Caixabank and Santander do away with free banking from April 30

Caixabank and Santander do away with free banking from April 30

Caixabank and Santander do away with free banking from April 30 Photo credit: CaixaBank

Clients of the two Spanish banks Caixa and Santander, who do meet their conditions for free banking, will have to pay up to 240 euros a year from April 30.

According to personal finance website ‘HelpMyCash’: “Banks will penalise those customers who do not have their salary paid into their account each month, as well as those on low incomes.


The bank offers a number of accounts, an online only free account, a basic account, a One account and a non-resident account – all but the online account come with conditions, which if you don’t meet will result in your paying for the account.

  • Non-resident account

The World Account for non-residents is a non-remunerated current account that has a maintenance fee of 16 euros per month payable monthly, with account holders needing to be over the age of 18 and a non-resident.  

  • Resident accounts

A Basic account has strict limitations on its use and will cost three euros per month, payable monthly.

Santander One requires you either to pay a salary or unemployment benefit of at least 600 euros per month into the account, or a Social Security pension of at least 300 euros per month. Other recurring income of at least 600 euros per month may be equated into a salary or unemployment benefit but you may need to clarify this with your branch. You will also need to pay at least three bills by direct debit and you will have to use your bank card at least six times every three months. If not you could be charged up to 60 euros per quater.


The fees for Caixa are similar to those of Santander with the requirements for free banking much the same, except that if you keep an average balance of more than 6,000 euros in your account you will not be charged. Caixa however do not offer a free online account, with the same charges applying across the board.

Also if you only pay in your salary but don’t meet the card use or direct debit requirements then the fee will drop from 60 euros per quarter to 15 euros per quarter.

Santander upset many of its customers a few years back when they introduced the same set of charges, in that case they did not do a good job of advising customers of the change.

If you bank with any of these companies it is important that you check what criteria you need to meet to make sure that you do not pay unnecessary fees. Both Caixa and Santander have changed their fee structure from April 20 effectively doing away with free bank.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at