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Winter Peregrinos and ATM in Pamplona

cain-unabel

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
Hey folks,

New member and first post, but I've followed several of the threads over the last year or so.

I came to Spain in at the end of last year and had been planning a summer Camino (originally the Via de la Plata). However, due to various circumstances, I'm leaving Spain earlier than anticipated, so if I want to walk a Camino, it has to begin soon. I am starting the Camino Frances on Monday (chose CF because I was worried the Via de la Plata would have fewer albergues open).

I'm staying in Pamplona until Monday, and I've tried using my ATM card to withdraw euros at a couple of banks here, but they all cancelled the transactions. I contacted my bank, and they said the problem was on the Pamplona end. I'm curious if anyone's had similar issues withdrawing money here. My card worked fine in Madrid (and it has sufficient funds).

I don't want to start a Camino without some money for necessities and lodging, obviously. Any advice would be appreciated.

Sincerely,

Seth
 

TMcA

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
Two years ago I also had trouble with ATMs in Pamplona when I tried to use my card issued by TD Bank, which is a Canadian bank with a presence in the US (where I live). I tried several banks without being able to withdraw any euros. And the TD Bank card carries a Visa logo, which was identified on the Pamplona bank ATMs that I tried to use.

Fortunately, I had 150+ euros that I had withdrawn using the same card in Paris on my way to Pamplona. I wish I could tell you precisely where, but I just don't remember, but my card started working a couple of towns after Pamplona. I have no idea why this should have been the case, but it was. It's not your card, it's something about the banks in Pamplona. At least that was my experience.

If you are using a US bank issued debit card, look for a Santander bank branch. Santander has a US presence and their ATMs in Spain have always worked for me.

Buen camino.

Tom
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I really don't know what your problem might be. But the first time that I tried to withdraw money from a bank in Spain, which was in Pamplona, I was not given any money and the bank machine kept my card. I had followed forum advice to only try to make a machine withdrawal when the bank is open. So a few moments later, when the bank manager arrived, my card was returned to me. I noticed at that time the pictures of agricultural machinery and invitations to farmers to deal with this bank. So I decided that it was likely the local version of a farm co-op and that I should look for a major bank. After that, I usually dealt with Bank Santander, which I am told is the largest bank in Spain, with several branches in Pamplona. I never had any further problems on three caminos. If you have a Plus symbol on the back of your bank card, any bank which displays this same mark should (I think) accept your card.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
If you are using a US bank issued debit card, look for a Santander bank branch. Santander has a US presence and their ATMs in Spain have always worked for me.
We have a local Santander branch. Before our 2015 camino I asked about a debit card saying that we would going to use it in Spain and that being a Spanish bank we thought things would better for us. I was told that the Spanish Santander and the American one operated as separate banks. Possibly the employee didn't know what really was going on but the end result was that I didn't open an account with Santander.
 

TMcA

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
My ATM card, issued as I mentioned by TD Bank, worked at several Santander branches along the CF without any need for a separate debit card. My card has also worked, without a single hitch, in multiple banks in France, Italy, and Spain for the last 8 years. But for some reason, it did not work at multiple banks in Pamplona. Curious.
 
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cain-unabel

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
Thanks everyone! I don't think Santander was one of the banks I tried. I'll try them again today. I suppose my last option in Pamplona would be to find an exchange place (they usually allow card withdrawals as well).

Anyway, wish me luck, and you'll likely be seeing me pop up in the forum as I draw on y'alls expertise!
 

dfox

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (4/2017)
CP (5/2019)
In April 2017, I tried to purchase a train ticket for SJDP from a ticket-machine in the train station. My Visa Card didn't work, but the Master Card worked.

I always carry two credit cards, Master and Visa, with very low credit limit for travelling, just in case.

BTW, if I understand correctly, banks currently charge 6 euro for each ATM withdrawal.
 

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