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Go Back   Pollensa Forum > LIVING & WORKING IN POLLENSA > Living & Working in the Pollensa Area

Living & Working in the Pollensa Area This forum is for any comments, questions and advice about living (permanently or temporarily) and working in the Pollensa area. Aimed at ex-pats, property owners etc.

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  #1  
Old 27-02-2014, 12:50
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Default banking and credit cards

OK, our move is creeping closer so it's time to start looking into some of the things that we're going to have to sort out.

I've done a search on banking, and it seems a few people use Barclays. I'm a little surprised by their charges, according to their website:

la comisión de mantenimiento será de 25,00€ trimestrales y la de administración de 0,60€ por apunte

which I read as 25 euros a quarter, but not sure what the 60 cents is for (is that per transaction?) I'm not used to paying for a current account, so those sort of fees seem incredibly high to me.

We have seen 'Sa Nostra' bank on the island, but couldn't find anything about their fees on their site. Does anyone have any experience? If not, are there any recommended banks that aren't going to charge a fortune (or do they offer other services to make it worth while?)

Then comes the credit card. Currently we have a credit card that earns cash back in the UK, so pays us money. Is there anything similar in Spain? Are there any comparison sites for banking and credit cards like there are in the UK?
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Old 27-02-2014, 12:57
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Am afraid I don't have any specific details but Yes Spanish banks do impose charges for running an account, credit/debit cards and per transaction. Transfers particularly can cost as can paying in cheques from other banks. I run a business and personal account but the charges for both seem to be the same.

So do be prepared for charges (it wasn't always free in the UK either!) and do shop around.

It also helps to have helpful staff who speak English especially when you need to sort out bills, Direct Debits etc. and this may outweigh the charge difference.

Hopefully you'll get some feedback here soon.
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Old 27-02-2014, 14:30
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Thanks for that, I think you're right I'm going to have to come to terms with paying for the service!

I do remember banks charging for accounts in the UK, but I'm not sure how long ago, I do know there was no charge when I worked in a bank 30 years ago, so it's been a while

As you say, being able to communicate with the staff may be worth the money. In the UK I'm used to doing everything by the Internet, using post when I need to and rarely having any other contact with my bank (or credit card company). I think things are done a little differently in Mallorca though.
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Old 27-02-2014, 22:23
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Online banking is available at most if not all banks.i
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Old 28-02-2014, 13:42
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I have an account with Barclays, and as long as a certain amount of money goes in every month (not a lot) I don't pay any charges, I can even transfer money to England for free, which I have done, no hidden costs. I have a debit card and a Barclayscard, and don't get charged for either of them. You also get money back for having bills go out of your account like phone, electricity, etc.
Yolanda and Aina are both lovely and pretty sure they both speak English ( I speak with them in Spanish). Maybe you need to speak with them to see them to get more info, you may need to be a resident, normally non-resident accounts always cost more.
As for cash back cards, they're not the same as in the UK. To be honest I hardly ever use my BarclaysCard so don't know what the deal is there, suppose I should look into it. Different banks have different options, most of them let you accumulate points that you can then exchange for gifts, but it can take you years to accumulate enough for anything worthwhile. I have one with Targo BAnk that accumulates money with Halcon Viajes a travel agency, so normally once a year or so I have enough for a free flight to Madrid. Maybe someone else has a better card they can suggest.
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Old 28-02-2014, 16:23
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I have no real experience being a non resident but as a property owner I have an account with Barclays and can vouch for their helpfulness. Also their cash back on all regular payments eg community fees, gas, electric etc.

Aina in particular is very helpful and speaks perfect English
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  #7  
Old 28-02-2014, 17:56
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Whichever bank you choose be aware of the hidden charge in transfering money from the UK. It is true that certain Banks don´t charge fees along as you pay a certain amount in every month, but if that money is coming from the UK then check the exchange rate you will get. One of the Banks here charges 5% !!!!.

