Dhaka - 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?

You can use credit cards in the diplomatic zones almost anywhere. but anything on the local market will require cash like when you need a rickshaw or if you have to pay someone off. I withdraw a large amount of cash from the embassy cashier monthly and self-bank that way. I'm primarily cash-based here. - Jul 2023

I used a credit card in the Unimart, a western-style grocery store. In smaller shops, it's all cash. - Dec 2021

Yes, you can use both and very safely. - Sep 2021

Yes, but be careful. CC fraud is pretty common. ATMs are widely available in Dhaka, and are generally safe. - Jun 2019

Mostly a cash-based economy, but credit cards are accepted at most of the shops catering to expats. - Jul 2018

Visa cards can be used locally at most of the upscale venues in the diplomatic enclave. However, Embassy staff are not allowed to visit any local retail establishments, so you will never really have an opportunity to use a credit card locally. There are reliable ATM machines in the Enclave, but US embassy staff are only allowed to use the ATM on the embassy grounds. - Apr 2017

More and more places, especially restaurants and shops frequented by the expat community, are beginning to accept credit cards. I've used my credit card many times without incident, although it's a good idea to use cash if you're at all doubtful about the establishment's ability to protect your information. The Embassy ATM is the only one I use. - Jun 2016

This is a cash economy. - May 2016

Seems ok at reputable banks. - Jun 2015

more places are accepting credit cards, but it's a 80-90% cash society - Mar 2015

I don't use them, except commissary (2% fee). Bring lots of checks. You will use cash mostly. - Sep 2014

Don't use them at all. - Aug 2014

Don't. Just don't. There's an ATM on compound that's safe, but every other ATM is like playing russian roulette with your personal information. Bring LOTS of checks - you will use them to get cash from the bank, to pay at the commissary, to load money onto your club account, etc. several checks each month. - Jul 2014

Credit cards are not widely accepted, but you can use them (for a fee) at shops and restaurants in the dip zone. It's very much a cash economy. There's a reliable ATM at the American School and in the Embassy. - Aug 2013

Easy at the embassy. - Apr 2013

We don't use either, ever. It is a cash-only society. There is an ATM at the embassy. - Aug 2011

The embassy has a safe ATM. Have never used a credit card here. I would advise against it. - Jun 2011

There have been reports of people having their bank accounts hacked after using local ATMs - the Embassy has a safe one, but very, very few places take credit - happily, usually the places that expats tend to shop. - Feb 2011

There is an ATM at the embassy. - Jan 2011

Not too safe but can be done. - Jan 2011

This is generally not a problem. I used my ATM card at HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank with no issues, and I received all funds in Taka at the prevailing exchange rate with the US dollar. - Oct 2010

Very few places accept credit cards, and there are very few ATMs. Cash is king. The embassy has an ATM and a bank branch to cash checks for their personnel. - Apr 2010

Some stores in the diplomatic area take credit cards, but people rarely use them--this is mainly a cash economy. ATMs are widely available in Dhaka, including name-brand ones like HSBC and Standard Chartered. - Oct 2009

There are a few ATM machines. Most Mission people use the one located on the embassy compound. - Aug 2009

It is dicey. We use the ATM at the Embassy almost exclusively or cash checks at the Embassy bank. Some businesses and the big hotels accept credit cards, but it is mostly a cash economy. - Mar 2009

I was able to open a dollar account, but only with the help of an employer. I opened a taka account with an ATM.This was a fine experience. - Nov 2008

I don't use ATMs here but there is one at the Embassy. - Oct 2008

There are no problems with ATMs. - Mar 2008

i've used both without problem. The grocery stores, tourist shops, hotels, etc. all accept credit cards. That said, however, this is pretty much a cash economy. - Feb 2008

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