Madrid Money

What is the local currency?
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What denominations does it come in?
Euro notes (Euros): 5,10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500
Coins (Euros): 1, 2
Coins (Centimos) 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50
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What is the best way to exchange currency?
Banks and currency exchange booths.
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What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Cash, debit cards and credit cards are widely used for everyday purchases.
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Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
Yes, MasterCard and Visa are the most widely accepted; American Express is also accepted. There are still establishments that will only accept cash, such as smaller local stores and dry cleaners (tintoreria).
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By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
Utility bills (gas/water/electricity/telephone) are generally paid via pre-authorized bank debit. By this method, your bills are automatically deducted (in full) from your bank account (usually every two months). This is an efficient way of paying your bills; however, the down side is that if the bill is incorrect, or you wish to dispute, you will need to do so after the payment has been made from your account. Rental payments can be made via various methods depending on your landlord's requirements.
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What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
We recommend that you open a bank account immediately upon arrival in Spain, as in order to sign a rental/purchase contract, you will need to provide proof of having a local bank account. It is preferable to open an account with a Spanish bank, as they have extensive networks, which will result in greater banking convenience than banking with a foreign bank. Along the same lines, it could also be advantageous to open an account with the bank with which your employer does business to facilitate formalities.  

There are two types of accounts that may be opened: resident and non-resident. As a non-resident, you can have a foreign currency account that permits you to deposit foreign currency, as well as euros, into the account. Foreign currency is automatically converted into euros at the exchange rate on the date of deposit and only euros may be withdrawn. In order to open a non-resident account, the following documentation is required:

  • Proof of Identity (i.e., passport)
  • Proof of address: Rental contract or address of place of employment         

Be aware that banking abilities will be limited and you will be subject to higher transaction fees than a resident. For this reason, it is advisable to discard your non-resident account and open a resident account as soon as you have received your Spanish resident card.
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Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
Multi-lingual banking services are available. Once you have determined which bank best suits your particular needs, we recommend that you visit the head office first because you will generally find one or two English-speaking staff. Telephone banking is available in English with some of the bigger banks such as Santander, BBVA, Popular, and Bankinter. There is limited availability in other languages.
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Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
Be aware that banking abilities will be limited with a non-resident account and you will be subject to higher transaction fees than a resident. For this reason, it is advisable to discard your non-resident account and open a resident account as soon as you have received your Spanish resident card.
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What are typical banking hours?
Monday – Friday, 8:00/8:30 a.m. to 2:00/3:00 p.m. Some banks are starting to extend their public opening hours to 5:00 p.m. (Deutsche Bank, for example). Most banks are open on Saturday mornings between October and April.
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Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
Yes, ATMS are available 24 hours a day.
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Is there any other money information that might help me?
Some banks may send statements after each transaction; others may send statements on a monthly basis. Charges for remittances, foreign exchange, etc. can be quite expensive for non-resident accounts.    Be aware of fees for utilizing ATMs not affiliated with your banking network.
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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.