500 Franc Note - How useful?

Apr 21st, 1999, 02:11 PM
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500 Franc Note - How useful?

My wife and I will be in Paris next month. We've got a couple of 500F notes which we will be taking with us. I realize this is a large denomination. Will we have any trouble trying to use this denomination at restaurants, museums, metro, etc?
Apr 21st, 1999, 02:21 PM
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In general no problem. I wouldn't try to use it at a small news kiosk to buy a
2 franc post card, but at most large establishments you will have no problem.
Break it before you get into a taxi.
Your hotel should be able to change it for you.
Apr 21st, 1999, 02:36 PM
Bob Nicholls
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Think of it as carrying around a hundred dollar bill. Some places wouldn't mind but others wouldn't be impressed. I personally try to avoid them and use smaller denominations which are more practical.
Apr 21st, 1999, 03:10 PM
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I'm not suggesting that you don't use the 500 FF notes. It's just like a $100 bill and will be easy to break. However, my grandmother once told me something: If you carry $100 bills and lose one, you lose $100. If you carry $20 bills and lose one, you lose $20.
Apr 21st, 1999, 04:50 PM
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When I was at the Louvre back in 1997 and gave 500F to pay for two tickets, the girl at the desk rolled her eyes as if I gave her $1,000! I couldn't believe it. I thought, here I am at the Louvre and you act as if you cant' give me change???

I agree with Elaine in that you don't want to use it for small purchases.

Apr 21st, 1999, 05:52 PM
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All the above tips are right on.

When we go, we never get 500F notes. At the exchange window (if you have to change some cash) tell them no 500 notes. It's so much easier dealing with the smaller ones so why bother? Spend the ones you have at dinner or something and don't get anymore.

Good Luck!
Apr 21st, 1999, 05:59 PM
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Guess you'll just have to plan at least one really great dinner <V
Apr 22nd, 1999, 03:14 AM
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In general, think about how much the shopkeeper is supposed to have in his/her cash register : for instance, in a busy newsstand, no problem with your 500 F bill ; normally, it should be OK for your taxi from CDG into town. But I know by experience that the newsstands at CDG are very reluctant to "break" 500 F notes. And in general, one bad Paris idiosyncrasy : a shopkeeper will NEVER give you change if you don't buy anything from the store. BTW, starting in 2002, our biggest denomination will be 500 euros, i. e. a little bit more than $ 500 !
Apr 22nd, 1999, 04:27 PM
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Thanks to all for the excellent advice. You are very generous in sharing your experiences with a novice like me.

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