Praia - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Local bank cards are accepted everywhere. International cards are only accepted at hotels and touristy restaurants. Otherwise, cash is king. ATMs are widely available and safe. - Feb 2024

Local VINTI4 credit cards are widely and safely used with a local bank account. International credit cards used at many tourist destinations (hotels, restaurants, etc.), but don't always work as well. ATMs common and safe to use. - Aug 2023

Sometimes I can use my visa travel card, but local debit cards are more widely accepted. Using a local debit card for shopping or dinning out is common. - Jan 2023

Credit cards are not used, except at hotels. We rented a car on Sal once and had to pay in cash! Most people cash checks at the embassy and use cash. A couple people have opened local accounts to make it easier to pay staff and school fees. The local account comes with a debit card that is accepted everywhere. We have only used an ATM once in an emergency, and we gave it a thorough check before we did. - Sep 2018

Credit cards are not widely used, except at some of the larger resorts. ATMs are common and I've never had a problem using them. Some people set up local bank accounts to be able to use the local debit card, which is used everywhere. It's a fairly modern banking system. - Dec 2017

This is a cash economy so you will very rarely use an international credit card. We use local ATMs sometimes and haven't had any trouble, but we usually take out cash from the Embassy which we feel is more secure. You also avoid fees that way. If you choose to open a local bank account it is possible to get a local debit card that works at most stores and restaurants. - Oct 2016

Cash. Use the embassy cashier to cash checks. Only the high end hotels accept credit cards. - May 2014

Credit cards are accepted at VERY few places (maybe one upscale restaurant) and at hotels in Praia. You can also use credit cards to book travel. When credit cards are accepted, VISA is the only option. MasterCard stopped working, and everything else should not even be considered. I use the embassy cashier to get money, so I don't use an ATM card. ATMs are easy to find but, in my experience with guests, they only function with Visa debit cards or ATM cards with the PLUS logo on the back. To buy groceries and things without using cash, you would need to open a local bank account and get a debit card (called vinti-quattro). - Feb 2011

It's a cash society, only the tourist hotels accept major credit cards. However, I have had no problem using the ATMs to get cash from my US bank. Others have not been so lucky - I think it depends on your bank. - Sep 2012

Only Visa ATM cards work. This is a cash society; very few places accept credit cards. - May 2012

While cards were accepted, usually it was only VISA. And at times the machines weren't fully functional. Don't depend on credit cards. - Sep 2009

This is a cash economy. Credit cards can be used at the major hotels in Praia and in a few other places in Sal but cash is preferred. A tax is often added when credit cards are used. - Feb 2008

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