Can one pay with visa card or mastercard in Paris in normal and small shops, restaurants or supermarkets ?!

Do people prefer cash payments or visa payments?

  • 2
    Normal shops and restaurants will accept credit cards. Some of the smaller shops such as the bookstalls along the Seine will only take cash. Also the open-air markets like those in the Latin Quarter are cash based. Generally speaking people are indifferent which payment method you use.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 20:48
  • 1
    @GayotFow The pattern you're describing seems to be that businesses in permanent buildings that have power and phone lines will take cards, whereas businesses that don't have power and phone lines won't. Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 9:32

3 Answers 3


You can pay for almost everything by Visa or Mastercard in Paris. There might be a minimum purchase amount of a few euros; 5 or 10 euros used to be common but many places have lowered that minimum. There are only a few places where you should expect to have to pay in cash:

  • Street stalls, e.g. markets. Some merchants will take cards but not all. Markets are the best place to buy produce (don't buy produce from a French supermarket).
  • Shops that mostly sell low-ticket items — mostly bakeries. Many don't take cards, and the ones that do won't take them for just a croissant.
  • Maybe some cafés in out-of-the-way neighborhoods (but definitely not cafés in any halfway upscale or touristy place).

I've never seen a place that took Mastercard and not Visa or vice versa. On the other hand, most shops don't take American Express, apart from hotels, upscale restaurants and fashion stores.

  • +1, but what about the bordellos behind Montmartre?
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 4:29
  • 2
    +1, but even the bit about bakeries isn't true anymore. I don't know about Paris specifically but elsewhere in France, most do take cards and I have occasionally paid very small amounts without anyone complaining.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 6:29

Most shops will accept visa/mastercard, but it never hurts to verify if they have this sign before making a purchase:

enter image description here

Some shops (typically small cafés and shops selling cigarettes and newspapers) will have a minimum payment amount for which they accept cards. This is usually on display near the cash desk: if you see a sing saying

Payements par carte à partir de 10€


Achats < 10€ uniquement en espèces

you'll know you have to pay at least that amount to use your visa. The keywords here are carte meaning card and espèces meaning cash.

Most supermarkets have no minimum payment rule and will accept your card for any amount.


"Most" places? Yes. Street traders etc are unlikely too, you may find some other exceptions.

Some places may have a minimum transaction amount required for a card purchase. I've never noticed receiving any more than the usual Parisian condescension to outsiders when paying by card.


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