Hannah asked in TravelFranceParis · 8 years ago

Hidden costs with BNP Paribas?

I will be moving to France to live with my boyfriend on a limited budget in January. I currently have a Bank of America account, and they have a relationship with BNP where there are no ATM fees. However, I'm sure there are fees related to commission in changing dollars to euros, or is there a bad exchange rate? I will ultimately try and open an account directly with BNP to reduce costs, but any advice on how to get my American money over there with as little cost as possible would be great. Thank you!


one more thing: i should mention that i want to open a french account so i can get my own debit card so i can use the velib bike system. i'm only staying 6 months... worth it??

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    don't fret-- i lived in france for the last 2 years, one of which i was a full time student and relying on money being sent from the states to live off of. bank of america's relationship with BNP will allow you to withdraw money from ANY BNP Paribas atm without a fee-- if you withdraw from any other bank you will be charged upwards of 5euro each transaction. if you have money in your bank of america account this is DEFINITELY the cheapest way to change it to euro, and there is no limit of how much/how often you can take money out.

    if you are not planning a long-term move to France (like, upwards of a year) and you do not intend to be working, renting your own apartment in your name, or taking out a cell phone plan, I would NOT recommend opening a bank account with any French bank. I have opened accounts with BNP as well as société génerale, and have had issues closing my bank accounts after I had left the country on both occasions. with S.G. I actually found out i had been blacklisted in 2009 for not closing the account properly and thusly not paying my bank fees. with bnp, i just closed my account in september of this year, and they took until the last week of november to finally send the wireless transfer of the remainder of my funds (600euro) to my BoA account-- extortionate fees included, of course!!

    hope this helps! i know how scary/frustrating it can be to move over there without all of the information you need. my final advice-- stick to your BoA debit card at BNP atm's and you will be golden!! (better exchange rate, too!!)

    a note to your additional note-- are you travelling on a student or working visa? if you're travelling on a tourist visa i highly doubt you would be able to open your own account anywhere. otherwise, you will need an attestation from your school, or your contract from your job, and proof that you have a place to live (your name on a lease, or a letter of statement from your boyfriend or whomever has their name on a lease) and any number of other random documents deemed necessary by which ever bank you find youself dealing with.

    i'm fairly certain you can pay for a monthly velib pass online using any major credit card, also.

    Source(s): many hours of research, plus many years of life experience!
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  • 3 years ago

    Bnp Bank Of America

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  • 8 years ago

    There are lots of money changers around.Some places no commission at all.

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