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Save money in Spain. Providing regular money saving tips, tricks, offers, cheap deals and guides for people living in or visiting Spain. Covers shopping,restaurants, going out, supermarkets, insurance, bank accounts, utilities, phone/mobiles etc.

Mortgage rates in Spain Court ruling could save Spanish homeowners millions
26 October 2010

Lowest Spanish mortgage rates from 1.9%. The lowest interest rate available for a mortgage in Spain is currently 1.9% and is applicable to loans at 60%


Mortgage rates in Spain Court ruling could save Spanish homeowners millions

Mortgage rates Spain In what could be a precedent-setting ruling, a Sevilla court has ordered several banks to eliminate the clauses in variable-rate loans that have prevented thousands of loan holders from benefitting from rock-bottom interest rates.

The ‘cláusula de suelo', or minimum-interest clause, was part of the fine print on many loans issued in recent years and has meant that while the Euribor interest rate index - the most widely-used in Spain to set mortgage loan rates - dipped to historic lows of under 1.3 per cent, loan holders kept paying at a much higher ‘minimum rate'.

The Sevilla court ruling applies to BBVA, Caixa Galicia and Cajamar in a case brought against them by banking consumer watchdog Ausbanc, which argued that the minimum-interest clauses were abusive.

"This transcendental ruling will benefit thousands of people in Spain who have a mortgage loan with these banks," said Ausbanc, calling the court decision a "major step" toward the complete elimination of minimum-interest clauses in mortgage loans.

The group said that throughout Spain the cláusula de suelo - used by many banks besides those named in the case - may be affecting millions of loan holders, and the ruling opens the door to them demanding their money back.

Source: Barcelona Reporter

Like 0        Published at 15:46   Comments (1)

Another good old Costa del Sol scam
26 October 2010

In the latest edition of Sur in English there was a job advert for mystery shoppers.  I've done this sort of thing before in the UK and thought it would be intersting to do it in Spain as well.  Here's the advert from Sur In English:

Auto Investment Firm wants some Mystery Shoppers. All applicant would be given a Guide to read. All the needed explanations would be done. No application fee. Requirements: applicant must be 18 years and above, must access to check email 2-3 times in a day and be honest. For more details email

I emailed the contact and it looks like the whole things is another, cleverly disguised Western Union scam.  I shouldn't really be surprised because even after the bust, there's still a lot of scamsters and crooks on the Costa del Sol.  Here's the reply I got:

Position Title: Evaluation officer /Staff Support
Hours per week: up to  20- 32
Pay Category: Paid

Application Procedure: Email resume and cover letter as word doc.

Company Information:
JSCardinalconsulting is a full service production and management  firm committed to the implementation of technical and creative improvement in various companies. The services we provide include: evaluation and continuous improvement exercises about our client ( corporate organization)

Job Responsibilities:
There have been reports about lapses in the services of the Management and some of their staffs,the complaints were based on reports which their customers forwarded anonymous  Phone calls which were also made to the head office.The Western union locations were reported for evaluation, Negligence for the following reasons:

I)   Customers have reported their money missing
II)  Slow services
III) Unbalanced transfer charges

The 2nd company was reported to be rendering
(I)   Poor services
(II)  Rudeness to customers
(III) Excess charge
(IV)  Late opening time and Closing before time.Your Secret Evaluation would be

1) To make a transfer of funds from this western union location to our Mystery shopper, and the funds would be picked up by another evaluation staff  at the exact location Which a customer reported her funds missing.

2) You would have to record the time at which you go to the location and how many minutes it took you to get service.

3) You would be sent a check/Money order which would cover your expenses  for the duty. As soon as you receive the check/money order, you would cash in at your bank, and deduct your weekly fee $300.00, and use the rest of the money for the services.

4) Upon receiving the funds, the locations address would be forwarded to you, and also the Name and address of whom the our other staff the transfer would be made to. You would have to keep a comprehensive report on every activity you carry out.

5) You would also provide me with the name of the cashier that attended to you.Please, confirm to `me that you did received this message so that the check/Money order can be sent out to you ASAP.

If you are interested in this opening, furnish your

1.full name: 
2.full address:
4.State: code:
8.telephone number:  
10.Present Occupation:

Thanks for your anticipated co-operation in order to start work soon.
Mr Daniel Robertson

Like 0        Published at 15:18   Comments (0)

69pc more expensive to travel at half term
23 October 2010

Families who want to travel abroad during the half term break are having to pay almost 70 per cent more om average than they would the week after, according to fresh research that highlights how parents are being stung by travel companies.

An overseas package holiday next week, when the great majority of schools break up for half term, can be as much as 135 per cent higher than those the following week, a survey by Santander Cards, a credit card company, found.

The average premium was 69 per cent, it found, after examining the prices of package holidays to places that offer some hope of far warmer weather than the current cold spell in Britain.

A week for a family staying at a four-star hotel in Lanzarote, flying out of London will cost just over £4,000, compared with the prices falling dramatically to £1,710 the following week.

Staying in a similar standard of hotel in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt another destination where it is guaranteed to be warm at this time of year is at least £2,500 more expensive than the week after.

The survey also looked at Florida, the Canary Islands and Crete. All the destinations were more expensive in half term.

Parents have long complained about being held to ransom by travel companies, which charge higher prices after term ends in mid-July. But the discrepancy in price between school holidays and term time appears to have got worse. When the same company undertook a similar study this summer, the highest premium was 85 per cent.

A survey last year, undertaken by, found that 49 per cent of parents had admitted that they had taken their children out of school at some stage in order to go on holiday.

