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Cash and ATMs in Spain: All you need about cash, cards, ATMs, fees, and currency exchange

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Spain is a country that has it all – a fascinating history, a lively culture, and breath-taking scenery. You can explore the ancient streets of Toledo, marvel at the Moorish palaces in Granada, immerse yourself in the vibrant markets of Barcelona, and relax on the beautiful beaches of the Costa del Sol. Getting around this diverse country is much easier when you have a grasp of the local cash and ATMs in Spain, and the various payment options available. Discover the financial insights that will help you navigate Spain’s vibrant culture and stunning scenery effortlessly.

Do I need to have cash on hand in Spain, or can I rely solely on my card?

Accepted by many merchants, many tourists can use cards for their transactions, with a large majority of around 65-70% opting for cashless payments. However, you will still need some cash in Spain to get by, especially at shops and restaurants that have minimum spending limits for card use.

It’s best to have some cash in hand for:
Small purchases
Food vendors on the streets
Public buses
Tips and gratuities
Local markets and bazaars
Small hostels and B&Bs outside of big cities

You can use a card to pay for:
Many tour operators
Local taxis
Hostels and budget hotels in big cities
Food from nearby eateries, including a few places where you can dine in
Shopping on the streets
Spas
High-end accommodations
Trains
Great coffee shops with a stylish ambiance
Online bookings of hotels, flights, and tours
Prices for admission to popular tourist attractions and theme parks
Renting a car
Going shopping at malls and branded stores
Convenient pre-paid taxi booking services (like Uber, Cabify, etc.)
Upscale dining establishments

What types of currencies does Spain accept? Are US Dollars, or Pounds accepted in Spain?

In Spain, Euro (EUR or €) is the accepted currency, no other currencies are used or accepted in transactions. The note denominations are € 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500.

How can I obtain the local currency in Spain?

So, in Spain, there are 3 primary methods for obtaining cash:

ATMs, Currency exchange, or, Transfer and pick-up locally

Where can I find ATMs in Spain?

Spain has over 21,000 ATMs available. These are run by a variety of commercial and specialised banks, including a few foreign banks as well. In cities, you’ll find plenty of them. Even in small towns, the rural bank networks have some ATMs. However, if you’re planning to go visit remote islands or far-off destinations, don’t expect to easily find them.

ATMs can be found in many places:
Big airports
Market and town squares
Bustling high streets that attract tourists in every major town
Shopping malls
Food lanes
Branches of the bank
A few office buildings

You won’t find ATMs at:
Small airports on islands
Bus stops in the area
Village interiors
Places of worship
Islandic resorts and retreats

Where can I find currency exchanges in Spain?

Money changers or Cambios are easily found in all tourist hotspots in Madrid, Barcelona and other medium to big towns. Look for an authorised center which has a registration certificate and asks for your passport to exchange cash. Changegroup, Eurochange and other known brands are good places – you can find the list on ATM Fee Saver app.
Banks: At leading banks in Spain, you can easily change money especially popular currencies like US dollars, Pounds, Japanese Yen, Thai Baht, and Singapore dollars – commissions range between 0.5 to 3%.
Airports also offer many change shops, as do many large and small hotels. However, the exchange rates won’t make you happy so use this as the last resort. Large hotels may have rates comparable to banks.

If you want to get the better rates and lesser fees:
Avoid exchanging currency at airports
Avoid exchanging currency on the black market
Bring fresh notes
Use authorised centres only

Can I find ATMs and currency exchanges in Spain any time of day and week?

Sure, ATMs are typically open 24/7, mainly the standalone ones.
Currency exchanges on the other hand work usual working hours of 9am-7pm but they are possible to be closed on Sundays.

Will my foreign debit and card work at an ATM in Spain or a currency exchange?

Absolutely! ATMs in Spain are quite friendly to most foreign cards.
Authorised money changers also have the convenience of taking credit and debit cards, but, no surprises, this will cost you extra fees, so use cash instead.

What types of cards can I use in Spain?

In Spain, ATMs typically accept Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Diners, JCB, and UnionPay. Others like Rupay, Maestro, and Discover cards are not accepted.
For swiping, Visa and Mastercard range is preferred.
For changing money, you better carry some hard cash.
Also read:

Do ATMs in Spain work like ATMs in other countries?

Definitely. They work and look similar to those in US, UK, Australia, India, China.

Which banks have ATMs in Spain?

