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Money & costs


Madagascar is currently changing its currency from the Malagasy franc (FMg) to the precolonial ariary (Ar), which is worth five Malagasy francs; the FMg will remain legal tender until 2009. Prices in most businesses are now quoted in ariary. Euros are widely accepted, and US dollars are sometimes accepted in Antananarivo, major cities and tourist areas.

There are ATMs in Antananarivo and other major towns. However, you can withdraw only around €150 per transaction, and at the time of research ATMs only accepted Visa cards.

Credit cards are rarely accepted, except at some upmarket hotels, at Air Madagascar offices and at some larger travel agencies. The most useful card is Visa, with MasterCard also accepted in a minority of places. Visa and MasterCard can also be used at some banks to obtain cash advances (in ariary). Major banks change travellers cheques and cash in major currencies.

The foreign-exchange counter at Ivato airport has exchange rates that are just as good as those at the banks, and is usually open for international flight arrivals.