currency in France is the euro (€) which is the same currency used in
16 of the 27 member states of the European Union (EU). Euro
notes are available in denominations of 5,10,20,50,100,200 and
500. There are eight types of coins 2€, 1€, 50 centimes, 20
centimes, 10 centimes, 5 centimes, 2 centimes and 1 centime.
Click here for a handy online
franc is no longer used but in order to help customers make the
transition, most shops, receipts and certain bills still display prices
in both currencies.
and coins may be used throughout the euro zone, however, checks in
euros from other countries will be treated as foreign checks and can
incur bank service charges.
a Bank Account in France
and other types of accounts can be opened at most bank branches or at
your local post office (La Poste).
You will require proof of
address (lease, utility bill or phone bill), your passport and a work
contract if you have one. You will be assigned an
account manager who will be your personal contact at the bank and will
help you with future transactions, loans, line of credit etc.
Pick a branch that is convenient to your office or home as you will
need to use the same branch for all your major transactions.
of the initial deposit and the fees vary according to the different
banks but you can usually find the fees posted in the bank lobby.
You can monitor your bank account online, make transfers and pay
bills. Bank transfers are slow even when you are just moving
money between a savings and a checking account (you can expect it to
take at least 24 to 48 hours).
are provided free of charge. Use the register to keep track
of your checks. Be careful as it creates a lot of trouble and
paperwork if you overdraw your French bank account! Click
here for more information about how to fill out a French check.
Debit & Credit Cards
Your American credit card will not work in a lot of the machines in
France. European debit and credit cards have microchips and require a
PIN (Personal Identity Number) whenever used. Certain machines require
this type of credit card.
Cards are available in France but most people use the “Carte Bleue”
visa debit card. There is an annual fee for the carte bleu
and you can choose between the regular card and the gold
two ways to pay your debit card bills:
where the money is deducted the same time you make the
where the total of all purchases made during a month is deducted from
your account just once a month.
to be aware of:
in France is only one part of your move so click here to return to our
section on moving advice
you incorrectly enter your PIN code three consecutive times the ATM
will keep your card and you will have to visit your local branch to get
a new card (I learned this the hard way).
cash withdrawals are deducted immediately regardless of the payment
method you selected
may be a bank fee if you make over three withdrawals per month
in France from a bank chain other than your own.