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  • FIRST POST
    • biggmick1
    • By biggmick1 7th Aug 19, 4:26 PM
    • 20Posts
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    biggmick1
    0 WOW
    Avoid or Reduce Bank Charges in Spain
    • #1
    • 7th Aug 19, 4:26 PM
    0 WOW
    Avoid or Reduce Bank Charges in Spain 7th Aug 19 at 4:26 PM
    As I travel to Spain a few times a year & was annoyed by rip off fees from British banks.
    I followed the advice on travel cards from MSE
    but in the last few years Spanish banks have increasingly started to charge fixed fees for ATM cash withdrawals (these are in addition to what your British bank may charge you). Here's what I found at different banks in Catalonia, Spain.

    Firstly the only fee free Spanish bank I found was
    Caixa Bank (pronounced Cai sha) (I seem to remember not being charged a fee at Kuxta bank but I'm not certain. Love to know if you've found others)

    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
    Santander Euro 5.00
    (copy & paste this list to your smartphone before you travel)

    Notably for British Santander account holders there is no charge from most Santander ATM machines in Spain (one exception I found was a stand alone Santander machine in a bus station which did charge even on a Santander card.
    To check if a machine is going to charge, use the machine as normal & it will advise you of the charge just before you press the final acceptance, which you can cancel without charge. Don't forget to press the "without conversion" button as the rate is very poor. (Also be nice if you can update people here of any changes you find or any other banks that aren't listed here.

    These charges were from Autumn/Winter 2018.
    Also remember MSE's advice to not accept the conversion offered by the machine this is almost always a bad deal.
    Don't forget as well, that if you are using a credit card to withdraw cash, most cards (even most special Travel cards) will charge interest from the day of withdrawal so make sure you pay it off A.S.A.P. Don't let this deter you from using theses cards though, as they can still offer good value if their APR is reasonable, costing about 1.5% if paid off in a month.
    Also worth noting MSE's research has shown that Mastercard exchange rates tend to be better than Visa card rates.

    My take on the best cards at the moment for ATM cash withdrawals

    Debit Cards ATM charges
    Starling Bank No fees in Europe or the rest of the world
    Metro Bank No fees in Europe 2.99% + £1.50 rest of world

    Credit Cards ATM charges
    Tandem No charges overseas (except interest) but does charge for ATM withdrawals in UK (£2.50min 2.5% plus interest till paid off) also give 0.5% cashback on purchases.
    If you also want to use in the UK, go for the Halifax Clarity card (no ATM fees in the UK, except interest but no Cashback on purchases)

    When I'm abroad I use my Metro bank (Mastercard) debit card for ATM withdrawals and use Google maps to find a Caixa Bank if there's one nearby.
    Then for purchases I use an Aqua (Mastercard) credit card, although I have no problem using the Metro Bank card if needed.
    These cards I use are not necessarily the best cards available now but they were when I applied a few years ago & are still good now.

    Happy, rip off free travelling.
    Don't forget to keep us updated if you find any changes & especially if you find other banks with no charges.

    Update Santander charging British customers for using some Spanish Santander ATM's
    It seems this arises because Santander bought out its rival Banco Popular a few years ago and although some of the branches have been rebranded as Santander, the machines are still working on the old system and will charge you, so take care if you're using an ATM you haven't used before.
    Last edited by biggmick1; 13-08-2019 at 12:54 PM. Reason: Update
Page 3
    • adindas
    • By adindas 26th Aug 19, 1:51 PM
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    adindas
    adindas is quite wrong.

    The 2.75% forex charge applies only to ATM in Spain that are not Santander ATM.
    Originally posted by EveryWhere
    Well it will need someone with everyday account to test it in Spain. The quotation is probably a generic answer which include Santander 123 not specifically linked to everyday account.

    I have not seen any report, confirmation about no fee in foreign withdrawal with every day account, basic account. People who are frequent travellers to Spain are likely qualify for Santander 123 or Select so will hold these accounts rather than basic or everyday account. It seems most people experience here are about Santander 123/ select.

