Charge Card for Velib in Paris

Mar 9th, 2009, 03:31 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,710
Charge Card for Velib in Paris

Going to Paris in May.

Is there any way to use the Velib bikes in Paris without having one of the smart (with chip) charge cards?

If not, are there any US banks that issue such cards?


ssander is offline  
Mar 9th, 2009, 03:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,605
They reportedly accept American Express cards, but no other USA-issued cards.
Travelnut is offline  
Mar 10th, 2009, 04:13 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 115
The card has to have the chip for the "dispenser" to work.
BuckeyeBud is offline  
Mar 10th, 2009, 06:09 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,683
Yes, the only 'normal' American card that will work is American Express.
kerouac is online now  
Apr 14th, 2009, 07:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1
My American Express Card did not work last summer (June 2008). I am researching my options now. I see I can sign up for an annual pass online--any other options? Can you add Velib to Navigo at FNAC?
ruthiehend is offline  
Apr 15th, 2009, 04:09 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 207
My American Express card worked fine for my wife and I at a Velib kiosk near the Pont Neuf in November 2007. Go figure!
Rumseydog is offline  
Apr 15th, 2009, 04:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,826
I have my doubts about the consistency of the equipment (don't be surprised if the network is slow to respond, for example, and I've seen locals cursing when it appeared not to recognise their Navigo)- but I'd be surprised if any such inconsistencies work in your favour.

It doesn't sound as though you can use Navigo to circumvent the requirement to provide card details to Velib. Looks like prior subscription online is the only option.
PatrickLondon is online now  
Apr 15th, 2009, 11:38 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,683
A Navigo will only work if the system has a way to charge you 150€ for a missing bike.
kerouac is online now  
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