Local authorities brought in a fines system in 2004 ago in an attempt to stop this practice. They can now issue offending parents with a £100 penalty, and some have been known to report the child to social services for truancy, even when the parents have warned the school about what they intend to do.

Over 18,000 penalty notices were issued in England in the school year 2007-8, a 10 per cent increase on the year before.

Ian Coles, Director at Santander Cards, said: Demand during school holidays is always high so some price inflation is inevitable, but our research shows that parents with children of a school age could face premiums of more than 100 per cent.

"With winter fast approaching and the cold weather setting in, half term is the perfect excuse for many to go abroad to get some sun, but with premium hikes like this the majority of people may simply not be able to afford it.

Travel companies have always argued that their prices were a simple reflection of supply and demand and it was inevitable that prices rose during school holidays and half-terms.

A spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents insisted travel companies were not taking advantage of parents lack of flexibility. "There are still ways to get a good deal if you book early.

"It was asked of the Government if they would consider introducing different holiday dates across different regions to ensure the demand was spread out. But there was no real appetite for this."

Source: The Telegraph/Yahoo

Like 0        Published at 13:41   Comments (0)

Restaurant scams in Spain
21 October 2010

We regularly visit tapas bars and restaurants in Spain, mainly along the Costa del Sol and have seen a number of minor scams which are an irritant.  It seems to be a particlar problem in the touristy areas of Spain.

No price list so owners charge what they want

There are a lot of tapas places in Spain where they don't have price lists displayed, which sometimes mean the staff will charge you what they think they can get away with.  I heard on a local forum that in a bar in Casares, there is a price list for the Spanish and another price list for the non Spanish tourists.

When we first arrive in Manilva, we went to a local bar in the village for a few drinks.  The owner made a great deal about the fact that the tapas was only 50 cents and that we should try them.  We ordered some and were were correctly charged 50 cents.  The next few times we went, we were charged the same.  Then a few months later, the price went up to 1 euro.  Then a short while after that, the price went up to €1.20.  We questioned him about this and he said it was because it was more expensive eating tapas at the table rather than at the bar.  This was a load of rubbish as all of the previous times we had sat at the table.  Needless to say, we haven't been back in over 18 months.

Not all places without prices lists are rip offs.  Another local bar in Manilva doesn't have a price list, but we always get charged the same price.

IVA not included

This is a particularly irritating one where they advertise a price then say IVA not included.  I want to see the full price of a meal, none of this VAT not included nonsense.  This seems to be a particular problem in Ronda we noticed.  We went to one restaurant in Ronda recently for a menu del dia.  On a big board, it was advertised outside as 10 euros.  It didn't even say IVA not included.  When we got the bill, they added the IVA on top.  Illegal I'm sure.

Charging extra for bread and/or olives

Alot of places will automatically bring you bread and olives just after you have been seated, and then will charge you for the priviledge.  Restaurants like this often advertise a low price menu del dia for example, and then recoup their money on the bread and olives (say 2 euros per head).  We even recently got charged for bread in a tapas bar, which I have never ever seen before.  I've visited hundreds of tapas bars as well.

Check your bill carefully

Make sure you check your bill carefully as there are quite often "mistakes" on it.  sometimes this may be a genuine mistake, but sometimes it is the restaurant trying it on.  We were in Jerez last weekend and ordered 4 men del dia at 6 euros per head.  the bill should have been 24 euros, but for some reason they had added 15 euros to the bill.  They were trying it on.

There are a lot of honest bar and restaurant owners in Spain.  There are also a lot of unscrupulous ones ot there, so be careful.

I'm sure there are more scams out there.  Leave a comment if there's any I've missed.

Like 0        Published at 15:31   Comments (1)

Full leg of Jamon + 24 cans of beer for €39 at Carrefour
14 October 2010

Carrefour in Spain have a cracking offer on at the moment.  A full leg of jamon + 24 cans of own brand beer for only €39.  This is a great price for just the jamon leg.  The beer is an extra bonus.  I have seen this offer a few times over the last 6 months.  It only tends to run for a couple of days each time as they tend to sell out fast.  I'm off to buy mine after work!  I hope there's still some left!

Like 0        Published at 19:58   Comments (0)

Renting on the Costa del Sol is getting RIDICULOUSLY CHEAP
09 October 2010

It is getting seriously cheap to rent property on the Costa del Sol now.  At least where I live, which is the western Costa del Sol.  I recently wrote about how we managed to get a 10% rent reduction from our landlord, which we were very pleased with. 

Today, I noticed an advert on the bus shelter for a 2 bed appartment in the La Noria urbanisation in Sabinillas, Manilva for only €400 per month.  This is one of the nicest urbanisations in the area.  It has fantastic gardens, they are a nice size and they are right on the beach front.  When we first moved to Spain nearly 2 years ago, we were thinking about renting one of the appartments.  At that time, they were around €600-650 per month.

If prime property like this renting for €400 per month, how much are people going to be prepared to pay for an appartment stuck on the top of a hill well away from the beach?

I'm guessing these big rent reductions are not specific to my part of Spain?

When our rental contract is due for renewal, maybe we will move to one of these beach side bargains.  Unless my landlord is kind enough to give me a further rent reduction!!

Here's some pictures of La Noria:


Like 0        Published at 21:07   Comments (1)

Lidl Spain offers: 6 bottles of Navarra red for €6
06 October 2010

Lidl in Spain have an offer on at the moment for 6 bottles of Navarra red wine for only 6 euros.  That works out at 1 euro per bottle.  It represents a 40% discount.  We usually buy this wine anyway, so we;ll be stocking up on our next visit.  It's not the best wine in the world but it's perfectly drinkable.

Like 0        Published at 01:01   Comments (0)

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