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

While officially we were told not to use credit cards at all, I eventually decided to designate one for Lagos-only use at restaurants and hotels frequented by expats, and never had any issue. Most businesses in Lagos don't have a machine that can process international cards, though, so if you don't want to carry around giant wads of Naira (and you don't, no one does), it would make sense to open a local bank account in order to get a debit card. We did not do this but I wish we had--it also would have made ordering food/services in general much easier. I would not use an ATM card unless you had literally no other option. This did happen to me once, though, and it was fine. - Jun 2019


Cash is king in Lagos, and with the largest bill being the functional equivalent of $2.50 you will become skilled at quickly counting from a large wad of cash. Use of credit cards is possible, but fraud is rampant and I would not recommend this even at a seemingly trustworthy businesses. - Aug 2018


Ha! No. In all seriousness, you can use your cards at a couple high-end places (most nice hotels, a few nice restaurants, Deli's Supermarket), but a) the exchange rate is much worse b) most places only accept Nigerian credit cards, not international credit cards c) even if they do accept international cards, the card readers are often broken. Get used to carrying around stacks of naira. - Mar 2018


Don't even think about it. The only safe place is the the GQ. - May 2016


It's Nigeria, the land of fraud and scams. Never ever ever use a credit or ATM card here. - Nov 2015


Don't even think about it. - Dec 2011


Don't. - Sep 2008


NO. Tell anyone you're coming here and the first thing they say is, oh yeah, my mom/sister/cousin/best friend, all got ripped off by some Nigerian scam. This is the home of the pyramid scheme. - May 2008


New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More