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Spanish Payment cards/debit cards

WriterChantal

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to Walk the Camino in July/Aug of 2016
Are there Spanish payment card, debit or prepaid cards I could buy? I'm thinking I would prefer to get to Madrid and put my money into a debit card and get euro's along the way. What is the best way? any horror stories ? What companies would you recommend?
Thanks!
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
I used my usaa Debit card, there are other banks as well in the U.S. That don't charge an overseas fee when drawing out cash & the exchange rate is only what the rate should be.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Are there Spanish payment card, debit or prepaid cards I could buy? I'm thinking I would prefer to get to Madrid and put my money into a debit card and get euro's along the way. What is the best way? any horror stories ? What companies would you recommend?
Thanks!
You're trying to create a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Find an ATM/Debit card with no withdrawal fees such as Charles Schwab.
When using an ATM, choose euros.
https://transferwise.com/blog/2012-11/choose-local-currency-at-foreign-atm/
 

EL Guapo

EL Guapo
Camino(s) past & future
(1983 - 1985-1990-1995-1999-2003-2008-2012-2013-2014-2015-2016-2017) CF, etc.
ATM cards are a personal choice for most folks. Just as previous post suggested it is not a difficult problem. I use a travelex international cash card pre loaded with euros when traveling to the union member countries . It can also be used with other currencies depending on the country you may travel to. The card can be purchased at most international airports in the states and even some of the large shopping malls as well. I also have a backup card that can be activated if the original is lost, without having to worry about having a new card issued if lost or stollen. I still carry the usual Amex and visa as well. I'm sure the Denver airport has a travelex kiosk that you can get all of the particulars from. It works for me. Atm's are very plentiful in Spain and easy to use. Buen Camino
 

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
The travel cards that are pre-loaded as @EL Guapo has said are good because they are not then related to your normal card, so your home account is 'safe'. We always use one and also take a credit card for back-up, emergencies. Watch that you check any withdrawal fees and calculate them into your budget, draw the maximum amount allowed each time to keep costs down and always make a note of withdrawals and therefore amount remaining in the account. A good way to note your budget as well. We take our budget plus about 10% and have always made sure to withdraw the excess in Santiago to exchange when we get home. We do this as our cards can be left with money on or, once home, have to be totally withdrawn and closed to get the remaining money in our home currency. Check the small print.
Buen Camino
 

WriterChantal

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to Walk the Camino in July/Aug of 2016
Thanks all for the advice. I don't want to carry my normal debit card with me. I wanted to have my account which is paying all my normal payments for bills at home left out it. I was trying to avoid any extra fees or hidden fees that maybe only the experienced peregrinos know about. And I thought if I waited till I got to Spain to purchase one, I wondered if that was a good idea to save any fees or apparently non existent ones, I'm definitely checking out the travelex option. Thanks again all!
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
Chantal I am not sure if you saw the Private message from me but if you need any equipment let me know. I am a regular hoarder of hiking gear, just picked up a very good pair of Leika walking poles,at a garage sale so if you need something let me know & I will ship the stuff to you. My next Camino is a few years off I simply have a lot of equipment for use in the backcountry.
 

WriterChantal

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to Walk the Camino in July/Aug of 2016
Chantal I am not sure if you saw the Private message from me but if you need any equipment let me know. I am a regular hoarder of hiking gear, just picked up a very good pair of Leika walking poles,at a garage sale so if you need something let me know & I will ship the stuff to you. My next Camino is a few years off I simply have a lot of equipment for use in the backcountry.
I did see it, but I think I was at work at the time and could not reply.
Wow! That's really thoughtful of you. Once I figure out what I truly need, I'm taking you up on that offer sir!
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre

WriterChantal

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to Walk the Camino in July/Aug of 2016
Travelex charges you for a card purchase fee, €2 withdraw fee, 5.50% foreign exchange fee. Too many fees and no interest for letting them hold your $$$.
https://www.travelex.com/cash-passport/fees-limits

Charles Schwab is a better deal and you can open an account before you leave for Spain.
http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/banking_lending/checking_account
OKay! That was what I was looking for, hidden fees or fees just to have a fee fee! Will check Schwab out, thanks
 

WriterChantal

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to Walk the Camino in July/Aug of 2016
Chantal I am not sure if you saw the Private message from me but if you need any equipment let me know. I am a regular hoarder of hiking gear, just picked up a very good pair of Leika walking poles,at a garage sale so if you need something let me know & I will ship the stuff to you. My next Camino is a few years off I simply have a lot of equipment for use in the backcountry.
Also, check your PM's now. I gotcha!
 

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
A useful site to check out too is the Mastercard website. You can find where all the Mastercard ATMs are worldwide, including ones that say they are free (ie the machine does not charge although the card provider might). I expect Visa has a similar site.
 

GlenysP

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from St Jean Pied de Port "April 2011" and plan to walk Camino Frances from SJPdP "September 2015"
Thanks all for the advice. I don't want to carry my normal debit card with me. I wanted to have my account which is paying all my normal payments for bills at home left out it. I was trying to avoid any extra fees or hidden fees that maybe only the experienced peregrinos know about. And I thought if I waited till I got to Spain to purchase one, I wondered if that was a good idea to save any fees or apparently non existent ones, I'm definitely checking out the travelex option. Thanks again all!
I have just completed the Camino and had no difficulty paying for restaurants or a hotel or goods using MasterCard or Visa.
However you cannot book with Alsa bus lines if needed with these cards, they only accept Spanish credit cards. I was very sick with a bad chest infection and needed the bus. Luckily a Spanish lady helped and booked it on the phone instead. If I'd had no ticket, I wouldn't have got a seat as it was full and many missed out.
 

mary flo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: March 15-April 15 2016

Camino Portugues: 2019
I've also been looking into a prepaid option that is not tied to my bank account. I'm wondering how important it is to have the card with the chip-and-PIN that a lot of European companies and merchants are now using. Looks like Travelex has one. Does Schwab offer this as well? Thoughts?
 

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