    With Santander 123, Santander 123 lite people will normally need to pay £500, to get the perks such as cashback, foreign withdrawal. Similarly, to Santander 123 or Santander Select. With Everyday account there is no perks attached to it perks so no monthly deposit needed. Similar to basic account with cash card.

    I remember I read somewhere that you will not get the perks such is foreign currencies withdrawal with basic account (cash card). Also, if you see the fee information on the sheet above, it is not spell out. Keep in mind there are two fees here. ATM Fee and currency conversion fee.

    Foreign currency conversion fee for withdrawals[/FONT]; Percentage of total transaction value 2.75%

    Withdrawals from Santander cash machines in Spain [/FONT]using a debit card: Fee not charged. (it is not clear here whether only ATM fee or both ATM Fee and currency conversion fee).

    So unless someone has tried it with Everyday AC debit card, it is not clear yet.
    Last edited by adindas; 26-08-2019 at 2:15 PM.
    • EveryWhere
    • By EveryWhere 26th Aug 19, 2:13 PM
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    EveryWhere
    Well we will need someone with everyday account to test it in Spain. It has not been any report, confirmation about no fee in foreign withdrawal with every day account, basic account. Most people experience here are about Sanatdner 123/ select. The answer to that question is probably a general answer which include Santander 123 not specificifically linked to everyday account.

    With Santander 123, Santander 123 lite people will normally need to pay £500, to get the perks such as cashback, foreign withdrawal. Similarly, to Santander 123 or Santander Select. With Everyday account there is no perks attached to it perks so no monthly deposit needed. Similar to basic account with cash card.

    I remember I read somewhere that you will not get the perks such is foreign currencies withdrawal with basic account (cash card). Also, if you see the fee information on the sheet above, it is not spell out. Keep in mind there are two fees here. ATM Fee and currency conversion fee.

    Foreign currency conversion fee for withdrawals; Percentage of total transaction value 2.75%

    Withdrawals from Santander cash machines in Spain using a debit card: Fee not charged. (it is not clear here whether only ATM fee or both ATM Fee and currency conversion fee).

    So unless someone has tried it with Everyday AC debit card, it is not clear yet.
    Originally posted by adindas

    It is completely clear and is confirmed in their latest email reply shown here today, by NoodleDoodleMan;

    Here is the reply I have just received from Santander reference the Everyday Current Account fees.;

    Dear Mr X,
    Thank you for your email.
    We can confirm if you have a current account and pay in at least £500 per month, you can get free cash machine withdrawals in Spain (including the Spanish Islands) when you use any Santander branded cash machine. This means there will be no cash handling fee and no foreign transaction fee. Please note you must use a visa debit card as cash cards are not eligible for this benefit.
    How is that not clear to you? There is really no need for your overly long conjecture about nothing.
    • biggmick1
    • By biggmick1 26th Aug 19, 3:31 PM
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    biggmick1
    With Everyday Account Even you do not pay ATM fee using Santander cash machines in Spain you are still paying currency conversion fee of 2.75%.

    "Foreign currency conversion fee for withdrawals: Percentage of total transaction value 2.75%"


    With Santander 123, Santander 123 lite, Santander Select you do not pay both currency conversion fee and ATM Fee if are using using Satander Cash Machines in Spain.
    Originally posted by adindas
    The "Fee Information Documents" for all of the accounts you mention are exact copies of each other on the subject of "Cash Withdrawal in Foreign Currencies" with the exception of the Select account which is a copy but with the additional benefit of no fees in other countries in Europe & the Americas.

    So if we say that the Everyday account charges interest then surely the other accounts do too. Or if we say that the other accounts have no charges then it follows that the Everyday account doesn't either, seeing as the documents are identical.
    • NoodleDoodleMan
    • By NoodleDoodleMan 26th Aug 19, 5:49 PM
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    NoodleDoodleMan
    With Santander 123, Santander 123 lite people will normally need to pay £500, to get the perks such as cashback, foreign withdrawal. Similarly, to Santander 123 or Santander Select.
    It appears that the Select account needs a £500 monthly pay in to enjoy cashback and interest, but not for fee free ATM withdrawals at Santander machines in specified countries ?

