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Money & Shopping

Money & Shopping

The currency is the Rwandan franc (French: franc rwandais, Kinyarwanda: Ifaranga ry'u Rwanda) which has the ISO 4217 currency code of RWF (sometimes displayed as FRw, and possibly RF or R₣).

As of Dec 2015, USD1 = RWF 750. one UK pound = RWF 1120. one Euro = RWF 800.

The smallest-value note is a RWF500 note, which is the smallest note in physical size, as well. There are also notes in denominations of 1,000, 2,000, and 5,000, with the larger notes becoming slightly larger in physical size. There are no generally-circulated notes over RWF5,000, which can be cumbersome since a RWF5,000 note is roughly equivalent to USD8. Since few places in Rwanda accept credit cards, travellers need to make provision to carry around a large bundle of cash if travelling outside of Kigali, especially if staying longer than a few days.

Coins valued at RWF100 are commonly used. However, smaller coins (50, 20, 10, 5, and RWF1) are generally not accepted by street merchants and smaller restaurants and hotels. The only place to obtain smaller coins is through a bank or a large store, such as a supermarket. It's common for most businesses in Rwanda, including currency exchangers and gas stations, to round transactions to the nearest RWF100.

You get a slightly better exchange rates by bringing USD50 bills or higher (year 2006 or newer) to exchange for Rwandan Francs.

There are ATMs all over Rwanda. Depending on your bank, this can be a much cheaper way to get francs because the ATMs use a much better exchange rate than the money changers. Master card, Visa card, Union pay, Amex cards, Diners club, JCB card are accepted at Bank of Kigali, Equity bank, Ecobank, Kenya Commercial Bank. GT Bank.

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Rwanda - Travel guide