How do you pay for aires? using a bankcard?

Discussion in 'France' started by Camping Gaza, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. Camping Gaza

    Camping Gaza Funster

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    Hi All.... Quick question

    I have been looking at some of the payment bollard type things in photos on french Aires... most seem to take a bank card type of thing, ie a slot and a keyboard. How do you pay? do these take a regular UK based card ie natwest or hsbc or whatever card or do you have to have a special type of thing if you are from UK?

    I know about jetons from the marie or tourist centre already.

    Need to know as am planning a long trip over the winter finally getting to spain.

    can you offer any other advice as well? I have all the Aires France and Spain books already, but any other tips and wrinkles you may have will be gold for me. Thanks!

    Ps doing this alone and for the first time too so help is needed!
     
  2. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    You can use pretty much any UK Visa or MasterCard but most of the ones from high street banks charge transaction fees and give crap exchange rates.

    There are a number of fee-free cards available. Halifax Clarity is a popular one. I believe there are also ones available from Nationwide and the Post Office that are also fee free. I'm sure there are others as well. The downside with the ones that are credit cards is that you are charged interest immediately if you use them for ATM withdrawals.

    In addition to one or more of these cards many of use also use currency cards - Revolut with it's accompanying app, Caxton and FairFX are popular ones. There are also usually no fees associated with these cards and many of them, Revolut being the best, offer exchange rates that none of the high street providers can match. The downside of these cards is that they tend not to work for automated transactions - tolls, petrol pumps, things like that.

    Personally I use a Halifax Clarity card for purchases and Revolut for cash withdrawals.
     
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  3. Camping Gaza

    Camping Gaza Funster

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    Thanks NickNic, I'll check out Halifax Clarity and Revolut. (y)
     
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  4. jollyrodger

    jollyrodger Funster Life Member

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    Also use the clarity card of choice,but have come across one or two sites that only seem to accept French cards ,mostly now use camper stop free Aires when on the move Through France.
     
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  5. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    They don't all take UK cards. Some do, some don't in my experience. But ones taking cards are in the minority, it is usually coins or jetons.
     
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  6. Manic

    Manic Funster

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    I've been over since May and payed with Revolut card with no problem
     
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  7. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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    Only ever had Revolut refused in supermarkets & fuel stations.
    Seams to work fine everywhere else.
     
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  8. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    We set up with the Halifax card before we came, and touch wood, it's been accepted every where, although it is a bit scary when you get charged double at unmanned petrol pumps but up to yet it has all been put back.
     
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  9. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    We found in the summer that it didn't work on Italian tolls. No idea why.
     
  10. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

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    We use nationwide debit card for aire's & fuel,so far never had a problem.
    Don't buy more jeton's than you need at each aire as nearly every aire takes a different jeton,most are now euro's, I made that mistake on my first trip still got 2 jeton's that don't fit anywhere.
    On some pay aires , they only take C.C., that's the one's you need to go through the barrier , they've made them very simple , drive up reasonably close to barrier it detects that you are there , then first punch in GB / country,then follow very good instructions. (easy peasy)
    Have a great time & safe travelling .
     
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  11. clanjones

    clanjones Funster

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    Nationwide Select credit card does not charge does not charge transaction fees used it for 3 months this year in France and was never refused. Not gone the revolute route, I still use a FairFX prepaid card. I am very conservative about financial transactions via mobile phone bu that's just me - I've only just thrown my ink quill pen away! :)
     
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  12. kaasbroodje

    kaasbroodje Funster

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    I've only recently started keeping jetons in the van after being caught out a couple of times, i.e walking miles to find a vendor, shop being closed etc
    I think most of mine are Euro Relais coins , are you saying that they might not work in all Euro Relais machines ? That would be a nuisance !
    I also tend to keep a handful of one and two euro coins, although no method seems to be foolproof...
     
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  13. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    They are all more or less unique in my experience, it's all down to the grooves on the faces, like a key, they fit only one lock. But I suspect the possible combinations are finite so dual use might happen somewhere. :)
     
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  14. FIDGET

    FIDGET Funster

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    Hi @kaasbroodje ,
    No actually ,euro relais is the only one,that i've found that is the same at different aires,(only found that out onour trip this sept ) As DBK says most of the others are so different with grooves or slots & different sizes.
    I've still got 2 of my original jetons ,that I haven't been able use.
     
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  15. NickNic

    NickNic Funster Life Member

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    I take the other position on that. Whenever I buy jetons I always get a spare or two.

    The reason is that when I come back next time, or go somewhere else with that uses the same type, it might not be on the third Wednesday of the month between 10 and 10.30 or whenever it is that the Mairie is open so now I've built up a little collection of them. I still buy them when I can rather than dip in to the supply.

    One day you will go somewhere that you need jetons like the two you have and not be able to buy them. You'll be the smug one then while everyone else is grumbling (y):D
     
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  16. emmitdb

    emmitdb Funster

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    We once had a case, I think it was in Spain, where the shopkeeper thought the Hx Clarity card was an Amex Card because of the large X on the front. He eventually and somewhat reluctantly accepted my explanation.
     
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