The basic unit of currency in Rwanda is the Rwanda franc (RWF). Rwanda franc bills are uses both as coins and banknotes. Each franc is broken into santimes with denominations of 5000, 1000, 500, and 100 in banknotes and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 in coins. We highly recommend you travel with US Dollars, don’t exchange into the local currency to avoid getting confused as all tourist related destinations do accept US Dollars. US banknotes with the series date before the year 2006 will be declined in East Africa, Kindly make sure all your dollars bills that you bring along with you are post year 2006.
Automatic teller machines are found only in big cities like Kigali in Rwanda and they are few. Banks usually charge a flat fee per transaction. Bank of Kigali (BK), Rwanda’s biggest (ATMs) network now accepts international VISA cards. Kenya Commercial Bank ATM sometimes can dispense USD but up to ($500 USD maximum per withdrawal).
Rwanda has several banks operating which includes: Bank of Kigali, Kenya Commercial Bank, I&M Bank, Eco-bank, Crane Bank, Equity Bank, GT Bank etc. some banks offer extended banking hours (8:00 am to 8:00 pm, Monday to Friday and 8:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday, they include Kenya Commercial Bank, GT Bank, I&M Bank
Bank of Kigali and Eco-bank both have ATMs that will accept international Visa cards through Credit cards are not yet used much in Rwanda through most hotels, lodges, and camps do accept credit card. Visa is much more widely accepted than other cards.
You can exchange any foreign currency at any authorized banks and bureau de change. There are many bureaus in East Africa, Just enquire from your guide for any assistance. However we do recommend you stick to your US dollars, they are universally accepted in all the destinations you will be visiting.
Currency Import regulations:
Allowed. Local currency (Rwandan Franc-RWF): up to RWF 5,000.-; foreign currencies: unlimited, when declared.
Currency Export regulations:
Allowed, Local currency (Rwandan Franc-RWF): up to RWF 5,000.-; foreign currencies: up to the amounts imported and declared.