statement. [...] I'll dig up the old statements and have a look again, when I next have the chance.
It's easier for me to see what's going on as there is no currency conversion involved. I looked at my bank statements and noticed that the ATM bank does not transmit separate information about their fee to my bank. To my bank, it looks like I withdrew €22.00 (instead €20) and €21.87 (instead of €20). Now I start to wonder how Mr Schwab can figure out what's €-cash and what's €-fee. 😉.

I also noticed that I was not charged an ATM fee by Santander in late 2017 but they did charge me in April 2019.

Good fun, this thread. 🙃
 
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H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
I also noticed that I was not charged an ATM fee by Santander in late 2017 but they did charge me in April 2019.
Good fun, this thread. 🙃
Yes most of the spanish banks only started these fees in 2018, although the law which allowed them came in a year or two earlier!
 

Grid

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (April/May 2019)
@H Richards
I hope that this is accurate, but I still have two questions: Do the fees, or lack of fees, listed for the green or yellow banks apply when Canadian bank cards are being used to make withdrawals? Are there sufficient banks on these two lists available to make withdrawals on the less traveled caminos, for example, the Madrid and the Invierno, which I plan to walk this year? I may test the first question by making a withdrawal from one of the banks on the list when I am in Madrid, before I begin walking my camino. But there is nothing I can do if the banks listed are unavailable when I am walking and need their services. This is not a huge issue for me. I would much rather use a Bank Santander ATM, if I am in need of cash and that is all that is available, rather than let myself run out of cash.
Last time I was in France, my Tangerine card (owned by Scotiabank) worked for free when I withdrew from BNP Paribas machines. I just looked up Scotiabank’s international ATM affiliates, and in Spain they have an agreement with Deutsch Bank. This is my first time in Spain, so I can’t verify it’ll be free withdrawals at DB, but my fingers are crossed (and I’ve marked down all DB ATMs on my maps) :)
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
Last time I was in France, my Tangerine card (owned by Scotiabank) worked for free when I withdrew from BNP Paribas machines. I just looked up Scotiabank’s international ATM affiliates, and in Spain they have an agreement with Deutsch Bank. This is my first time in Spain, so I can’t verify it’ll be free withdrawals at DB, but my fingers are crossed (and I’ve marked down all DB ATMs on my maps) :)
Good luck. There are reports of being fee-free at Deutsche Bank. There aren't many branches though - only in the big cities, Pamplona, Burgos, Leon etc.
 

anthikes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Frances
2018 Portuguese
2019 VDLP
Bankia was always my go to but I heard a rumour they now charge. I tried one in Merida and it charged me €1.80 with no warning.

Not cool! Even banks in Asia tell you of the charge before you hit the yes button! Will try some of the local banks from now.
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
Bankia was always my go to but I heard a rumour they now charge. I tried one in Merida and it charged me €1.80 with no warning.

Not cool! Even banks in Asia tell you of the charge before you hit the yes button! Will try some of the local banks from now.
Yeah that's poor. I think Bankia got me once like that. Fortunately it was only 1.80 and not 5!
 

anthikes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Frances
2018 Portuguese
2019 VDLP
Well I just checked my Euro Citibank account (UK/EU based) and it is only showing the amount I withdrew, not the €1.80 charge - thats from Bankia.

I took out of UniCaja tonight with no charge.
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
Well I just checked my Euro Citibank account (UK/EU based) and it is only showing the amount I withdrew, not the €1.80 charge - thats from Bankia.
Did they perhaps hide a fee in the exchange rate instead?
 

98ajc

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
N/A
Ibercaja in Vigo charged €0.75 for a cash withdrawal today using a UK Nationwide debit card
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
Ibercaja in Vigo charged €0.75 for a cash withdrawal today using a UK Nationwide debit card
That's most odd. I've never encountered Ibercaja charging before. Thanks for the information. Anyone else encountered Ibercaja charges recently?
 

ManyMiles2Go

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Might I add that I heard of lots of pilgrims having difficulties accessing or getting cards back from some interac machines. However I NEVER heard of this happening with Santander and used them with 100% success throughout Spain and Portugal for a total of 9 weeks.. Paying 1.87 euros was a small price to pay for the reliability of the system in my opinion. Also, you don't need to make a huge number of withdrawals really along the camino unless you're going through a lot of cash and repeatedly taking out amounts of say less than 300 E. Another tip, try to take money out of any ATM during opening bank hours in case the card DOES get locked inside. the machine for some reason.
Hate to bust your bubble :), but I had my card eaten by a Santander ATM when we were leaving Carrion de los Condes back in 2013. That was at 7 AM and we waited until the bank opened at 8:30. We were told they could not get our card back. Luckily, we had my wife's card for the duration of the trip. We just cancelled my card and replaced it when we got home. I was so mad, I even took a picture of the ATM :) I am back on my meds, so I am doing much better now. . .
 

biggmick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
()
Here's my research from Catalonia Autumn 2018 and should apply to northern Spain, although the availability of these banks may vary with each Comunidad.
I used a British Metro bank debit card (that has no transaction fees in Europe but this doesn't mean that the Spanish ATM will not add an extra charge.

