Dar Es Salaam - 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?

Seems fine to use CCs but I’d avoid ATMs. I’ve already had to replace my debit card because it was flagged by my bank for fraud (thankfully). - Jan 2022

Yes, be careful at ATMs. - Oct 2021

Any nice restaurant or expat focused store will accept, but, they'll also add 4%. Cash is preferred. The largest bank note is 10,000 shillings which is about $4 - it's normal to cash checks for millions of shillings. Everyone seems to use the cashier at the embassy and lives off cash. There's an ATM at SeaCliff. - May 2020

Not widely accepted, not always safe to try. However, the ATM's at the large expat shopping centers don't routinely have issues any longer. - Jun 2017

not widely accepted yet. Most of the restaurants take cards, but you can cash a check at the Embassy. There are 2 ATMs on the peninsula one at shoppers plaza and the other at the Diplomatic Sales store. I never had my card compromised there and I felt safe. The ATM at shoppers plaza had a guard on duty 24/7. - Dec 2015

We do not use them and have not had a problem. This is a cash economy, and the cash goes quickly. - Jul 2015

Don't use the ATMs in town! I have known some people who did and their account information was stolen. - Mar 2014

NEVER use either one there. You can, but I wouldn't trust using a credit card except at the high end hotels. NEVER use an ATM, the issues with this are getting more and more frequent. - Feb 2013

We used ATM's without much problem, but watched the account frequently and did have one incidence of fraud. I never used major credit cards except when traveling at major hotels or resorts. - Feb 2013

Credit cards are rarely accepted and usually carry a 5% service charge. ATMs are readily available and generally safe, although there have been some scandals recently. Just check your account regularly for irregular charges (particularly withdrawals from ATMs in Eastern Europe or Nairobi), and be mindful of people around you watching you enter your PIN. - Aug 2011

There have been recent scams with the Barclays' ATMs -- precaution should be taken. We use the bank at the embassy (Citibank) and have never had a problem. - Jun 2010

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