    As many Select holders will credit it with the minimum £5,000 monthly in order to to open and maintain the account then this £500 requirement is automatically covered.

    However, alternatively, if a customer meets the necessary savings or investments criteria then a Select account can be opened without the £5,000 maintenance requirement - but there is still a need to pay in £500 monthly for cashback and interest.

    I'm more consfued now than ever !!!
    • EveryWhere
    • By EveryWhere 26th Aug 19, 8:07 PM
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    EveryWhere
    The "Fee Information Documents" for all of the accounts you mention are exact copies of each other on the subject of "Cash Withdrawal in Foreign Currencies" with the exception of the Select account which is a copy but with the additional benefit of no fees in other countries in Europe & the Americas.

    So if we say that the Everyday account charges interest then surely the other accounts do too. Or if we say that the other accounts have no charges then it follows that the Everyday account doesn't either, seeing as the documents are identical.
    Originally posted by biggmick1

    It is clear; https://www.santander.co.uk/assets/s3fs-public/documents/fid-everyday-current-account.pdf



    adindas added some unnecessary confusion. Not a big issue. Everyone can make a mistake.
    • adindas
    • By adindas 27th Aug 19, 6:46 AM
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    adindas
    It appears that the Select account needs a £500 monthly pay in to enjoy cashback and interest, but not for fee free ATM withdrawals at Santander machines in specified countries ?

    As many Select holders will credit it with the minimum £5,000 monthly in order to to open and maintain the account then this £500 requirement is automatically covered.

    However, alternatively, if a customer meets the necessary savings or investments criteria then a Select account can be opened without the £5,000 maintenance requirement - but there is still a need to pay in £500 monthly for cashback and interest.

    I'm more consfued now than ever !!!
    Originally posted by NoodleDoodleMan

    That is my understanding with Santander 123 and select account. With everyday account no requirwment for monthly deposit ?? Basic account comes with cash card account also does not have monthly deposit requirement and it has een confiremed you do pay the fee.
    Last edited by adindas; 27-08-2019 at 6:53 AM.
    • adindas
    • By adindas 27th Aug 19, 8:44 AM
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    adindas
    It is completely clear and is confirmed in their latest email reply shown here today, by NoodleDoodleMan;

    How is that not clear to you? There is really no need for your overly long conjecture about nothing.
    Originally posted by EveryWhere
    Does NoodleDoodleMan have everyday account or Satander 123, select ? Does the reply particularly refer to everyday account ??

    Have you or anyone tried it? Has anyone confirmed it? I have not seen from reply you mention about this. If not, how could you be so sure about this? Many people on MSE here have Santander 123 rather than everyday account to get the perks attached to it. You do get foreign currency fees with Santander 123, select, waived if you pay the minimum deposit requirement. You do not get it waived if you do not pay the minimum monthly requirement for the perks. It has been confirmed previously.

    Experience tell, the bank does have a difference interpretation with the people. The reply might be a generic reply to the use of debit card it might not specifically refer to everyday account. With Santander account you do get perk if you meet the requirement.

    Keep in mind there are two fees here, ATM fee using Santander machines and Foreign currency conversion fee. In most of current account (if not all) Foreign conversion fee, is about the perks you get. Everyday account does not have a perk attached to it. Santander has spelled it out that you do pay the foreign withdrawal fee if you have a cash card account. It might be the same thing with everyday ac which have similar characteristics with Everyday account, e.g. do not have monthly deposit requirement neither do they have the perks.

    You might be right but to be 100% confidence people will need to test it with everyday account debit card and report their personal experience. I read MSE especially with foreign cash withdrawal as I myself use this facility quite often So far I have not seen anyone has confirmed this.
    • EveryWhere
    • By EveryWhere 27th Aug 19, 8:54 AM
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    EveryWhere
    Does NoodleDoodleMan have everyday account or Satander 123, select ? Does the reply particularly refer to everyday account ??

