What are the most common ATM fees?

The fee situation changed in Spain with the 2015 reform: learn about your current situation here

Everyone knows how to withdraw cash with a credit or debit card at an ATM. Nearly all establishments, restaurants, shops, cinemas and theaters allow direct payments with cards, although it is advisable to carry some cash for emergencies. However, when withdrawing cash from an account, it is important know what fees are charged and how they work.

Until October 2015, ATM fees were, in general, established by the network to which the banks belonged. Thus, ATMs were grouped according to whether they belonged to Servired, System 4b or Euro 6000 and they also paid joint fees per operation. However, the Cabinet passed Royal Decree 11/2015, in which the owner of the ATM may no longer demand a fee from the user or pass on the charge to the user, but may demand a fee from the card issuer. This fee to the issuer may be passed on in full or in part to the customer. So now we shouldn't ask in which network we are withdrawing money but from which bank: Santander? CaixaBank? Sabadell?

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Main features of the fees system

The aforementioned Royal Decree 11/2015 was passed with the aim of guaranteeing that payment services are provided responsibly, transparently and generate trust between the parties. This law came into force in October 2015 and introduced new features that regulate the establishment and the charge of ATM fees. The characteristics are the following:

  • Every bank is responsible for deciding which fees to charge other banks for the use of their ATMs. This rule completely changes the system used to date, and now fees are not decided jointly according to the network of payment methods used by each bank. In other words, before the law was passed, two different banks on the same network, for example Servired, charged the same fees at their ATMs; now each bank is free to set its own fees, according to the rules established in responsibility and transparency. The fee to pay per issuing company to the owner of the ATM will be agreed between the companies.
  • The fee cannot be charged directly to the card user, but will be charged to the card issuer.
  • The Issuing bank may or may not charge the card holder the fee paid to the bank owning the ATM. If the bank decides to pass on the ATM fee to the card owner, it can also decide to request a total or partial payment, and establish different percentages of the fee according to the bank in which the customer has withdrawn the money.
  • If the bank decides to charge the fee to the client, the amount requested can never be more than what is applied for cash withdrawal on credit from its own ATMs.

How do ATM fees affect BBVA customers?

If you are a BBVA customer and you have a credit or debit card, you are probably asking how ATM fees will affect you. Before trying to calculate the fees of each bank in Spain, take into account that BBVA has more than 6,000 ATMs throughout the country. With this broad network of ATMs, you are sure to find one just a few metres from where you are.

BBVA does not charge its customers fees when they withdraw money on debit from one of their ATMs, i.e., against the payment account. The situation is different when withdrawals are made from credit, i.e., against the card credit. In this case, BBVA charges account holders a fee of 3.50% with a minimum of €3.

To help customers to make cash withdrawals, BBVA has designed an ATM locator tool. The tool is very easy to use. Simply enter the city, the post code or the street where you are in the search engine. Once you have done this, you can choose between searching for bank branches or ATMs, and then you will be shown a map of all the ATMs in your vicinity.

The extensive network of BBVA ATMs, together with the locator tool, will help you, as a BBVA customer, to avoid using ATMs of other banks. However, as this is not always the case, let's have a quick look at the fees charged by ATMs of banks other than BBVA.

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If you have to withdraw cash on debit, at CaixaBank, the fee for cash withdrawal is €2. Banco Santander charges a fee of €1.85. Banco Sabadell charges very similar fees, at €1.80. At Grupo Banco Popular, you will pay a fee of €1.50, at Bankinter €1, Bankia charges a lower fee of €0.98 followed by Evo Banco with €0.65 and ING Direct which charges €0.50. As we said, these banks charge these fees to BBVA, which passes them on to the card holder.

Thanks to the wide network of BBVA ATMs, it is unlikely that you will have to go to an ATM from another bank to withdraw cash. Don't wait to use the ATM and branch locator and check the website for all the advantages offered by the BBVA ATM network.

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