This is a wiki crowdsourced by the Monzo Community to help you travel with Monzo.
Just like Wikipedia, anyone can edit it to help out others. If you have any tips or feedback for visiting Spain with Monzo, please feel free to edit this guide. You can also add a comment or question below — someone will then incorporate your comment into the main text below and then delete your comment. To create your own “Monzo in …” guide if one doesn’t already exist, just copy this template into a new post and write away!
Spain uses the Euro (€).
Monzo users pay the Mastercard exchange rate with no added fees.
Chip & PIN is everywhere. Contactless is common, but some Spanish merchants aren’t in the habit of using it. They will take your card to insert it instead. More up to date merchants will scan your card contactless but it will then prompt for your PIN for larger transactions - don’t walk away thinking you’ve paid simply because they tapped your card!
Swiping is usually a last resort.
Your card probably won’t work at toll roads (e.g. the main motorway toll between Alicante and Benidorm / Valencia the machines say the card doesn’t work) - take cash instead!
Beware Dynamic Currency Conversion “Do you wish to pay in GBP?” messages on both ATM and shop POS. ALWAYS select EUR (their DDC rate is very bad v the Monzo Mastercard rate). This is now very common everywhere, and you may find the cashier asks you this question too.
ATM operator charges:
Banca March - Fee free
Caixa Bank - Fee free
Cajamar - Fee free
Bankinter - Fee free
BBVA - Charge
Bankia - Charge 1.75€
Santander - Charge 5€
The Mastercard Nearby app is useful to have on your phone to find Mastercard ATM and contactless locations. Good for locations close to where you are now but less so if you want to find locations somewhere you are travelling to.
Payment and withdrawal limits
All Monzo cards have some payment and withdrawal limits. To check yours before you leave, go to your Profile section of the app and tap on Limits.
Crowdsourced merchant data
The Monzo merchant data is often incorrect (eg. the map shows the wrong location or the name of the place is not correct). Please submit improvements to this data so it can get better for future visitors.
“Just something to bare in mind is that if a Spanish merchant follows local laws properly and inspects your card, not having your full name on the card might be an issue. I had this with Avis car rental and they required one of my cards with my name as evidence that I hadn’t robbed the card.”
If you are using Three to roam, you probably won’t get iPhone notifications from Monzo. The app still works fine though.
“The experience we have just had in Spain with the toll roads is that the card is NOT accepted in the automatic machine where you just pop the card in and go through if you do not activate the mag stripe. Please remember to activate it and you won’t have any problem, alternatively go to a manual booth with a person and they have a credit card machine then a contactless payment or chip and pin will work fine.”
- Enabling the magstripe didn’t work for us in Alicante (July 2019)
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