Cuba is an uncommon and unusual country. It is different if you compare it with other Caribbean countries. Its history, especially the last sixty years, has conditioned the island’s development and international relations with other countries. Although Cuba has been opened to tourism during a large part of this period, there are many unique procedures that only occur in Cuba. Today we want to explain you one of them: the method of payment. In fact, Cuba is the only country in the world which has two currencies. How should we use them? How are exchange rates defined? We will answer these and further questions in order to encourage your villa rental in Cuba thanks to LujoCuba.
Here you can find our payment recommendations during your stay in Cuba:
Use only CUC to avoid problems
As we have said before, in Cuba there are two currencies: CUC (convertible peso), used by tourists to pay everything and by Cubans to pay luxury goods and CUP (Cuban peso), which is only used by Cubans. As tourist you can use both currencies but we advise you to use only CUC in your cash purchases because if you opt for exchange CUC for CUP (1CUC = 25CUP) you may be cheated and lose money. If anyone tries to sell you a coin with Fidel’s face as a valuable coin, refuse the offer.
If you are American, be careful with credit cards and US dollars
Due to the known conflicts between US and Cuba in the past, Americans have some restrictions in regard to the payments in the island. For US$ there is a tax of 10% if you exchange US$ to CUC, so we recommend you to exchange US$ to Euros before you come to Cuba, because it’s the most valuable currency in Cuba. With 100€ you will obtain 110CUC including commissions. However, with 100$ you will obtain 86CUC including commissions and tax.
On the other hand, although if you pay with credit card (VISA, MasterCard…) the payments are performed in US$, but only few American credit cards work in Cuba so it’s possible that your common credit card doesn’t work during your villa rental in Cuba.
Where to exchange in Cuba
You only can obtain Cuban currencies in Cuba, so your foreign currencies can be exchanged in:
- Bank: in theory, here you will find the best exchange rate
- CADECA: it is a government exchange house where the exchange rate is a bit higher than the bank, but you can usually find it in various places such as airports, some hotels or malls. Ask for small bills to pay taxi drivers and other services.
- Hotels: here the commissions may be higher than in other places, around 3%-6%.
To finish our recommendations: REMEMBER, save 25CUC for departure tax, it is COMPULSORY.
We hope that this information will be useful during your villa rental in Cuba thanks to LujoCuba.