Author Topic: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?  (Read 3714 times)

Genosse Brymbo

  • Ostalgist
UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« on: 03 August, 2023, 10:37:11 am »
On my last PBP jaunt in 2015 I took cash and used it to pay for everything.  In 2023 will I be able to use a UK debit card to pay for food at controls and elsewhere, like that nice little bakery I discovered in Landerneau?
The present is a foreign country: they do things differently here.

Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #1 on: 03 August, 2023, 10:56:31 am »
I haven't seen anything, but I wouldn't rely on it, and you may need cash for impromptu local stalls, so I'm planning to take plenty of small denomination Euros.

If places do accept cards a UK one shouldn't be a problem.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #2 on: 03 August, 2023, 11:25:16 am »
I haven't seen anything, but I wouldn't rely on it, and you may need cash for impromptu local stalls, so I'm planning to take plenty of small denomination Euros.

If places do accept cards a UK one shouldn't be a problem.

That is a. Assumption I don't think it's fair to make.

I would not rely on international cards working. Take cash. And try to avoid it all being 50's.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #3 on: 03 August, 2023, 11:46:49 am »
I’ve never had a problem with card payments in France or anywhere else. The Dutch situation is unique, which is why it catches people out.

Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #4 on: 03 August, 2023, 02:50:38 pm »
I used a UK mastercard in France successfully last time I was there for most things. Had cash as backup though, especially for market stalls etc.

However, don't use your debit card without checking the fees - you will likely get stung with both a bad exchange rate and a fee for the exchange. If you want to use a card, there are products like revolut / wise which will provide cards with much better rates and lower fees. Alternatively, some credit cards do well in this regard - we have the halifax clarity card.

Bianchi Boy

  • Cycling is my doctor
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    • Reading Cycling Club
Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #5 on: 03 August, 2023, 04:20:57 pm »
I think the card situation has simplified and you can use Master Card as this is the payment provider. As for exchange rates I have been going to France for years and have always had a good rate. There again I tend to pay everything on credit card and pay the balance each month.

I am in France at the moment and just checked my card fees. on a £14.18 transaction I 37p transaction fee. May be I am a bit lose with money, but I will not lose sleep over that.

BB
Set a fire for a man and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #6 on: 03 August, 2023, 07:19:44 pm »
First Direct have recently removed transaction fees on cards when used in Europe.

Wycombewheeler

  • PBP-2019 LEL-2022
Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #7 on: 04 August, 2023, 12:21:07 pm »
I haven't seen anything, but I wouldn't rely on it, and you may need cash for impromptu local stalls, so I'm planning to take plenty of small denomination Euros.

If places do accept cards a UK one shouldn't be a problem.

That is a. Assumption I don't think it's fair to make.

I would not rely on international cards working. Take cash. And try to avoid it all being 50's.

J
I have never had an issue with using* visa/mastercard/maestro from the UK anywhere in Europe, although there have been places that are cash only.

*always accepted, whether the charges constitute an issue is another question.

Eddington  127miles, 170km

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #8 on: 04 August, 2023, 12:26:46 pm »
I have never had an issue with using* visa/mastercard/maestro from the UK anywhere in Europe, although there have been places that are cash only.

*always accepted, whether the charges constitute an issue is another question.

Who in the UK is issuing Maestro?

I can guarantee you that Visa and Mastercard will not work in my local supermarket...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #9 on: 04 August, 2023, 12:33:38 pm »
I can guarantee that anyone who has trouble getting their Visa and Mastercard to work in the Netherlands during PBP will be seriously off the route.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #10 on: 04 August, 2023, 12:37:51 pm »
I can guarantee that anyone who has trouble getting their Visa and Mastercard to work in the Netherlands during PBP will be seriously off the route.

Well yes, there is that...

But people did say continent...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #11 on: 04 August, 2023, 12:40:10 pm »
The Netherlands doesn’t issue Maestro anymore, so I hope your local supermarket is changing its ways.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #12 on: 04 August, 2023, 12:44:33 pm »
The Netherlands doesn’t issue Maestro anymore, so I hope your local supermarket is changing its ways.

