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Navigo Decouverte - US Visa credit card accepted at station? Photo Requirements?

I arrive on Saturday at CDG (8:30 AM) local time. I was planning on buying a Navigo Decouverte. Does the station take a US Visa credit card? My plan is to buy the Navigo Decouverte and take a RER to the Louvre (next to my hotel). I leave the following Friday and am planning on using the same weekly pass to get back to CDG. Will the pass also get me to Versailles?

I will also be scanning and printing out a color copy of my passport picture. Will this be sufficient for the picture requirements?

Thank You,

Posted by
4808 posts

Can't answer your question about credit cards in the machines, but you can always buy from the person at the tickets window. Make sure you size or crop your photos to the required size.

The ND pass is good from Monday to the following Sunday night; so if you're arriving on Sat, although you could buy your ND pass for use starting Monday, you will need to get by with regular tickets until then. The pass will get you to Versailles and back to CDG on Fri.

Posted by
7213 posts

We bought them from a ticket window at a metro station two years ago, and they accepted our Visa card.

Posted by
8322 posts

The ticket agent happily took my US Visa Card. A color photocopy of your drivers license picture works great and ends up being closer to the right size than a passport photo.

Do pay attention that the week starts on Monday as mentioned above.

Posted by
8021 posts

Your credit card will probably work on the machines but since you have to take the receipt to a window to get the actual ND kit there is no point. Just line up and go to the clerked RER window at CDG with your 25/30 head shot and they will sell you the kit and then charge it up for the week. With a line they will probably not assemble it for you but it is easy to do. As noted it runs Monday through Sunday midnight and you can charge one for the current week through Thursday. Anything charged after that starts the following Monday.

The kit had two cards, one for picture and one with chip and a plastic holder. You put the photo on the photo spot which has a stick patch to hold it and print your name where it says name and then fold a plastic sheet over the photo side to preserve the photo, sandwich the two cards together so that the number shows through the hole next to the picture and slide the whole thing into the plastic holder. From that point, it is one card. If you need to charge up the next week, you put it on the pink swirly patch on the machine in the metro and select English on the machine and then proceed as directed to charge the ND for a week. Machines will take Chip/sig cards for small purchases. I could not charge my ND for the month as with the current exchange rate, the 75 Euros exceeds the amount they will process without actual signature or chip and pin card. But for the weekly charge it works fine or other small transactions. When the machine asks for the PIN you just ignore it and press continue or wait and it will work fine.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks everyone for your fast responses. This puts my mind at ease. I read somewhere that some merchants in Paris accept a domestic Visa credit card (carte bleue) VS. a Visa credit card from another country. Did any of you run into this Issue while in France? Should I expect the vast majority of merchants in France to take a Visa Credit card issued somewhere else than France?

This will be my first time in France. I am planning on buying the "Paris Museum Pass". This seems like the best deal (Not a rip off like "The Paris Pass"? Are there any tips or tricks you wish you knew before traveling there? I would appreciate any additional advice.

Cheers,

Posted by
32660 posts

I can't answer your question exactly but I can say that my UK issued cards have always been accepted throughout France - I never give it a second thought. Master Card / VISA, credit card/debit card, never have had a problem. I just use the one I want in the particular situation.

May be different if you don't have a chip and PIN at unattended machines, especially auto fuel, but otherwise it should be fine. As long as they take cards wherever it is.

Posted by
2539 posts

I read somewhere that some merchants in Paris accept a domestic Visa credit card (carte bleue) VS. a Visa credit card from another country.

Where did you read this nonsense? Of course merchants will accept a Visa card from another country, no matter from where it was issued. You can sometimes run into problems with on-line purchases from a French website using a non French credit card, particularly if your card is not registered with the Verified by Visa program. Depending upon the card verification requirements established by your card issuing bank, you can sometimes run into problems at some unmanned locations such as ticket kiosks but these potential problems have nothing to do with the country in which a Visa card is issued.

No problem at the window, where the woman at Cadet Metro would not take a 50 euro note.

Information or service windows do not handle cash. Staff will make credit card sales and even has equipment to process magnetic strip credit cards. Cash transactions may only be made at a sales window and few métro stations have sales windows.

Posted by
8021 posts

Most metros have no one to deal with cash; they will do a credit card transaction if needed. e.g. I got my 75 Euro monthly charges onto the NDs with no trouble at the info clerk window of the local metro. We have never had a problem using our standard Visa cards anywhere in France when a person was managing the transaction. Machines are a toss up, but are more likely to work now than when we had mag strip cards. The chip/sig obsolete technology is not great, but it does work pretty well and in many machines including the metro machines.

