No credit cards here
Cape Verde Money and Currency
Cape Verde currency only available in Cape Verde
The local currency is the Escudo., It isa currency limnked to the Euro. It is pegged at 11O to the Euro and so represents about 125 to the pound. The Cape Verde currency has been stable against the euro for a long time, but high interest rates and controls have been in force to prevent it depreciating.
It is not a convertible currency so that you cannot lawfully take it out of the country and you cannot change it abroad. Cape Verde banks do not provide credit cards. Any currency export requires special permission.
On Sal many tourist enterprises and even the aluguers will accept euros as currency . But you will generally pay 1O% too much. On other islands you cannot use any currency apart from Cape Verde escudos..
Take care of muggers when collecting currency
People have been attacked and robbed of currency on leaving banks in Praia where mugging is a serious problem. The US dollar and the pound sterling are not used as currency but can be converted at banks which are open with long queues until 15OO hours on weekdays. Sal airport banks are open at midnight when many flights arrive. C from London had a problem
"The bank clerk had never seen sterling currency and tried to look up Ingilterra on her machine After 45 minutes she finally found Regno Unido"
Because of the risk of mugging in Praia it is best to take travellers cheques and to carry no cash in Santiago. Mindelo is also risky and even Sal can be hazardous at night if you walk around with a lot of currency. People in banks may alert their friends to large currency withdrawals as there have been thefts from houses and hotels
Payment in Currency or Card?
Most hotels decline credit cards, due to the cost of clearance through Lisbon. If they accept foreign currency at all, there is usually a surcharge. Pre-payment is advisable. Credit cards are only accepted in the largest hotels and not at shops or restaurants.
Cape Verde ATM cash machines dispense local currency
Cape Verde Currency dispensers exist at the banks on Sal at the entry to both Espargos and Santa Maria. They will dispense escudos for a VISA card if you know your PIN code. But the charge can be as much as £1O plus card charges. And there are queues.
Cape Verde Bank Holidays
Banks are shut on the main public holidays.
January 1– New Year’s Day