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Another Spain question for daughter

So, we waited too late to grab her a better debit card bank plan. Stuck with Wlks Fargo, which is $5 per withdrawal plus 3%. Could kick myself!

Any tips? Thoughts? I’m thinking that she should only take out money in $200 increments to keep fees down.

Posted by
8418 posts

With the $5 fee per withdrawal I would think taking out the max each time would be the way to limit the number of times the $5 fee is imposed. No way around the 3%. Find out what the max is your bank allows and then she needs to find a machine that will let her take that much.

Just have to be careful to keep the cash safe.

Use credit card whenever possible and cash only when no alternative.

Posted by
20810 posts

Does she have a credit card with decent (or non-existent) foreign-usage fees? If so, she won't need to use all that much cash. In general, I'd be in favor of making fewer and larger withdrawals in your daughter's situation, but pickpocketing is a growth industry in quite a few European tourist hotspots, Barcelona being one of the worst. She'd be well-advised to make the withdrawal and go straight back to her room/apartment to leave the excess in a safe place. I lock my excess cash and back-up credit cards in my suitcase when I'm out of my hotel room.

One thing to consider is that some ATMs dispense rather large currency notes when you make a substantial withdrawal. I don't like having just a 50-euro note, because some small shopkeepers will not have or want to give up the change necessary to break a bill of that size. My usual withdrawal is 40 euros; but I have a no-fee ATM card.

Posted by
92 posts

She only has a debit card. As I sit here I’m just kicking myself that we did not have her apply for a good travel credit card.
She is staying with a home family so I feel better knowing she does not have to worry about a dorm situation for valuables.
I will find out the max she can take out at one time.
Thanks!

Posted by
3045 posts

Is this the daugther studying in Spain? In that case, the best option is probably to open an account with a Spanish bank.

Posted by
579 posts

You can also call your bank and have the max daily allowance increased - we do this every time we go over. I always encourage EVERYONE to read the Rick Steves book, EUROPE THROUGH THE BACK DOOR. It is full of great info on Debit Cards, Credit Cards with NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEES, how to take money out over there, how to find your 'sister bank' which won't do those extra charges, trains, and so much info on each country too. It's on Amazon and also on this site, but usually cheap on Amazon.

Posted by
2543 posts

She needs a credit card. Whichever one you have that has a zero foreign transaction fee add her as an authorized user and get her one. You trust her right?

Posted by
92 posts

I totally trust her!! 😂😂😂
Bank of America has a no fee card. We can sign her up on Monday and they will send it to her in Spain as she leaves Wednesday. I will feel better if she has a card to use while there instead of taking out cash each week.
Y’all are the BEST!! Thank you!!

Posted by
2700 posts

You also should consider Capital One. No withdrawal fee, no foreign exchange fees, no annual fee, get Spending credits to apply to balance payments.

Posted by
92 posts

If we can grab her a no fee credit card than she can just put almost everything on it and not worry. This generation is so accustomed to Apple Pay and Venmo and rarely do they even need to pull out cash or a card !