Spain, like other EU countries, uses the euro. One euro is divided into 100 cents. There are eight different coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 and 2 euros. There are seven different notes of the following amounts: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros.
Payment by international credit card is common in Spain. A passport or identity card must be shown when payment is made.
Most hotels, restaurants and shops also accept travellers' cheques accompanied by passport identification.
Travellers can change currency at any bank (
opening hours Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 2.00pm) and at Bureaux de Change in major cities. Many hotels and travel agencies also offer this service.
Citizens of countries outside the EU can claim a refund of taxes on their purchases, where they exceed a total amount of 90.15 euros. To do this, you need to request a tax-free certificate. There are several companies in Spain authorised to manage the repayment of VAT (Value Added Tax) to tourists. The procedure is very simple:
1. Ask for tax-free certificate and show your passport when you make your purchase.
2. Show purchases at Customs and have the tax-free certificates stamped. (Permitted period of three months from date of purchase.)
3. Request the refund of the authorised amount from one of the companies authorised to manage VAT refunds for tourists. These companies have cash refund points at the main Spanish airports and borders. VAT refunds can also be made by means of credit card, bank transfer or international cheque.
Tipping is not mandatory. All establishments in Spain include a service charge in the price, but it is usual in bars and restaurants in particular, to leave a tip, depending on the amount spent and the generosity of the customer. Between five and ten percent of the total amount is usual.