using traveler checks
Posted: 07 July 2012 03:08 PM  
Just Landed
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Hi,
  Does anyone know how easy it is to use traveler checks such as american express in spain?
Is there a fee to convert them to euros and where would i do this?  is the exchange rate
competitive?  thanx,


spacer

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Posted: 07 July 2012 06:24 PM  
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I do not think travellers cheques are widely used or accepted now - probably only in banks and I would guess the commissions are huge. Most people used debit cards to purchase and remove cash from dispensers. This is certainly the European culture - you don’t say where you are coming from but I would think long and hard about using TCs.

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Posted: 07 July 2012 11:01 PM  
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I am from the USA.  It seems like the best solution to changing dollars into euros is using a FX company
such as torfx

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Posted: 08 July 2012 09:05 AM  
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I use TorFX to change pounds into Euros - very good service, good rates and low commissions.

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Posted: 11 December 2012 01:16 AM  
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I have a FX account with EverBank in the USA.  They offer some of the lowest commission charges and will wire funds to a bank in Spain. 

I would also urge you to investigate a Capital One Bank savings account.  They do not charge a FX transaction fee (like American Express—- 3%) and do not charge you for withdrawing from any ATM.  Their credit cards also do not charge a FX transaction fee.

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Posted: 16 December 2012 03:54 AM  
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CieloDeCadiz - 11 December 2012 01:16 AM

I have a FX account with EverBank in the USA.  They offer some of the lowest commission charges and will wire funds to a bank in Spain. 

I would also urge you to investigate a Capital One Bank savings account.  They do not charge a FX transaction fee (like American Express—- 3%) and do not charge you for withdrawing from any ATM.  Their credit cards also do not charge a FX transaction fee.

Please note that Spanish banks do charge commissions when you receive money from abroad (as well as when you transfer money abroad) or even when you cash an international cheque. Average commissioni *used to be* from 0.5% up, depending on the bank group. Therefore I suggest you to enquire at the Spanish bank too ...

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Posted: 16 December 2012 03:58 AM  
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Sorry, forgot something.

Opening a bank account in Spain has become really complicated.

If you are NOT a regular resident with a NIE (number identifying foreigner residents) which is used also to pay taxes in Spanin, many banks can refuse to let you open an account.

In any case, resident or not, you will be asked to *prove* where your money comes from and that it is of licit origin.

I find this last part bloody stupid, howver that’s what a grumpy teller recently told me - permanent resident in Spain since 2000 - at Banco Santander ... which is the # 1 banking group in Spain.

Suerte!

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Posted: 16 December 2012 04:53 AM  
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I agree with the others, the travelers checks are not widely used or accepted anymore, and can be a huge pain to replace if lost/stolen. Granted, that was a few years ago, many travelers “checks” are now credit cards.

I used my credit union debit card to take out lump sums (a few 100 euros at a time that was less then the $500 daily withdrawal limit set by my bank.) I only paid 1% transaction fee, and from 3-5 euros for the ATM fee. A much better rate than credit card transactions (3-5%)  and the exchange rate was based on that day’s market. Its worked very well for me.

Capital One is good too, but they can be a little hard to open if you have less than excellent credit.

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