For stays in France of over three months, opening a bank account can be useful in order to simplify your transactions.

In general, you will need to be settled in France before opening a bank account in France.

Usually it is more practical to choose the branch closest to one’s domicile or work. When you have made the choice, you must contact the bank to obtain the list of required documents which are normally: 

  • the passport
  • the residence card (if you need one)
  • proof of residence not older than three months (water, electricity, Internet bill...)
  • Other documents can be required, but you will be alerted by the bank agent before the meeting

Once the French bank account is open, you can obtain a debit bank card, a checkbook (if requested) and a RIB (bank coordinates for incoming or outgoing wires). It is generally easier to pay electric bills, etc. with one’s RIB number as opposed to writing endless checks.

Before leaving (ideally 15 days before), if you do not intend to make further trips in France, it is best to close the bank account. At this time do not forget to also close all accounts with payees such as electricity, water, Internet providers, etc.

Who to contact in case a bank card is lost or stolen?

Carte Bleue or Visa : 08 00 90 11 79 (free call)
Carte Eurocard or Mastercard : 08 00 90 13 87 (free call)
Carte American Express : 01 47 77 70 00 (free call)