American Credit AssistanceUS credit assistance
Versailles Transit: Purchase of RER and Metro fares with an American credit cards
Entrance to the SNCF railway terminal at Charles de Gaulle. The arrival in Paris can be a marvellous event. However, certain issues can be very disappointing - especially for travellers who only travel with an American credit or debit card. This is because the RER (regional railway) and Paris Metro automatic ticketing systems only take "EC" credit Cards which are equipped with a safety smart device.
US credit card companies are not using this kind of credit card technologies and most of them do not work. In my opinion, the simplest (and most economical) way from Charles de Gaulle to Paris is the RER, the city's local railway. Departures from the railway terminals in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 of the CDG are several departures per hours.
Driving to the centre of Paris will take between 25-35 min, according to whether it is an expressway or a stopover. Machinery also accepts euros banknotes and coins, but if you have just landed in Europe, you may not arrive with a euros coin. Obviously, you could pass an ATM first, although the queues can be long and cash dispensers often issue large denomination invoices, which is not practical for an 8-euro pass.
Buying your tickets at the ticketing desk is one way to solve this problem. Ticketing agencies, however, are accepting American credit card. A lot of American tourist, who are confronted with this problem, are in a row. Well, I got my tickets at last. Throughout my journey to Paris this past Monday, I have carried out all the movements: My MasterCard was tested on two different computers and was refused by both of them.
Then I turned around and looked at the snake that was wriggling from the cash register. The first 45 mins of my Paris stay I was sure I would wait to get a local rail fare. However, then I realized that several energetic, smiled after sales staff were floating across the ground, between the planes, asking confused tourist if they needed help.
"You' re trying to use an American map, aren't you?" she asked. "It may not work, but there's a vending terminal over here that sometimes uses American tickets," she said and took me past several groups of vending terminals to a particular, unobtrusive vending terminal that seemed just like the others.
Somehow this one vending operator took my MasterCard and rescued me from the RER line of bags. I wish you good luck with your Metro passes. Ticketing terminals are quite simple to use except - you guess it! You' trying to use an American credit or debit card. Mmm. Payment can be made in euros (some vending terminals only accept coin, while others do) or by going to one of the metro stops that still has a ticketing desk (located in the most famous railway stops in the centre of Paris).
Did you have any problems using an American (or other) credit or debit cards in Paris or other places in France like Marseille or Lyon? Did you get to use your map?