About Changing Money

Posted by: iffy

About Changing Money - 07/10/10 02:16 PM

Although not strictly a safety issue, I'm not sure how to classify this question. I've heard something about new European style credit cards that don't exist in the US. Will this be a problem in terms of changing money in banks? Or using them in stores. I'm not referring to 4 numeral pins; it's something else called a 'chip and pin'. Anyone have any problems in that regard?
Also, I have two visa cards. Is there any reason why I need to have a mastercard or is the visa ok?
Posted by: Jan D

Re: About Changing Money - 07/11/10 04:47 AM

Chip and pin just means the card is "read" rather than "swiped".
Terminals in Europe still have a "swipe" facility.
As for just carrying Visa cards, not a problem I've encountered in Spain, everyone seems to accept Visa. Don't forget to let your bank know your travel plans.
Posted by: pedmar

Re: About Changing Money - 07/11/10 12:08 PM

Visa is the worlds most accepted cards, you wont have any problem in Spain at all. the explanation was nicely told to you by Jan D. And if you need to use a machine, just come a bit early and do it manually with a person,so they can swipe it.

make sure of withdrawal charges and payment charges on your US cards thus. They can be steep. There are ways to minimise if using correspondant banks. I know in the US bank of america has it with Barclays in Spain, no fee withdrawals from their ATM machines. You do pay like 3% commission if use the card for purchases,so use the cash .

Hope it helps
Posted by: teachertraveler8

Re: About Changing Money - 07/11/10 02:18 PM

When I checked with Bank of America back in April, they told me that their relationship with Barclay's didn't work in Spain (only in England) It may have changed, so I would still check it out.
Posted by: steve robinson

Re: About Changing Money - 07/15/10 12:49 PM

Do remember that if you want to use your credit card in a store you , more often than not , will have to produce ID .. An ID card , passport etc . . The fees for withdrawing money via an ATM are steep here as Pedmar mentioned . If I withdraw 500 Euros I can expect to pay about 7 or 8 Euros commision . Disgraceful that the Spanish government still allow this . In the UK , no matter what bank , all ATM withdrawals are free ! I use Mastercard , but Visa is widely accepted . The only card you may have a problem with is American Express . My brother uses it all the time in Moscow but often finds problems when he comes to Western Europe .
Posted by: teachertraveler8

Re: About Changing Money - 07/15/10 04:07 PM

When I used my credit card in June at the Corte Ingles,I am fairly certain I was not asked for ID. I didn't routinely carry my passport with me (although I did have my driver's license) and I would recall being asked for it and embarrassed not to have it. Now, that is not a good reason not to have it with you, it's just what I experienced.
Posted by: pedmar

Re: About Changing Money - 07/16/10 09:03 AM

Barclays still on in Madrid, jsut did it when we met last time. I was doing a transaction with the family there that needed to use my USDollar account. I always use the one by plaza Colon.

I am going to London and use them too for free. They are all part of the Global ATM Alliance.

and yes you are ask for an ID to use the credit card but at random, some stores do some dont. I purchase at a grocery store Sanchez Romero near Plaza de Castilla and they ask for the ID, but at El Corte Ingles never. Restos never have to, so its a hit and miss in my experiences.
Posted by: jacmom

Re: About Changing Money - 07/16/10 10:25 AM

This past May, I was asked for an ID at El Corte d'Inglis, and I showed them a copy of my passport and that was enough. Also used just a copy when boarding the bus to Granada.

At El Cort d'Inglis, they also asked if I wanted the credit card to be in Euros or dollars.

I used a Chase Visa debit and was able to withdraw from S________ Atlantico Bank ATM with no charge on their part. There was a $3.00 fee from Chase. Sorry, some one could maybe fill in the first part of the banks name as I don't remember it.

We did not find that ATM to be prolific around the city, but we did look for them once we found they did not charge me. I don't know if it works for all Visa cards or if there is a Chase relationship that meant there was no fee from the Spanish bank.
Posted by: steve robinson

Re: About Changing Money - 07/16/10 11:05 AM

That would be Sabadell Atlantico ..... Interesting .... I´ll look into that .
Posted by: jacmom

Re: About Changing Money - 07/16/10 11:07 AM

Thanks for filling that in , Steve.
Posted by: steve robinson

Re: About Changing Money - 07/17/10 04:01 AM

I agree with the comments here that El Corte Inglés doesn´t normally ask for ID .. and their smaller offshoot company , Opencor ( open 365 days a year and normally open until at least 2am ) also doesn´t always ask for ID . I always pay by cash ( efectivo ) .
One point about using cash ..I would ask the bank to give you banknotes of maximun €100 . Many places will not except the €200 and €500 notes . Corte Inglés is the exception again . I once saw a Japanese couple buying a few small things and they handed over a €500 note. The cashier put it through her fraud detection machine ... and gave them their change without a supervisor being involved . I was astonished .