Getting a Phone Plan without a Bank Account
When I first arrived it was almost impossible to get a phone plan, because most phone companies require you to have a bank account. I tried offering to pay in cash or by card, but they all required a french IBAN. I spent several weeks only using wifi, until I met a friend that told me she was using Reglo Mobile. Its a phone service that works with a big supermarket in France called E.Leclerc, so they do not have their own stores. They have stations in the media section of certain supermarket locations.
I started by signing up online. No need for a french bank account, you can pay monthly or set up automatic withdrawal from any credit or debit card. I used my Bank of America credit card (which I will give more details about in another article, if you're interested in tips on what American debit/credit cards to bring with you). Once you set up your account and payment method, they will mail you your sim card (which arrived within the week for me). You pop it in your phone, and I think you have to restart your phone and then you're good to go. They have great plans. My friend is paying like 10€ a month for 40gigs I believe, and I am paying 15€ for 60. That includes unlimited texts and calls and even 5-8gigs in the EU (which is great when you're traveling).
AND you can cancel at any time with no fee, so this is really a great starter phone plan for when you arrive. If you know your address ahead of time, you could even start your phone plan and have them ship the sim card so it'll already be in your mailbox when you get here.
Personally, I have had this phone plan for almost a year and a half now and have not had any problems service-wise. I have looked into changing plans, but the only other really affordable one that I have found is Red by SFR. If I do decide to change, I think I'll go with them (you can even keep your same number when changing plans). The only issue I had, was when my phone got stolen (that's a whole different story)... I had to get a new sim card by going to an E.Leclerc store, but it wasn't super clear which ones had Reglo stations. I think I went to like 5 stores, until I found one which had a station, but then they tried to tell me I couldn't keep the same number, so I went home and called customer service for like the 3rd time and they said yes I can keep the same number. So, I went back to the location that I had gone to before and It was a different guy and he gave me a new sim card for free, with the same number, no problem. Sooo long story short, you CAN keep the same number and you get 1 free replacement when your phone is stolen, so don't let them tell you otherwise. The location I ended up going to was at Orsay-Centre in the suburbs. If you happen to get your phone stolen, I know for a fact that at least at this location they can help!