Ghana is more than happy to take your hard currency!   Forex bureaus accept USD, CAD, GBP, Euro, JPY and some of the Ecowas currencies.  Follow this link for current foreign exchage rates. Ghana Foreign Exchange Rates 

Here are some basic guidelines:

Cash and Foreign Exchange – Bring only cash or traveler’s checks to exchange into cedis. There are forex bureaus everywhere in Accra, and many of the bigger hotels such as La Palm, Labadi Beach, Golden Tulip, have forex bureaus as well. Don’t allow an individual on the street to exchange money for you, even if he quotes you good rates… there’s a strong likelihood the money is counterfeit.   The further out of Accra that you go, the less frequent you will encounter forex bureaus.  One exception is if you are travelling to a regional capital.  So if your trip to Ghana includes trips away from Accra, bring enough of the local currency to tide you over. Also, many hotels and forex bureaus will quote you a better exchange rate for large denominations of U.S. dollars (100$, 50$ bills) than for smaller bills - so take the bigger bills, they are more compact to carry with you anyway.  When bringing U.S. money, don't bring the old bills.  Many, many forex bureau operators do not realize that old Alexander Hamilton's are still valid, and will only take new currency.  Remember, "Big Head - Good!  Small Head - Bad!"

Traveler's Checks - It is possible to exchange Traveler's Checks in Accra, though it is not accepted at every forex bureau you encounter.  The larger hotels that have forex will likely take them, and the bigger forex bureaus, as well.  Two important things you should be aware of, one is that your rate will be less than if you use hard currency, and two, as you go out of Accra, you may encounter much more trouble finding a place that will take your traveler's checks.  The reason for this is simple - it is not as visible and widely known, and merchants may be hesitatnt to accept them for fear that they may be counterfeit.  Most of the big banks (Barclays, Standard Chartered) will exchange traveler's checks.

Redenomination of the Cedi - Effective January 1, 2008, only new currency is accepted for legal tender and trade.  Ghana's old currency is being taken out of circulation, and will only be accepted at local banks in exchange for new currency.  One problem you may encounter is that many traders are still quoting prices in the old currency.  For example, a taxi driver may tell you the fare is 15,000 cedis; under the new currency scheme, the amount should be quoted as 1.50 GHC or 1 Ghana Cedi 50 Pesawa.  When in doubt, ask if that is the new currency quoted or the old one.  This poster is in circulation throughout Ghana.  Before your trip, take a look at the bills, so you are not confused and/or cheated.  In this picture, the bills appear to be the same size; in fact, the higher the denomination, the larger the bill in size.

 

 New Ghana Currency

 For more information about the redenomination of the cedi, follow this link to the Bank of Ghana website

Bank of Ghana Cedi Redenomination

ATMs and Banking – Many U.K.and European-based banks are here, including Barclays, Standard Chartered and Stanbic; local banks are Ghana Commercial Bank, Zenith Bank (from Nigeria) and other commercial banks. Most of the big banks have ATMs which give only local currency.   For a full list of banks operating in Ghana, follow this link Banks in Ghana  One important note, before you leave home, contact your bank or credit card company, regarding your ATM card to be sure it will work overseas and in case you need a special PIN number.  There is a limit to how much you can withdraw at an ATM, and it is usually less than $100 (in local currency, of course).  Oh, and ATMs only take Visa, not Mastercard.  As of the Summer of 2012, the ATMs are much more dependable.  The daily limit is 400 GHC Daily which is about $200.00.  

Credit Cards – Don’t use them unless it is an absolute emergency. Sad to say, credit card fraud abounds in Ghana.  It happens all too frequently. Not even in the big hotels should you consider using your credit card. If you do have to use one, then ask for the carbons or any extra copies that get printed so that your credit card number isn't left lying around.  Also, don't let the credit card out of your sight, if they tell you the imprinting machine is elsewhere, have it brought before you or you accompany your card.  Really, it is that important.  When you return to your home, check your bills as soon as possible.  Even better, if you've got online access, do it before you go home.  Bring cash to pay for your purchases. For cash advances, it is safe to use your credit card at a bank, inside or at the ATM.  Some POS terminals accept credit cards, but a U.S. or U.K. based credit card may not work here.  Things have changed a bit.  There are many business owned by American or UK returnees who like taking credit cards and have secure systems in place.  This can be quite convenient.  

 Additonal information on this topic included money etiquette in Ghana.