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Credit cards in Paris

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Los Angeles...
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Credit cards in Paris

Hi! Are credit cards accepted in most touristy spots in Paris such as paying at non-fancy restaurants, entrance fees at the museums/attractions, metro/RER, grocery stores, etc? Or it's mainly cash? Also, is VISA generally accepted everywhere in Paris or is Mastercard used more in Europe? My credit card does not charge fees when I use the card outside the US. We will also carry some cash but would prefer the simplicity of credit cards and get those points :-)

Thanks for the advise!

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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1. Re: Credit cards in Paris

Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted. Unless your card has a chip, it probably will not work in metro ticket machines. And I don't think a ticket seller would want to process a credit card for the sale of a single E1.70 ticket.

Many restaurants accept credit cards, but the use of a card is less simple than paying by cash. There is often only one card machine for the entire restaurant, and a busy waiter will not make it a high priority to find the machine and process the payment.

Worcester, MA
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2. Re: Credit cards in Paris

Just about everyplace will take credit/debit cards and master Card and Visa are popular there. ATM's are fine with most debit cards as well. We usually use cards as much as possible and also have some cash for smaller purchases (coffee, food stands, small convenience stores etc) Most museums also accept cards. You won't have any trouble using major cards. The only issue for most Americans is at train stations an the like that have automated ticket machines and only accept cards with "chips". American cards, for the most part, are not there as yet.

jhgrady

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Credit cards in Paris

YOu need cash for purchases under 15 Euro; many places won't accept them for small purchases and it is inconsiderate in any case. But we had no trouble using our US credit card at grocery stores and shops as well as restaurants. Some museums took cash only (can't remember if this was in Paris or in Italy -- just recall being surprised that we had to come up with cash a couple of times). We use ATMs and always have a couple hundred Euros with us so we don't get caught by surprise. Restaurants usually have some sort of credit card symbol on the door if they take cards. Visa is the most accepted card.

janettravels44

www.janettravels.wordpress.com

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Credit cards in Paris

And Amex is the least. Best used in hotels and bigger establishments.

San Francisco, Ca
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5. Re: Credit cards in Paris

One thing that is different from the US is that if you pay for a restaurant meal with a credit card, and IF you choose to leave a tip*, most waiters prefer that you do so in cash. If I remember right, there isn't even a spot on the charge slip to indicate the tip and total.

*Lots of discussion about that elsewhere

Paris, France
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6. Re: Credit cards in Paris

A tip is not expected in a restaurant, so there is no place to add a tip if you are paying by credit card. It has nothing to do with the waiters "preferring" a tip in cash.

Calgary, Canada
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7. Re: Credit cards in Paris

First of all, inform your bank that you're going to make purchases in France.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Credit cards in Paris

And inform your bank regarding ATM use outside the country.

dallas
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9. Re: Credit cards in Paris

Also, find out if your credit card has a foreign transaction fee. That is a big surprise when you get your bill. Several cards do not have one, so it's worth researching and getting one.

Canada
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732 posts
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10. Re: Credit cards in Paris

Visa is most widely accepted in Europe including villages. Also if you need to call from a paid phone Visa is accepted while MC wasn't in our case.

If you have a chip Visa even better.