🇫🇷 Monzo in France [Discussion]

(Hayley Haywood) #21

Hi There - has anyone had any trouble using Monzo card at a French petrol stations? We used to use a post office travel card, and that never worked at French petrol stations.
Anyone tried to use their Monzo card?


Hi, we have been in France for two weeks and the card is declined in all filling stations we tried, I suspect it’s because they try and do a temporary transaction for €100 before allowing you to take the fuel. (Perhaps Monzo guys could confirm?). I only keep a balance of €50 or so. It also got declined at the Blue Elephant car wash for €10 of tokens. Every where else it’s worked perfectly.

Hope that helps



See my post above re petrol, although I stuck to the supermarket petrol stations.


Just got back from a trip to France. My chaufeur did not have a Monzo card but used a few UK debit cards. Had an odd experience on a couple of Sundays when none of our UK cards were accepted at a pay at pump petrol pump. A local explained foreign cards were not accepted on Sundays! We thought that was rubbish but a check on a Dutch bank website and an Italian tourist website showed people from other countries reported the same issue! Has anyone with a Monzo card found it worked in French fuel pumps some days but not Sunday?

(Andre Borie) #25

I’m French and this is the first time I hear something like this. Do you remember which petrol station it was? I really doubt the big players (Total, Esso, etc) would be doing stupid stuff like that, and I’m not aware of any regulations about this either (I know the French are a bit behind the times and everything is pretty much dead on sundays, but for now there is no law that prohibits accepting cards on sunday).


Sorry. I can’t remember which brand it was.

(Tom Durell) #27

Hey cepenpark,

I found myself in the exact same situation about not having enough money on my card for the bill. However my english phone 3G now lets me use it in Europe so I could go onto the Monzo app, top it up and 5 seconds later pay for my meal.

Just thought I’d post this incase you didn’t know how fast topping up is.

Hope you had a nice trip. :slight_smile:


We drove from Barcelona to Calais Wed/Thurs this week and my Monzo was rejected at every peage. (It had plenty of cash on it) Fortunately husband’s regular credit card worked. So take a back up or cash if you can!


Thanks Stef, disappointing, but useful to know!

(Amelia Ikeda) #30

Visited Limoges, Chénérailles, Sarlat-le-Canéda and a few areas in France across La Creuse/Limousin/Dordogne (Been staying here a month :tada:).

From what I’ve seen: anywhere here that takes card also has a pretty brand new card terminal, so they have contactless (and though I haven’t checked, I’ve seen these models of EMV terminal before and I know they have full apple pay support over £30 if the merchant has it enabled). All terminals are online, so it seems fine :tada:

The downside is that not too many places take card :credit_card: :disappointed:, so you should always carry cash regardless.

ATM usage works a charm, too :euro:!

(Thom Brooks-Graves) #31

Spent the last two weeks driving anti clockwise round France:
Calais - Orleans - Beziers - Aix en Provence - Dijon- Calais and all péages worked :motorway::+1:t3:.
Only hiccup was refuelling at E.Leclerc :fuelpump:️. Self- service pump declined my card (said I needed £136 where I only had £90 :man_shrugging:t2:) so we went to traditional pump and no problems.

Every restaurant, bar and even small coffee shop accepted the card✅. Only issue there was a waiter asking for his tip (pour-boire) to be cash but I had none so he processed the payment then took money out the till.

(Brian) #32

Great coverage have yet to find a retailer that doesn’t accept the card. The only observation I will make is that if you use a 24 hour petrol pump it will authorize a €120 transaction, followed by a refund, it looks strange on the app instant billing. Question is if you only had £50 on the card could you fill up? I suspect not. But not an issue great experience so far. App is first class.

(Marta) #33

Hi @Marcopolo1813, I’ve moved your post to existing France topic, so other people can find your feedback easily! :slight_smile:

Regarding your question - it would have been rejected, even if the amount to pay later turns out to be €30. That’s unfortunate process for those petrol pumps, nothing Monzo can do about it. :unamused:

(Sarah) #34

Just landed in Nantes. In airport shop Bar 1.44 I tried using contactless but was an immediate decline (€3.90) but authorised first time using chip and PIN. Will post any further updates

(Andre Borie) #35

Note that the French are very strict about 20€ being the max. amount you can pay via contactless. Not sure why they would decline for 3,90€ though…


I just got back from 2 weeks in France and the Monzo coverage/service was perfect.

the card worked EVERYWHERE.

At APRR, Sanef, Vinci et al Tolls
At unattended Carrefour petrol stations
All the Hotels, Bars and shops we used.

It also worked at the La Poste ATM, CA ATM and 3 others we used.

The top-up worked instantly.

Brilliant work Monzo

One thing to note thou.

If you are using the unattended petrol stations make sure you have at least 130 euros on your card. It seems to work like this. You insert your card and PIN, It debits 100/130 euros immediately. You fill up with fuel and then it refunds the difference between how much fuel you have used and how much it has debited. This means you get two transactions in Monzo.

(Fergus Macdonald) #38

In France at the moment and having some issues with using my Monzo card.

I got the same issue at a self-service petrol station, I needed a balance of 119 euro before I could authorise the payment, and then I got refunded the difference.

However, the bigger issue I’m having is that right after getting declined at a petrol station because I didn’t have a high enough balance, my card has stopped working for the tolls on the motorway (autoroute). Up until now I used it maybe 5-10 times at tolls and it was fine. After the decline, it’s not working at any toll. I drove the same road a few times so it’s not working at the same toll station it was working at a few days before.

The error message at one of the toll booths was: carte illisible, autre carte ou appuyez sur le boudon aide. Translated it means the card is illegible. It works fine via both contactless and Chip and Pin in stores.

I’ve also tried unsuccessfully to withdraw cash from a couple of La Banque Postale ATMs but it did work OK at another ATM.

(Andre Borie) #39

Interesting, either the petrol station altered some internal state of the chip or it corrupted/erased your magstripe (as far as I know most French tolls are, or at least used to be magstripe-only). Would love to know the root cause of this.


Many cards retain a record in the chip of recent transactions. It may be after a number of transactions the older ones drop off, and maybe at that point your card will be accepted again.

(Javier) #41

I’ve just come back from France, I haven’t got issues to use the card in the petrol stations but I have issues with the way the charge me. They create a big charge of around 100 then they refund part of it (lets say 35), then days later they charge me again the amount I used (let say 60), and finally some days later they refund this amount again.
This happened to me in at least 4 times with different petrol stations, the brand are:
Total, Total Access, and Shell.
This is a bit annoying as it affects the balance on the card and also make no sense.