The machines are still labelled "NO Visa, NO MASTERCARD"

I'm about to go buy breakfast, I'll see if my mastercard works...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #13 on: 04 August, 2023, 01:26:41 pm »
There may be differences between debit card and credit card. I have always (for the last 30+ years) had a credit card (Mastercard) which I have used indifferently in France and UK (a french card of course). France is very card orientated these days, even for tiny sums (0.90€ for the parking, 2-3€ in the supermarket no problem) and no contact most of the time. There was a time a couple of decades ago when UK cards didn't have PIN numbers and wouldn't work over here (I have used my card to pay for petrol in the middle of the night for a brit more than once) but that is no longer the case and with no contact just about everywhere there shouldn't be a problem. That is credit cards. For those with cards that debit straight away (which do exist in France, I don't know for UK) going international is always going to be problematic.
It should be pointed out that broken down card readers and machine connections that don't work are everywhere as well, principally in petrol stations. If your card doesn't work there is a good chance that the machine is broke or just having a bit of a sulk. Try the machine next door, it will usually be fine (for those of you who need that sort of service in the middle of the night, hopefully not too odten on PBP).
I do not know if automatic pizza and baguette machines take cards. I would assume yes as it makes more sense but I have never used one. A roadside buvette, fruit stall would normally use cash. Markets these days are changing and quite a lot of stallholders seem to switch on to cards, it makes keeping the books easier and cuts the need for loose cash, but they will always take cash as well because their traditional clients are cash orientated

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #14 on: 04 August, 2023, 02:19:16 pm »
The Netherlands doesn’t issue Maestro anymore, so I hope your local supermarket is changing its ways.

The machines are still labelled "NO Visa, NO MASTERCARD"

I'm about to go buy breakfast, I'll see if my mastercard works...

J

Pharmacy took my mastercard.

AH did not.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #15 on: 04 August, 2023, 03:33:50 pm »
Sorry about that. I’ll be nicer next time.
My blog on cycling in Germany and eating German cake – http://www.auntiehelen.co.uk


Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #16 on: 04 August, 2023, 04:01:44 pm »
The Netherlands doesn’t issue Maestro anymore, so I hope your local supermarket is changing its ways.

The machines are still labelled "NO Visa, NO MASTERCARD"

I'm about to go buy breakfast, I'll see if my mastercard works...

J

Pharmacy took my mastercard.

AH did not.

J

We didn't have any issues with UK and ROI issued plastic in NL a couple of months ago, including AH, market stalls and lots of cafés, bars and ice cream shops.

PBP in both 2015 and 2019 I used a mix of plastic and cards, with the only issue being a Starling card at a péage - Starling turns mag stripe transactions off by default, and you have to specifically enable them in the app.

αdαmsκι

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Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #17 on: 04 August, 2023, 10:12:45 pm »
On my last PBP jaunt in 2015 I took cash and used it to pay for everything.  In 2023 will I be able to use a UK debit card to pay for food at controls and elsewhere, like that nice little bakery I discovered in Landerneau?

To go back to the OP, generally everywhere in France seems to accept cards of various kinds; we're in France at the moment and using Google Pay & Apple Pay in a lot of places. Or using the physical cards.

However, you may end up getting charged a small amount for each transaction depending on your card provider. In the grand scheme of PBP costs it won't be much but something to be aware about.

