Bank and Money Questions

While in Madrid, you will not need to open a bank account. You can use a debit card with a 4-digit PIN to withdraw cash from ATMs.

credit-cardWe recommend bringing a second back-up credit card, also with a 4-digit PIN, in case you lose your debit card.

You may want to try to obtain cards (debit and/or credit) with a chip in them, ideally accompanied by a PIN number.

It’s essential that you call your bank and credit card companies to let them know you’ll be studying abroad. You’ll need to tell them what country (or countries) you’ll be visiting, and the dates. If you don’t, they may freeze your accounts, assuming your card has been used fraudulently.

  • Banks in Spain are generally open from Monday to Friday between 8.00 to 14.30.
  • ATMs can be accessed at all hours of the day (be aware of your surroundings when entering your PIN number in an exposed cash machine, just as you would in the US). Some American banks have agreements with Spanish partner banks and international transaction fees may be waived (consult your bank).
  • While bringing US dollars to Spain and exchanging them for Euros is an option, banks tend not to exchange money if you aren’t a client, and commission fees can be very high and exchange rates very low at cash-exchange points.

Banks near the International Institute in Madrid

Paseo del General Martínez Campos, 35
Paseo del General Martínez Campos, 32
La Caixa
Calle de Miguel Angel, 16