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Cuba, what currency shall I take

edited December 2008 in - Cuba
I am heading off to Cuba in January. Can anyone advice what currency to bring. Are US dollars ok, or travellers cheques, or can we just use ATMs? Many thanks, Jason


  • edited 4:59AM
    Hi Jasond

    The official currency is the Cuban Peso (CUP), divided into 100 centavos, but the 'tourist' currency is the Peso Convertible (CUC), which replaces the US Dollar as currency in tourist related establishments like hotels, restaurants and so called 'dollar shops'. US Dollars are no longer accepted as payment, and a 10% commission is charged to exchange them, therefore the best currency to bring along is Euros, the British Pound or Canadian Dollars.

    No US-issued credit or debit cards will work in ATMs, but those holding other cards issued in other countries should be able to get pesos at most major tourist destinations. Euro or Sterling travellers cheques are accepted at Cuban banks and Bureaux de Change.

    I hope this helps.
    Happy travels!
  • edited 4:59AM
    if you have a crimincal records can you visit cuba
  • edited 4:59AM
    Jason.i visited Cuba in May 2008,I used traveller's checks American Express which i bought at a nearby AAA office in town,the exchange is 1 dollar=1 traveller check if you are a member.Now in Cuba at the Banco Financiero Internacional (BFI) =International Financial Bank I was able to trade the traveller's checks into CUC (cuban corrency) and they deducted a 6 % only sometimes the rate is only 3 %.However if you take american dollars they are going to take 20 % of all the money you exchange which is the same as they will take 20 dollars from every 100 dollar bill you trade.Besides the fact that it is safer to use traveller's checks since nobodyelse in the whole world would be able to use them but you, even if you lose them you can have your money back at your return to USA.
    That's my advise for you,since i was there a few months ago,know my whereabouts there 'cause i'm cuban myself.
    have a good trip. Eduardo from New Jersey.
  • edited 4:59AM
    Jason this is Eduardo from jersey once again,almost forgot to let you know that you won't be able to use any credit card issued by an american bank in Cuba,not even the ATM's.
  • edited 4:59AM
    Hi Eduardo I am from NJ too and I am going to Cuba in July. Can you please tell me if there is a BFI in Havana?
    Thanks. TF
  • edited 4:59AM
    goin to cuba in april, my son wants to take his hi pod and dvd player, will these be allowed into cuba
  • edited 4:59AM
    hi I am going to Cuba 24th sept 2010 for my son s wedding I am a senior citizen and visit spain a great deal
    i am allergic to mosquito bites i take an anti histimine a week before i fly is it likely i will get bitten in cuba?

    also we are there 16 days so into oct will it be very wet or will it be hot
    thanx Lesley
  • edited 4:59AM
    Went to the post office today for some euro travellers cheques to be told that being AM.EX. they would not be accepted.
    It was suggested I take cash(!)-which I really don't want to do as I'm there for a month...anyone know of an alternative...or a reliable bodyguard?
  • edited 4:59AM
    If you take US dollars you will be charged an extra exchange tax. You can use credit cards in Cuba if there are issued outside of the USA in most hotels and large restaurants and for tours but not likely in smaller towns. Most hotels offer safes to keep your valuables in. When I was in Havana years ago my friend had her purse snatched but we were careless and wandered into an isolated area at dusk.
  • edited 4:59AM
    4 of us went 2 years ago for a 2 week family holiday. I took £500 in pounds sterling and changed it at the hotel desk. It was just right. I didn't bother with my credit card because it was American in origin. If you are in a resort all inclusive there won't be much to buy. We came back with some T-shirts and a couple of carvings. We liked it so much we are going back this month and taking the same amount (only 2 of us this time though).
  • edited 4:59AM
    PB - thanks for your feedback. How about visiting our sister site and rating your hotel and overall experience of Cuba?
  • edited 4:59AM
    If from Canada take Canadian dollars, they are welcome everywhere and recognized at the banks and resorts. You can use credit cards of Canadian origin at the banks for cash advances. Never saw a single ATM.
    Someone asked about mosquito bites. I lived in a personal residence for a week in Matanzas with the windows wide open 24/7 and never even saw a single mosquito. One day outside of Matanzas we went to a fresh water lake and it was kind of swampy and got bitten a lot. Never been bitten in either Varadero or Matanzas.
  • edited 4:59AM
    We just applied for a "Caxton FX" currency card. Has anyone ever used one in Cuba?
  • edited 4:59AM
    If that's a pre-loaded debit card then no, it will not work in Cuba.

    Read my long Reply #5 here:

    Good luck and have fun.

  • edited 4:59AM
    Use Canadian Dollars or Euros.
  • edited 4:59AM
    Take your bug spray and antihistimines with you... Lots of sunscreen too.
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