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Can you use US credit cards at autoroute toll booths?

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Can you use US credit cards at autoroute toll booths?

Old May 14th, 2012, 06:08 AM
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Can you use US credit cards at autoroute toll booths?

Haven't seen any recent posts on this and wondered what the current situation is--is it auto pay with their card only or do they now take credit/dr. cards?
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Old May 14th, 2012, 06:14 AM
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Last year my US swipe card worked on about 80% of the booths, and didn't work on the other 20%. This was in the Pas de Calais region - but on prior years, the same applied for elsewhere in France. When it would not work, there was no way to insert cash into the machine and no way to retrieve my ticket. So we just sat in line with people honking & gesturing behind us intil a toll taker at another booth closed their booth & came over to help us.

Stu Dudley
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Old May 14th, 2012, 06:18 AM
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I have used my parents', brother's and nephew's chipless cards on various autoroutes in northern and eastern France and never had a problem. The automatic machines do not read the chips but just the magnetic strip -- as evidenced by the fact that I often use my local Monoprix credit card in the machines and it does not have a chip.

If in doubt as to whether your card is going to work, try to use the automatic lanes closest to the booths with attendants.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 06:27 AM
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The various autoroutes or toll roads around France are operated by a handful of different companies. The ability of a particular toll booth to successfully read a magnetic strip credit card varies widely. You will have success on some but not on others. I always use cash

There are toll booths (such as along A54 near Arles) which only accept coins and have no attendants.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 07:11 AM
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We used the toll roads from Nice to Avignon and on to Carcassone last month and had some success with the cards, but kept cash handy for those instances where it did not work.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 07:35 AM
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If you aren't using cash then I suggest you get into the toll lane that indicates there is a PERSON actually manning the booth. Don't worry, you'll see it.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 10:16 AM
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If you want to make sure you do not have a problem have cash. we travel several months a year all over France and keep change ....euro coins in a ziplock in the car door for tolls.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 10:48 AM
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Yes..heed the advise ro keep change as not all North American cards are accepted and some booths do not accept any cards at all.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2012, 07:04 AM
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We got stuck at an exit ramp and had to wait for a driver to show up so we could beg for coins. Our cards didn't work for tolls, buying train tickets, or buying Metro tickets. Everything else was no problem, including ATMs.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2012, 07:32 AM
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>>so we could beg for coins
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Old Jun 5th, 2012, 06:32 PM
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Stu, We never thought of that. Travel sometimes becomes an adventure.
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Old Jun 5th, 2012, 09:37 PM
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Reminds me a guest we once had who tried something similar (I thin) to Stu and proceeded to get knocked over when the arm fell back. She broke HER arm in the process, spent a few hours enjoying the wonders of French socialized medicine (that's not sarcastic, by the way) and came back with a very good story to tell !

My advice, if at all in doubt, get in the lanes that are manned (almost always the far right hand lanes)...

- Kevin
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Old Jun 6th, 2012, 06:08 AM
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The problem with lanes with attendants is that they usually have the longest lines. That's why we tried the ones without - until our cards wouldn't work.

Stu Dudley
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