🇪🇸 Monzo in Spain [Discussion]

Just come back from Spain -

As mentioned a couple of times in this thread back in 2017, I am also having issues with using Monzo on Toll Roads throughout.

I’ve activitated Mag Stripe and it still gets rejected - so something to be aware of.

By all accounts the toll roads take mastercard so not sure the source of rejection.

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I used my Monzo card yesterday and today at a CaixaBank ATM in Benalmádena, Spain, and was charged €2 both times for withdrawing cash, so it would seem that CaixaBank may now charge.
I suppose it’s always possible I’ve selected some option I shouldn’t have!

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I never looked in to the charge for using the card aboard, I like the monza idea, at the moment I’m using it as a multi saving account. It works out just the way I need. For holidays I’ll stick to HSBC for now.

You are absolutely right

Used my card in Valencia and was also charged €2 per transaction

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I’ve been visiting Spain regularly for some years now and since I’ve been with Monzo I’ve used my card everywhere with very few problems to the extent that I don’t bother getting euros before I go any more.

Today I was in Aldi in Estepona and for the first time ever the contactless transaction went through exactly as it does in the UK. No having to put in my pin number or having to sign, the machine automatically chose euros.

Just this simple change has made my day, it’s difficult to sign or put in your pin number when you’re in a wheelchair so this will make my life a little easier in at least one shop I visit regularly :grin:

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Hola Alex
Tuviste que activar la tarjeta cuando llegaste a España?

I think this is because now the limit for ask for the pin is higher, previously was 20 €.

Also I confirm CaixaBank try to charge a 2 pounds fee. Targobank didnt ask for any fee.

No tienes que hacer nada, mientras ya la hayas utilizado y activado antes de viajar.

Will it still total up when I’m back in the UK? As it seemed to get confused as I went to Gibraltar for a day

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No, it’ll tell you the summary for each section of Spain separately i.e. everything after Gibraltar will be counted separately to the before Gibraltar

Had the same issue when I went to Copenhagen, and went to Sweden for 0.5 day. It said “you spent X in Denmark”, “you spent Y in Sweden”, “you spent Z in Denmark”

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Has anyone got an up to date list of free atms? Haven’t had to withdraw cash for at least two or three years so can’t rememeber which ones are free.

I have a very short list

  1. Unicaja

At least it was free a couple of months ago, but you do have to make sure you don’t accept their kind, and very persistent, offer to do the conversion for you.

That article is from 2019, and it seems like some EU banks are now charging UK cards again

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Every bank I tried in Malaga had withdrawal fees. Fixed rate, not percentage. I only needed €10 and the lowest charge I could find was €3.95. Fixed fees are obscene: a 40% fee.

Some were asking for €7 on a €10 withdrawal hahaha.

And all of them asked if I wanted DCC. Awful awful awful system.

I tried:
Caixabank
Santander
BBVA
Cajamar

All had fixed charges.

I learned my lesson. Withdraw cash before travelling to Spain.

You can avoid or at least minimise them with an EU issued card. The only one I know that’s currently available is Bankera (download their app to apply).

Saved me £7 per withdrawal in the Czech Republic.

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Oh nice. Good idea, thank you.

And to fund your Bankera acc - i see they charge to receive Swift, but receiving Sepa is free. How do you do it?

I’ll give it a try, but I think it’ll be sending Euro’s via a Euro account (starling for example) and sending that to Bankera. Of course there’ll be a fee, but it’ll be minimal compared to an ATM fee

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There’s no fee to transfer from Starling Euro to Bankera or the other direction. Not quite instant, but not far off it.

Cheapest route is sterling to Revolut sterling, convert to EUR in Revolut and send It from there. Starling charge 0.4% to convert, Revolut don’t charge Monday to Friday (up to £1000 a month I think).

It’s also Sepa so free transfer.

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That sounds perfect.

I have a Wise account, and it looks like the IBAN on the Wise eur account is in Belgium. So this route should be free:

• GBP from Monzo to Wise
• convert GBP-EUR in Wise
• EUR from Wise euro account to Bankera

“Wise has two EUR accounts, based in Estonia and Belgium. They are both SEPA-compliant.”