French Credit Cards


I’ve looked through past posts and I may have missed something for which I apologise if so, but, is there a credit card here in France like in the UK. I.e. you spend money and then you can pay it off or in installments at your discretion. Most of what I have seen are bank cards that are basically loans with set repayments.
We are presently with BNP, though not bothered about it being attached to them, but their Hello card appears just to be another online standard account. Like many others, this has been caused by the loss of Barclaycard .


This topic has been discussed elsewhere but under other guises! As far as I know, the UK style credit card doesn’t exist in France - at least I haven’t seen one and what I remember of the other discussions is that there was a lot of frustration amongst some people because such a thing didn’t exist. The norm is, I think, that if you don’t have the money immediately, you take out a loan.

However, other people may either come along to comment further or link you to where the discussions appeared before (I can’t find them either!)

I don’t have any specific information but I’m intrigued by the thread title…


French full credit cards or carte bleu have to be paid in full at the end of the month and not in small minimum payments like their UK equivalents. Hence, why they are not widely used in France unless for business or travel purposes and a bank loan is more preferable but again loans are only given when you can show what it is going to be used for by means of papers and not just for spending.


One’s bank might well authorise an agreed sum by which one can overdraw… as and when necessary… this can prove useful.

Please can you explain the Title of this thread??
“Ticket Sales for Associations”…


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It’s often been mentioned in other threads

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So am I. It is the title of a previous post I made about a year ago and not the one I started with for this.

For some reason, despite me putting in a new title it picked up the title of a previous thread I posted a year ago. I’ll try to edit it if I can.

If you scroll up to the top of this thread, where your first post appears… and can see a pencil alongside the Title… click the pencil… backspace over your title and put in what you want in its place … then press the “tick” and that should sort it…

best of luck…

Thanks. Done.

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Although we might not be able to direct you to a CCard… it’s worth noting that many Stores do offer staggered payments… I recently notice that in Darty and elsewhere…

and, sometimes, many of the big supermarkets have a “special offer” to take your cheque “now” and not bank it until xyz date in the future… (and sometimes in 2 or 3 cheque installments).

I’m sure many of us are watching the pennies at the moment and any help one can get has got to be worth considering… always with the “small print” warning us not to over-extend ourselves…

No such thing as the gotcha-by-the-nuts credit card you are used to.

The culture is much different to the spend whatever you want when you want one of the UK. Although it is creeping in as Stella points out.

You are much better off negotiating an overdraft with your bank and then your DD card becomes a CC without the strangling APR interest applied.

There is a variant on the standard debit card called “à débit différé”. This is technically a credit card.

The massive extent of this credit extends just to your bank account not being debited immediately for any purchase on it, but magnificently your bank will not charge for purchases till…wait for it…drumroll…the end of the same month.

There is a tiny amount you can do with that, with a typical cutoff date being, say, the 28th each month, with all accumulated purchases on the débit différé being charged to the account on that day or perhaps slightly later. So if your cutoff date is, say, the 28th and you spend on the 29th, you’ll get a whole month’s credit as it will accumulate with later purchases to be debited to your account on, say, the 28th of the following month.

This is as good as it gets so far as credit cards in France.

Except that your overdraft interest rate kicks in as soon as you go into the red, so you will always pay interest unlike a CC where there is normally a period before you start to incur charges. Most UK cards are “up to 56 days” interest free.

Quotes because although it is technically correct that you can go 56 days from spending your £$€ to interest charges being made most people will make a monthly payment (for the outstanding balance if you are sensible) so the average length of time between spend and the day of reckoning is something like half that.

You can get American Express cards here.

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But you need to clear the balance on a Amex card each month don’t you? (which to avoid punitive interest rates one has to on credit cards too ). So, it’s not really a credit card. It’s a deferred payment card, a halfway house between a debit card and a credit card. Plus retailers don’t like Amex because of the fees they charge.

Looks like it and they’ll charge you €15 per month for the privilege.

If I remember, it used to be that way in the UK years ago, with amex only offering charge cards rather than credit cards. I’ve held onto my amex credit card but I might have to relinquish it when I eventually cut my ties to the UK.

I have had an Amex for years, and when I permanently moved I transferred to my French address and no problem. And, although I use it to collect rewards and pay off every month, if one wishes to, you can keep the debt open and pay it off at your will, meanwhile accruing interest similar to other credit cards.

That’s good to know. How are they on foreign currency transactions, presumably they charge?

I used AMEX twenty-five years ago when I was travelling almost weekly from Jo’burg to Paris. I had double air miles for business class and then double on top because I used Amex to pay. I went from a blue (punter) card to a platinum (God) in one of the fastest times ever. SAA unannounced sent two very attractive cabin crew around to my office to present me with my new platinum card. My fellow execs were impressed :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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