The currency in Madrid is euros €. For exchange rate information see: www.xe.com/ucc/.
Normal credit cards are accepted, although you will find that Spain is a much more cash-orientated society. To use your credit card you will always need photo ID (passport, drivers license, etc).
There is a wealth of currency exchange bureaus in Madrid, but it is often more cost-effective to draw money out of a cash point (ATM). Check with your bank before you come about their exchange rates and charges. Do not carry around too much cash.
Anybody can set up a bank account here. All you need is your passport and usually about 30€ to put into the account to activate it. Non-residents are usually charged a small fee for the bank account but it is minimal. There are many good banks that have excellent online banking in English (very important when dealing with money!). See:
We are able to help you set up a bank account and get a mobile phone whilst you are with us on the course.
We recommend that you wait to see where you are living or working so you can choose a bank located somewhere convenient for you. Your salary gets paid a lot quicker if you bank with the same bank as your agency.
Setting up an account is very very simple, so please do not be duped into paying an agency to help you set this up.
Note: If you are planning on using your credit card here we HIGHLY recommend informing your bank back home that you’re going to be in Spain, as they might block purchases for fraud protection reasons if they don’t know you’re travelling. Also, bring another form of photo ID other than your passport otherwise you’ll have to carry it everywhere if you intend on using your credit card. No credit card purchases can be made in Spain without photo ID.