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US ATM's in Spain

Greetings,

What is the best US Bank Card to use in Spain?

Thanks,

Tom

Posted by
9363 posts

Ed's right, just use what you have. Of course, if the one you have has no fees, even better! I'm a little confused by your title, though - what do you mean by "US ATMs"? Unless you bank where they insist you use a "partner" bank in order to avoid some of their fees, you can use your regular ATM all over. European banks' ATMs don't charge fees for their use. All charges will come from your bank. That's why it's good to find one with low or no fees.

Posted by
970 posts

Hola from Wisconsin,

As for ANY foreign transaction, get a card where the foreign transaction fee is 1% or less. (Your banking institution may say that they have no charge, but press them and you will likely find that VISA or someone has their hand in your till) Many cards may not charge an ATM fee (reducing costs for you 4$ maybe) but most charge a 3% foreign currency transaction fee. 3% on a $400 withdrawal is $12. I shopped all the banks/credit unions, financial services organizations in my city of 45,000 and the Credit Union was the best at 1% foreign transaction fee. So I stayed with my current card from a large institution located outside WI. I use this card only when I travel outside the US.

A second thing you should look for is a chipped card and get a four digit password with it. Since the Target debacle the US has finally made the move toward chipped cards. This is not so much an ATM issue as an issue of being able to use the credit card at 24 hour gas stations, restaurants, etc.

wayne iNWI, spent 6 week sin Spain March to May 2014.

Posted by
75 posts

Ask your bank if they have any partner banks in Spain. This will save you on fees. I know Bank of America does not.

Posted by
20 posts

Hi Tom.....CapitalOne for charging and Charles Schwab for ATM cash withdrawals

Capital One charge card does not charge any foreign transaction fee, saving me 3% that my VISA would have charged.
Go onto CapitalOne.com website and you'll see that you could get the card with no annual dues and a 1 or 1.5% cash back from purchases. (I think the free one that I am talking about is called Silver???)

Charles Schwab ATM card does not charge for any cash withdrawals. Like Rick Steves advises, I got one for myself and one for
my husband just in case one gets "eaten" up by one of the machines in Europe.
I have been in Italy and have used Charles Schwab ATM card and this card was accepted at every ATM machine with no problem and like they promise, any fee was absorbed by them. I never saw a separate fee!

With these two cards, your traveling just got cheaper!

Have fun.

Posted by
6031 posts

...and for Spain, do be aware of dynamic currency conversion options at an ATM. You may be asked during the transaction if you would like the transaction in US Dollars or Home Currency, or If you want to process it in Euros or Local Currency. Always pick Euros or Local Currency. This will complete the transaction as normal, allowing the network to do the currency conversion, making your cost about 1% plus any other fees your bank charges.

If you were to choose to do it in Dollars, then the ATM owner will convert from Euros to Dollars...at an exchange rate of their choosing, anything from 5-10%...then submit for processing. You may save some of the network conversion fee, but a high price to pay for less than 1%.