Store Hours and Credit Cards in France, Episode 10

Store Hours and Credit Cards in France

Store Hours and Credit Cards in France

On today’s show, Annie and Elyse discuss store hours and credit cards in France: work hours, lunch-time, closing time, how things are different in big cities and in small villages. Another thing we discuss are the things that you will and will not find at a pharmacy in France, and it’s not what you’re used to in English-speaking countries! Also, how do you find a pharmacy in France? Hint: green cross, just like on the photo above. There are no pharmacies inside of French grocery stores. Some of the larger grocery stores have a “Para Pharmacie” but they only sell a limited number of products there.

If you love our approach to travel and want to tour France with us, visit Addicted to France to look at upcoming tours.

Another big topic on today’s show are credit cards. Which ones work in France? And something else you may have never considered: how do you buy gas in France without a chip credit card? There’s also the intimidating store security you find in some stores in France. What’s up with that? How do you deal with store security?

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5 thoughts on “Store Hours and Credit Cards in France, Episode 10”

  1. Hi Annie & Elyse
    Just discovered and subscribed to your podcast. I have a passion for Scotland where I live, second only to my love of France. I usually visit France each summer for a few weeks so will look forward to your podcast episodes. I produce my own weekly podcast of my travels around Scotland so I appreciate the work you are both putting in. Many thanks for a great listen.


    1. Hello Kevin and welcome to Join Us in France. I actually looked at your website design a while back as it’s quite nice and effective I think. Now I’m going to have to listen to your podcast as well, I am curious too! It’s good to have you along, don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have any. Happy travels!

  2. Thank you for your comment Chris and welcome to Join Us in France! So did you try you U.S. chip and pin card in France or are you speaking generally when travelling outside of the U.S.? My American card is the old swipe kind and it definitely does NOT work either at automated gas stations or toll booths in France (or Spain, I tried it there too for good measure).

    Listeners, did you try your American card in France? Did it work for you? I don’t have to ask Canadians and Australians and New Zealanders and British people because I think they all have chip and pin cards by now, don’t they? As far as I know the U.S. is lagging behind on that.

  3. Good afternoon, our magnetic swipe cards were accepted and worked in most places, except the American Express card ,where the smaller shops would not accept it because of the fees. The exceptions were the ones you noted and the velo rentals in Paris. Which, from a practical point of view, may well have saved my life. We could not purchase Paris Metro carnets with swipe cards.

    Most if not all US credit cards will be replaced with ones with chips this year which I think is” la puce” in French.

    Love the pod casts,
    Ron Witzke

    1. Hello Ron,

      Yes, those are called “carte Ă  puce”. Conversely, the bad ones are “cartes sans puce”. Buying from automated ticket machines can be exciting without a French card; it sometimes works, but there are no guarantees. This can be a problem if you arrive at a time when there is no personnel on site (night, week-ends, holidays). So when in Paris buy your tickets in the day-time!

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