European Travel Information and Authorization System
ETIAS news

Is it best to travel with cash or card in Spain?

Etias Visa Waiver
ETIAS Europe
cash or card in spain

It is declared that ETIAS may be used as a component of an EU Intelligence Agency that would aid members of the European Union in determining risks concerning terrorism. One of the ways ETIAS can accomplish this goal is to pre-screen all applicants against existing databases. This is to check the applicant’s past criminal record and history, whether or not they have been involved in such activities.  That is true especially given the increased frequency of attacks in recent years.

What is the EU Intelligence Agency?

Alongside the Schengen Information System, the Visa Information System, the EU entry-exit system (EES), and the European Criminal Records and Information System, ETIAS is being examined by the host agency for databases the EU-Lisa system as a possibility to be integrated into the standard EU Intelligence Agency.

The concept of a single EU Intelligence Agency and the idea of combining the existing EU-wide resources is a response to numerous European politicians’ concerns about security threats. Especially after the recent terrorist attacks, ETIAS is a possible alternative to creating a brand-new agency, which could be problematic due to the insular nature of intelligence agencies and the multitude of legislative and political issues.

This proposal would permit various European authorities to access citizens’ and travelers’ biometric and identifiable data. A click of an electronic button would prompt the service to search multiple databases simultaneously. The idea is to use the information available by ETIAS in conjunction with other information systems to guarantee greater security by double-checking all of the documentation admitted by the applicant.

What is the use of ETIAS for the EU?

The ETIAS visa waiver program allows citizens from visa-exempt countries to apply swiftly and quickly online for a permit to travel to one of the Schengen region countries.

The procedure for obtaining an ETIAS permit is easy to complete and will take about 10 minutes. The process is simplified compared to getting a visa for travel. It will enable EU authorities to check applicants to cross Europe’s Schengen region. ETIAS will further help Europe increase security and expedite border control as travelers leave and enter the EU.

ETIAS intends only to collect personal data like name, birth date and residency, and information about travel documents and pose a few basic security questions based on health information and travel records. The EU is not planning to use biometrics like fingerprints or eye scans as part of the ETIAS application process. Hence if the EU made plans to create a familiar Intelligence Agency to go ahead, ETIAS would only be utilized to provide travel information.

About European Criminal Records and Information System

According to the plan’s supporters, adding the personal information and information from the ETIAS central database would give a newly formed EU Intelligence Agency more details about visiting non-EU citizens and increase security. Currently, EU-Lisa is exploring the possibility of giving access to ETIAS. This agency hosts the ETIAS stored data.

Additional Information about ETIAS and EU

Are you wondering which one you should use, cash or card in Spain? For your trip to the Iberian Peninsula, you will need to have various spending options. You can withdraw cash at ATMs with a debit card or a travel card. Keep your credit card in reserve for big purchases and emergencies.

Credit cards may offer interest-free purchases for up to 30 calendar days if you pay your statement on time. Some cards offer travel insurance and other perks. If a card is lost or stolen, you can spread your travel money over several accounts so you don’t get caught without any cash. It’s possible to live comfortably in Spain without spending a lot. It’s possible to enjoy Spain’s delights with just a few travel money tricks.

Credit Card

A variety of credit cards are available that cater to travelers. The best ones for Spain include those that don’t charge international ATM fees or foreign transactions. You may also get discounts and travel insurance by having a credit card. You can save even more by taking advantage of the interest-free period and paying your entire monthly balance.

Even though Spain is not a very expensive country to visit, it is understandable that you might need some more spending money while visiting the country. Using your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM is not a good idea. Your credit limit can be eroded quickly by cash advance fees and interest. This might answer the question of which one is better to have – cash or card in Spain. But let’s see the pros for cash as well.


When you travel, it is crucial to have cash on you. Money is essential for purchases between EUR10 to EUR20, such as coffee shops or tapa shops. You should be able to live off your debit and credit cards when visiting bigger cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville. Cash is required for most purchases at shops.

With a money transfer service, you can send money to Spain in advance and have it ready for you when you arrive.

Debit card

Travel-friendly debit cards allow you to have the best of both: withdraw money and spend it without paying international service fees. Spain has many ATMs, so you should not have problems accessing your money when needed. You can make purchases over the counter if you have a Visa debit card or Mastercard.

Prepaid Travel Card

Once you have loaded USD, your travel card can lock in the conversion rate. You can use it to make purchases and not worry about the rates every time you spend. Credit cards and debit cards typically charge 3% per transaction.

You may have to pay fees if you don’t save on conversion rates. Payments will be charged for every card you load, ATM withdrawals, and sometimes an inactivity fee.

The Traveler’s Check

Traveler’s checks offer security as the main benefit. Each review is assigned a unique serial number that can only be cashed using photo identification. The main problem is the cost. To cash checks or get checks, banks charge fees. Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations, and while visiting the country, tourists love to try everything out.  This will require quite a bit of money. So these tips will definitely be helpful.

