🇫🇷 Monzo in France [Discussion]

I couldn’t find a discussion post for France so feel free to merge/close if needed. Visited Paris, Strasbourg, and Colmar- entirely forgot about taking pictures till I got to Colmar yesterday and the sun just started to set (9.30pm).

Everywhere seems to take chip and pin but they don’t seem familiar with contactless even in Paris. Apple Pay is accepted at some places in Paris too though. Most ATMs offer alternate languages so it wasn’t a challenge to understand anything. The waiter who served me pointed to my card and tried to tell me it was really bright, lol! It definitely stands out.

Sorry about the shitty photo- my spending skills are admittedly better than my photo-taking skills (I’ve spent far too much on food this trip)


Also stupidly withdrew money at an ATM at the coach interchange (before the ferry to Calais) which charged their own rate… ended up paying £97.50 for €100 and it was too late :sob::sob::sob:
When I got cash out in France using Monzo’s rate it was £87.26 (predicted). I could kick myself… That’s a whole £10 more.


I’ve just returned from Bordeaux and used my Mondo card there very successfully, both for larger chip and pin payments and contactless, which is fairly popular in Bordeaux. I didn’t use an ATM as none of the banks were familiar and I couldn’t be certain that the French Bank wouldn’t make a charge even though Mondo does not their end.
My first meal out was more expensive than anticipated so I had to use my standard Debit Card, as I hadn’t topped up Mondo enough, but this gave an opportunity to compare rates. Mondo was over 3p a £ better than my Bank rate.


4 posts were merged into an existing topic: France Paris - Mondo worked great in Paris this weekend

Hi All,

I’m heading to France next Friday and hoping to use my Mondo card over there. Has anyone experience of using in France and how widely it’s accepted?



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It should be accepted everywhere where you can use a MasterCard. I have never personally used my Mondo card abroad but I have a friend that used his in Italy and had no problems.
I’m heading off to the US with mine tomorrow.

I still recommend you take a spare bank debit card just in case though


Thanks Dan.:slight_smile:

Ive used mine in both Thailand and Abu Dhabi. Mainly at ATMs in Thailand where I still got charged, this was however down to the local banks not mondo. If in Thailand use a citi bank (no atm fees) card worked great throughout my trip with no isses.

@dannoutt I’m going to America in a couple of weeks to visit family. I’m there a fair bit so any feedback on your use would be great.

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Yes - I actually moved here in April… and have been using it before my new french HSBC account is set up to avoid charges from my UK account.

Works perfectly!

Fantastic - thank you!

Hey People,

I’d read on a closed thread that Monzo is being sporadically rejected at the toll road booths in France :disappointed_relieved:

Some of these tolls do not even accept cash!

Does anyone have any insight into why? Or maybe if there are some plans to resolve?

I ask as I have a roadtrip to France planned but either way, it would be great to understand the challenge.



This blog post is a bit dated but it is pretty helpful (http://www.pedaldancer.com/2010/11/understanding-autoroutes-and-toll.html?m=1)- I met quite a lot of travellers who rented cars to travel around Europe and they said French toll booths are confusing even to the French :joy: you have to make your mind up very quickly, they do take cash but you have to go to the right lane. An American family I met from Seattle got their card eaten by one of the machines there, so you should probably take a backup card as well.

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Currently in Nice and Monzo working fine! Boom :boom::raised_hands:t3:


Has worked like a dream in both péages heading down to the Dordogne from Calais today :tada:

If you are doing any significant amount of driving on the autoroutes in France, I strongly recommend getting a rf tag. (See https://www.saneftolling.co.uk for how to do this for UK residents). There is a initial set-up fee and a charge for each calander month in which you use it, and then you pay the same toll as you would if paying by cash or card. Once you have the tag:

  • no struggling to get to the passenger side of the car to pay
  • shorter/no queue
  • not even any need to stop at some payages - you can drive through at up to 30 kph

I’ve just come back from my third trip to France using a tag and it still thrills me every time I go through a payage.


Just got back from travelling through France, Italy and Switzerland. The only toll that didn’t accept Monzo was for the new bridge at Millau. Everything else worked well in shops, cafes, restaurants etc. However, be aware that Carrefour and Leclerc supermarket petrol stations may take an extra 100 Euros off your cards as a reserve. Leclerc put it back almost immediately but Carrefour took 3 days to refund. Only squeaky bum moment came in Siena when two ATMs declined the card. As I didn’t have roaming switched on on my phone at the time didn’t realise there was a problem that day affecting everybody!

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Awww, that’s a shame! But… you can subscribe to text updates for your next trip :heart_eyes_cat: -

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The petrol issue is just lazy developers not bothering to release the funds and relying on the automatic expiry of an authorisation transaction after X days. It would’ve affected a legacy bank just the same as far as the “available” is concerned, the only difference is that on Monzo the available balance is the only balance they’re displaying.

A strange thing. I appear to have been refunded for two journeys on the French Peage, by Sanef, to the tune of just over £23. A Bastille Day present?