Americans, Take Note

US-issued 'smart' credit/debit cards with embedded chips (a technology pioneered in France in the 1980s) and PINs work virtually everywhere in France, including autoroute toll plazas, but cards with a chip but no PIN may occasionally leave you unable to pay – for instance, at unstaffed, 24/7 petrol (gas) stations with self-pay pumps. If your credit card is of the old type, ie with a magnetic strip but no chip, ask your issuer to send you a new, chip-equipped card – they're usually happy to oblige as the new technology is much more secure.