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Starling Bank account or Revolut Pre-loaded Card?

HE-J

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Hi All,

I’m starting my second Camino in April this year and just looking at the best way to take money to Spain.

I’m in the UK and considering either getting a Starling Bank account for the duration of the trip, or a Revolut (or similar) card. (I’ll also be taking a credit card for times when I can use one!)

Would really appreciate any guidance/other suggestions from you guys!

Huge thanks in advance,
¡Buen Camino!
 

HE-J

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
I normally just take the cash that I want with me and then use local bank machines.
Thanks MikeJS, looking to avoid bank charges...do you have a good uk account that doesn’t charge you for atm withdrawals? Cheers and TIA
 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to start the Camino Frances from St Jean at the end of May (2020).
Thanks MikeJS, looking to avoid bank charges...do you have a good uk account that doesn’t charge you for atm withdrawals? Cheers and TIA
I believe Nationwide used to be good for that, but you'll need to check.
 

WildPlace

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, 2015
Via de la Plata (2021)
I take some euros in cash to keep me going and also have a FairFX euro card which i can use as a bank card and also withdraw cash at ATMs i find it better value than using my UK bank account and i can top up the FairFX account with more euros as and when required via the app on my phone. I’ve used FairFX for at least 4 years now and have also used the dollar one when travelling in the US and central america.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Starling don't charge ATM fees or an exchange fee but remember that the Bank you withdraw money from may well charge a fee anyway. Revolut will charge you 2% if you withdraw more than an accumulative £200 in a month according to their website. I use Santander in the UK and Spain. Saves a lot of hassle. I've never regarded reasonable bank charges as much of an imposition. The cost of a couple coffees or a beer once a week saves me carrying wads of cash.
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
Thanks MikeJS, looking to avoid bank charges...do you have a good uk account that doesn’t charge you for atm withdrawals? Cheers and TIA
No charges with the account I have with Nationwide.
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
We use a Fair-FX card which does charge a transaction charge but the better exchange rate generally compensates. When in Spain many banks now charge their own transaction fee so it is worth looking out for either Iber Caja or Abianca ATMs.
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
I use Santander in cash machines and the Halifax Clarity card as my credit card. Neither charges fees. Just remember to press the pay in local currency option when prompted, not £. It makes quite a difference.

When I walked in 2014, cash was king. No one accepted plastic in the albergues etc. A couple of years ago, I noticed people paying with a card on a number of occasions, but generally these were albergues with rooms as well.
 

David with new Kit!

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2019) SJPP to Logrono
CF May/June (2020) Logrono to ? (Delayed).
Both will work fine.

I use a Monzo card wherever I travel Europe/Asia, it's always been accepted and you only need to load it in your national currency.

Currency transactions abroad are free (other cards are available, but read the small print too)
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
I’ve had a Starling account for a couple of years and am very happy with it.
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
We have used the Weswap card for several years. Pre-load with £ or top up as required. Then swap to currency of your choice and use in any ATM. It's worked fine for us in Europe, Japan and Hong Kong.
 

Aidan21

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to SDC 2013/14
SJPP to SDC 2016
Porto to SDC 2017
VdlP Sevilla/Salamanca 2018
I use a Revolut Card when abroad and I have never had any problems. It always gives a very competitive exchange rate. However the best advice is from Felice above: always click the button for the transaction to be in the local currency and not your home currency. The difference can be significant.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
I found that Portuguese bank ATMs that I used didn't charge an extra fee but that most Spanish ATMs did. A couple of times in Spain I wasn't charged an extra fee but there didn't seem any obvious logic to which ones didn't charge and you don't find out until the last step. At one stage I thought that it might be the bank chain but then made a withdrawal at the same Bank chain in a different village and was charged.

Does anyone know if there is a way to tell which ATMs in Spain don't charge an extra fee?
 

HE-J

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Thanks for all your replies ...much appreciated. I think I’ll apply for a Starling Card...looking at my Santander 123 account it looks like I’ll get a hefty hit using it in Spain!
¡buen Camino todos!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I am pretty sure Charles Schwab is an international bank.
I use my Schwab card for travel and get reimbursed for all fees at the end of each month.
Does anyone outside the USA here use Schwab?
 

Joejoe

El Topo Verde.
Camino(s) past & future
The French way, plus aiming to walk the mozarabe through to muxia.
Hi All,

I’m starting my second Camino in April this year and just looking at the best way to take money to Spain.

I’m in the UK and considering either getting a Starling Bank account for the duration of the trip, or a Revolut (or similar) card. (I’ll also be taking a credit card for times when I can use one!)

Would really appreciate any guidance/other suggestions from you guys!

Huge thanks in advance,
¡Buen Camino!
I always travel with a TransferWise card,
Easy to set up and easy to monitor.
Joe.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
FairFX is very good, and has a great app to charge it up using your normal debit card. Can be used at all ATMs in Spain and the exchange rate is good. It saved me a lot compared to being ripped off by HSBC. I have a feeling you get a better deal if you have separate cards with FairFX for Euros, USD and any other currencies, but check this out.

ATMs in Spain do charge quite amazingly different fees in my experience. I'm going to start a thread which shames the expensive ones! Last year I started a note on my phone with a couple of culprits: BBVA and Sabadell.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
Hi All,

I’m starting my second Camino in April this year and just looking at the best way to take money to Spain.

I’m in the UK and considering either getting a Starling Bank account for the duration of the trip, or a Revolut (or similar) card. (I’ll also be taking a credit card for times when I can use one!)

Would really appreciate any guidance/other suggestions from you guys!

Huge thanks in advance,
¡Buen Camino!
I take case and use ATM machines.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
FairFX is very good, and has a great app to charge it up using your normal debit card. Can be used at all ATMs in Spain and the exchange rate is good. It saved me a lot compared to being ripped off by HSBC. I have a feeling you get a better deal if you have separate cards with FairFX for Euros, USD and any other currencies, but check this out.

ATMs in Spain do charge quite amazingly different fees in my experience. I'm going to start a thread which shames the expensive ones! Last year I started a note on my phone with a couple of culprits: BBVA and Sabadell.
There already is a thread, recently started, that lists actual ATM charges along the Caminos.

Check the list of recently updated threads
 

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