What I do is have my pension paid into my Nationwide account into the UK and then pay for everything I can with my nationwide credit card. I get close to a perfect exchange rate (the interbank rate) and no additional fees. If I want cash I use a nationwide debit card at the hole in the wall and pay 2% commission. Far less than most banks here charge.
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Old 28-02-2014, 20:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanscroft View Post
Whichever bank you choose be aware of the hidden charge in transfering money from the UK. It is true that certain Banks don´t charge fees along as you pay a certain amount in every month, but if that money is coming from the UK then check the exchange rate you will get. One of the Banks here charges 5% !!!!.

What I do is have my pension paid into my Nationwide account into the UK and then pay for everything I can with my nationwide credit card. I get close to a perfect exchange rate (the interbank rate) and no additional fees. If I want cash I use a nationwide debit card at the hole in the wall and pay 2% commission. Far less than most banks here charge.
Similarly, We have/use Nationwide but also we use Santander UK cards.

They have a Zero credit card (although I am not sure its available anymore) which has no charges whatsoever.

We also use their debit card to draw cash in conjunction to their 123 current account which has no charges whatsoever if you use it in Santander ATMs in Spain.

Their 123 Current account costs £10 per month but pays 3% on credit balance up to £20,000 and cashback on standing orders etc. A Which best buy.

The Halifax Clarity credit card is also a Which best buy and has no charges.
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  #9  
Old 28-02-2014, 20:56
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Thanks guys, really helpful suggestions. Looks like I need to check whether there are any charges for accepting incoming payments as that could wipe out any benefit of a free account. I've used services like transferwise in the past to transfer money to holiday home owners, so would plan on doing something similar for a monthly income.

Does anyone know whether the Santander, Barclays or Sabadell accounts charge for incoming transfers?
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2014, 02:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanscroft View Post
my Nationwide account into the UK and then pay for everything I can with my nationwide credit card. I get close to a perfect exchange rate (the interbank rate) and no additional fees. If I want cash I use a nationwide debit card at the hole in the wall and pay 2% commission. Far less than most banks here charge.
We have recently updated our Flexaccount to the Nationwide FlexPlus @£10 per month
It gives interbank rate on foreign transactions and no charges on both debit and credit cards.
Also worldwide travel insurance.
The UK and continental car breakdown cover with Brittania is particularly good and far better than my stand alone Brittania Rescue package where only our main transport was covered. As we have a joint account, i.e. 2 people, two cars are covered plus you are covered in any other vehicle whether you are driving or not.


The financial gurus tend to poo poo this sort of account, but the three items above, alone must be worth a good chunk of the £120 per annum cost, but obviously you should do your own research
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  #11  
Old 05-04-2014, 09:45
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Oh dear!! things don't look good for Barclays customers in Spain, this from the Majorca Daily Bulletin :-

Quote:
Barclays to sell Spanish business: Reports
By Humphrey Carter

Financial newspaper Expansion and daily El Pais yesterday reported that, after 40 years, Barclays are looking to pull out of Spain.

Palma.—Barclays is apparently looking to sell off its crisis-hit Spanish subsidiary, national newspapers including Expansion and El País reported yesterday.
The bank with some 2,800 staff and 271 offices in Spain, including a number here in the Balearics including the centre of Palma, has contacted possible advisers including Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley to get a feel for what the bank might fetch on the market, the dailies claim.
But, some executives feel that if the bid is not up to Barclay’s expectations, it will not sell.
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  #12  
Old 05-04-2014, 16:49
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We have just had our account changed from LLoyds to Sabadell. They have an account that allows transfers in from UK for free with all transactions free, depending on a set amount paid in per month. Also have different account for NOn residents.
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  #13  
Old 05-04-2014, 21:12
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Hi Lollipop, Sabadell bought the retail and private business of Lloyds some time ago, Barclays Spain have been "up for grabs" for quite a while.
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  #14  
Old 06-04-2014, 18:50
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Yes I know but its taken until the 15th March for the complete takeover to happen and Sabadell to take control of the account.
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