Changing money, transfers & opening bank accounts in Spain
Here, we provide information about changing money, transferring money to or from another country and some advice about opening a bank account in Spain.
Money exchange in Spain
Changing money in Spain is pretty much the same as it is throughout Europe. Banks, a Bureaux de Change (Cambio) and ATMs are your safest bet. Using street vendors is probably not a good idea – it is illegal.
Banks and Bureaux de Change are usually only open during business hours and will probably be closed on Sundays. Some Spanish banks, especially in the smaller cities and towns, will only exchange money if you are one of their clients.
For these reasons, using a debit card at an ATM is generally the simplest way to obtain Euros in Spain. You can use a credit card, but this will generally cost you more (ie. uncompetitive conversion rates and/or bank charges). We suggest you check with your own bank before using debit or credit cards in Spain.
Transferring money to or from Spain
Your starting point should normally be your own bank. Find out how much they will charge to transfer money to a bank in Spain. Spanish bank charges may be higher.
Alternatively, you can use a money transfer service such as Currencies Direct. They have 13 branches in Spain and their currency specialists offer the guidance you need when transferring to or from Spain. Tell them the amount you wish to transfer and they will give you their best exchange rate.
Marbella Branch, Plaza de las Orquídeas, Calle Orquídea, Local 5, Nueva Andalucia, 29660 Marbella
Tel: +34 952 906 581 Fax: +34 965 992 624
Office Hours: 9.30 – 14.00 & 15.00 – 18.00 (Monday – Friday)
Opening a Bank Account in Spain
Spanish residents can open a resident bank account in Spain. Non-residents can open a non-resident bank account in Spain. These accounts are subject to different regulations. If you have a non-resident account and you become a resident, you must notify your bank and they will change your account status. Switching from a non-resident account to a resident account is a relatively simple procedure.
Bank charges in Spain are relatively high. Make sure you are fully aware of potential charges when you open your account. Charges are particularly high when you pay cheques into your account or transfer money. If you plan to make regular bank transfers, you may be able to negotiate more favourable terms if you maintain a minimum amount in your account.
Documents required to open an account
- A valid passport or a national identity card (if you’re an EU citizen).
- Proof of address (ie. a recent bank statement or utility bill).
- Proof of employment status or pension status (you may need these translated).
- Some banks require a Certificado de no residente (non-resident confirmation) – a letter that confirms you are a non-resident. You can obtain one of these from a police station by showing your passport.
- A valid passport or national identity card (if you’re an EU citizen).
- Proof of your Spanish address (ie. a lease, a recent utility bill or a recent bank statement).
- Your Spanish NIE number.
- Proof of employment status (ie. employment contract, student card or unemployment paperwork) or pension receipts.
If you don’t speak Spanish, you should consider taking someone with you who speaks Spanish.