Travel card with no annual fee
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
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France was one of the first countries to merge into the Eurozone, and the euro has been the national currency of France since 1999. Whether you’re planning to sunbathe on the French Riviera beach or visit the bustling center of Paris to sight the Eiffel Tower, you can use Mastercard and Visa cards to spend in more places than not. Pack along the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card to avoid foreign transaction fees and earn flat 2x miles on all your purchases.
However, it’s a good idea to keep euro on hand since some merchants won’t accept card payments for small amounts. You won’t have a problem finding ATMs in major cities and towns, though you’ll want to be prepared if you’re traversing the French countryside.
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Most retailers and merchants are credit card and debit card friendly. Visa and Mastercard are accepted everywhere, but American Express and Diners Club cards can be used in fewer places.
When making payments, some merchants may have a spending minimum — 10 euros, for example. However, if you’re making a contactless payment, you can get away with purchases of just a couple of euros using your card.
Take a combination of travel money products to get the most from your travel budget. A credit card is a great way to make large purchases while using a travel card or a debit card is better for smaller everyday expenses and cash withdrawals.
Give yourself a couple of different ways to access your travel budget in case something happens to one of your cards, as it can take you a couple of days to receive an emergency replacement card from your bank or lender.
Pick a travel-friendly credit card if you’re looking to apply for an additional line of credit for your trip to France. Look for a card that waives foreign transaction fees and offers travel features like complimentary international travel insurance and complimentary purchase protection insurance. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers just that — no foreign transaction fees and rewards on your purchases.
You’ll find Visa and Mastercard to be widely accepted in France. American Express cardholders may also find higher acceptance than Discover cardholders, who will likely struggle to find merchants that accept their card.
|Merchant acceptance||ATM acceptance|
International travelers often uncover a nasty surprise: Using a card overseas can be expensive. The main culprits are foreign transaction fees and currency conversion fees.
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Equipped with a chip, secured with a PIN, and providing direct access to your own money, debit cards get the gold for convenience when it comes to travel money in France. Look for a checking account that doesn’t charge for currency conversion or international ATM withdrawals.
The Betterment Checking for instance reimburses all foreign transaction and ATM fees, keeping your pockets padded for more macarons and baguettes.
These travel cards allow you to load dollars and lock in a rate when you convert the funds to euros — letting you spend without paying the 3% currency conversion fee. You can hold different currencies on these cards at the same time, which is handy if you’re heading to the UK.
Although you’re saving on currency conversion, you may be subject to ATM fees, reload fees, card issue fees and inactivity fees.
You can use your card in France for most things, but if you want to shop at the street markets, you’ll need cash — ATMs are typically onsite. Places like Porte de Clignancourt and Les Puces de Montreuil in Paris have some amazing deals for things you never thought you’d find.
Don’t bother with traveler’s checks — they’re expensive and inconvenient. There’s a commission when you cash traveler’s checks, and you’ll wait in long lines at the bank.
The euro comes in the denominations of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500.
Euros are a major international currency, and you can buy euros at banks, exchange offices, at the airport – the list goes on. You will get a better deal if you wait to buy euros in France, even better if you make an ATM withdrawal using a no ATM fee and no foreign transaction fee debit or travel card.
If you want some cash in your pocket when you land, compare the following foreign cash providers.
Euros are a stable currency, so don’t expect the rate to change too much when you’re in France. If you believe it’s going to get more expensive to purchase euros, you can lock in a rate with a travel card or traveler’s checks.
Refreshing in: 60s | Tue, Oct 04, 10:28PM GMT
ATMs are everywhere in France, especially outside major bank branches and at post offices. Ask for a banque électronique if you need directions from a local — though you won’t have to look far to find a machine. Plus, use a Betterment Checking debit card to get pesky international ATM fees reimbursed within 24 hours.
Some key information to know if you’re using an ATM in France:
Generally speaking, France is a safe location for tourists. Take all the usual precautions you would take in the US. This includes walking in well-lit areas at night, and never leaving your belongings unattended.
But if you want to up your safety odds, consider carrying your wallet in your pocket or use a money belt. This is especially true for busy tourist areas and on public transit.
Paris is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and prices can rise according to the number of tourists and the destination’s reputation. For example, Bordeaux is a rich city and famous for its wine, whereas lesser-known cities such as Lille are a little cheaper — but only marginally. All prices are in US dollars.
$75–$150 per night
$600–$800+ per night
|Meals||Falafel sandwich (rue des Rosiers, Le Marais)|
Coffee with croissant/ pastry
|Lunch at a mid-range restaurant|
$20–$25 per dish
|Michelin star restaurant|
$75+ per dish
|Activities||Free museum day on the first Sunday of every month||Admission to the Louvre|
|VIP seating and dinner at the Moulin Rouge|
*Prices are approximate and based on summer seasonality and are subject to change. Jacob spends a bit of time in Paris. Last time he was in France, he spent two and a half months in Paris and a few weeks traveling to some of the smaller cities in the North of France. Do you have any travel money tips for France?
Case study: Jacob's experience
Interview with Jacob about spending travel money in France
Jacob spends a bit of time in Paris. Last time he was in France, he spent two and a half months in Paris and a few weeks traveling to some of the smaller cities in the North of France.
Do you have any travel money tips for France?
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