This is a foreign exchange guide to Benin, the West African Franc currency plus sending XOF transfers and travel tips.
In this Benin currency guide we take a look at :
- West African Franc info - general info about the West African Franc
- West African Franc in the markets - recent XOF moves and predictions from the FX markets
- Travelling in Benin - currency & money saving tips
- Buying West African Franc cash online - travel money for Benin
- Sending money to Benin - save on West African Franc bank transfers to Benin
- West African Franc exchange rates - latest & historic exchange rates.
West African Franc (XOF) general currency information
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?
West African Franc (XOF) in the markets
The interactive chart below shows the USD to XOF exchange rate and trend for the previous 3 months:
Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for Benin
The official language of Bénin is French, but there are several other indigenous languages which are spoken in various regions of the country. Bénin is the birthplace of Vodun (Voodoo) and all that goes with it—to this day Vodun remains the official religion of the country, and an important part of the life of ordinary Beninese. While more and more Bénin nationals are starting to use English, it is not yet widely accepted. But Bénin will also thrill visitors with its palm-fringed beaches of the Atlantic coast, the rugged scenery of the north and the Parc National de la Pendjari, one of the best wildlife parks in West Africa. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants and hundreds of other species thrive here.
Can I use credit cards in Bénin?
In Bénin the currency is the West African CFA. Credit cards are accepted in the major centers and ATMs are available in the cities, as well. You can generally change Euros, US dollars and the British pound in Cotonou. ATMs in Cotonou are also widespread (though mostly visa only) and you'll also find Western Union in operation in Bénin. The best foreign currency to carry with you in Brenin is the euros, which are easily exchanged at banks, hotels or bureaux de change.
Getting around in Bénin.
There is an extremely timely and reliable bus system that runs your average tour-style bus through every major city in Bénin everyday, and even some in and out of Bénin. There are many major lines with a range of quality of buses. Bush Taxi is possible between most cities, every day in major cities, periodically for the more remote ones. The total price for long distances will be a little higher than by bus, and comfort and security are significantly lower. Drivers are often trying to maximize the number of people in the car so one can expect an intimate experience with the local population. Traffic is insane and the rules on the road are almost never enforced. If you are planning on driving yourself in Bénin, an International Driver's license is required. The cheapest way to travel within a city or village is by motorcycle taxi (moto, zemidjan or zem). They are cheap and the drivers usually know the city well.
There is a train route that goes halfway up the country, from Cotonou to Parakou, run by L’Organisation Commune Bénin-Niger des Chemins de Fer et Transports. While the train takes longer than a bush taxi, its a much more relaxing way of traveling.
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.
Benin Trip Checklist
Sending money to Benin
When searching around for information on how to get a good exchange rate when sending money to Benin you need to start with finding out the latest West African Franc foreign-transfer exchange rate.
Then compare your bank's exchange rates to several licensed FX providers exchange rate and fees to see how much you can save (we make that calculation easy here).
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 :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or West African Franc amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted XOF amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Benin.
Use our Send to XOF 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!