Posted by
3 posts

"Where did you read this nonsense?"

I skimmed the below article earlier. I most likely misinterpreted. When it said "When a distinction is drawn, it’s between domestic credit cards (“Carte Bleue,” or blue card) versus international ones (“Carte Bleue Visa” or “Carte Bleue Mastercard”)."

https://www.finder.com/using-a-credit-card-in-france

"distinction" implies to me shops could have one or the other. It is probable that every shop that accepts domestic cards also accepts international credit cards.

"Of course merchants will accept a Visa card from another country, no matter from where it was issued."

This is logical, however businesses can sometimes be illogical. There is still a town by where I grew up that the majority of shops are cash only.

I am happy to find out that I should have no issues using my Visa credit card. I simply am trying to cross my t's and dot my i's.

Posted by
2539 posts

I skimmed the below article earlier. I most likely misinterpreted.

coreyskocik - I read your link rather carefully and found no evidence to support a claim that foreign Visa cards are not accepted when Carte Bleu is accepted (other than as explained in my previous post). If fact, your article clearly states: ¨ Can you use your credit card there? Luckily, you can.¨

Posted by
21 posts

Thanks janettravels44 for your detailed response on the Navigo card. I am leaving in about 4 weeks and was a bit unclear how my photo would be applied. I think I will do color copies of both my passport and my driver's license just to be sure.

Posted by
418 posts

Yes to Visa- make a photo copy of your drivers license, they will cut to size for you. However with Sat arrival you will buy a pass for Monday as passes run Mon-Sun and Thursday is last day to buy for that week.

Happy Travels💫✨

Posted by
8021 posts

The passport is too big, just reduce it slightly when you copy it so it is about 25/30; the space on the card for it is very small.

Posted by
10198 posts

In June I went to the machine to recharge my ND and it didn't work. When I went to a manned ticket booth I discovered it had expired in 2017. I obtained it in December 2008. I bought a new one and the nice woman put it together for me, using the photo from my old one. I was able to recharge it for the following week in the machine using my U.S. Visa card. No one ever turned down my credit card, unless they only took cash.

Posted by
956 posts

Hold on. I'm getting so much conflicting information. Does the picture for the Navigo have to be color? I have read on multiple places online that it doesn't matter, but this thread, everyone is saying they are making color copies. I do not have a color copier so I need to know in advance. I'm trying to save us a step when we get there and do not want to have to get pictures made there.

Posted by
2539 posts

Just because someone writes that they are making a color copy of their photo, from either a passport or license, it does not mean the the photo must be in color.

It must be a recognizable likeness of the bearer. That´s it.

Posted by
956 posts

Let me re-phrase that. People in this thread are consistently referring to "color" photos. "A color photocopy of your drivers license picture works great". So perhaps one could see where that led me to wonder if color is a requirement. When I'm at work, I don't say I'm going to make a black and white copy. I say I'm making a copy. But if what I need has to be in color, I specifically say that I need to make a color copy. That led me to believe that perhaps it was a necessity. I see now that people may have just been telling the OP that the color copy he was going to make was satisfactory, but I just wanted clarification. Thank you.

Posted by
408 posts

Just another reminder that photo booths are ubiquitous in public spaces in France, such as airports, train stations, subways, and commercial centers and one can get photos that conform to French requirements on the spot, in about 3 or 4 minutes, for 5€.

Posted by
3986 posts

I took a black & white photocopy of my driver's license picture. Silly question -- should I have already cut the photo from the photocopy in advance or will they have scissors at the ND ticket desk? It's easier to bring an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper because a 25mm x 30 mm photocopied clip could easily get lost.

Thanks.

Posted by
4808 posts

They might have scissors, but will they have a ruler so you can cut it to the proper size? I pre cut ours, and just kept the photos in my wallet until I needed them.

Posted by
3986 posts

I can do that too, CJean. If I keep it in the zippered change purse, it won't be lost. Thanks fo the idea.

Posted by
418 posts

Buy from the ticket window using your credit/ debit card- make a copy of your drivers license in color- they will cut the picture out for you and put on your pass- its good for 10 years so hold onto it- sometimes it did not work on the buses but they just let me on.

Happy Travels✨💫

Posted by
8021 posts

Don't assume the clerk will cut out your pictures and make up the card. Unless they are in the mood and there is no line, they are likely to hand you the plastic wrapped kit and let you assemble the thing. Have the photos cut to the appropriate size and assume you will make up the card, so have a pen to print your name on them before assembling with the gummed plastic flap.

Posted by
11294 posts

Janet is exactly right. If there's a line of people behind you (and there often is), they will hand you the pieces, and you have to put it together yourself.