Money & Banking
Opening a bank account in Spain is fairly easy. Though there are many choices of banks, IESE recommends either Banco Sabadell – especially for students enrolled in the full-time MBA who wish to apply to the Global Loan – or Bankinter. Both banks offer favorable rates and services for IESE students.
Regardless of the bank you choose, it is important to note that if you are here for the full-time MBA, you will need to change your account status from nonresident upon arrival to resident once you have received your residence card. The change of status will save you on service charges and reference/background checks required for nonresident accounts.
Money & Banking Tips:
Exchanging currency: Until you have opened a local bank account, you can draw money out of cash machines with the bank card from your home country. Before you come to Spain, be sure to check that your bank card is compatible with the Spanish system. (For example, many bank machines in Spain do not accept PIN numbers that are more than four digits.) Traveler’s checks are another option until you get settled. American Express traveler’s checks can be cashed at the American Express office at Passeig de Gràcia, 101 or La Rambla dels Caputxins, 74.
Transferring funds from Overseas: Transferring money to a Spanish bank account from another country is straight forward. However, be sure to ask about the fees involved on both sides of the transaction (the originating foreign bank and the receiving Spanish bank), especially when converting currencies.
Credit Cards: All major credit cards are issued in Spain and accepted in most stores and restaurants. In order to obtain one, you must have a residence permit. Alternatively, you can use your existing foreign Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card.
Bill Payment: The simplest way to pay recurring bills such as rent, electricity and telephone bills is to authorize direct payment to be made from your bank account. Known as “domiciliaciones”, direct payment is the most common way to pay bills while living in Spain. To do so, you should contact your bank for the necessary forms and inform your creditors of your bank details.