    Have you or anyone tried it? Has anyone confirmed it? I have not seen from reply you mention about this. If not, how could you be so sure about this? Many people on MSE here have Santander 123 rather than everyday account to get the perks attached to it. You do get foreign currency fees with Santander 123, select, waived if you pay the minimum deposit requirement. You do not get it waived if you do not pay the minimum monthly requirement for the perks. It has been confirmed previously.

    Experience tell, the bank does have a difference interpretation with the people. The reply might be a generic reply to the use of debit card it might not specifically refer to everyday account. With Santander account you do get perk if you meet the requirement.

    Keep in mind there are two fees here, ATM fee using Santander machines and Foreign currency conversion fee. In most of current account (if not all) Foreign conversion fee, is about the perks you get. Everyday account does not have a perk attached to it. Santander has spelled it out that you do pay the foreign withdrawal fee if you have a cash card account. It might be the same thing with everyday ac which have similar characteristics with Everyday account, e.g. do not have monthly deposit requirement neither do they have the perks.

    You might be right but to be 100% confidence people will need to test it with everyday account debit card and report their personal experience. I read MSE especially with foreign cash withdrawal as I myself use this facility quite often So far I have not seen anyone has confirmed this.
    Originally posted by adindas
    I'm beginning to think that you are not dealing from a full pack.
    If it states there is no charge in their published T&C, then they cannot charge you. If they do, contact them and they will refund you.

    Too many unnecessary words in your posts.
    • NoodleDoodleMan
    • By NoodleDoodleMan 27th Aug 19, 9:06 AM
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    NoodleDoodleMan
    Does NoodleDoodleMan have everyday account or Satander 123, select ? Does the reply particularly refer to everyday account ??
    We have an Everyday and a Select account - have only used the former at Santander ATMs and have not been charged fees, except on one single ocassion in Mallorca, and that was from a former Banco Popular machine subsequently rebranded. Santander UK promptly refunded those fees.

    The Select account is effectively an upgraded I23 account where an applicant can satisfy the eligibility criteria.

    We pay £500 + into the Everyday account monthly, so I was (and still am) of the understanding that no ATM fees would apply at Santander machines in Spain.

    Likewise we credit the Select account with £500 + in order to qualify for same benefit - it would be our backup option for Spain, and possible use in the other applicable countries.
    Last edited by NoodleDoodleMan; 27-08-2019 at 9:08 AM.
    • adindas
    • By adindas 27th Aug 19, 9:27 AM
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    adindas
    We have an Everyday and a Select account - have only used the former at Santander ATMs and have not been charged fees, except on one single ocassion in Mallorca, and that was from a former Banco Popular machine subsequently rebranded. Santander UK promptly refunded those fees.

    The Select account is effectively an upgraded I23 account where an applicant can satisfy the eligibility criteria.

    We pay £500 + into the Everyday account monthly, so I was (and still am) of the understanding that no ATM fees would apply at Santander machines in Spain.

    Likewise we credit the Select account with £500 + in order to qualify for same benefit - it would be our backup option for Spain, and possible use in the other applicable countries.
    Originally posted by NoodleDoodleMan
    Thanks for confirming this. So it is now clear that there is no charge even with everyday account. I think they might consider the everyday account similar to Santander 123 Lite account. If you could effort to pay £500 monthly you actually have qualified for Santander 123 lite account for perks. So people with everyday account it is just a matter of asking them to do that and they will redesignate account to Santander 123 Lite.

    I have no chance to try as I only have Santander 123 lite and Santander Zero account. Most of the time I am just using my Santander Zero account.
    Last edited by adindas; 27-08-2019 at 9:30 AM.
    • NoodleDoodleMan
    • By NoodleDoodleMan 27th Aug 19, 11:30 AM
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    NoodleDoodleMan
    So it is now clear that there is no charge even with everyday account.
    Not in my experience, based on paying in the £500 monthly.

