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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

Here is a not-too-earth-shaking dilemma we're having here in Paris. We try to pay the small shopkeepers in as close amounts as possible to the bill so as not to run them out of change. The ATMs, however, seem to only dish out twenties or fifties.

Today I walked into two different banks hoping to change a couple of my twenties, only be told that they do not give change.

What a Catch 22! People want to be paid in small change, and the banks, who won't give out smaller than a twenty in their machines, won't give you change! Does anyone know where to go to get change in Paris? We're living in the 11th but would happily travel elsewhere for change. (We don't have a French bank account.)
 

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Try the bank machines at la Banque Populaire (sometimes known as BICS or Bred in Paris). Not sure if it really goes by bank, but the ATMs here in the hinterlands give you a 50, two 20s and a ten if you withdraw 100€.

The time honored way to "change" a large bill in France is to buy something and get back the change in smaller bills. Actually, you'll find that people here are much less bothered by getting large bills and having to make change than in the US. Don't worry about it.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Try the bank machines at la Banque Populaire (sometimes known as BICS or Bred in Paris). Not sure if it really goes by bank, but the ATMs here in the hinterlands give you a 50, two 20s and a ten if you withdraw 100€.

The time honored way to "change" a large bill in France is to buy something and get back the change in smaller bills. Actually, you'll find that people here are much less bothered by getting large bills and having to make change than in the US. Don't worry about it.
Cheers,
Bev
I guess I am having the opposite experience. We never have a problem paying for things in US shops with twenties, but here I have been asked many times if I have smaller change, enough times to make me uncomfortable pulling out a twenty to buy five euros' worth of items. The only place I haven't been asked for smaller amounts is in the big Sunday market, which is very crowded, so I guess the merchants come stocked with change.

In the states, aside from banks, you can get change in machines in large grocery stores, or else at a laundromat. I haven't seen any change machines like that here. The laundromat here has a central spot to pay for the machine, after which they dispense any change. You do not pay at the machine itself. So no change machines there.
 
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As Bev says I wouldn't worry about it - sounds as if you just haven't been lucky. I've never had a problem paying with a twenty, although a fifty when paying for a coffee isn't ideal. If you apologise profusely at the same time, you should be ok!
 

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The only place I've seen change machines lately is at the post office, where they recently installed a fancy machine to weigh envelopes and small parcels and then generate the postage sticker all in one step. The machine apparently doesn't make its own change (odd enough) so there is a change machine stationed next to it.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The only place I've seen change machines lately is at the post office, where they recently installed a fancy machine to weigh envelopes and small parcels and then generate the postage sticker all in one step. The machine apparently doesn't make its own change (odd enough) so there is a change machine stationed next to it.
Cheers,
Bev
Oh, thanks, I will try there. We have a post office two blocks away. At our tiny fournil, where we go every day, the owner is especially grateful for small change. He has been so nice to us from day one, and I like to reciprocate.
 
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