Here are some of the most widely used ATMs in Spain:

Caixa Bank
Sabadell
Unicaja
Kutxabank
Bankinter
Network of Rural Caja banks
BBVA

There are also ATMs from international banks available in Spain, including:

ING Bank
Deutsche Bank

Since some ATMs in Spain can have fees, if your bank card is part of the Global ATM Alliance, you can use the Deutsche Bank ATMs in Spain to get fee-free withdrawals.

What do they call ATMs in Spain?

“ATM” or “Cajero” is commonly used, sometimes “Caixer” is also used.

ATMs and PINs

Most ATMs in Spain require a 4-digit PIN for transactions. Some may ATMs may allow for longer PINs, but it’s not common.

You also want to get a card with a magnetic stripe, chip-and-pin as well as contactless as the swipe machines are varied across Spain.

Language options at ATMs and currency exchanges in Spain

By default, ATMs in Spain offer two language options: Spanish and English. Not all of them offer other European language options, though some do.

If understanding any of these languages is difficult for you, worry not. Just use a translator app like Google Translate – point the camera feature on the ATM screen and translate the text. Heads up – these translations can have mistakes so use your judgment.

When you visit currency exchange places in Spain, you’ll be able to communicate in Spanish mainly, and English often.

Let’s talk about ATM Fees and withdrawal limits in Spain…

Withdrawal limits: At ATMs, typically banks limit it to €300 to €1,000 per transaction.

ATM fees: ATM fees can vary from zero fees 3% of the transaction amount. That means there are certain ATM brands that don’t charge any fees at all and some with high fees!

Find convenient options to get cash in Spain using ATM Fee Saver

Discover the convenience of the ATM Fee Saver app, where you can easily locate fee-free ATMs, currency exchange services, and money transfer options in Spain. The information provided includes the fees associated with using foreign cards at ATMs in Spain, as well as the limits on cash withdrawals. You can use the calculator to determine the precise fees for your withdrawals. The app can help you find your preferred ATMs and provides information for 50 countries, including Spain.

Minimise fees when exchanging currency or using ATMs in Spain by…

Choosing Decline Conversion during an ATM withdrawal.
Getting a fee-free card on your travel.
Steer clear of exchange offices that say no fee – because this usually means they have factored in their fee within the exchange rate.
Avoiding using credit and debit cards for currency exchange.

Read more: Withdrawing cash abroad.

Is it safe to use currency exchanges and ATMs in Spain?

Usually that’s the case. There are plenty of ATMs equipped with cameras and security guards. The crime rates near ATMs are relatively low. However, ATM frauds like card skimming or cameras near PIN pads exist in every country, including Spain. So cover the PIN pad when using an ATM in Spain!
Use the following safety measures
Other precautions you can take to be safer:
Consider using ATMs inside bank branches for more security.
Make sure to keep an regular eye on your card transactions by using your bank’s mobile app or online banking platform. If you notice any transactions that you didn’t authorise, please report them right away.
Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Make sure to keep your card in sight while you’re making transactions. It’s best to be cautious when giving your card to merchants who handle it out of your view.
It’s always a good idea to have two cards with you when you’re travelling. Having a backup option is great because if one card encounters a problem, you’ll still have another one to rely on.
When it comes to currency exchanges, it’s important to stick with authorised and registered exchange places.

Read more here:
Here are 8 important things to keep in mind when travelling abroad
Here are 8 important tips to keep in mind when travelling abroad

Is it okay to carry cash when travelling in Spain?

When it comes to safety, it’s perfectly fine to carry a reasonable amount of cash in Spain. And also necessary.
Read more in these articles:
Things not to do when travelling abroad
Things to avoid when travelling abroad

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to withdraw cash in Spain without any fees?

Sure, there are 4 bank ATMs that don’t charge any ATM fees for certain foreign card holders, while the rest do charge ATM fees.

Do cards from the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and other countries work in Spain?

Definitely, without a doubt! ATMs in Spain typically accept cards from various countries, including the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and others.

Do you know if there are any Bitcoin ATMs in Spain?

Sure, Spain has around 40 Bitcoin ATMs.

Any Bank of America ATMs in Spain?

Unfortunately, Bank of America ATMs are not available in Spain.

Are there any Citibank ATMs in Spain?

Unfortunately, Citibank ATMs are not available in Spain.

Are there any Barclays Bank ATMs in Spain?

Sure, Spain does have a number of Barclays Bank ATMs available.

Are there any HSBC ATMs in Spain?

Unfortunately, HSBC ATMs are not available in Spain.

Are there any Standard Chartered ATMs available in Spain?

Unfortunately, Standard Chartered ATMs are not available in Spain.

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