How can I fix a Visa card problem in Paris?

3 August 2013

I have a Visa card problem and I'm in Paris

Lynne wrote to me recently asking if I had any suggestions for her daughter’s Visa card problem in Paris.

Visa card problem in Paris, what to do?Teena,

My daughter is currently studying abroad in Paris. She is having trouble with many of the merchants not accepting her American Visa credit card.

Do you know of a prepay loadable card that she can easily put money on to use? or do you have another solution than her hitting the ATM and carrying Euros everywhere?


Teena’s reply to “Visa card problem in Paris”

Hi there Lynn,

I’m sorry to hear your daughter’s had problems.  I was in Paris a year ago with my Australian Visa card and didn’t have any problems, but to avoid lots of fees I also made sure to have 100-200 euro on me in cash at all times.

I did go to my bank before I left Australia and tried a pre-paid debit card which could be used as a credit card too — that worked out well, but the fees were quite high.

Just a thought — smaller merchants might have to pay high fees to accept credit cards, so they probably only accept cash.

If your daughter doesn’t like to carry much cash, perhaps she could try Traveller’s Cheques / Travelers’ Checks, but to be honest I haven’t used those for year, and she may have the same problems trying to cash them with smaller merchants.

Has your daughter met any other girls her age living in Paris who might offer suggestions for her?

Finding out how others cope in the same situation might be helpful.

As long as your daughter is careful not to flash her open wallet around, and keeps it in her handbag in FRONT of her as she walks along the streets, she shouldn’t experience any difficulties with cash.

I’m sorry I don’t have any other solution for you, but do let me know how she gets on, if she tries one of these suggestions or comes up with a much better one.

What a wonderful adventure for her to have – wouldn’t it be lovely if we could all meet up for a latte in Paris one afternoon? Ahhhhh bliss!

Ciao for now, best of luck!

Your Say

I hope Lynne’s daughter has now solved this tricky issue when shopping in Paris.

Have you ever had a Visa card problem in Paris? I’d love to hear from you if you have any tips or suggestions. Thanks!


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2 Responses to “How can I fix a Visa card problem in Paris?”

  1. Re trouble worh American credit card. When I went to Paris a couple pf years ago I was told that some US credit cards, especially older ones, do not have a micro-chip in them that the machines in Europe use. I am unsure if that is true but check with your bank or card company. As Teena says, many places simply don’t want to pay the fees and some cash is necessary. I did purchase a pre-paid “debit” card type card before I went and found it to be very handy and accepted almost everywhere. Yes, the fees were high but it was my first trip and I wanted the security of having enough credit and cash available. Best to the young lady on her Paris adventure.

    • Hey there Marie, thanks so much for sharing your info about using a pre-paid debit/credit card in Paris.

      I’m so pleased it worked out well for you. I agree, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on you in the local currency — just in case :-)

      Merci beaucoup

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