Baku - 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?

Yes, but some won't work, better luck via apple pay or other phone apps. ATMs from bank branches are safe. - Sep 2023

Apple pay works pretty well here. US visa cards work a solid 60% of the time, and it you have a AMEX card it is completely useless here. - Aug 2023

U.S. credit cards will work about 60% of the time. ApplePay and GooglePay seem to work more often. I have never used an ATM, so I can't comment on that. - Aug 2023

Yes, Apple Pay works 80% of the time. ATMs are everywhere and safe. - Jun 2023

Most expats use cash, while locals in Baku do a lot of transactions with their cards. If you have a local account it's easy to pay with a card. Most expats don't bother with that and just use cash. When you go to the ski mountains and stay at fancy hotels you are totally fine using credit cards. I just paid a traffic fine online with my US debit card. It triggered an alert and freeze on my card that I had to call and have removed before I could finish the payment. Most ATMs are fine, but the fees are not cheap. - Jun 2021

We never use our credit card. You can at some of the big hotels, but most people just use cash. - Jan 2019

We always had cash with us, as you never know if a place will accept credit cards. Most international hotels accept credit cards, but some terminals won’t accept American-based credit cards. - Jul 2018

I used a credit card once to pay for a hotel in Guba, and there was some issue with the AZE bank communicating with my US bank and the transaction wouldn't go through. After a lot of fussing, the hotel agreed to let me pay upon check-out, at which time the transaction went through with no issue. But after that experience, I decided not to bother with credit cards and always carried cash. Several of my expat friends use cards regularly, but you do have to be prepared for establishments that are cash only. ATMs are widely available and safe. - May 2018

I don't use ours often, but a lot of people do. I think there are certain ATMs the embassy approves. It hasn't really been a problem. - Mar 2017

I only use the ATM on the Embassy compound - Jul 2015

We don't use credit cards because of foreign transaction fees, but some stores and restaurants claim to accept them. My husband cashes checks for our money because the ATM has a very low limit of $350 per transaction. We've heard about 'safe' ATMS, so we only use the one at the embassy. - Jan 2013

No credit cards: you need to use cash only. Very seldom are there CC machines AND it is not recommended they be used here anyway. Trips to ATM will become second nature and a must! And only certain banks are recommended as "safe" to pull money from! Seems that the machines here have a mind of their own and don't always function -- so be aware! - Dec 2011

There is an ATM at the embassy and it is recommended you use that one. Credit card fraud is a big problem here, so stick with cash if possible. - Sep 2010

RSO recommends only using one on embassy grounds. Reports of fraud/theft otherwise. - Aug 2010

I typically use the ATM on the embassy compound, but I've used others around town when I had to and haven't been ripped off (yet). - Oct 2009

No one uses credit cards. Cash is the means of payment everywhere. atm"s are available. I would recommend using the one at the Embassy. - Nov 2008

You can use credit cards in some grocery stores and restaurants but we tend to pay in cash in most instances. - Sep 2008

ATMs are no problem in Baku, I am not sure outside the city. - Sep 2008

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