UK credit cards

Hi Can I still keep & use my UK credit card when I have a French address ?

well we did and there was no problem, everything is debited against our UK account. But I guess depends on the particular bank behind it … have you checked?

Most banks allow that, but you need to find out the T&Cs of your particular credit card issuer…
Is it a credit card from a bank you have an account with, or is it a stand-alone credit card?
I seem to remember a bit of a hoo-ha a few years ago when Barclaycard (I think) started cancelling cards whose holders had moved abroad. Don’t know what the end of that story was, whether they went back on the decision or not.

You will be able to use your card but It’s likely that the bank/card provider will charge a couple of £ for ‘foreign transaction’ fees.
Sometimes this is a percentage based fee. We were one forced to pay with a UK based card at IKEA Toulouse and Lloyds charged over £55 in ‘foreign transaction’ fees (Later refunded when I complained).

The most efficient way forward is to have a local (French) accounht and card and to top this account with transfers from a specialist currency firm, HiFX, currencytransfer, OFX, Moneycorp, The UK Post Office etc.

One thing to watch out for is the (negotiable) monthly spending limit on cards from French banks. Even if you have funds available in the account, you may have already spent your allowance. In our case, a van hire company had decided to take a reservation of a few K EUR as security on our hire and this pushed us over the spending allowance for the month. Hence the embarrassment of having a card declined in IKEA.

we have French Debit Card (French Bank) for purchases in €€€’s… and an English Debit Card (UK Bank) for things purchased in £££’s … we only get charged a transaction fee if we make a mistake with which card to use…:wink:

1 Like

Hi Ruth, from what you say at face value - yes, depending on your suppliers T&C’s you could possibly use it in any country. However, do you mean that you have moved to France permanently ? if so, you would need to tell them of your address change ?
There is also an issue sometimes with goods being delivered; as some only deliver to the billing address; and will usually with instruction, deliver to another address ( at a cost).

Ruth, you can use your UK credit card for purchases in UK, no problem. Make sure that the address on your bank account and on your card match, or it will be refused. Check with your issuing bank first though.
There are a few UK firms that refuse to take UK cards with a French address, but most do.
Here in France you will have a debit card only, which you should use for your French purchases.
No currency transaction fees if you stick to these rules.

I have a French credit card issued by my French bank.

I have a Halifax Clarity credit card and that does not charge any foreigh tranaction fee but you have to clear it at the end of every month. My husband has a Halifax gold card and that is a normal credid card and has the foreign tranaction fee added. It can mount up if you are not carfeful so I use mine mainly. I think other banks are doing the non tranction fee now but maybe it has to be paid off every month - worth an ask.

David, do you have to pay extra for that?

As an aside from the ordinary credit or bank debit cards, I use a currency card.
I expect most have heard of them now, you top up the card whenever you like, but it uses the exchange rate at that time.

nope… never heard of this…is it a bit like having travellers cheques… only in plastic

I don’t think so.

Yes Stella, that’s about it in a nutshell. You can get euro ones, dollars etc

Yes. I have UK credit and debit cards. Mainly used when visiting UK and both work with the scanners for travel on London underground. Also useful for buying books from Amazon, Book Depository and the like. Interestingly, eBay will only accept card payments from Banks in the country where the billing address is.

The important thing, if you are tax-resident in France (After six month of residency as far as I remember, more than 183 days / year), is to declare to the French tax administration all your foreign bank accounts. They do not need the amount, just the account number. The goal is to track undeclared incomes etc…

At a moment, bank which delivered the credit card will need a valid address, the one in France. Also, you might need a French debit card (Avoid credit cards which are a rip-off I believe, and not liked AT ALL in France). A cheap bank is “La Banque Postale”, ie post office. Quite old fashioned and therefore reliable.

You declare your foreign bank accounts when you submit your first French tax return. Why do you believe that French credit cards are a rip off and disliked? That is the opposite of my experience.

… any credit card I would say, because we have to reimburse with
interests. On the other hand, saving, then spending is much safer … You
might have noticed the French are quite conservative in matter of money ;):wink:

I haven’t paid any interest on any payment that I’ve made using my French or U.K. Credit cards for over 12 years. No reason at all to dislike them and they are certainly not a rip off.


I also don’t pay interest on my credit card and what’s more I get voucher for free filghts so I’m a fan of credit cards. It only takles the discipline of keep a record of the spend and stashing the equivalent pay-back.

1 Like