Currency in Angola

What Currency Does Angola Use Now

When traveling to a different country, one of the key things you need to be aware of is the currency used in that particular country. This is no different if your destination is the Southern African nation known as Angola. The official currency of Angola is the Angolan kwanza (AOA) which became the nation's monetary unit in 1977 after the country's independence from Portugal.

It's quite unlikely that you will find an exchange bureau outside of Angola that will exchange your foreign currency for the Angolan kwanza. This means that, in most cases, you will have to exchange your money upon arrival in Angola. It's advisable to exchange enough currency to cover your immediate expenses such as local transportation and meals as access to banking facilities may not always be readily available.

Credit and Debit Cards in Angola

Navigating the credit card landscape in Angola is crucial for visitors to this nation. The good news is, credit and debit cards are gradually gaining popularity for making payments in large hotels, restaurants, and international supermarkets in cities like Luanda. Visa cards are the most widely accepted followed by MasterCard.

However, it is crucial to realize that credit and debit card payments are not universally accepted in all places of Angola, especially in remote regions. Hence, always having a small amount of cash in hand is highly recommended. Inform your home bank prior to your departure to Angola to ensure smooth transactions and avoid possible blocking by your bank due to unusual transaction locations.

Using Cash in Angola

Despite the modern world's increase in cashless transactions, cash remains the most commonly accepted form of payment in Angola, especially outside urban areas where card readers and ATMs may not be readily available.

While it is advisable to use the local currency for transactions, in certain cases US dollars may be accepted. However, since the government is encouraging the use of the local currency, it is recommended to carry amounts in Angolan kwanza. It is important to take note that changing money anywhere other than authorized banks and bureaus is illegal.

ATMs In Angola

When it comes to accessing cash in Angola, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) offer a relatively easy and convenient way of obtaining Angolan kwanzas. Majority of ATMs in Angola accept Visa cards, whilst fewer accept MasterCard and almost none accept American Express, Diners Club or other cards.

Withdrawal limits may differ from one bank to another and be lower than what you're used to back home. Also, it's advisable to use ATMs located in well-lit public places or secure environments such as shopping malls or bank premises to ensure your safety while withdrawing cash.

Bank Hours

Being aware of the standard bank hours can save you from financial stress in a foreign country. In Angola, banks typically operate from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM from Monday to Friday. However, these hours can vary slightly from one bank to another and most of them are closed during weekends and public holidays.

In conclusion, while visiting Angola, it's wise to plan your financial needs strategically. Even though the use of credit and debit cards is on the rise, it is important to always have some cash on hand, especially when visiting remote areas. Lastly, observe the banking hours to avoid inconveniences and always safeguard your financial information while transacting.