Ouagadougou - 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?

Credit cards are used at a couple of supermarkets, but not ubiquitous. Most restaurants take cash. I only use a few ATMs, but haven't had problems yet. Typically avoid ATMs in town and only use those at the Embassy and a large hotel. - Jun 2020

The bigger stores generally frequented by expats accept credit cards. We had no problems. Major banks such as Ecobank have ATMs throughout the city. - Oct 2019

We used credit cards at some of the larger stores occasionally and never had any trouble. There are ATMs available and the ones affiliated with major banks are considered safe. There is an EcoBank ATM in the embassy. - Jul 2019

Some of the bigger stores accept credit cards. There are ATMs available and the ones affiliated with major banks are considered ok to use. - Jul 2019

We almost never use them, except to pull out cash at the embassy ATM or maybe OK at a hotel. It's a cash based economy and safer to use cash than a card. - Dec 2017

Allegedly some of the expat-oriented grocery stores take them, but I wouldn't risk it. ATMs at major banks (including one at the embassy) are fine. - May 2016

We only use cash here, which we get through the Embassy cashier. There are ATMs, but we haven't used them. - Aug 2015

Don't count on it. Cash is king. - Jun 2015

At one of the major grocery stores, (scimas) we've set up an account. We pay our bill once a month with our visa. That spares me having to carry a lot of cash consistently or worrying about their visa machine being down for the day. Marina also accepts credit cards. Mostly VISA, with a few MC, ATMS. Mostly a cash economy. - Jan 2015

Credit cards can only be used at large operations, hotels, airport etc. There are a ton of ATMs and most work well if they match the program your card uses. - Jul 2013

We always used cash. - Jul 2013

I have used them at the hotels and banks without issue. - Apr 2013

Credit cards are almost totally unheard of in hotels and restaurants, so be prepared to use cash everywhere, even if you're spending four days in a top-quality hotel (by Burkina Faso standards). In Ouagadougou, most ATMs are ok, just look for a 24/7 guard on duty outside and use a legitimate bank. Visa is much more common than Mastercard in terms of ATM access. - Nov 2012

Don't even think of using them. - Aug 2010

I generally do not use my credit card - the grocery store overcharged me once and I never used it there again. But I have used the ATM occasionally without too much trouble. - Jul 2008

There is one ATM that takes MasterCard (Hotel Slendide) but beaucoup Visa ATMs all over the place. The big hotels and many of the restaurants take Visa. The biggest grocer, Marina, also takes Visa. As for the rest, look for a Visa sticker on the door. - Jun 2008

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