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A web search for ATM fees in Spain gets lots of hits, but the vast majority provide two inconsistent false claims. One is that the fee is charged by my (US) bank, not by the bank that owns the ATM. My bank reimburses all ATM fees, and the fees I've seen vary according to the bank owning the ATM. And the fees at a particular bank are the same no matter which of my banks I use a card from.

The other claim is that EU prohibits ATM fees. If this is not false, then most of the Spanish banks are getting away with ignoring it.

Anyway, I know that iberCaja doesn't charge a fee, Santander and LaCaixa do, and I'm not sure about the rest. Even though I get the fees reimbursed, I'd like to do my bank a favor (and simplify my accounting) by avoiding them.

So, how do I look for a reasonably up-to-date list? Perhaps there isn't one and I should start making one. Or put one here as a Wiki.

  • There isn't one. Rule of thumb is, unless proven wrong, every bank will push ATM fees. Only banks that i have found to not charge them are the types of banks usually labeled "Caixa/Caja", with the exception of La Caixa and Caixa catalunya, both being a bank since ~2014 (one CaixaBank, the other CX Bank), beucase they are more limited usually on what they can or can't charge ( Caja / Caixa's can't play on the stock market, are forced to have a foundation, but pay a lot less taxes ). – CptEric Sep 4 '17 at 13:21
  • If you have a UK Santander current account and pay in at least £500 monthly then there a no fees at any Santander ATMs in Spain and the Canaries. The £500, once credited, can be withdrawn same day - no need for it to remain in the account. The Everday current account requires no Direct Debits either - perfect for regular travellers to Espana. – Wee Mac Jun 22 at 16:39
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The claim that EU prohibits ATM fees is true, but the law that applies such ruling in Spain is fairly recent (it came into force in 2016).
Maybe some banks are still adjusting, but I doubt it.

The ruling says that ATMs cannot charge fees to users.
They can, however, charge a fee to the users' banks, and it is up to each bank to decide whether they will charge their clients a fee for using other bank's ATMs or not.

E.g. if I use a BBVA ATM with my Santander card, the ATM cannot impose a fee on whatever transaction I'm doing. But BBVA will charge Santander a fee for my use of BBVA's ATMs, and then Santander may or may not charge me a fee to compensate for that.

The fee that you are seeing is probably your bank's. You should check with your bank if the reimbursment of all ATM fees applies to foreing ATMs also.

As for an actual list, there are many sources with a "bank-to-bank fees table", but most of them are in Spanish. Here's one that I think can be fairly understood ("cajero" means ATM in Spanish):

  • My bank definitely reimburses all ATM fees. But they do it at the end of the month. As for language, I speak Spanish and understand Italian. This is a nice chart, but since neither of my U.S. banks are on it, it doesn't help much. :-) Doesn't explain what plus or minus two means.... – WGroleau Sep 5 '17 at 18:02
  • @WGroleau I found a recent online discussion on the topic: community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/spain/… There's a couple users there posting how much each bank's ATMs are charging to foreign credit card holders. Hope you find it useful. – walen Sep 5 '17 at 21:08
  • Well, it would be very useful if I could trust it. But unfortunately, it says several things that I have personally found to be false. I guess I'll just keep taking notes on my ATM visits. Not like I lose anything other than the fee (which I get back at the end of the month). – WGroleau Sep 7 '17 at 6:30
  • I am bewildered. In summer 2017 almost all of these banks charged me high fees for ATM use in Barcelona (CaixaBank's was particularly extortionate). Can I be charged because my bank is outside the EU? And it isn't my bank's fees, as those were reimbursed. This does fit in, however, with the difficulty I had getting the reimbursement, because the Spanish banks had reported the total withdrawal to the US bank without breaking out their fee. I had to calculate it myself. (I probably got the refund only because my account is large enough my bank pretends to care.) – Andrew Lazarus Mar 23 '18 at 23:08
  • Schwab has always managed to reimburse, even though they post the withdrawal and fee as a single transaction. A couple of times when I had failed to note the fee in my accounting, I called them and they knew how much it was. – WGroleau Jun 3 '18 at 21:43
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My answer is based on using a UK debit card in Spain. UK is (still) a member of the EU, so what I say may not apply to non-EU countries.

Both my bank in the UK and the bank running the ATM in Spain may make a charge for withdrawing money. (I normally use a UK bank that does not make charges, so I just have to worry about the Spanish end.)

They will inform you of any Spanish charges before you commit yourself. If you select your own language when using an ATM, then you will be able to notice that.

Most Spanish banks will offer to do the conversion themselves, charging your bank in your own currency. Their exchange rate is typically 3-5% worse than the market rate. Obviously I always refuse that.

Then some banks say they are going to charge your bank a fee. That is no problem unless they say they are going to add the fee to the euro amount requested.

In southern Spain, BBVA, Santander and Sabadell charge. CajaSur, Bankia, Banco Popular, La Caixa and Unicaja don't. It might be different elsewhere in Spain. Caja Rural won't accept my (Mastercard) card at all.

The only EU rule I know of, stops EU banks charging cards from banks in other EU (Eurozone) countries more than they charge cards from their own country.

(If you have a Spanish debit card and use it in an ATM of a different Spanish bank or a different Spanish ATM network, the charges are high.)

  • Most Spanish banks will NOT offer to do the conversion. I've spent ten months or more in Spain and used many ATMs and only saw that scam once. That (description censored) asked for approval of a small fee, did NOT ask permission to convert, but then charged a huge "commission" for the conversion. And a Spanish debit card is irrel;evant, since I clearly stated my bank is US. They never say "add the fee to euro" but obviously they HAVE to do that to get the fee! – WGroleau Jun 2 '18 at 16:02
  • "Most Spanish banks will NOT offer to do the conversion." It's been ramping up over the last few years. By now, 90% of the ATMs I use offer conversion. "did NOT ask permission to convert" - ow, that's nasty of them. – reallydismayed Jun 3 '18 at 21:05
  • "And a Spanish debit card is irrelevant, since I clearly stated my bank is US". True. Sorry. I just thought it might be useful to others. – reallydismayed Jun 3 '18 at 21:07
  • "90% of the ATMs" Interesting. Perhaps regional? My ten months have all been 2015-now, and three ATM uses in the past fifty days. I'm in Navarra. – WGroleau Jun 3 '18 at 21:40

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