Sunday, February 24, 2008

Paying with Plastic

Credit cards are rarely used in France. That being said, paying with plastic is very big but most everyone uses debit cards. Except for in the subway, where you can use your carte bancaire for purchases as little as a euro plus change, most places have a 15 euro minimum. (With prices being what they are, that's never much of a problem, though.) In restaurants, when you pull your card out to pay, the waiter brings over a wireless handheld terminal, inserts your card and then hands it back to you to punch in your PIN or as the French say "code secret". Out comes the receipt and you are on your way, no need for a signature and no need to add the tip because it is already included. (To be nice, you should leave a euro or two for the server, but no more.) Very cool.

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