Avoiding sneaky banking fees
- Be careful of using your credit and debit cards when in France as most companies have fees and give you a terrible exchange rate when you exchange dollars to euros.
- In my opinion the best option to avoid fees : Get a free Revolut card
- This is a free debit card which allows you to pay in euros without the crazy fees. You upload $ to the account, and transfer them to € using their application and the daily exchange rate
- You can pay directly using your card.
- Another option : Take out cash from ATMs
- Most ATM machines in France will charge a fee of around 10 dollars when you take out cash
- Careful of carrying around too much cash, Paris is a big city with all the typical big city pickpocket issues
Exchange rate $ / €
- The current rate is around 1 dollar = 0.90 euros (this is pretty typical and has been around this number for several years).
- The exchange rate is worst with some banks and at money exchange booths both at airports and in Paris.
- You never need to leave a tip in France!
- 18% gratuity is already included in all restaurants so there is no obligation to leave anything extra.
- If you had a truly fantastic time you can leave a small tip (50 cents min for a coffee, 2€ min for a meal, 5% max) but it is never expected.
- You don't have to tip in taxis, hotels, etc.
Taxes / prices
- Sales tax / VAT (20%) are always included in the price, so if you buy something at a store and the price is 2 euros, you will pay exactly 2 euros when you check out.
- One exception is the hotel tax which is added to the price of a room (currently in Paris the hotel tax per night and per person is 1€ for a 1* hotel, 1,88€ for a 3* hotel and 5€ for a palace).