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Kinshasa



Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

No credit cards. Cash only. No ATMs except for one on the US embassy compound. - Dec 21, 2017
No. - Dec 4, 2017
Some expats I know use credit cards locally but I haven't ever tried. I use the ATMs at the USG compounds only. I only use cash (USD or CF) for all purchases city wide. USD will result in CF change and generally you lose money on the exchange rate. I get smaller bills from the cashier for getting close to the total price for my purchases but NEVER 1's, as these are not accepted anywhere. - Mar 2, 2017
Credit cards are not a viable option. Certain ATMs (e.g. one at a grocery store near the US Embassy) are guarded and safe to use. - Jan 21, 2017
Not officially advised, but we used them throughout our four years and never had a problem. - Sep 26, 2016
No credit card use - this is a strictly cash society. It is dollarized, so you can use US dollars everywhere (except literally a dollar bill, which they do not accept) or Congolese Francs (CF). A couple of the large international stores (Shoprite - a South African grocery chain; Ocra - a US owned "Target" type store) technically take credit cards, but no one uses them. USG employees can cash checks at the embassy, and there is an ATM inside embassy grounds. I've never used any other ATM's but other people do regularly use them without a problem - just don't do it alone or at night. - Apr 26, 2016
I wouldn't recommend using credit cards anywhere other than the major hotels. There are 2 or 3 ATMs that can be used at large hotels or larger department stores. - Jan 6, 2014
I have never done it, but I know if can be done. - Nov 24, 2012
We used ours regularly over two years and never once had a problem with fraud. - May 21, 2012
There are ATMs but I have heard they are not always secure. We always got our cash/money from the cashier at the embassy. - Feb 13, 2012
Don't. - Nov 13, 2011
Getting increasingly in use here. When we arrived, there were only a couple of ATMs, now they are on every street corner (in Gombe, the district where Embassies and government is based) - Aug 4, 2011
Don't use them outside the embassy or businesses with proven track records. This is a cash society. You can use the Congo franc or American dollars. - Jan 19, 2011
i've never used any of these here. Why risk it? - Oct 16, 2010
Don't. - Jan 21, 2009