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Save money in Spain and get help during "La Crisis". Providing regular money saving tips, tricks, offers, cheap deals and guides for people living in or visiting Spain. Covers shopping, supermarkets, insurance, bank accounts, utilities, phone/mobiles etc.

Visa Electron cards to be phased out
29 November 2009

A card payment service commonly used by customers to avoid high transaction charges when booking flights is being phased out by two major providers.

Customers who pay by Visa Electron are not charged transaction fees by airlines such as Ryanair, Aer Lingus, BMIbaby, Easyjet and Flybe.

Abbey and Travelex have told BBC Radio 4's Money Box their cards will not feature Visa Electron by next year.

But another banking group, HBOS said it would continue to offer the card.

Several airlines now charge a flat fee transaction charge per person, per flight, when customers pay by debit or credit card.

It can add up to a substantial part of the overall cost.

Ryanair charges £5 per person, per flight, even if all the passengers are paid for on the one card, in a single transaction.

Vic, from Hertfordshire, contacted Radio 4's Money Box to complain after Ryanair charged him £20 to pay by credit card.

He was buying return flights to Italy for himself and his wife:

"I paid £5 per person, per leg of the journey. I think they're coining it in."

The UK Cards Association estimates banks charge significantly less than £1 to process a debit card transaction.
    
What's really important to passengers is that they get the lowest fare
Stephen McNamara, Ryanair

That means a family of four on a return journey paying on one debit card should pay about 30p, if they were just covering the airline's costs, but would be charged £40 by Ryanair.

Stephen McNamara, chief spokesman for Ryanair, said the priority for customers was to get the cheapest flight.

"Irrespective of whether we make a profit or not, what's really important to passengers is that they get the lowest fare."

Ryanair said if Vic had paid with a Visa Electron card, he would not have paid any transaction fee.

It said about 30% of its customers pay this way, but the UK Cards Association estimates only about 8% of UK consumers have the Visa Electron card.

It is likely to become more difficult to obtain in the future.

Visa Europe said it would be phased out as its unique features were now available on normal bank debit cards.

Abbey - which along with HBOS is one of the few banks which still offer it - said it will not be issued to new customers from 14 December.

And Travelex will not be offering Visa Electron on its pre-payment card from next year.

Industry insiders believe having one free payment method allows airlines to advertise cheap rates without having to include charges most customers pay.

Rochelle Turner head of research at Which? Holiday said offering the Visa Electron payment option was important for airlines and their marketing:

"My understanding is that if they didn't have this one free vehicle offer, then they would have to reduce their rates."

Advertising Standards Authority rules say where an advert shows a price it should include all non-optional charges.

The Office of Fair Trading says, if the charges are unavoidable and foreseeable, they should be included in the headline price

Source: BBC



Like 0        Posted at 13:08   Comments (0)


Cheap duvet at Carrefour in Spain
25 November 2009

The weather has been getting a bit cooler these last couple of months, and it's time to dig out the duvet.

I've noticed quite a few bilboard adverts from Carrefour advertising duvets ("nordico" in Spanish) for €20, which is pretty good for Spain.  We actually paid €45 euros for one in Carrefour last winter, and that was the cheapest we could find at that time.

Sorry, no web link.  You'll have to pop in to one of their stores.

 



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Brits eligible for Spanish tax refund
23 November 2009

A long-awaited ruling by the European Court of Justice means that Britons who sold property in Spain before 2007 and paid 35% in capital gains tax to the Spanish government could be eligible for a refund...

Under the country's tax laws, foreigners who sold property owned for more than one year paid the tax at 35%, rather than the 15% levied on Spanish citizens.

In addition, Spanish citizens paid their 15% over a certain threshold, while non-residents were assessed at 35% on the entire gain.

The European Court of Justice has now ruled that the Spanish authorities discriminated against non-nationals.

A group of British non-residents who sold property between June 2004 and December 2006 are represented by Spanish lawyers, Costa, Alvarez, Manglano & Associates.

Earlier this year, the firm estimated that the average amount to be reclaimed is £19,300 per person.

However, those who sold property more than four years ago may have already missed because claims for Spanish tax refunds are time limited.

Source: The Move Channel



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Fees to be introduced for all credit card transactions in Spain?
18 November 2009

Shops will be able to pass on the commissions they are charged for credit card use to the consumers' bills

A new Payments Services Law was approved in the Spanish Congress on Thursday, which allows shopkeepers and restaurants to add the commissions they are charged by their banks for using credit cards to the client’s bill.

It means we could all find ourselves paying some 1% more.

Consumer associations have described it as a negative move and say they will be calling on users to stop using their credit cards. FACUA described the measure as ‘cowardly’.

Shopkeepers will be able to add the charges if they wish from January, and those who defend the measure say it is a warning to the banks not to continue to charge the current abusive and excessive commissions.

Source: Typically Spanish



Like 0        Posted at 22:59   Comments (3)


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