We use a mixture of Revolut (both Visa & Mastercard) and a Santander world traveller credit card issued by Mastercard. None of these sting for using the card abroad.
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #18 on: 05 August, 2023, 09:28:49 am »
There may be differences between debit card and credit card. I have always (for the last 30+ years) had a credit card (Mastercard) which I have used indifferently in France and UK (a french card of course). France is very card orientated these days, even for tiny sums (0.90€ for the parking, 2-3€ in the supermarket no problem) and no contact most of the time. There was a time a couple of decades ago when UK cards didn't have PIN numbers and wouldn't work over here (I have used my card to pay for petrol in the middle of the night for a brit more than once) but that is no longer the case and with no contact just about everywhere there shouldn't be a problem. That is credit cards. For those with cards that debit straight away (which do exist in France, I don't know for UK) going international is always going to be problematic.
It should be pointed out that broken down card readers and machine connections that don't work are everywhere as well, principally in petrol stations. If your card doesn't work there is a good chance that the machine is broke or just having a bit of a sulk. Try the machine next door, it will usually be fine (for those of you who need that sort of service in the middle of the night, hopefully not too odten on PBP).
I do not know if automatic pizza and baguette machines take cards. I would assume yes as it makes more sense but I have never used one. A roadside buvette, fruit stall would normally use cash. Markets these days are changing and quite a lot of stallholders seem to switch on to cards, it makes keeping the books easier and cuts the need for loose cash, but they will always take cash as well because their traditional clients are cash orientated

Most of the french cards are debit card. Debit card doesn't mean "systematic authorization" (the card machine having to connect to your bank netxork to check the balance) though. In fact I have a debit card with offline authorization and a credit card with systematic authorization here in France.
Automatic pizza and baguette (not sure why you'd want a baguette with nothing else though) machines do take card. Don't quote me on that but most controls should accept cards (most of them did in 2019 anyway) now. Since covid there has been a big growth in card acceptation, nearly every market stalls and mom & pop shops have mobile terminal now. Like you said improptu roadside stalls might not take cards. So take some cash, 100€ will be more than enough. It also sometimes might be faster in crowded controls if they have more cashiers than card terminals

Some places (bars, kebabs or convenience stores) in rural areas might have a minimum amount for card payments, 10 € for example. In bakeries you should be fine for everything above 1 €

Wycombewheeler

  • PBP-2019 LEL-2022
Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #19 on: 05 August, 2023, 12:04:04 pm »
I have never had an issue with using* visa/mastercard/maestro from the UK anywhere in Europe, although there have been places that are cash only.

*always accepted, whether the charges constitute an issue is another question.

Who in the UK is issuing Maestro?

I can guarantee you that Visa and Mastercard will not work in my local supermarket...

J
No one any more,  I think it was replaced by visa debit some years back.

Eddington  127miles, 170km

thing1

  • aka Joth
    • TandemThings
Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #20 on: 07 August, 2023, 10:48:17 am »
I believe controls are still likely to want cash, if not for food then at least for beds (towels?) so it's worth having some cash anyway, which will double up as a reserve in case you happen on a bakery that doesn't take cards / card machine broken / doesn't work with a specific type of card you carry.

[FWIW I've been to france several times a year for last few years and never found a shop that accepts cards but refused my Halifax mastercard, but FMMV.]


Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #21 on: 07 August, 2023, 10:55:10 am »
How about a Post Office Travel Money Card which you can preload with a multiple of currencies.  Load it with Euros.  I have such a card but have yet to use it abroad, but it seems reasonable that it would work.
https://www.postoffice.co.uk/travel-money/card

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

  • Miles eaten don't satisfy hunger
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Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #22 on: 08 August, 2023, 10:12:58 am »
My Starling card has worked in France without problems for my visits in the last couple of years, but will be visit an ATM on the way to top up my stock of Euros for the controls.
Eddington Numbers 131 (imperial), 185 (metric) 574 (furlongs)  116 (nautical miles)

valkyrie

  • Look at the state of your face!
    • West Lothian Clarion
Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #23 on: 08 August, 2023, 05:46:06 pm »
In the general tips section of the PBP website it says -

"You must pay in cash (no credit card will be accepted). If you choose to eat and sleep in the checkpoints, expect between 80-120 euros for the roundtrip and bring small bills (5, 10 and 20 euros). If the dormitories are full, sleep anywhere in a warm and sheltered spot – Do not be ashamed!"

https://www.paris-brest-paris.org/en/general-tips/
World Class Excuses for Piss-Poor Performances

Re: UK debit card payment for food at controls and elsewhere?
« Reply #24 on: 08 August, 2023, 06:31:18 pm »
Document F "Services" sez

Quote
- You can pay cash, or in some sites, by credit card.