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Is there a problem using Visa in France?

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New Zealand
posts: 5
reviews: 2
Is there a problem using Visa in France?

Trying to book accommodation, and the people I am dealing with say (in French) that it is too complicated to take bookings using Visa. Is this the case? Are other credit cards more acceptable?

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 6,829
reviews: 8
1. Re: Is there a problem using Visa in France?

Visa and M/C are accepted all over.

Amex is accepted but to a lesser extent.

What the people you are dealing with are saying, I believe, is that they do not take credit cards at all.

Perhaps they have a PayPal account?


Kamloops, BC...
posts: 9,750
2. Re: Is there a problem using Visa in France?

Hi -

I'm afraid you've run into folks that may not want to have a paper trail - thus the complication of using Visa is that the Tax man may find out about the deal. I prefer to use a credit card for the protection it offers and won't be involved with PayPal or wire transfers or any of the other options that might have been offered because they offer no buyer protection at all. PayPay very generously offers seller protection, which is why so many sellers want you to use it.

This is a situation where you might well be better off using a booking engine like www.venere.com, where you'll pay on check out rather than when the reservation is made as with Expedia, et al.

I have found that Visa is marginally more accepted than MasterCard, and both are more accepted than American Express. In very small establishments, but restaurants and accommodations, cash is the only accepted medium, and the reason we always advise that ATMs are a necessary part of travel planning.

Avignon, France
Destination Expert
for Avignon
posts: 4,702
reviews: 61
3. Re: Is there a problem using Visa in France?

There's no problem as such, credit cards are accepted all over the country. However, we find that individuals tend not to have them, as they have to be paid for. It may be that the place you hope to stay is small and/or the people haven't been set up for long. Years ago, pre internet etc we stayed at places where we would send an English cheque, which the people didn't bank (it cost them a fee to pay in a foreign cheque). On checking out, we would pay in full and have the English cheque returned to us. Cumbersome, but it worked!

It may be you'd have to try something like that, or send a money transfer through your bank to their IBAN number, or find somewhere else.


Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 53,575
reviews: 11
4. Re: Is there a problem using Visa in France?

mia47: If someone wants to pay you money, do you take Visa?

Same with the accommodation: it is just an individual who rents out an apartment but does not have a Visa merchant account and so cannot accept cards.

Antibes, France
posts: 4,530
5. Re: Is there a problem using Visa in France?

Up to a few years ago the only credit card issued in France was Carte Blue( CB) which is subscribed to by all major French banks. The term Carte Bleu is still synonomous with the term 'credit card'. The local supermarket here has a sign saying that Carte Blue is accepted for payments over 8 euros. In practice all credit cards Foreign or not are accepted including VISA -- as long as you have a PIN number ( Code Secrete)- which some international cards do not. So you might ask them if they take Carte Blue and see what the response is.


6. Re: Is there a problem using Visa in France?

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