Despite the rise in popularity of credit and debit cards across the globe, Kenya is still very much a cash society. Even in the major cities of the country (Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu), people settle most of their bills in hard cash. All this is thanks to the country’s relatively low undeveloped banking system.
Since the Kenya Shilling (Ksh) is the only currency accepted in Kenya, you should look for the best form of travel money to take to the country. A good type of travel money should let you access your money conveniently throughout your stay in Kenya.
A good type of travel money to take to Kenya should have the following three qualities: low or no exchange rates; countrywide acceptance; and safety. Different types of travel money will have different exchange rates, different acceptance levels and different safety levels.
The local currency in Kenya is the shilling. Major credit cards are accepted at hotels and most lodges and camps "in the bush". US dollars, Euros and travelers checks are readily accepted, but small denominations are recommended for cashing at lodges and camps. Changing money at banks can be very time consuming and it is never wise to change money on the street.
What is the best travel money card to take to Kenya
A travel money card can function as both a debit card and a credit card. You load the card with money from your account and use it at ATMs like a debit card and at hotels and merchants like a credit card.
The good thing about a travel money card is that you can replace it if it is stolen or lost. This is quite safe compared to cash, which is not replaceable once stolen or lost.
Travel money cards to take to Kenya
The following are some of the travel cards you can take to Kenya.
NB: All the travel money cards may be subject to ATM operator fees charged by the ATM operator.
What is the best credit card to take to Kenya?
Credit cards are becoming increasingly popular, with old fraud-friendly, fully manual swipe machines slowly being replaced by electronic systems. While there’s less chance of someone making extra copies of chits this way, the connections fail with tedious regularity. Visa and MasterCard are now widely accepted, but it would be prudent to stick to up-market hotels, restaurants and shopping centers to use them.
How to avoid credit card fees in Kenya
After examining the fees and charges that come with using a credit card to make a purchase and to withdraw cash, how can these fees and charges be avoided? To save on credit card fees, consider using the 28 degrees MasterCard, which does not charge most fees charged by most credit cards.
28 degrees MasterCard is one of its kinds, it offers up to 55 days interest-free on purchased and does not charged most of the fees charged by other cards.
The 28 degrees MasterCard does not charge the following fees: cash advance fees, annual fee, and international transaction fees on purchases.
Using an Australian debit card in Kenya
The Citibank Plus transaction account is a great product from one of the world’s leading financial institutions. Some of the account’s features are zero monthly account fees, an interest rate of 0.00% p.a, access to Visa debit card, zero ATM withdrawal fee, and ability to have a joint application.
When traveling to Kenya you need an account that will let you access your money at the lowest cost and with the least inconvenience. The Citibank Plus transaction account provides the convenience you need at zero charges.
Citibank is available in 25 different countries, Kenya included, which makes the account a great one when traveling to Kenya. You can use the card at Barclays, Standard Chartered and Kenya commercial Bank – no fees on the transactions.
Travel card, debit card and credit card acceptance in Kenya
if you have a Visa Card or MasterCard you can withdraw at most of the ATMs only there may be charges attached to the transaction and the charges may vary from one machine to another, so, if you can, it is worth checking the charges before taking out the money.
Due to lack of the cardholder’s name on travel money cards, most merchants may have issues. You can however withdraw cash from nationwide ATMS to use outside the major cities and in places where your travel card won’t be accepted.
NB: Most ATMs in Kenya do not accept debit, credit and prepaid cards, which are issued outside of the country.
Taking traveller’s cheques to Kenya
The safest way to carry your bulk of money to Japan is use a travellers’ cheque. Travellers cheques are accepted if they’re in US dollars, British pounds or euros. High commission charges are common, and bureaus that charge no commission will often give a rate substantially below the cash rate for cheques. Charges vary widely, from 1% to 3% per transaction, to flat fees of up to US$15.
Fees charged to purchase travellers’ cheques vary from one establishment to another. Some establishments will charge a nominal fee while others will offer travellers’ cheques free of a charge as a service to customers.
After taking your traveller’s cheques to Kenya, you can redeem them at banks announcing ‘Authorized foreign exchange bank’ outside the front door.
Not all areas will accept Travellers' cheques,bare in mind that you will be travelling places to places,i advice you to use ATM rather than the travel cheques.
One of the problems with using travellers cheques in Kenya is that it can take a very long time to cash them at the bank (you can't change them at a bureau de change). ATM is the best option.
Travelers checks are difficult to exchange most places these days. They're only good to have in case of emergency but not everyday use. Besides trying to find someone who will (bank, hotel, currency exchange), the rates provided are terrible. Best to use the ATM for local Kenyan shillings.