We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Final word on ATM, cash and credit cards for Paris!

California
Level Contributor
50 posts
Save Topic
Final word on ATM, cash and credit cards for Paris!

Thanks to posts I read on this forum, I'm happy to say that the advice I followed has been working wonderfully in Paris:

1. Before leaving, open a Bank of America checking account. Put enough money in it to cover your cash needs in Paris, and still leave over $1000 in the account. That way BofA won't charge you any fees.

2. Get a Bank of America ATM card for the above account. I told them not to incorporate a Visa card into it...just a plain ATM card with a 4-digit pin.

3. Don't take any euros to Paris. When you get off the plane, go to a BNP ATM machine in the airport and withdraw money with your BofA ATM card. I think the upper limit is E200 a day. There are no fees for this transaction, and the exchange rate is a hair better than the one reported by Google.

4. Before leaving, also get a CapitalOne Visa card. It's been accepted everywhere I've tried it in Paris during the last couple of days. There are no transaction fees like the other credit cards I have (which charged 2-3%), and in fact you get 1% back on your Paris purchases. Also has a good exchange rate.

I plan on canceling both of the above accounts when I return to the USA (as I'm not planning any more trips abroad for a while), but the bother of opening and closing the accounts seemed worth it to me when I consider the convenience and cost-saving of using them.

Hope this helps!

Oregon
Level Contributor
5,155 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Final word on ATM, cash and credit cards for Paris!

Anthony2816: don't cancel your capital one credit card. That will negatively affect your credit rating. You don't have to use it. That isn't a problem. However, everytime you cancel a credit card it affects your credit. Just hang on to the card. Maybe there is more travel in your future and you'll get to use it again--some day.

Closing your BofA account might affect your credit too--I am not sure about that one. However, if you got the kind of account where you have to keep a minimum balance, or you pay some type of fees. It pays to just close it. If there aren't any fees and you can leave the account empty. Don't close that either.

Kamloops, BC...
Level Contributor
9,743 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Final word on ATM, cash and credit cards for Paris!

Hi --

In your position, I would keep the BofA account at the very least. Leave the $1,000 in it, and add to it in dribs and drabs as you can. When you're ready to go overseas again - you'll have a nice nest egg to apply to your expenses.

California
Level Contributor
50 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Final word on ATM, cash and credit cards for Paris!

Good points on the credit report aspect; I hadn't considered that. I was thinking that by keeping the accounts open, it leaves two more avenues open to identity theft, and goes against my philosophy of keeping my financial affairs as simplified as possible. Pretty rotten deal that I should be penalized for either of those...it's obvious whose side the credit reporting companies are on!

Oregon
Level Contributor
5,155 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Final word on ATM, cash and credit cards for Paris!

sad but true Anthony.

Florida
Level Contributor
17,164 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Final word on ATM, cash and credit cards for Paris!

Anthony, I don't think I've rec'd any rebates on my CapOne M/C. Did you open a money-mkt acct or just a reg. checking acct?

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
34 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Final word on ATM, cash and credit cards for Paris!

Thanks for the post!

Just to clarify on item #2: it is not true that a 4-digit pin is required on ATM cards. I have a BofA ATM card with a 6-digit pin and have had NO problems using it in Paris and all over Italy. Either the 4-digit pin thing is only true for other bank cards, or it was a problem years ago that was later resolved. Either way, the 4-digit pin thing is like an "urban legend" to me and must cause unecessary stress and confusion to readers here.

#3: Agreed that BNP ATMs are the way to go for BofA users. No fees at all. I don't believe there is a BNP ATM at Charles de Gaulle, though. If anyone knows otherwise, please post.

#4: CapitalOne VISA is wonderful. Again no fees. I'm not sure if the 1% cash back applies to all cards, though.

USA
Level Contributor
28,362 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Final word on ATM, cash and credit cards for Paris!

>>>go to a BNP ATM machine in the airport and withdraw money with your BofA ATM card.<<<

Where did you find a BNP-Paribas (BoA partner) ATM location at CDG airport??

As for the 1% back on Cap One...I'm pretty sure that this is simply the embedded financial network charge that's 'buried' within the the exchange rate calculation for PLUS or CIRRUS foreign transactions...but still a good deal.

As good a deal as this all may sound....anyone considering making chamges to their existing financial situation should FIRST determine what their existing arrangements, rates, terms &conditions, bonus offers are. There may be benefits that you are realizing from your existing arrangements that you are taking for granted and offer added value for YOUR overall purposes---other than foreign travel.

The only "..final word.." comes AFTER you've taken the time and made the effort to do this FIRST.

Los Angeles
4 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Final word on ATM, cash and credit cards for Paris!

Is the CapitalOne Mastercard also accepted everywhere or does this apply exclusively to the CapitalOne Visa card?

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
34 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: Final word on ATM, cash and credit cards for Paris!

I think MasterCard is just as widely accepted as VISA. For some reason, I thought all Cap. Ones were VISA. Just make sure your card does not charge a fee on international purchases. That is the key!

USA
Level Contributor
28,362 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Final word on ATM, cash and credit cards for Paris!

VISA holds a slight acceptance advantage over MasterCard worldwide....but not so much as any would notice in usual use and practice....