Does anyone have experience with credit cards, cash& travellors cheques in Cuba? It seems very difficult and confusing.
We've read a number of conflicting things and it sounds difficult to get money once you are down there, and we don't want to travel with a bumch of cash.
Hi, we spent 2 weeks in Cuba this February. We took cash 1500 euros each and as it turned out, it's more than enough. Between 3 people, accommodation, hiring a car, meals, drinks etc, we averaged 1000 euros each for the 2 weeks (we also splurged on the last 2 nights and stayed at Hotel Nacional de Cuba in La Habana which was 4 times more than we would have paid in a home stay).
We changed some money at the airport so we could pay for the taxi, max 30CUC for the ride into town. There are Cadesa exchange houses where you can change money in La Habana and Santiago de Cuba, but on the road it's nearly impossible. We tried our ATM cards (both Australian but one could be linked to American Express) and neither could withdraw cash. Credit cards are okay in touristy stores or hotels. You can also change money at the hotels in the big cities (not home stays).
Be ware of local restaurants when you pay with CUC and they give you the change in Moneda Nacional (which is 1/25 of the CUC), not so much that you can't use the money or that it's fake, but it's worthless to you and you'll have to go to a Cadesa like any Cuban to change it back to CUC or to other currencies and the government makes 1 MN per 25 MN for changing it to CUC. Also the menu prices won't make sense, such as 60 for lobster but it's MN so it's about 2.50 CUC.
We read that changing USD attracts 18% instead of 8% charge (Euro, GBP, Swiss franc & Canadian) but at all the exchange houses there were no commission charged - it could have been built into the daily rate. 1 Euro got us 1.20 CUC on average. A meal in general costs 5 CUC max, unless you go for the fancy hotels.
Hope this helps. almost 6 years agoAnswered by Katie via WorldNomads.com