Caixa bank No extra charge (Large branch and ATM availability)
Kuxta Bank No extra charge

Then the others that I tried in cost order
Bankia Euro 1.75
Sabadell Euro 1.80
BBVA Euro 1.87
Banco Popular Euro 5.00 (now part of Santander but still some branches branded as Popular)
Santander Euro 5.00 (one of Spain and Europes largest banks, so lots of branches & ATM's. If you have a UK Santander account see below)

Most Santander debit or credit cards from the Santander UK do not charge for withdrawals from Santander banks in Spain (there are exceptions, so check the terms and conditions of your account. Also don't forget credit cards will charge interest from the date of the transaction, so pay it off asap). I assume this is probably true if you have a Santander account from other countries as well. (beware though! Santander bought Banco Popular in 2017 and some of the branches are rebranded as Santander but the machines still charge the Banco Popular fee of 5 Euros)

Also posts that I've seen elsewhere
Confirm Liberbank No extra Charge
Unicaja No extra charge
Banca March No extra charge (quite rare in Northern Spain though. Most branches in the Balearic & Canary islands)

One option I've seen recommended although I haven't used it myself, is before you get to France or Spain, if you're travelling from London's Stansted, Gatwick or Southend airports, is to use the Moneycorp ATM's in these airports to withdraw Euros with a fee free debit card (pressing "without conversion" to avoid a bad exchange rate) and you should be debited as if the machine were in a Euro zone country.

Edit: I've noticed a lot of people saying they have been charged as much as 5 Euros at Caixa bank machines, which is completely the opposite of my experience over quite a few years and as recently as November 2018 in Madrid, Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia. I generally use a UK Metro bank debit card so I wonder if the charge varies with the country your card is from?
 
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H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
Here's my research from Catalonia Autumn 2018 and should apply to northern Spain, although the availability of these banks may vary with each Comunidad.
I used a British Metro bank debit card (that has no transaction fees in Europe but this doesn't mean that the Spanish ATM will not add an extra charge.

Caixa bank No extra charge (Large branch and ATM availability)
Kuxta Bank No extra charge

Then the others that I tried in cost order
Bankia Euro 1.75
Sabadell Euro 1.80
BBVA Euro 1.87
Banco Popular Euro 5.00 (now part of Santander but still some branches branded as Popular)
Santander Euro 5.00 (one of Spain and Europes largest banks, so lots of branches & ATM's. If you have a UK Santander account see below)

Most Santander debit or credit cards from the Santander UK do not charge for withdrawals from Santander banks in Spain (there are exceptions, so check the terms and conditions of your account. Also don't forget credit cards will charge interest from the date of the transaction, so pay it off asap). I assume this is probably true if you have a Santander account from other countries as well. (beware though! Santander bought Banco Popular in 2017 and some of the branches are rebranded as Santander but the machines still charge the Banco Popular fee of 5 Euros)

Also posts that I've seen elsewhere
Confirm Liberbank No extra Charge
Unicaja No extra charge
Banca March No extra charge (quite rare in Northern Spain though. Most branches in the Balearic & Canary islands)

One option I've seen recommended although I haven't used it myself, is before you get to France or Spain, if you're travelling from London's Stansted, Gatwick or Southend airports, is to use the Moneycorp ATM's in these airports to withdraw Euros with a fee free debit card (pressing "without conversion" to avoid a bad exchange rate) and you should be debited as if the machine were in a Euro zone country.
Thanks for the excellent work researching these, Mick. It's really good to have extra confirmation and reports. The one item that does surprise me is that Caixa bank let you use their cash machines for free. Reports for Caixa seem to range from 0 to 2 to 5 euros and I can't see much pattern in why they vary.

I will now put all this data into a cheatsheet card and post it here soon.

I too have a Metro Bank card. Did you notice any difference in the fees depending on whether you chose Link or MasterCard, out of curiosity?

