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Use of credit cards?

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kal503
posts: 21
reviews: 1
Use of credit cards?

During our upcoming trip, we will be staying in Avignon, but traveling around to the various surrounding cities. I am not big on traveling with a lot if cash, and have a Visa with no foreign transaction fee, which is what I want to primarily use. That said, I am going to bring some cash, and am currently trying to figure how much. What is the overall consensus on how widely accepted credit is, vs cash?

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 7,771
reviews: 43
1. Re: Use of credit cards?

For hotels, restaurants, and shops etc., CC is fine. I always carry cash for morning coffee and pain au chocolat and for a beer or a pichet of rose' in the afternoon. And cash is king in Provencal markets.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 54,942
reviews: 11
2. Re: Use of credit cards?

However, instead of bringing cash, you would do better to use a debit card to get money out of ATMs.

Maine
posts: 429
reviews: 2
3. Re: Use of credit cards?

Hi, I bring cash and my card. I do tell my credit card that I am going to France, and carry several hundred dollars. Cash is good for marches,parking, postcards, bakeries, coffee, grocery store wine and toothpaste. I still 'wear' my credit cards, passport and cash, a necessity when visiting big European cities-probably not necessary in Provence. But my girlfriends do the same-my husband does not- after 45 years I have learned I cannot control :)

Destination Expert
for Provence
posts: 3,576
reviews: 2
4. Re: Use of credit cards?

Please don't even consider bringing lots of cash.

As sydneynick recommended, just use your debit card. However, REMEMBER to tell your bank the dates that you will be in France, and any other countries where your planes will stop on your way to and from home, so they do not decline any card usage because they suddenly see it coming from a foreign country.

Using the ATMs throughout Europe is wonderful, especially since you can use your regular access code.

The one thing that you should absolutely keep in mind is that there are MANY places throughout France that do NOT accept American Express.

Washington DC...
Destination Expert
for Dordogne
posts: 7,496
reviews: 4
5. Re: Use of credit cards?

Use an ATM card to get cash - don't bring it with you or carry a lot with you once you get there. Use your CC to charge big purchases like hotels and major dinners, and use the ATM for everything else. Be sure to notify your bank in advance that you will be making purchases in a foreign country.

UK
posts: 9,877
6. Re: Use of credit cards?

You don't say where you're from, but from the UK, debit cards mostly have an additional fee for using an ATM abroad (charged by the bank, not the ATM), so it's generally better to exchange cash before travel. It seems that getting hold of foreign currency is more of a problem in the US.

I usually use a fee-free credit card for bigger purchases, and then get by on about 300€ for two of us for 2-3 weeks, if that's any help

UK
Destination Expert
for Provence
posts: 3,705
reviews: 77
7. Re: Use of credit cards?

Do check that your hotel and any restos you plan to eat in take credit and debit cards. I know of one small hotel that doesn't take either, and one I stayed in last year has only just started taking them. It is still less common to use credit cards in France than in, for example, the UK.

provence
Destination Expert
for Provence
posts: 1,707
reviews: 66
8. Re: Use of credit cards?

I agree with ChicChantal. Though credit cards are widely accepted some smaller restaurants and hotels do not take them.

Do also take your passport if you intend spending a lot on one transaction as proof of identity. It does not happen often but some retailers might refuse the transaction without it (happened to us at Auchan despite us having one of their loyalty cards - situation quickly resolved when I started to walk away leaving the cashier with unpacked shopping and a long line of other irate customers).

Antibes, France
posts: 4,706
9. Re: Use of credit cards?

While cards are nearly everywhere accepted many stores have a lower limit e.g 8 or 10 euro in supermarkets is usual - but 15 euro in my local bookshop. There will be a sign at the till mentioniung the limit for CB which means Carte Bleue which is colloqual for any kind of credit/debit card.

Ed

10. Re: Use of credit cards?

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