There is a huge amount of banks operating in Spain. How to pick the best one? First, pay attention to their distribution. In general, the stronger presence in Spain, the better. Second, look at the tariff rates. Commissions vary significantly. Third, make sure that you can reach them when needed. In Spain most of the banks are open weekdays till 2 pm, only some branches have extended hours.

To make sure that your account will be opened immediately, bring the following documents: Passport; NIE number and certificate; Proof of occupation / status (work contract); Proof of address (rental contract, utility bill).

With these documents and if aged over 18 you should not face any troubles. However, if you want to make sure to make the process as painless as possible, go directly to any of the La Caixa branches: they should have at least one employee per office who speaks English and they are used to taking care of foreigners’ accounts.

**IMPORTANT Remember to ask for a bank card as not all cash points provide a space for a ‘libreta’.

Money and Banking


The Euro is Spain’s official currency since 1 January 2002.

clock-1Banking hours

Most banks are open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 or 2:30 p.m. Savings and loans (cajas / caixes) are also open on Thursday afternoons from 5:00 to 7:45 p.m. from October to May.

credit-cardCredit cards

Major credit and charge cards are accepted in almost all shops, restaurants, hotels and many other services, including Metro ticket machines and parking machines. You can also use your credit or debit card to withdraw money from cash machines, which provide instructions in different languages.

invoicePaying bills

Cheques are rarely used in Spain instead, a convenient way to pay recurring bills (rent, electricity and telephone) is through direct debit (domiciliación). To have your bill payments deducted directly from your bank account, you must authorize them. Just fill out the forms instructing your bank to pay certain creditors and inform them of your account details.