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Departure Day! Tap and Pay Questions

Hi Everyone,

Our six-week trip to France and the UK kicks off tonight.

My main question has to do with tap and pay. I have a few cards with the tap symbol but not all of them. My main card, my Apple Card, will be used for all hotels since it has no foreign transaction fees. It is also Apple Pay enabled (on my watch and phone). Will I be able to use Apple Pay in most places for things like Metro tickets and smaller meals?

Also, how many Euros and GBP do you recommend? We are in the EU for 20 days, the UK for 11 days, and on a cruise for 9 days. I know I can use my debit card for the cash at ATMs as I have already discussed it with my bank.

Regards,

Rob

Posted by
2765 posts

The Paris Metro does not use Apple Pay. You will have to buy some kind of ticket . The only tap and pay they use on a phone is for some Samsung phones so it’s pretty limited

Posted by
35 posts

Carol,

Thanks...I want to buy the Navajo Easy for day one and the weekly card for the rest of the week. Do I do that at a machine with card or is there a ticket window? We arrive on Thalys at Gare du Nord on Sunday afternoon.

Rob

Posted by
2765 posts

I couldn’t make Apple Pay work, I was able to tap and pay to reload my weekly pass with my Chase card. However If you want to buy the weekly ticket for the first time you’re going to have to go to a ticket window. Because you have to get the whole little packet for the weekly pass. You can recharge the weekly card at any ticket machine but you have to buy the original one from a human. Most metros that I went to had at least one manned ticket booth,

Honestly, I did not use the easy at all so I don’t have any idea how you get that. I had some left over tickets from a previous visit and I used those until I could start using my weekly card

if you’re coming by train from London I know there’s a booth at Gare du Nord and there’s also live humans at Charles de Gaulle

Posted by
2595 posts

The ticket kiosks do not use tap and pay. You will need to insert your chipped credit card for purchases.

You can download the RATP Bonjour app to any phone and charge Navigo cards, but only Samsung phones can be used as a Navigo card replacement.

All metro stations have manned service windows, some have sales windows. The typical procedure is to purchase a Navigo card at the kiosk, take the receipt to the service window, and your ticket is exchanged for the card. If you find a sales window, the transaction can be completed at the window. Gare du Nord has sales windows.

Posted by
35 posts

We are actually coming from Brussels to Gare du Nord. Since we arrive on Sunday, we cannot get the weekly pass for that day. I am not sure if we actually need it because our itinerary will make use of Metro once each way on Monday to Gare St. Lazare, all day Tuesday/Wednesday, then to Versailles Thursday. It seems from the RATP website that the total costs may be a wash but we wanted flexibility for the buses since my wife has some mobility issues (she can walk, just not long distances).

Rob

Posted by
35 posts

Tocard,

Thanks...I have a chipped card from Apple that should work at the machines, right? Once I buy the Navigo Easy (one day), I can reload it from my phone (iPhone)? I have the RATP App already and it seems to indicate that I can. Also, the one-day cards do not need photos attached, do they?

Sorry for all the questions...first trip to Paris/France. I have been studying French for six months for this trip and I feel like I'll still be lost when I get there. LOL.

Rob

Posted by
318 posts

Just got back from 2 weeks in the south of France. Had 100 euros but really never used it. Even in Provencal markets, it was almost all tap and pay. Don't have Apple Pay so can't answer that. With rental car on toll roads, all tap and pay. Did have some issues at small town gas stations (seemed to refuse our card for no PIN) but could get gas in bigger cities without a problem. Hope this helps.

Posted by
4605 posts

In December I used tap and pay cards all over Paris, it's the new normal. Also surprised your cards don't have the tap symbol, it's also the new normal. When I noticed my Amex didn't have it, I had them rush me a new one with the techonology.

Posted by
567 posts

I was issued new cards this Spring, neither had the tap feature.
I’ve requested tap ones.
I leave in October for Sicily tour and independent travel.

I’ll have euros for everything unless I make a large purchase. Everything like air and solo travel hotel stays are already accepted by my card. Fingers crossed.

Posted by
79 posts

Tap and pay seemed almost ubiquitous except for the metro when I was there in June.

For Apple Pay, I did not try to use it myself, but I did have a sales associate in Paris make a mocking comment to me about Americans who try to pay with Apple Pay. I had asked if the store took AMEX and she told me no, that it was not widely accepted in France and that "some Americans even try to pay with Apple Pay" as if that was a hugely presumptuous thing to do.

Posted by
79 posts

periscope, they accepted Visa but not AMEX. I believe she swiped my card. Her comment on AMEX was weird as well. It seemed like most places accepted AMEX, although she did spook me into using my VISA for everything since VISA is accepted everywhere and it was one less thing to worry about to just go with the VISA.