Santander has become the first international bank to provide free access to ATMs for Britons travelling abroad. From Monday, Santander's UK customers will enjoy all 4,300 of its ATMs in Spain without being charged for cash withdrawals.
Customers can avoid the cash handling fee of 1.5 per cent of the transaction as well as the foreign exchange fee at 2.75 per cent. Santander says that a customer withdrawing £130 three times while in Spain will be able to save themselves £15.51. "Providing free access to Santander ATMs in Spain could save our customers over £2m a year in ATM charges," says Alison Brittain, the executive director of UK retail distribution at Santander. "Spain has always been a popular destination with Britons, and we wanted to reward the loyalty of our customers by saving them some money when they visit."
There are other options for people withdrawing cash abroad. The Post office Mastercard offers free withdrawals anywhere around the world, while Nationwide and Saga credit cards charge nothing to customers withdrawing cash in Europe.
"When choosing a credit card, think about how you will use it rather than simply going for the lowest rate," said Andrew Hagger from financial information website Moneynet.co.uk.