Foreign Credit Cards
As an expatriate or tourist you may have brought credit cards with you to Spain and found that you were able to use these cards to withdraw money from Spanish cash machines without a problem. You should be aware, however, that hidden commissions can be involved in these transactions.
It so happens that all banks in Spain belong to banking networks. The largest of these networks are known as '4B' and 'Servired'. Local bank consumers know which network their bank belongs to and usually try to only use the ATMs associated with their network - in order to avoid paying extra fees.
The bank that issued your credit card in your home country probably belongs to an international banking network. And this network could very well be networked with one of the Spanish networks. This would then entitle you to use either 4B or Servired machines without additional fees.
However, to take advantage of this option, you need to work with your home bank in order to find out which network you belong to. On the contrary, you will be subject to fees that vary from bank to bank - and which are often difficult to uncover, even via direct query.
Spanish Credit Cards
Spanish residents or non resident home owners who have a Spanish bank account will consider applying for a Spanish Credit Card. This can be used to purchase goods and services or withdraw money from an ATM.
The credit cards are operated like a special bank account. They are not very flexible and for this reason many Spaniards do not like them. The balance of the months spending is recorded at the end of the month, usually the 26th. Interest is added and this sum in accordance with a pre agreed plan will be debited from the current bank account on a set date usually the 6th of the following month. It is possible to vary the payment but this must be agree before the 26th. It is also worth noting that you have only 10 days to make sure sufficient funds are in the current account. If the notification is sent by post you will in practice have even less than this.