Whether you’ll be living in Spain for a few months each year or you are planning a move for permanent residence, you will need to open a Spanish bank account. After all you will want to conveniently access your pension or other monetary funds. At the same time you’d better consider opening a current account in order for day-to-day items such as debits, social security contributions, as well as utility bills and the like can be handled conveniently.
In Spain, it is very easy to open a savings or current bank account. You may want to handle your money through the Internet banking systems. Companies such as ING DIRECT advertise that you must keep your money. In Spain, different banks exist like the Bancos, or the Banco Santander. There are others like Banco de Andalucia. These are standard banks. Cajas are savings banks, investigate the better rates. Spain has hundreds of Cajas the country.
There are numerous international banks in Spain such as the Banco Halifax Hispania. They are linked to EU countries and are convenient when it comes to money transfers. For instance Halifax UK banks and Halifax in Spain don’t charge transfer fees for the service. But be careful because, a foreign named bank in Spain does not mean that that bank will offer all the services they offer in your homeland.
Many Spanish banks offer their own online services. They come with a cash point card. Be aware that your withdrawals from a cash point may come with a fee per use. Always check the service statements that will depend upon your bank. Spain still runs on a cash culture and shops and restaurants only take cash. The larger stores and restaurants will take debit or credit cards. You’ll be required to show ID and if you’re a tourist a passport.
If you’re looking for a savings bank within Spain you might check the Cajas and other online savings banks. Again, shop around to be certain that you gets the best interest rate Cajas, like the Cajamar have lower fees and charges than Bancos, and Cajas also donate a percentage of their profits to help cultural programmes and charities.
If your pension or other monies will be deposited into a bank account in your homeland, you will probably want to transfer it to your Spanish bank account. You could set up an account with organizations such as IBAN (Swift) money transfers. This is inexpensive, but always checks the exchange rate prior to establishing any business with them. You might want to use the services of foreign exchange specialists. Companies like Moneycorp are reliable and sound, log into (moneycorp.com). You can arrange for regular transfers and take advantage of excellent rates when transferring large amounts.
Sam Tonzenger frequently makes online reports on subjects dealing with pension in spain and planning to move and retire in spain. You can see his work on pension in spain and savings in spain here.