Foreign currency exchange for France

About France.com -  Exclusively written travel and general information about France Paris, Pont Neuf
About-France - home Guide to Paris French route maps Travel and tourism 
Currency exchange for France

Getting Euros for your trip to France    

  By far the easiest way to pay for thigs in France is simply to use an international  credit card or debit card. Visa and Mastercard can be used all over France, and American Express cards and other international cards in a number of places. But obviously, there are situations in which paying with plastic is not an option. Visitors to France therefore need to have some Euros to hand, to pay for small or larger items and in cases where the trader does not accept cards.
   Note that with the occasional exception of a few large international hotels, and export-oriented shops - for example some shops on the Champs Elysées in Paris - it is not possible to pay for things in dollars in France (or, for that matter, almost anywhere else in Europe).

So again, the simplest solution is to use your international credit card or debit card. You can withdraw money from cash-dispensers (ATMs) in France in exactly the same way as you would at home - except that you will be asked to select a sum in Euros. Your card company or bank will automatically debit your account in your usual currency, having converted the sum at the day's exchange rate.

However, there are some golden rules that you need to follow if you do not want to end up paying far more than necessary for this service, or running out of cash because you have reached your limit for withdrawals. So here are some tips and advice.

1. Tell you bank or card operator that you are going to France before you depart; it may be necessary for them to temporarily up your ceiling for cash withdrawals, as you may well be withdrawing more in cash than you would normally need.
2.  Do not make frequent withdrawals of small sums. You will probably pay a fixed commission on each withdrawal, over and above the conversion rate margin that your financial institution will take. In percentage terms, the smaller the withdrawals, the higher the commission, and the more often you will pay it. So it makes sense to withdraw larger sums and to do so less frequently.

Other means of obtaining your Euros
If you do not want to, or cannot, use a credit card or debit card in France, you will need to make other arrangements. The best proposal is usually to obtain your Euros in cash or in the form of travellers' cheques from your bank, prior to your departure. Your own bank may well apply a more favourable conversion rate than other types of bureau de change.
   You can also exchange foreign cash - US dollars or other major world currencies - in virtually any French bank.
    Be wary of "bureaux de change" or foreign exchange kiosks in ports, airports, on ferries and other traveller-oriented locations. They frequently take substantial commissions, or to hide the commissions, use an exchange rate which is well below what banks will offer you. The advertising slogan "We take no commission" is frequently used to mislead travellers into thinking that they are getting a very good deal, when the reverse is true. They may well take no fixed commission, but may use a very unfavourable conversion rate.

Travellers cheques

These can be cashed at virtually any bank and  urban post office in France; they can also be used in some hotels. However, outside of major tourist regions (such as certain parts of Paris or or the Riviera), very few shops or hotels accept travelers checks as payment.  If you do wish to come to France with travellers cheques, it is advisable to get them in Euros, not in US dollars or any other currency. That way you know that your cheques are worth their face value when you cash them in.

Wire services.

It is often possible to have money wired to you while in France, using the services of companies such as Western Union. In this case, you can arrange to have money delivered to an agency (such as a specific post office) in France, and pick up the money in cash. For full details, consult your bank or any currency transfer operator.
About-France.com   Home page -  Site search  -  Regions  -  Maps of France  -  Contact
To contact About-France.com, use the form provided. See site information page

Copyright notice: Website and text © About-France.com 2003 - 2017   except where otherwise indicated.
paris Pass
Extra special offer with About-France.com
Click here then
SAVE 10% on Paris Passes
Use code
Bookmark this page
Bookmark and Share
Find hotels in France

Click for best online rates for hotels near the following towns and cities France.
Bordeaux Clermont-Fd.
Other areas
About-France.com is partnered with Europe's leading hotel booking portal, Booking.com, to bring you the best online prices

►► All about France.......
About-France.com home
Full site index
About-France.com site search
►► Principal chapters on About-France.com :
Guide to the regions of France
Beyond Paris, a guide to the French regions and their tourist attractions.
Guide to Paris
Make the most of your trip to Paris; Information on attractions, Paris hotels, transport,  and lots more. 
Tourism in France
The main tourist attractions and places to visit in France - historic monuments, art galleries, seasides, and more
Planning a trip to France 
Information on things to do before starting your trip to France.
Driving in France 
Tips and useful information on driving in and through France - motorways, tolls, where to stay.... 
Maps of France
Cities, towns, departments, regions, climate, wine areas and other themes.
The French way of life 
A mine of information about life and living in France, including working in France, living in France, food and eating, education, shopping.
A-Z dictionary of France
Encyclopedic dictionary of modern France - key figures, institutions, acronyms, culture, icons, etc.
►► other sample pages :
Living in France
Keeping safe in France
Ferries & Channel tunnel to France
Flights to France

Accommodation in France
Gites and holiday cottages
Bed and breakfast in France
Rural campsites in France
Independent hotels in France