A debit card or travel card is better to get euros for your travel. It allows you to make ATM withdrawals at a low or no cost.

Prepaid Travel Cards

Prepaid travel cards such as Visa TravelMoney are similar to credit cards but work more like traveler’s checks. Simply load the card with money from a bank account, and you can use it at ATMs or merchants and hotels, just like a credit card. For extra security, they are locked with a PIN number like your other cards. However, it can sometimes be difficult for them to use ATMs. Foreign currency transactions can have high fees, sometimes up to 7 percent.

One important note is that you should always be aware of new travel regulations. The European Travel and Information Authorisation System (ETIAS) was organized by the EU to improve the Schengen zone’s border control. ETIAS is a travel authorization system coming into force in 2025, mandatory for anyone wanting to travel to Europe from a country whose citizens do not require a visa to enter.


This does not entirely answer the question of which one is better to have cash or card in Spain, but it is still a very interesting option. While not all are accepted, it is worth checking which are most popular in your area to see if you are eligible. This is an excellent option for local travel. Merchants are becoming more familiar with partners such as GCash and Smart Money, PayMaya, or Coins Ph. Businesses joining digital groups, like Grab and FoodPanda, allow you to also pay for their products or services via apps.

With just one click, you can pay for restaurant meals, as well as public transport rides, using your smartphone. It is a convenient and contactless payment method that universal companies such as Apple Pay or PayPal will be able to make their e-wallets worldwide.

General money-related tips while traveling

Avoid exchange shops and get cash from the ATM.

Hopefully, you have already made up your mind about which one you should use, cash or card in Spain. Now let’s go over some general money spending tips when you are abroad.

You’ll find many currency exchange shops everywhere. Although it might feel easy just to walk in and convert your money into some other currency, there is no guarantee you will get a good deal. This is true for airport currency exchange shops and almost all foreign exchange businesses.

Currency exchanges must make money, just like any other business. Customers are often offered unfavorable exchange rates. Large banks often offer better rates. Although you may be able to exchange cash at a branch, it is much more convenient to use your ATM card for what you need.

It automatically reimburses all other banks. Even if your bank charges a small fee, you can still save money by withdrawing your cash at an ATM.

Try using credit when you can

When it is possible, credit cards are the best and most secure way to make any purchase in Europe. You will generally receive a competitive exchange rate with the $0 fraud liability that most cards offer.

Many fraudsters and payment scammers target tourists. In case someone steals your card number, you will not be responsible for purchases that you did not make if your credit cards.

The bad guys could drain your checking account if you use a debit or credit card that is stolen. It can take several months to get your money back. Credit card protections can be more comprehensive and are easier to use. In many cases, you will also get additional travel or purchase coverage. Credit is a good option.

Balance security, cost, and convenience

Travel is exciting and fun. You have limited time to travel and enjoy your trip in these beautiful places. Don’t waste time worrying about money. You should be able to use your credit card to pay for your money requirements if you’re visiting the most developed countries.

Cash is an excellent backup plan. With the correct checking account, you can get it at the best rate at a local ATM when landing. You can then focus on more important matters, such as where to find the perfect Pina Colada at the beach.
While there are multiple security and intelligence units of law enforcement within the European Union, none of them have the overall power to enforce the laws across Europe. Although people think that the EU Intelligence and Situation Centre, EU INTCEN, is European Union’s central intelligence gathering organization, it is not an intelligence agency. It works closely with Europol in matters of European security.

There is no one authority that is responsible for European security. This means that there will be delays, missed warning signs, and mistakes. The best way to make sure Europe is safe from terrorist attacks would be to pool the resources of the different EU intelligence agencies.


When will ETIAS be implemented?

According to official EU sources, ETIAS will be operational in late 2025. Visitors to the European Union who are not citizens of Visa-Free Countries will soon have to register online to travel to Europe.

Does the EU need ETIAS?

ETIAS is only applicable to nationals of Schengen Area countries and territories that are visa-free. Nationals of EU member states or those from Schengen Area countries do not require ETIAS Authorisation.

Will ETIAS replace Schengen’s visa?

You will not need an ETIAS with your Schengen Visa. However, you still must have a Schengen visa for your travel.

How long will ETIAS last?

It will last for three years.

Will UK citizens need ETIAS?

ETIAS will be available to British citizens when it launches in November 2025. According to the EU, UK citizens will be able to enter Europe without a visa for short periods after Brexit, but the ETIAS visa waiver is necessary.

Can you get an ETIAS with a criminal record?

ETIAS denial is unlikely to occur for minor criminal convictions. Tourists with a criminal history of a minor crime can apply for ETIAS. In many cases, they will get visa waivers without a problem.