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

Seem to be widely accepted at restaurants and larger grocery stores, I avoid. ATMs are all over and are safe with standard precautions. - Nov 2019

We don't use credit cards locally. They're accepted at some expat-oriented restaurants, hotels, and grocery stores, but we just prefer to use cash. I haven't heard of anyone having cards copied or any other card-related crime, though. Mobile phone-based payment systems are popular here and if we were not nearly at the end of our tour I'd probably set that up. There is an ATM in the USAID building on the Embassy compound and a cashier in the Embassy where checks can be written for local currency. - May 2019

I generally prefer to operate in a cash economy in Africa. There are ATMs but I would not use them unless it was an emergency. There is an ATM at the embassy that many people use. We have used a credit card for a hotel stay, but nothing else while here. The embassy cashier can cash checks so you have local currency. - Apr 2018

I've used my credit card at the bigger supermarkets and merchants at the shopping malls with no problem. But this is primarily a cash country. I would not take my chances with an ATM unless it's on the embassy grounds. - Aug 2017

Nope, wouldn't touch that in West Africa. Keep credit cards in your safe, locked away until you leave the country. - Apr 2017

Credit cards are accepted but it is recommended to not use them. However, we have used a credit card for grocery shopping without issue. - Aug 2016

Don't use them! - May 2014

I don’t know of anyone who uses a credit card here. Most places don’t accept them, and you run a big risk using them at places that do. - Apr 2012

Do not use them!!!!!Almost everyone I know has had their accounts stolen. - Aug 2011

Using credit cards or ATMs is not recommended. - Jun 2011

I have not used the ATMS, but I have a friend who does this regularly and has had no problems. I purchased plane tickets once by credit card. I had to tell my credit car company in advance and let them know it was a one-time purchase and the approximate amount. Many of us shop with credit cards online through and some of us have had some problems. A lot of vendors will block your server from making orders (e.g. and ToysRUs) if you order from home. Credit card fraud is a problem here. - Feb 2010

Unknown, I have used cash exclusively. - May 2009

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