Payment by credit card

Verified 31 January 2024 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Do you want to pay for your purchases by credit card? You can do it remote (via internet, telephone and correspondence) or at a store which authorizes it. Use of the card, ceiling, dispute of a payment: here are the information to know about the payment by credit card.

Yes, your card purchases are capped.

This maximum amount is set between you and your bank.

In most cases, the ceilings are spread over a period of 7 or 30 days for withdrawals and payments.

You can ask your bank to temporarily increase the payment limit. You can use a document template:

Request an exceptional increase in the payment limit for your credit card

Yes, a merchant may refuse payment by credit card or accept certain cards only.

The merchant may ask you to show identification.

It can also require a minimum purchase amount to accept payment by credit card.

These requirements must be displayed in his store.

If a merchant unlawfully refuses a card payment, you can report it to the Directorate General of Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF).

Who shall I contact

To pay, you must first insert your card into a special case called electronic payment terminal (EPT).

You then need to dial your PIN.

In case of purchase greater than €1,500, the trader asks you to sign the receipt or invoice.

Your bank's prior authorization may be required to validate payment order.

You can also make a contactless payment.

Contactless payment allows you to make a purchase by approaching your credit card within 4 centimeters of a special case called electronic payment terminal (EPT).

The payment order is therefore given without a secret code composition, without signature and without presentation of an identity document.

For security reasons, the maximum amount of a contactless payment is limited to €50 per operation.

Your bank sets a ceiling on the cumulative amount of "contactless" purchases allowed (per day, per week or per month).

The maximum number of consecutive transactions allowed is also limited.

When a limit is exceeded, you must use another payment method or pay by inserting your credit card into the TPE.

Purchase by phone or internet

To make your purchase, you must provide the following information:

  • 16-digit card number
  • Card Due Date
  • Security number (last 3 digits on the back of your card or 4 digits in front)

Depending on the credit card offer chosen, it may be possible to pay on foreigner sites in foreign currency.

You must be vigilant. The page where payment is made must have an address starting with https://. Such an address ensures that the connection is secure.

In case of payment on a fraudulent site, it is possible to oppose.

Banks may also issue cards intended solely for Internet payments. They use data other than the standard bank card.


to secure the payment, you must authenticate yourself. This is usually done by sending a notification to you on your bank’s mobile app. This notification prompts you to enter either a passcode or a biometric fingerprint. If you don't have a smartphone, we invite you to get in touch with your bank advisor to find a solution.

Mail order

In case of purchase by mail, you give payment order by returning a purchase order with your signature.

You must also provide the card's 16-digit number and due date.

The credit card can be used to pay abroad. To do this, you must have a international map.

In the following countries, the bank charges levied for payments by credit card are identical to those paid in France:

  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Cyprus (except in the north of the island, on the territory under Turkish military occupation)
  • Spain
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy (except in the enclave of Campione in Switzerland)
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta,
  • The Netherlands (except in the islands corresponding to the former Netherlands Antilles)
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia

The charges for cross-border payments are the same as for domestic payments.

In all other countries, a foreign exchange transaction is carried out and a commission is applied. The exchange rate and commission must be indicated on your statement of account. The exchange rate taken into account shall be that of the day of the exchange of information between the banking institutions.


the ceilings of the card can be different abroad. It is best to check with your bank before your departure.

By consulting your accounts, if you notice that a suspicious payment was made with your credit card, you must first oppose on your map as soon as possible.

It is also advisable to report fraud to the police (police or gendarmerie).

You must then contact your bank to get a refund.

Who can help me?

Find who can answer your questions in your region