Paris - Post Report Question and Answers

Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Yes, yes, yes - Aug 2022

Yes. - May 2022

Everyone uses contactless credit cards (no pin or signature) and it's easy. You may need cash for the outdoor market. - Sep 2021

Credit cards are widely accepted. Most European cards have a PIN, most American cards don't. Also, they primarily use contact under certain amounts, but many US cards don't work with contact. ATMs are common and safe. - Jul 2020

Yes, I use credit cards almost exclusively. Barclays has been great to work with and put an alert on my account for frequent travel in all of Europe so that I didn't have to notify them each time I traveled. - Jan 2018

Very safe to use both and widely available. This is the first post that we've had a local bank account. We use that account to get cash and to pay local bills (phone/internet/tv). I would recommend having a credit card with a chip. - Aug 2015

Ubiquitous, but get a French card with a smart chip - you'll have to open a bank account anyway to pay for cable, internet,etc. - Feb 2015

No problem using them. - Jun 2013

I use ATM and credit cards all the time. Be aware of your surroundings as you withdraw money from an ATM. I know of people who have had their money grabbed. - Sep 2010

Basically the same as in the U.S. You need a card with a chip (such as a French bank card) to use automated ticket machines in the metro, train stations, etc. The French are a little more likely to carry cash and pay restaurant checks and the like with cash. - Apr 2009

The French have moved to a smart-card system and people with North American credit cards that lack the proper chip may encounter difficulties, particularly for transportation -- many machines in the train and Metro stations will not accept cards without chips. ATMs are everywhere, but be careful of people trying to steal your PIN. Most ATMS are right out on the street rather than in enclosed lobbies as in the U.S. - Dec 2008

I use my ATM card and pay a 1% transaction fee. There are usually not problems using your ATM card here, but check with your bank before you arrive so the fees don't surprise you. There are ATMS all over the city. If you are an Embassy employee, you will probably open a local french bank account and can use their ATM without incurring fees (after you deposit funds into your french checking account). - Jun 2008


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