Mozambique’s currency is the new Metical (Meticais Nova Famlia, MZN), plural meticais (Mts, pronounced’meta-caysh’), which is split into 100 centavos.
In 2006, three zeroes were removed from the currency. Up to the end of December 2012, old money may be exchanged at banks. People will still use the old money from time to time, so if you ask for “1 million,” they usually mean one thousand new meticais.
It should be noted that many shops in tourist areas are owned by South Africans, and prices are often stated in Rand (for which the usual abbreviation is ZAR). Prices in this guide are also given in Rand where appropriate.
US dollars, South African rands, British pounds, and Euros are readily convertible at commercial rates at any bank or exchange. Other currencies, such as Canadian or Australian dollars, or Japanese Yen, are not accepted anywhere, including official banks and exchanges.
Because commercial exchanges provide the best market rate, there is relatively little black market currency exchange. Meticais cannot be exchanged outside of Mozambique, although they may be converted back at exchanges before leaving the country. Furthermore, meticais cannot be purchased outside of Moçambique.
ATMs may be found across the nation; the most common brands are Standard Bank, Eco Bank, and Millennium BIM. Standard and Eco Bank accept Visa and MasterCard, whereas Millennium accepts all foreign credit cards, including Maestro and Cirrus cards. Withdrawals from ATMs are subject to transaction restrictions that vary by bank. Withdrawals from Millennium Bank are limited to 3,000 Mts, while Standard Bank and Eco Bank are limited to 10,000 Mts; you may always enter your card again to withdraw additional money.
Everything in Mozambique that does not have a price may be negotiated down to whatever you deem a fair price. Remember that although laughing when they offer you a crazy price is entirely OK, you should not get overtly upset or aggressive; if you do, you are unlikely to obtain a fair price. If you’re not sure what a reasonable price is, ask your hotel.
In Mozambique, no one, even backpacker lodges, has changed. The 1000Mzn and 500Mzn notes are very difficult to utilize on a daily basis, therefore convert them into more manageable notes at any bank. The one exception to this regulation is chapa drivers; if you run out of tiny notes, pay your 15Mzn fee with a 100Mzn note.