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SNCF (French Train System)Reservations

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There is a redesigned website for the SNCF. Previously, the website would not allow payment online. Reservations could be made but the tickets had to be bought within a week from an outlet in France. This was a problem if, like me, you wanted to book further than one week in advance and were located in the States.

The new website seemingly allows prepayment. I processed the reservation with my credit card (VISA) and got a reservation number. (The site asked if I wished to pay in francs or euros; I chose francs.) It further stated that I could withdraw my tickets from any SCNF outlet right up to the train departure time.

I then received an email confirmation a few minutes later. It contained the following sentence:
"You may withdraw your tickets from any SNCF train station, sales outlet or ticket vending machine right up to the trains
time of departure (this solution is only available for an amount lower than 5000 FRF and using a french credit card)."

My tickets were under the price limit, but I have an American-issued credit card. Certainly this credit card can be used to charge in francs; the conversion to dollars is made by the card issuer when generating my monthly statement.

So, what do you think? Is my reservation good? Does this mean that the reservation is only valid if I used a French credit card? Or does it mean that I can only accomplish a "last-minute" withdrawal if I used French credit card (maybe to afford the SNCF time to confirm the card's validity)? Have I missed something? Has anyone else tried this?

(My reservations are for August 10, but I arrive in Paris on August 5. I guess I'll find out then.)

- Dave

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