You should expect to rely on cash for most of your stay;(preferably US dollars. Visitors bringing in excess of $10,000 (or equivalent) in foreign currency should declare this to Customs on arrival or risk facing imprisonment.
Once in country it’s easy to exchange US dollars into Kyats and exchange rates are generally fair. Due to concerns over counterfeit money, dollars with the letters AB and CB at the start of the serial number (top left-hand corner of the note) aren’t always accepted. Notes with pen marks, folds or tears are also not accepted.
An increasing number of hotels, restaurants and shops now accept credit and debit cards, but there’s widespread distrust of electronic payment and banking. If you intend to pay for hotels or restaurants with a credit or debit card, you should phone ahead and confirm that this will be possible. Many vendors will charge a high service fee for paying by card.
ATMs are now widely available but aren’t always reliable and you should monitor your transactions regularly. Western Union operates for inward transfer of funds via Burmese banks.