ATMs in Spain: locations, fees, and tips

Gert Svaiko

Tourism used to account for a huge slice of Spain’s GDP – however, that was before Covid. With the pandemic, the tourism industry went down almost 3x and is just now began to recover.¹ Huge numbers of visitors arrived in Spain every year, and many of them dream of settling down in Spain to live, work, retire or study.

If you’re visiting Spain from the UK soon for a holiday - you’ll need cash to spend while you’re there. Getting your euros from ATMs once you arrive is a popular choice. It’s convenient and means you can get the money you need, when you need it.

And, if you want to avoid exchange rate markups and sneaky transaction fees while spending in Spain, then check out the Wise card. You can use it in 175 countries. Your transactions abroad are automatically converted into British pounds using the fair mid-market exchange rate.


Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

What are ATMs called in Spain?

ATMs are called cajero automático in Spain. You can also find them by the name of caixer in Catalan. However, in most tourist locations, you can also find them by the ATM sign.

Where do I find ATMs in Spain?

Spain has a developed banking sector, and many of the bank brands you see there will be familiar global names. You won’t have any difficulty finding an ATM in towns and cities - it’s only really if you go well off the beaten track into rural areas, that you’ll find it becomes trickier to locate an ATM to use. If you’re planning on spending time in a more isolated area, then it’s worth carrying extra cash just in case.

To find a convenient ATM, use these ATM locators for local and global banks:

Will my credit or debit card work in Spain?

Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted networks in Spain. However, if you have a Discover card, you’ll find it a bit harder to find a merchant or ATM which will accept your card – but, it’s still considered a high acceptance country by Discover.² Because there are relatively few ATMs to choose from, consider carrying a backup card in case you can’t find a convenient location.

Amex cards are reasonably common and can be used in ATMs run by several local banks.³

Find a handy ATM to suit your needs using one of the following locators:

Spanish ATM PINs

Bank cards issued in Spain - like most other countries in Europe - have 4 digit PINs. That means that longer 5 or 6 digit PINs issued elsewhere in the world don’t usually work in Spanish ATMs.

If you have a chip and PIN card with a 4 digit PIN, like those issued elsewhere in Europe, the UK or Australia, you shouldn’t have any problem. If you don’t usually use a PIN with your bank card, for example, because you have an American-issued magnetic stripe card, you’ll need to request a 4 digit PIN for the card from your bank before you travel.

Spanish ATM max cash withdrawal limits

If you have a maximum daily cash withdrawal limit set up on your bank card for local use, then it’ll apply when you travel too. Often these limits are set automatically by your bank, and you can change them if you wish to.

However, if you don’t have a daily limit, then the limits imposed by the ATM will apply. You can expect to find that withdrawals are capped at around EUR300, although different banks can set their limits as they wish. It might also be possible to take out cash in several separate transactions from the same ATM - although you might then pay more in fees.

Give your bank a heads-up before you travel to Spain

Because of concerns about fraud and theft, banks monitor spending patterns for all of their customers. If something out of the ordinary happens - like a sudden spike in spending overseas - they can block or limit the bank card while checking there is no foul play.

To make sure you can use your credit or debit card while you travel it’s a good idea to tell your bank your plans before you go. If you don’t, you could find your card is blocked, leaving you out of cash. Simply call into your local branch to make sure your travel plans are recorded in your account details before you go.

What are the fees at ATMs in Spain?

Chances are that if you’re using a foreign debit or credit card in Spain, you’ll have to pay a fee to use the ATMs there. Even local account holders are often charged to use an ATM that’s not run by their own bank.

Exchange rate fees at ATMs in Spain (DCC)

The biggest thing to watch out for while you travel is dynamic currency conversion (also called DCC for short). This is a headache for tourists and expats using overseas credit and debit cards and can mean you get a very raw deal.

DCC is where you’re offered the choice of paying for a transaction or cash withdrawal in British pounds instead of euros. If you say yes, the exchange rate used to calculate the cost of your transaction is selected by the merchant or ATM operator. Often it’s not the mid-market rate, which you’d find on Google. Instead, the merchant will add a markup to the exchange rate and then pocket the difference. You’ll get a better deal if you always choose to pay in the local currency instead.

Your home bank’s fees

Unless you’re very lucky - or very organised - there’s a good chance you’ll have charges for international ATM usage added to your transactions by your home bank.

There are a small number of specialist bank accounts which do not add charges - but aside from these, it’s common practise to find fees for the privilege of accessing your cash overseas. If you’re the organised type, consider opening a new account specifically for travel, if you can find one which offers a better deal on ATM use abroad.

Local banks’ fees in Spain

Some banks in Spain also add their own charge for using an ATM. Luckily, most ATMs have the option of carrying out the transaction in English, so you can check the charges before completing the transaction. If you’re unhappy about the charge that is made, simply cancel the withdrawal and find another ATM.

Can I get free cash withdrawals in Spain?

This depends on who you bank with at home. If you have an account with a global name like Santander, then it’s worth checking if your account type qualifies for free or reduced fee cash withdrawals from Spanish branches of the bank.

But even if you don’t bank with an institution which has a presence in Spain, it’s still worth asking your home bank if they have a partner institution based there. Often banks work together across borders to offer their customers free or reduced fee cash withdrawals, from specific ATMs overseas. Check out the options from your own bank before you travel, to make sure you get the best deal.

Are there any tips to avoiding ATM fees in Spain?

Even if you can’t get rid of fees altogether, you can reduce ATM fees in Spain with a few simple tricks.

Choose your card wisely

All bank accounts have their own fee structures for international ATM use. Some are reasonably priced. Some less so.

A little research goes a long way. If you have more than one credit or debit card to choose from, it’s worth checking out which offers the best deal for overseas cash withdrawals. Or, as we mentioned above, if you travel often, you could even open a new account specifically for use when you’re abroad, with a bank which offers a good deal on overseas cash withdrawals.

Always choose to pay in euros

Remember DCC? Don’t let the ATM operator take a slice of your cash without you even realising it. Avoid this by choosing to pay in local currency, to dodge DCC’s high fees and poor exchange rates.

And, if you’re looking for a transparent and safe alternative to manage your money in the UK or when travelling abroad, consider signing up with Wise. You can get a Wise card, a multi-currency card that automatically converts your pounds into local currency in 175 countries at the fair mid-market exchange rate.

Register with Wise today

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Using ATMs in Spain is a convenient choice – you can find both free withdrawals and low-fee ones. And as long as you’re careful about DCC, it can be pretty good value, too. But, do the research on your home bank withdrawal fees abroad before heading out, and you won’t be in for a nasty surprise.

Sources used:

  1. Statista – Spain tourism GDP contribution
  2. Discover – International use
  3. AMEX – ATM locator

Sources last checked on date: 11-Dec-2022

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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