Along with finding about the right things to do and attractive places to see In Paris, you must also have a basic idea about Euro exchange rates and the crucial aspects of handling your money in the “Fashion Capital of the World.” The quest for knowing about the right ways of using plastic money or converting your hard earned money into foreign currency should begin even before getting on the plane or boarding your train to Paris. With these simply tips and checks in place, you will not be disconcerted about withdrawing cash, paying your bills with credit/ debit cards or simply tipping with small change.
Cash, Traveler’s Checks or Credit Cards
Go ahead with a neat combination of cash, credit/debit cards and traveler’s cheques-that’s the best strategy to have in place when visiting Paris. It may not be easy to find ATM machines in remote areas or in some places within too– so relying solely on withdrawn cash may lead you into trouble. Also, lugging around large amounts of cash in your wallet or tucked under your shirt is also not a safe approach as pickpockets are not uncommon here. (image by beedee eye)
So, if you are presuming that paying exclusively with credit/ debit cards is your best bet, then you need to think again. Your plan may go for a toss if a particular shopkeeper, restaurant owner or your hotel’s reception desk refuses to accept your card–especially if your bill amounts to less than 15 or 20 Euros. Credit cards like those of Discover and American Express are unacceptable at most sales points in Paris. If at all you need to use a card, then remember that VISA cards are most widely accepted -in boutiques, branded stores and fine dining outlets alike-with ,MasterCard lagging behind at a close second.
The most infrequently and least accepted mode of payment by vendors is obviously traveler’s checks. In most cases, you need to visit an authorized counter or a bank’s desk to encash the same into local currency. You should avoid redeeming traveler’s checks at the currency exchange bureaus located in tourist-heavy areas or the airport of Paris-they levy hefty charges on your transaction. It’s better to head straight to the American Express agency situated on 11 Rue Scribe-you will be charged no extra fees here. Regardless of the ways in which you want to pay up for your travel costs in Paris, remember to keep the following points in mind.
Always consult your bank/ Credit Card Company and do let them know of your intention to travel overseas. You also need to verify your credit and withdrawal limits. Ensure that all the restrictions that may prevent you make payments or withdrawing money in Paris are lifted beforehand: many tourists arrive here to find that they cannot use their credit cards due to limitations on international payments. You should also have firsthand knowledge about bank’s service charge and other schemes that may spring unwarranted surprises on you later on. For instance, not knowing the right transaction fees can lead to unnecessary stress when your next credit card bills arrive—so take care! (image by Eric Allix Rogers)
With these money related tips in place, you are ready to head for Paris -the right way
Related post: Money Essentials for Serious Travelers
Feature image Sean MacEntee