🇷🇼 Monzo in Rwanda

I couldn’t see a topic for this on the forum so far, so I thought I’d set one up and share some general advice from my brief time in Rwanda, focusing on Kigali as that’s where I spent most of my time.

In comparison to other countries in East Africa, there is fantastic Mastercard ATM support in Kigali. I used ATMs there roughly every day for about 2 weeks, and only had an issue once with an ATM not accepting Mastercard.

It’s also worth noting that the maximum currency denomination in Rwanda is 5,000Rfr (which is about £5), and doesn’t have all that much buying power (ie 8,000Rfr is roughly the cost of a sit down dinner with a drink), so in Kigali, I’d advice going to the ATM little and often unless you want your wallet to swell like a balloon.

Paying by card is possible in certain high end shops and restaurants in Kigali (not sure about the rest of Rwanda), but in general it’s best to assume you can’t pay by card when going anywhere in Kigali, so always bring enough cash if you’re going somewhere more rural.

I’ll update this thread if I can think of anything else useful, and happy travelling!


Just to confirm, did you use your Monzo card in Kigali then? For ATMs and paying in shops/restaurants etc?

I’ve had issues previously where VISA was the only card accepted by the ATMs (especially if you’re limited to travelling in central Kigali). I would recommend having a VISA card with you (even if you don’t intend to use it).

Didn’t realise this guy needed Monzo

To confirm, Monzo works in Kigali, Rwanda both in MasterCard ATMs and when paying with card in shops, hotels etc. Same £200/month limit applies for taking out cash and 3% charge after. Alternatives are to take crisp USD notes with you and exchange at FOREX (there are loads). GBP/EUR can also be exchanged but the rate is usually less beneficial.

When taking money out, usually pick option “Checkings/Current” to take money out from it. Bear in mind the most you can take out is about 200,000RWF (Rwandan francs) which is given in 40x 5000 notes. Don’t rely on an ATM though!