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Money to take or ATMs

Calgary, Canada
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68 posts
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Money to take or ATMs

I will be working in Ghana for 6 weeks, leaving in 2 months. I do not like to travel with a great deal of money and prefer using ATMs to take cash out as needed or at vendors. Or better yet, a major credit card. What would be the best? I am from Canada.

san francisco
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1. Re: Money to take or ATMs

no issues when I was in Ghana, but I do not know your plans. In Accra, there are plenty of banks with reasonable fees.

My experience: there were ATMS in Tamale (but none in Mole National Park), Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast. Hope that helps.

Calgary, Canada
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68 posts
21 reviews
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2. Re: Money to take or ATMs

Thank you. I will be in Accra.

Birmingham, United...
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3. Re: Money to take or ATMs

Hmm. Check with your bank. Most Ghanaian ATMs can use Visa cards, but they take 4-digit PINs, not the 6-digit ones common in the US/Canada. You may need to change your pin before you go, so check and make sure.

Calgary, Canada
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68 posts
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4. Re: Money to take or ATMs

My pin is 4 digits. I have never had a 6 digit in Canada.

Accra, Ghana
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5. Re: Money to take or ATMs

Ghana is pretty much a cash economy. Unless you are at an upscale hotel or restaurant, credit cards are mostly useless except at ATMs. The Coconut Grove should be able to accept credit cards, but check with them to be certain their equipment is in working order.

You can easily get cedis from an ATM. Best to bring your bank card AND a credit card that you can take advances on. Sometimes the bank card will not work, but the credit card will, or the other way around. When you reach your limit (which is 800 cedis, I believe), simply re-insert your card again if you need more.

Travelers checks are also somewhat problematic in that only banks in large towns will accept them. An ATM transaction gets a slightly better exchange rate, but you have to be careful that there are no extra charges that your financial institution may impose that would wipe out any exchange rate savings.

We strongly recommend that you notify the issuers of any debit or credit card that you plan to bring. If they are not aware of your time in Ghana, their fraud detection software may decline any requests for money from within Ghana. Just call the phone number on the back of the card and let them know you will be traveling to Ghana. They could also inform you of any charges that would be associated with taking cash in cedis.

You will find ATMs sprouting up in a lot of places in Ghana now.

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Money to take or ATMs

They take visa card at the ATMS in Ghana you will receive your balance receipt after an transaction in Cedis.Just know your converson rate. For the rate is 1.00 CAD to 1.65 GHC approx. You will find ATMS fairly plentiful around the city especially in Accra Mall. Bring Visa both passport & bank card.....make sure you have all the details written down when you go thru immigration at Kotoka Intl.Airport in Accra. Don't overstay visa not even one day or be fined big time. Have a good trip you'll enjoy Ghana with the friendliest people in Africa.

Birmingham, United...
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318 posts
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7. Re: Money to take or ATMs

If your pin is 4 digits then you'll have no problems at all, Alphonse. Last time I was around the daily withdrawal limit was about 500 cedis (this was some time ago) - which is more than most people's MONTHLY salaries, so you should get by just fine.

Northern California
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8. Re: Money to take or ATMs

A year ago, using ATMs was problematic. A Bank of America ATM card worked only at Barclay's -- and not at a couple of local banks' ATMs -- so I am inclined to disagree with some of the advice that you have been given. I traveled with cash and never felt concerned about it. If you take $US, take only new series notes that are not worn/torn. The exchange rate is higher for $US notes of $50 and above.

Maryland
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9. Re: Money to take or ATMs

In addition to your bank card take some cash with you and as another person posted large denomination and the newer bills are better. You can have just a few one and five dollar bills just in case you needed them. The exchange rate is better for the large bills.

Use your ATM card at safe locations just as you will any where and be mindful of your surroundings when you are withdrawing money. Call your ATM card issuer before you leave and let them know of your impending travel.

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10. Re: Money to take or ATMs

Hi there fellow canuck,

Ghana is interesting when it comes to ATMs. Your debit card should work at all Barclays bank ATM machines as long as it has a plus sign/symbol on its back. And there is aBarclays in every major town. That being said, your card is suppose to work at all ATMs, from all banks, but it just doesn't. Many times you will come across a bank machine which will give take several tries to take out cash. Just take down the time location and branch number in case of irregulaties. Also, be ready to pay seriously high transaction fees.

That being said, foreign exchange places outnumber ATMs by 20 to 1. You get a better rate if you exchange 100$ and 50$ bills than smaller bills. It is probably safer to bring a card than cash, but that much more inconvenient. You will have to keep a small fortune in cash at your home in case you get robbed our lose your card and have no money in hand. If I was you, I would bring 1000$ on cash, and another 1000 in card form.

Good luck

PS - most people don't know where canada is and our dollar is alien to them. Bring US currency.