ATM in La Rochelle
Nearly every bank agency in La Rochelle has its own ATM. It’s often outside the bank, available 24 hours a day. You’ll find also ATM in shopping centres, airport, railway station, and main Post offices. In La Rochelle it usually dispends 10, 20 or 50 euro banknotes.
ATM accepts Visa, Eurocards Mastercard, American Express, Cirrus and Maestro cards.
In France, the generic name for a domestic credit card is “Carte Bleue”.
Remember to check your daily and weekly limits for withdrawals from abroad ATM before leaving.
Pay for things in La Rochelle
La Rochelle traders accept mostly Visa, Eurocards and Mastercards, equipped with chip and pin technology. Some of them (hotels, supermarkets, and some shops and restaurants) accept American Express cards. Shopkeepers often state a minimum amount required to pay by card (usually around 10€).
Obviously you can pay cash. If you took money before leaving, you can change money in the main Post Office of La Rochelle, near the town hall. French people use cheques easily, but only in euros on a French bank account (bank charges are too heavy and processing times are really too length for foreign bank account).
Before leaving, you can also order Euro Traveller Cheques in your bank. You’ll benefit from a loss and theft insurance. In France, change them in hotels, main Post Offices, some bank agencies and some campsites or holiday residences.
In emergency situation, you can send or receive money by wire transfer (Western Union). The minimal fee is about 30€, even if you send just a little money. You can do it at Post Offices of La Rochelle.
Exchange rate calculator link: http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/
(Weight, distance and temperature converter: http://www.convert-me.com/en/ )
Sales tax and tourist tax
In European Union, sales tax is known as VAT (TVA in France). Standard rate is 19.6% in France. The reduced rate, 7%, is applied to restaurant services, passenger transport service, museum fees, cinema ticket, zoo… Posted prices in France are inclusive TVA. For personal customers, the price you see is the price you pay.
The Tourist Tax (“Taxe de séjour”) is owed per person per day and its amount depends on the type of accommodation, its ranking (number of stars, labels…), and its location. Children under 13 are tax-exempted. This tax is collected by the owner of the accommodation. It will be included on your bill (hotel, guest room, campsite, rental, yachting harbour…).