You can freely use a Visa credit card in Ghana. Mastercard and American Express are also accepted, but less so especially if you travel outside of Accra.
Making a cash withdrawal could cover you in places that don’t accept credit cards. Though this may come with additional fees.
Which credit card issuers are accepted in Ghana?
Only Visa cards are widely accepted in Ghana. Mastercard and American Express cardholders might struggle to find an ATM or an establishment to use these cards, especially outside of Ghana’s capital.
Discover cards are still trying to find a way into the Ghana credit card market.
Potential credit card fees in Ghana
The usual credit card fees you can incur in Ghana are:
- Foreign transaction fees. You could pay up to a 3% transaction fee on the amount of each transaction, which quickly adds up.
- Currency conversion fees. Sometimes, a vendor might give you the option to pay in US dollars. Doing so gets you a Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). If accepted, you could pay additional fees and get a poor conversion rate.
Could I pay both fees?
Yes. Avoid paying both fees by getting a credit card without foreign transaction fees and turn down DCC if offered.
Compare cards for use in Ghana
Choosing a credit card without foreign transaction fees would be ideal. Also, consider a Visa card since they’re widely accepted in Ghana.
If you often travel to Ghana, you could save money with the following cards:
Both of these widely-accepted Visa cards come without foreign transaction fees. Also, aside from United Airlines, you can board any Star Alliance partner airlines that fly between the US and Ghana.
Is it safe to use my credit card in Ghana?
Yes, it’s relatively safe. Even so, you should always try to:
- Select ATMs with care. Try to use ATMs located within a bank. They’re less likely to have a card-skimming device attached. And if the ATM eats your card, you could easily retrieve it with the help of a bank employee.
- Take two cards. You never know what might happen to your credit card. Having a backup card can put your mind at ease.
- Keep your card in sight. Watch your card at all times when using it to pay to avoid potential card cloning.
How to prepare before traveling to Ghana
- Get a credit card without foreign transaction fees. That way you’ll save up to 3% on every purchase you make.
- Visa cards are universally accepted. But you could potentially manage with Mastercard and American Express. Try to avoid Discover cards as they’re rarely accepted.
- Notify your bank. Your bank could block your card if you don’t.
- Get your bank’s phone number. Call if you have any issues with your card.
- Get a backup card. You never know when you might need it.
- Get some cash. Not everyone accepts credit cards in Ghana.
Should I use my credit card to get cash in Ghana?
Yes, getting cash from an ATM could get you the best conversion rate. However, cash withdrawals come with cash advance fees and a high APR if you’re using a credit card.
Consider getting a debit card to avoid cash advance fees and an APR.
Do taxis in Ghana accept credit cards?
No, but you could use a rideshare app such as Uber and pay with your credit card through the app.
Chip and PIN credit cards
Chip and PIN cards are commonly used in Ghana. To avoid any surprises when using your card, ask for a four-digit PIN from your bank before departing.
Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Ghana, especially at large hotels and restaurants. Visa cards have wider acceptance, followed by Mastercard and American Express.
If you decide to use your card for purchases, consider a credit card without foreign transaction fees and always decline to pay in US dollars if offered. That way you’ll save money on fees.
Bringing a debit card could be a solid choice if you intend to make cash withdrawals as they don’t have cash advance fees or an APR.
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