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French Credit Card

Posted by Large Sarge - Created: 5 years ago
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4 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 4)

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Posted by Ras-214972 - 5 years ago

Credit cards, as we know them in the UK, don't exist at all in France. You cannot "borrow" money using a card. There is no credit limit on a card, you have to have the bank balance in credit to be able to spend.

All the cards are debit card, they are called "carte bleue". Sometimes you get offered the option to defer the payment, but that means every month you have to pay off the whole amount at once, rather than each payment as it occurs. Really not much difference unless you get out of synchronisation to your regular income.

And it's even worse than that. You need to pay a monthly fee (eg 8 euros) for the privilege of having one of these debit cards as well.

There is often a spending limit on your card, despite it being direct debit and even if you did have a huge positive bank balance to cover it your payment can be rejected if you hit your monthly limit. Often this spending limit is just a few thousand a month, and you have to keep asking your bank to increase it (which they do but only if you have been good).

You can get a "gold" debit card, which means you pay an even higher monthly fee for the ability to have a higher spending limit. Remember this spending limit is of your own money you have already in the bank in positive balance, it is not extra credit for borrowing.

As a result of this, French people have very few debts compared to UK because the system prevents them spending.


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Posted by house for rent-318030 - 5 years ago

Carrefour supermarket do a credit card you could ask them but will have to justify having revenues.

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Posted by Josephine Mackenzie - 5 years ago

Open an account with La Banque Postale.  I did that when I first came here & I use it for all the little things, (train tickets, supermarket),  very useful.

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Posted by laughingboy-409220 - 5 years ago

Credit cards aren't really the norm in France. Suggest you ask your French bank, but they're not always keen. There isn't a 'credit card industry' here like there is in the UK.