Central African Republic uses the Central African CFA franc (XAF). Cameroon, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon also use it. While technically distinct from the Western African CFA franc (XOF), the two currencies are used interchangeably at par in all CFA franc (XAF & XOF)-using nations.
The French treasury backs both CFA francs, which are linked to the euro at 1 euro = 655.957 CFA francs.
Ecobank ATMs are available in Bangui for cash withdrawals using a MasterCard or Visa card.
Costs in Central African Republic are expensive for foreigners who want to live a comparable lifestyle to those in their own country. Much of the nation’s trade and products must be flown or transported in, which explains why many items are so expensive. “Local” products brought into CAR from surrounding countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Cameroon are somewhat cheaper (rice, beans, water, etc.). Finally, many stores in Bangui and other cities are owned by Lebanese individuals and families, thus there is an abundance of Middle Eastern cuisine brought into the nation, although at a high price.