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Getting cash in Spain

Old Jul 25th, 2014, 01:01 PM
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Getting cash in Spain

I just learned that my ATM card I got from my local Credit Union (that I used in the past in Europe with no fees), works only with the Star network, and Star now does business only in North America, not in Europe anymore.

So the question is, what's the update regarding getting cash in Spain? Maybe it's safer to just go to a bank? My credit card bank says I can use it for cash advance at an annual rate of 25%, which is not bad, every $100 would cost me about 7 cents a day (25:365)...

Any better ideas? Thanks!
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 01:12 PM
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Better idea - open another account with a bank/credit union that has cards that do work in Europe.

Do not use your CC for cash.

How would you get money from a bank? If your ATM card doesn't work you can't just go into a Spanish bank and get cash. If they are anything like Dutch banks nowadays they don't actually have any cash anyway.
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 01:15 PM
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Do not do cash advances on a credit card.
Get an ATM card that works in Europe.
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 01:57 PM
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I bet your CC also has a flat fee for cash advances in addition to the interest, all the ones I have do.

I don't know what you mean about maybe it's just better to go to a bank. Do you mean to get euro in the US and carry it all with you? No, I don't think that is better.

Get another ATM card. Just open a second account somewhere. I have a money market account with Capital One that is just a savings account, not my main one, and they give you a debit card with it that can be used abroad and has no foreign transaction fees, to boot. You have nothing to lose by doing this, there are no fees to have that account, I just opened one online.
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 02:05 PM
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Yes, dump the credit union for one that actually offers it's customers service.
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Old Jul 25th, 2014, 05:24 PM
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Is this card a Visa or MC credit card? If not - then the bank won't give you money either - since Star is not available in europe.

And if they aren't connected to your credit union how would they get money.

You need an ATM card that works in places outside the US - which any bank can give you.

I suppose you can pull cash from ATMs using your Visa or MC - but again it has to be part of a network or your won't get anything.
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Old Jul 27th, 2014, 04:37 PM
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Thanks for all the ideas... My regular bank does charge foreign fees when using their ATM card abroad. We use a Capital One Venture Visa card for most of our purchases. They don't charge any foreign fees or any other fees for using the CC abroad. I talked to them and they'll send me a PIN number which I can later change to my own, and use the CC for cash abroad, both at an ATM or get cash at a local bank (it's simply safer, I think, especially in Spain).

Yes, I could open a MM account with Capital One, but why bother for a single 3-week trip? People hardly pay with cash in this day n age, so why bother so much?.... I made a simple calculation of the "worst case scenario": If I get $1,000 worth of cash using my CC, which charges 25% annual interest, and I get it all on day-one of my trip, and pay it back after a month — using the above calculation, it would cost me a total of about $21.... That's totally negligent when spending thousands of Dollars on such trip...

...Am I missing something ?
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 10:15 AM
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The big thing you are missing is that you begin paying interest on cash advances from the moment you get them, not from the end of your payment period. There is no float. Ou get cash today, your interest begins today. At some rapacious banks this may tigger other "interest events," especially if you carry a balance.

In the old days, before ATM's, we would overpay our credit card (we never carry a balance) and cash advances would only draw down the overpayment. I don't think you can do this anymore since it is so easy to get an ATM card. And make your bank give you an ATM card, not a debit card. They will hate it, but go to another bank if they won't.
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 01:24 PM
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Re Ackislander's method: No CC I have allows you to avoid cash advance fees by overpaying the balance. They still charge the fees because you are still, in fact, taking out a loan.

IN any case, mamamia, if you think it too much trouble to get another card, it might not be that bad IF you have no other fee than the interest. Did you really look into that? Because many cards have large flat fees for doing that. I think they are often 3% of the amount or a minimum of $10, whichever is greater. So if you took out $100, that would be $10 PLUS the interest starting from the date you take it out. The flat fee could be the worst part if you take out small amounts as it will be a lot more than 3% of the amount.

Do you think you will never go outside the US again? If so, then sure, pay the cash advance fee and don't get another account, but be aware of that flat fee amount. I had to do it once for an emergency, I forget why, and the tip to keeping the interest at a minimum is you must pay the bill as soon as you can, do not wait for the bill. Because if you go online and figure out your outstanding balance and pay them immediately, the interest stops. So do that as soon as you get home rather than waiting for the bill to come.
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 03:18 PM
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I am PISSED..... I talked to Capital One TWICE in the past 3 days and both times they did not mention any extra fees involved. Reading your latest posts here, I called YET AGAIN.... Guess what, the 3rd agent did mention, kind of BTW, a flat fee of 3% of the amount or a minimum of $10, whichever is greater... I am pissed and I asked to speak with a supervisor...
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 04:06 PM
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Am going with Capital One 360 which Christina suggested (thanks!). They don't charge ANY fees, but then the local ATM in Spain might (probably will) charge some fee... I guess using an ATM at a bank, rather than at a store (or on the street) would be best, safer too....

...Any comment on that ?
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 04:42 PM
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Bank ATMs in eruope typically do not charge fees to withdraw money. The fees will be charged by your home bank - as will the difference in rates between what you pay and the interbank rate.

However, commercial ATMs will charge you a fee - but each machine should tell you how much it will be.
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 05:52 PM
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The guy at Capital One 360 told me that even if the locals forward the fees to them, they won't charge me.
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 06:20 PM
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No. The way some non-Bank ATMs in Europe charge their fees is to tuck on the fee to the amount withdrawn, so if you key in 300 euro, they will debit 305 euro to your card, give you 300 euro in cash and they pocket the 5 euro, there and then. I don't think Capital One will actually reimburse you the 5 euro already taken?
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 06:44 PM
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No, they meant in case the ATM operator (or bank) charges Capital One for any fees, then they'll wave it and not forward it to me.
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