Send money to Cameroon Cheaply

If you're like me and send money to Cameroon..(chop workers etc) then you've likely used one of the following..Western Union, Moneygram, indies like MoneylineUK or RIA ..or even Bank to Bank Transfers.

Note: This article is about transfering smallish sums e.g. anything below 1 million CFA a month. For anything above that amount, some of my recommendations/suggestions may not be applicable.

If you're impatient and don't want to read the full article and just want to know what my recommendation is for the best  method then read on.

The cheapest way (by far) to send money is to take it with you to Cameroon and exchange it there... it's not really sending money is it??? What I'd like somebody to explain to me is how come the exchange rates in Cameroon (those Hausa guys at the airport winking and saying psssssttt!) are so much better than what I get from here in England.

The 2nd cheapest and usually the most convenient method of sending money home is via a Prepaid Debit Card. This is my preferred option as the recipient can pick up the money from any Cash Point on any day of the week and at any time of the day too. These days nearly every (major?) bank branch has a cash machine. Most money transfer methods require that the recipient collects from a financial institution like a Bank which are usually not open in the evenings or at weekends.

I currently use a Virgin Prepaid VISA Card and I've found them to be incredibly cheap (relative to the others...see my calculations at the end of the article)... Remember, you must get the VISA card as most Cash machines in Cameroon especially in the South West and North West Provinces, only accept VISA.

 Because MASTERCARD Prepaid cards are cheaper than VISA prepaid cards, some punters (bushfallers) choose them and only discover later that the nearest Cash machine that accepts a MASTERCARD is in

Some things about prepaid cards that I must warn you about:
  1. Prepaid cards have daily you can't collect 1 brick just like that (btw 1 brick = 1 million in pidgin speak!)
  2. Prepaid cards have annual limits that can be increased subject to identity & security checks... money laundering & anti-terror laws oblige the banks to do this..
  3. Some Prapaid cards have a monthly fee or a withdrawal fee for each withdrawal or both. If your recipient will be withdrawing often, then you may be better off going with the monthly fee card. e.g. the virgin card charges £1.50 for each withdrawal on the monthly

There's alot more to these cards but I've only just noted the important points.

Here's a comparison for sending 100,000 CFA (at today(Dec 2nd 2011)'s rates) via each of the different methods.
Money transfer channel Exchange Rate Fee Total Cost
Western Union 731.9 (£136.64) £19.60 £156.24
MoneylineUK (independent) 744 (£134.41) £6.72 £141.13
Virgin Prepaid Card 764 (£130.89) £1.50 £131.39

Some details about the Virgin Prepaid Card....note: I've not been paid to write this post, it's purely for information purposes and targets mainly the bushfaller community in the United Kingdom though some of what I've written will be useful to Bushfallers in other parts of the world.

Costs Pay as you go Pay monthly
Monthly fee NONE £4.75
Card transaction (UK e.g paying by card) 2.95% FREE
Cash withdrawal at Cash machine (UK) 2.95% £1.50
Card transaction (overseas e.g paying by card) 3.5%  2.95%
Cash withdrawal at Cash machine (overseas) 3.5% £1.50
Buying your card £9.95
Extra card/replacement card £4.95
Top-up at a Post Office® FREE
Top-up by debit card FREE
Top-up by direct transfer FREE
Top-up by PayPoint PayPoint logo 2.75%
Top-up by credit card 2.5%
Switching tariffs FREE

Published Friday, 02 Dec. 2011. 00:12


Sun, 22 Jan. 2012. 13:01 by Ken

That was a wonderful peace of info. I commend you for posting it. I which i could continue having more helpful info relating to cameroon.


Fri, 15 Feb. 2013. 00:02 by Nicky


Fri, 28 Feb. 2014. 14:02 by sandor

Thanks for your information that is really geat

Tue, 27 Oct. 2015. 01:10 by Cal stubbington

Could you please tell me where did you purchase your virgin debit card in Youande, also is it legal for someone other than the card owner to load it from a distant nation, Canada?

Tue, 27 Oct. 2015. 01:10 by Cal stubbington

Could you please tell me where did you purchase your virgin debit card in Youande, also is it legal for someone other than the card owner to load it from a distant nation, Canada?

Tue, 27 Oct. 2015. 08:10 by Gerald

Hi Carl, the cards are not sold in Yaounde. I bought them in England.
I am not sure how it works in Canada.
You could search for "Prepaid Cards" online, it's dead simple to load the cards too from anywhere and usually online.
Hope that helps

Sat, 10 Sep. 2016. 02:09 by Raven G

Informative blog post , Incidentally , you are wanting a Employment Verification , my company edited a blank version here


Leave a Comment

Your Name (required):
Your Comment (required):
Please enter the code above in the box below without the dots:
Other Great Blogs
Bimeyen's Blog
Ndikum's Blog
Check this great idea on how to Send Great gifts to family in Cameroon. Click below. Lost of people talking about it and using it too...