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

Credit cards are hit or miss. Always best to have cash on you. Most grocery stores take them, but often their card readers don't work. Most restaurants take them now. If you want to book a safari or something through a travel operator and want to use a card, they'll usually charge you 3.5%. I get my cash from the Embassy, so I'm not sure about the safety of ATMs. I do know that the denominations they'll give out are pretty small, so you end up having to do many transactions. - Jul 21, 2017
Malawi is a cash society. You can rarely use CC and even if they say you can, often the machine doesn't work. There are ATMs but I believe the max withdrawal is 40,000mkw or US$80. - Oct 16, 2016
Lilingwe is a cash based place. There are lots of ATMs which generally have a withdrawal limit of 40,000 Kwacha. - Aug 2, 2015
Leave the credit card at home. ATMs work for getting cash out. - Sep 17, 2013
This is a cash economy, but we don't really trust the ATMs here, and hardly anyone takes credit cards. If a store does take them, the employee won't know how to process the request, and it will take a lot longer for your transaction. - Sep 26, 2012
We only used cash while we were there. Most stores didn't seem to take credit cards. - Sep 17, 2009
You can find a bank that will accept your ATM card. Credit card use is very limited. You must pay cash for most things. - Jul 27, 2009