Will my credit card work in Cuba - Visa or Mastercard?
  • hi again. I will be arriving in Cuba soon and want to know if my credit cards will work. I have visa and mastercard credit cards and I want to know if they will work in Cuba. Are there ATMs which I can draw money from or should I take cash or travellers cheques? Thanks
  • Hi again Lucille,

    The Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) is the only currency used by island visitors. All goods and services are priced and paid for in the CUC. The CUC floats in value against world currencies. Exchange rates vary daily. Today's rates are based on 1.12- 1.18 USD equals one CUC.

    Participants should carefully evaluate daily spending needs prior to departure. A minimum of $50 per day is recommended. It is better to plan to take more money than to get caught short of funds.

    Change your money into CUC at a bank, your hotel, or at a CADECA (Casas de Cambio SA – exchange bureau). Never exchange your money on the street or through an individual Cuban (including your guide).

    Credit cards and travelers checks issued by Canadian and European banks are accepted (AMEX is never accepted!). But please confirm with your bank before you depart as regulations change constantly. Canadian travelers If you have a MasterCard issued by a credit union or caisse populaire it won't work in Cuba. Contact your branch for more information.

    Cash advance and other transaction fees on credit cards in Cuba can run as high as 10% or more, plus the exchange fee.

    Credit cards and travelers checks issued by US banks are not accepted. Debit cards do not work in Cuba.

    A photocopy of your passport is sufficient identification. However, your actual passport is necessary when conducting banking transactions in Cuba. The Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) can only be purchased in Cuba. Spend it or exchange it on the island before you return home.
  • lucille, no one can answer your question accurately when you don't say what your nationality is, or which banks issued your credit cards.

    (For example, Travellers Cheques don't make sense for most travellers, but AMX TCs are one of the best options for American visitors. Your Mastercard is fine if issued by one the "Big Five" Canadian banks, but it's useless if issued by a Credit Union. Etc. etc. etc. EVERYTHING depends on your nationality and your bank.)

    That said, read my Post #3 here, it covers the money exchange situation in Cuba fairly well:

    Cheers,
    Terry

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