Credit Cards in France


Different options, choosing credit cards and the different uses of credit cards and methods of acquiring the cards

There are different types of credit cards, also known as “carte de credit”, in France. By 2019 there were nearly 68 million of them in circulation. After the effects of Covid-19, the credit card is now the dominant payment method. The major International credit cards available are Visa and MasterCard. The American express and other cards are not so much used in France. They also have local credit cords commonly known as Blue cards within France. Different cards serve different purposes and each will have its own advantages and disadvantages, and here in this article we outline the differences between them.

Different Credit Cards in France

Credit cards

A credit card in France can either be a standard card given in banks, or one given by a private company. If provided by a private company, then you are only able to usenthe cards in the company’s stores. They have the additional function of being used as loyalty cards which give you priority service within the company’s selling points.

Cartes Bancaires

Cartes Bancaires  is a CB Bank card group in Francewhose main objective is to regulate how bank cards are optimised for smooth interbanking  nationwide. If your find yourself with a card without the CB logo, chances are that it might not be accepted by most stores , shops and other businesses in France. Businesses that accept the Cartes Bancaires  has the CB logo stickers on them.

Comparing Mastercard vs Visa

Mastercard and Visa are worldwide companies that offer products that are quite similar. Visa and Mastercards are widely spread in France and you should have no problem as a foreigner acceding financial services regardless of which card you go for.

All you should concern yourself is the charges imposed by banks and the offers that each of those banks offer. Some of the banks you will find will also cap amount of daily withrawals that you can make.

Besides the similarities of the two mentioned cards, there are some differences that are important for you to be aware of. One such difference is that Gold Mastercard provides  access to more services in the commerce in France.

Some of the services that you can access with a Mastercard in France include the following:

6 Credit cards:

  • The Standard Credit Card
  • The Gold Credit Card
  • The Titanium Credit Card
  • The Platinum Credit Card
  • The World Credit Card
  • The World Elite Credit Card

3 Debit cards:

  • The Standard Debit Card
  • The Platinum Debit Card
  • The Gold Debit Card
  • The World Debit Card

A standard prepaid card.

On the Other hand, with a Visa in France you get the following services:

  • The Visa Infinite
  • The Visa Platinum and Platinum Business
  • The Visa Premier
  • The Visa Classic
  • The Visa Electron
  • The Visa Gold Business
  • The Visa Business
  • The Visa e-Carte Bleue
  • The Visa V Pay
  • A Prepaid Visa card

Choosing  a Credit card in France

Things you should think about as you search for a credit card in France may include things like:

  • Price of the card
  • Whether it is a standard card, premium or elite
  • Check that the card is indeed a credit card and not for payment, or prepaid or even one with no account
  • Also check whether the payment of the card is immediate or deferred
  • Confirm the availability of the card you want to use in the bank you will be using.