Thanks!
 

biggmick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
()
Thanks for the excellent work researching these, Mick. It's really good to have extra confirmation and reports. The one item that does surprise me is that Caixa bank let you use their cash machines for free. Reports for Caixa seem to range from 0 to 2 to 5 euros and I can't see much pattern in why they vary.

I will now put all this data into a cheatsheet card and post it here soon.

I too have a Metro Bank card. Did you notice any difference in the fees depending on whether you chose Link or MasterCard, out of curiosity?

Thanks!
It's a minor obsession of mine to stop banks getting away with these rip off charges and hopefully the more of us that are informed and vote with our feet the less it will happen..

I've used Caixa bank in lots of different locations round Spain (Madrid and all the costa's from the French to the Portuguese border) with my Metro card and never even had a hint of a charge (I travel to Spain about 3 times a year).
Caixa Bank is a fairly recent amalgamation of several building society/savings bank type institutions that formed after the downturn of 2008. It's still a non profit organisation overall and any excess profits go to charities and good causes so another great reason to use them even if they did charge. Because of its ethos, perhaps it is more ethical about the charges it makes. Maybe it thinks more about whether they should charge, rather than, can they charge?
I do have a Santander Zero credit card as a "just in case option", which doesn't charge fees at Santander machines in Spain but Caixa have the largest ATM and branch network (closely followed by Santander) so I rarely use it ( it does charge interest on ATM withdrawals, but this doesn't amount to much as long as you pay it off quickly).
My tip would be, if you have Google maps on your phone, search maps for Caixa bank or (whichever suits you) in the area your travelling in and bookmark/Star the branches that come up. Then go to the Menu - Offline maps and download the area you want. You'll then have the info available whenever you want it (whether you have a signal or not) and a guide to get you to your nearest free ATM.

On the subject of noticing a difference between fees on Link or Mastercard. Spain has 2 or 3 different banking alliances (can't remember the names right now & I think they're being phased out anyway). I thought initially when I was doing the research that any charges would be related to the Alliance of the bank but this didn't seem to be relevant when using my Metro card.

For non UK residents
I believe Santander offers it's, no charges at Spanish ATM's, to Santander account holders from other countries as well (but please check the details). They have branches in many other European countries and in Latin & North America. Also if you're only visiting the UK for under 12 months, they have an account that offers No ATM charges in Spain but there is a £1 monthly fee.

I'm not saying Metro bank or Santander are the best options available but they work great for me. I hear even better options are available such as Starling bank. For the best current options have a look at Money Saving Expert's travel advice pages for the latest best deals for travel cards and buying currency.

I'd be interested to hear if it is fee free to use a card such as Metro at the Moneycorp ATMs at Stansted, Gatwick and Southend airports. Anyone tried this? Or anyone with a Metro card willing to test it out?

Here's Caixa and Santander banks logo's so you can recognise their branches and ATM's

1566740187806.png

1566742853205.png

Don't forget you can probably use Liberbank, Kuxta and Unicaja charge free as well. And Banca March in the Spanish islands

Edit: I've noticed a lot of people saying they have been charged as much as 5 Euros at Caixa bank machines, which is completely the opposite of my experience over quite a few years and as recently as November 2018 in Madrid, Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia. I generally use a UK Metro bank debit card so I wonder if the charge varies with the country your card is from?
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
I have a question about Santander as it seems I could get very good answers on this thread. I live in Mexico and Santander is my bank. Of course in Mexico if I use my Santander card in a Santander Bank there is no fee. Will the same be true in Spain if I use my Mexican issued Santander ATM card. I have asked people in my bank about this and they have no idea.
 

biggmick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
()
I have a question about Santander as it seems I could get very good answers on this thread. I live in Mexico and Santander is my bank. Of course in Mexico if I use my Santander card in a Santander Bank there is no fee. Will the same be true in Spain if I use my Mexican issued Santander ATM card. I have asked people in my bank about this and they have no idea.
I have seen on other forums that people with Santander accounts in all other countries are not charged fees in Spain but I can't say that this is definitely true and even if it is, It might depend on which account you have.
Here's a link to Banco Santander Mexico and you can check your account and its full details.


Look at the "Conoce más " for the detailed elements of the account.
If you can't find an answer there is an on line Ayuda chat.
Good luck.
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
Thanks for all your work on this! Now to add complexity: what ATM/debit cards accepted? I.e., MasterCard? Visa? Allpoint?
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
Thanks for all your work on this! Now to add complexity: what ATM/debit cards accepted? I.e., MasterCard? Visa? Allpoint?
MasterCard and Visa. MasterCard give slightly better exchange rates. Never heard of Allpoint, sorry!
 

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