    If that were not credited monthly, then (presumably) fees will be taken a Santander ATM in Spain etc.

    However, I don't see any relationship between the Everyday current account, based on the £500 pay in, and the Santander Lite, which has a monthly maintenance fee.
    • adindas
    • By adindas 27th Aug 19, 11:51 AM
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    adindas
    Not in my experience, based on paying in the £500 monthly.

    If that were not credited monthly, then (presumably) fees will be taken a Santander ATM in Spain etc.

    However, I don't see any relationship between the Everyday current account, based on the £500 pay in, and the Santander Lite, which has a monthly maintenance fee.
    Originally posted by NoodleDoodleMan
    Is there any indications based on your personal experience how many times subsequently you will need to pay £500 regularly in advance to get fee free conversion fees prior to withdrawing cash in Santander cash machines in Spain ?

    Many people with Santander 123 have already met the monthly funding requirement as part of getting the cashback for DD.
    • NoodleDoodleMan
    • By NoodleDoodleMan 27th Aug 19, 9:40 PM
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    NoodleDoodleMan
    Is there any indications based on your personal experience how many times subsequently you will need to pay £500 regularly in advance to get fee free conversion fees prior to withdrawing cash in Santander cash machines in Spain ?
    Every successive month the account is help I would think ? I can't see Santander allowing Everyday account holders the convenient option of only paying in the £500 in the month immediately preceeding a holiday in Spain, then dipping out again, with a view to a repeat cycle.

    I may be wrong on this of course.

    Many people with Santander 123 have already met the monthly funding requirement as part of getting the cashback for DD.
    The 123 needs a minimum £500 monthly payment to open and maintain, with 2 active DDs, neither of which need be for payments which qualify for the monthly cashback deal.

    I reckon most holders are primarily looking for the 1.5% monthly interest on the account balance up to £20,000.
    • chiny
    • By chiny 31st Aug 19, 8:02 AM
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    chiny
    Even the phrase "2 active DDs" appears open for debate. For a short while, I had, what I thought were 2 active DDs, only to be told that as one of them was paid only once per year, it didn't count, so I lost £££ in interest.

    Just had a letter from Santander re my 123 account advising of various changes, including "changes to foreign transaction fees". Insufficient tea has been slurped to make sense of it but it appears to relate to debit cards.
    • NoodleDoodleMan
    • By NoodleDoodleMan 1st Sep 19, 7:59 AM
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    NoodleDoodleMan
    Now that you've guzzled your Earl Grey - anything significant in Santander's latest notice ?
    • stewie_griffin
    • By stewie_griffin 10th Sep 19, 5:25 PM
    • 586 Posts
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    stewie_griffin
    Caixa Bank have now started charging 2 euro per transaction 😞
    • NoodleDoodleMan
    • By NoodleDoodleMan 13th Sep 19, 1:27 PM
    • 1,168 Posts
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    NoodleDoodleMan
    Caixa Bank have now started charging 2 euro per transaction ��
    Getting to be like the "Ten Little Indians" - and then there were none !!!

    I have seen references online to Unicaja, Banca March and Liberbank being fee free, however that is ancedotal and the list appears to diminish on a regular basis.
    • huw01
    • By huw01 15th Sep 19, 6:16 PM
    • 237 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    huw01
    Used my Santander select card at a Santander ATM in Bilbao this weekend and I’ve got the perfect Visa rate of 1.12 € to£. I then did a test with my Monzo card in the same ATM, I was ready to abort the transaction but to my astonishment I managed to withdraw €20 without attracting a usage fee and my monzo app is showing £17.87 which is again a rate of 1.12. I wonder if the ATM charges differ by region?
    Last edited by huw01; 15-09-2019 at 6:40 PM.
    • londoninvestor
    • By londoninvestor 23rd Sep 19, 6:39 PM
    • 1,334 Posts
    • 1,172 Thanks
    londoninvestor
    I noticed a Deutsche Bank ATM in Seville this weekend and wondered if it would be fee-free. It was!
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