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    Currency in Benin XOF - Things to know

    Foreign exchange guide to Benin and the West African franc


    What currency is used in Benin?

    The official currency of Benin (country code: BJ) is the West African franc, with symbol and currency code XOF.

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    Things to know about the West African franc

    The West Africa CFA franc (XAF) is the currency of six independent states in Western Africa - Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

    In several central African states the Central African CFA franc (currency code XAF) is in circulation, such as Cameroon - Central African CFA franc. The Central African CFA franc is of equal value to the West African franc. Both XAF and XOF currencies are referred to as the CFA franc.

    An example West African franc banknote


    Travel money for Benin

    Save money and time by Ordering your West African franc online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the XOF cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.

    Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.

    For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in West African franc otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.


    Travel Ideas and Money Tips for Benin

    Benin is a country located in West Africa. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and history, including the Dahomey Kingdom which was a powerful empire in the region in the 18th and 19th centuries. The official language is French, but many people also speak local languages such as Fon and Yoruba. The country has a tropical climate, with a rainy season from April to July and a dry season from November to April. Agriculture is an important part of the economy, and the main crops include corn, cassava, and beans. Benin is also known for its textiles and crafts, and there are many markets in the country where you can find a wide range of handmade items.

    Things to do in Benin

    There are many things to see and do in Benin, here are a few ideas:

    1. Visit the Royal Palace of Abomey: This UNESCO World Heritage Site was the capital of the Dahomey Kingdom and is now a museum that showcases the history and culture of the kingdom.

    2. Explore the city of Ouidah: This city is known for its history as a major slave-trading port, and there are several museums and historical sites to visit including the Door of No Return and the Temple of Pythons.

    3. Take a boat trip on Lake Nokoué: This large lake is located near the coast and is a great place to go boating and see local wildlife such as crocodiles and waterbirds.

    4. Visit the Fondation Zinsou: This art museum in Cotonou features works by artists from Benin and other African countries, as well as international artists.

    5. Explore the beaches: Benin has a long coastline on the Gulf of Guinea, and there are many beautiful beaches to visit. Some popular spots include Grand-Popo and Ouidah.

    6. Go shopping at the market: Benin is known for its handicrafts and textiles, and there are many markets where you can find a wide range of handmade items.

    7. Learn about traditional medicine: Benin has a long tradition of using plants and other natural remedies for healing, and there are several organizations that offer tours and workshops on traditional medicine.

    8. Take a trip to the Atakora Mountains: These mountains in the north of the country are known for their natural beauty, and there are several hiking trails and scenic viewpoints to visit.

    Laws to be aware of in Benin

    Travelers to Benin should be aware of the following laws and customs:

    1. It is illegal to bring illegal drugs into the country.

    2. It is against the law to photograph military or government buildings or personnel.

    3. It is illegal to engage in homosexual activity in Benin.

    4. It is important to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or rural areas.

    5. It is customary to ask permission before taking photographs of people.

    6. It is important to respect local customs and traditions. For example, it is considered rude to show the soles of your feet or to touch someone's head.

    7. It is illegal to import certain items into the country, including guns and ammunition, pornography, and certain types of medications.

    8. It is important to have your passport and visa with you at all times, as you may be required to show them to authorities.

    9. It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol.

    It is always a good idea to research the local laws and customs of a country before traveling there, and to follow the advice of local authorities while you are there.


    USD/XOF Market Data

    The below interactive chart displays the USD/XOF change and UP📈 DOWN📉 trends over the past 1 Year.

    1 USD =
    616.97We compare provider deals to this wholesale mid-market rate. Read more
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What currency should I use in Benin?

    The domestic currency in Benin is the West African franc.

    What is the West African franc currency code and symbol?

    The three letter currency code for the West African franc is XOF.

    Which countries use the West African franc?

    It is the domestic currency in    Senegal,   Benin,   Burkina Faso,   Ivory Coast,   Guinea-Bissau,   Mali,   Niger and Togo.

    Is the West African franc a closed currency?

    No, the West African franc is freely available and convertible. See guide: What is a closed currency?

    What are equivalent amounts of USD and XOF?

    Here are some popular conversion amounts for USD to XOF (US dollar to West African franc)*.

    $ 1 616.97
    $ 5 3,085
    $ 10 6,170
    $ 20 12,339
    $ 50 30,849
    $ 100 61,697
    $ 250 154,243
    $ 500 308,485
    $ 1,000 616,970
    $ 2,000 1,233,940
    $ 5,000 3,084,850
    $ 10,000 6,169,700
    $ 20,000 12,339,400
    $ 50,000 30,848,500
    $ 100,000 61,697,000
    $ 0.0016 1
    $ 0.0081 5
    $ 0.0162 10
    $ 0.0324 20
    $ 0.0811 50
    $ 0.1621 100
    $ 0.4053 250
    $ 0.8105 500
    $ 1.6210 1,000
    $ 3.2420 2,000
    $ 8.1050 5,000
    $ 16.21 10,000
    $ 32.42 20,000
    $ 81.05 50,000
    $ 162.10 100,000

    More amounts

    *Converted at the current USDXOF interbank exchange rate. Calculate actual payout amounts for Send Money and Travel Money exchange rates.

    Send Money to Benin - Best Rates

    To get a good (and fair) exchange rate when sending money to Benin you need to find and compare exchange rates for International Money Transfers (IMTs).

    The available FX rates for sending money abroad can be very different to the mid-market (wholesale) rate which you see reported online and in the News.

    You should especially compare your own bank's exchange rates to those available from Money Transfer specialists to see how much you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.

    Get a better deal for foreign transfers to Benin

    When sending money to Benin it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :

    1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
    2. You specify the local or West African franc amount you want to transfer
    3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
    4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted XOF amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Benin.

    Use the above calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more West African franc deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!


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