Foreign Exchange Guide to France
In this guide we review :
- Euro info - general info about the Euro
- Euro in the markets - recent EUR moves and predictions from the FX markets
- Travelling in France - currency & money saving tips
- Buying Euro cash online - travel money for France
- Sending money to France - save on Euro bank transfers to France
- Euro exchange rates - latest info & charts.
Euro (EUR) general currency information
The three letter currency code for the Euro is EUR and the symbol is €. It is the domestic currency in Eurozone, Aaland Islands, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guinea, French Southern Territories, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Vatican City, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Portugal, Reunion, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre And Miquelon, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
The euro (ISO: EUR) is involved in slightly more than 30% of all foreign exchange deals, and as such, is the world’s second most traded currency, behind the US dollar.
The euro is the currency of the eurozone (officially called the ‘euro area’), which consists of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union, and is used by almost 350 million Europeans. It was introduced in January 1999.
Of all the thousands of exchange rates that exist in the world, the euro-to-US dollar exchange rate is the most actively traded, or most ‘liquid’.
Since its introduction, the euro’s lowest value against the dollar came in October 2000 when EUR/USD hit lows of 0.8231. The currency was strongest in July 2008, shortly before the worst stage of the 2007-2009 financial crisis, when EUR/USD reached 1.6038.
There are currently more than twenty nations and territories which peg their currencies to the euro, the largest of which is Denmark.
Euro (EUR) in the markets
The euro was the best performing major international currency in 2017 and it entered 2018 in equally good form. By mid-January, the euro was at three-year highs against the dollar above $1.22. It was stable against the British pound, at rates close to £0.89.
In early 2018, two pieces of bullish news fuelled widespread euro buying.
First, news that Angela Merkel’s CDU-CSU party bloc had achieved a breakthrough in coalition talks with the Social Democrats reduced political uncertainty in Europe’s largest economy.
Secondly, more hawkish-than-expected December meeting minutes from the ECB. At the meeting, policymakers discussed whether the bank would need to change its communication in 2018, which traders took to mean a potential upcoming signal for a further reduction in monthly asset purchases (akin to tighter monetary policy).
2018 Forecasts: European banks disagree on the outlook for the euro. While Danske Bank believes that a continuation of euro strength is likely – the bank sees EUR/USD at 1.25 at 2018 year-end – the team at ABN Amro believes the euro’s “resilience will be tested.” ABN predicts a EUR/USD rate of 1.15.
Danske sees EUR/GBP a little lower in 12 months’ time, at 0.86, from December ’17 rates near 0.887, but UBS forecast a much higher rate, at 0.95.
France currency and money saving tips
France is beautiful, has great food, delicious wine, deep history, and a carefree atmosphere. There’s nothing like a picnic along the Seine or a day through the French countryside to make life seem beautiful. France is everything that people make it out to be and then some. France can be expensive to travel in, and eating out is not cheap. Buying your own food in France can be very cheap however. There are many bread, cheese, and meat shops around. There are outdoor markets that are cheap, and fun, to visit. It’s common to pick up some ingredients and have a picnic.
The best way to get around France is via the trains. Overnight trains cost the least, while the fast TGV lines (high-speed train) cost the most, about 90 EUR. Local transit systems are reliable and cost between 1-3 EUR per trip. Transportation to and from airport into city centers is generally affordable and user friendly. Expect about 12 EURO to get into Paris from Charles de Gaulle. However, there are several ways to get into the city, the last choice we would advise is on the RER train. The RER is great for Parisians who know their way around or experienced repeat travelers, but not at all great for arriving tourists from overnight flights. Tired and disoriented tourists are easy targets for baggage theft and pickpockets on that line. If you take it, always keep an eye on luggage at every stop all the way into the city.Taxis will be tough on the budget, so avoid when you can.
The French Alps offer some of the best ski slopes in Europe. If you're in Europe in the winter months and at a loss for what to do, consider getting a group together and renting a ski chalet, or staying at one of the slope-side hotels or hostels. France has some of the best Roman ruins outside of Italy. Orange, Nimes and Arles all have beautiful Roman theaters, and Nimes also contains a well-preserved temple.
France Trip Checklist
Travel money for France
Save money and time by Ordering your Euro online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the EUR cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Euro otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Sending money to France
When sending money to France it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 3 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Euro amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted EUR amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in France.
By comparing the rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Euro deposited into the recipient bank account in France and less margins and fees kept by the banks!