Buying a visa gift card in Paris


Mar 29th, 2013, 07:54 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 21
Buying a visa gift card in Paris

Hi everyone!

The talk of chip&pin I know has been discussed to death. Just a bit of a different question...

In the states you can buy a visa giftcard in numerous supermarkets and drugstores. Yes, there is a one time fee added when you purchase it. No problem there. Is the European equivalent e.g. also found in many stores in Paris (and Nice) ?

At best, I might only get a chip and sig card in time. So as plan B , can I buy a visa giftcard in France with cash? and would assume it would be chip&pin?

Thanks again!
TechoEP is offline  
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Mar 29th, 2013, 08:21 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 59,855
You are way over-thinking this. You do not need a chip & PIN card. Your current cards will work just fine (except in very limited situations like unmanned petrol stations) .
janisj is offline  
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Mar 29th, 2013, 10:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,190
Are you giving the Visa gift card to someone or are you planning on using it yourself? If the later then it's entirely unnecessary. Millions of Americans go to Europe every year and don't have a chip and pin card and get along just fine.

If you are planning to buy the card with cash, wouldn't it be just as easy to pay cash for your purchases?

I've never seen them in Paris but I haven't looked for them.
adrienne is offline  
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Mar 31st, 2013, 03:08 PM
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Why are you so concerned about this issue? Read what janis wrote. YOu really don't need one except for a few situations where you want to use machines, and for those, you can just do something else (eg, use a gas station when there is a clerk there). Paris is a big city with lots of visitors who don't live there, so stores and business and restaurants are used to cards without chips. I think I only remember one person on here saying some small business or restaurant wouldn't take his credit card in a certain quartier where I stay a lot (Montparnasse or some place like that), and I've never had that problem there, so it isn't common. I use my credit cards everywhere in Paris, stores, restaurants, cinemas, cafes, museums, etc.

Are you aware of the problems with those gift cards? They aren't free, they have a lot of fees with them and so are not a good use of your money. And they aren't credit cards, they are really debit cards, so a lot of places might not take them, anyway, not sure about that.

IN any case, I am not positive, but don't think they are commonly sold in supermarkets. If you really want one, you can buy one at a French post office, ask for a "carte cadeau VISA". I wouldn't do that unless you know French so you can read the instructions and terms as you'll have to activate it yourself probably by calling a certain phone number or using the internet. That would be true for any place you could buy them, actually, you'd have to be able to read the instructions. Here's the info on it:
Christina is offline  
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Apr 1st, 2013, 07:39 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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Thanks for your replies.

I was thinking of trying the bike rental system in Paris but they only take chip&pin as do other automated kiosks. We'll be in parts of the countryside for a few days as well.
TechoEP is offline  
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Apr 1st, 2013, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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You can buy 1-Day or 7-Day Velib tickets and longer subscriptions online here:
MaineGG is offline  
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