Can you convert CUC to USD upon return?
Yes, but keep in mind a conversion fee may apply.
How much money should I bring to Cuba?
We recommend to budget at least 100 Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) per day.
This amount will cover standard meals, evening entertainment, and transportation costs. You may spend more if you choose special transportation modes and restaurants. For example, touring around the city in a classic car is more costly than a normal taxi.
You may want to budget for more if you are buying souvenirs and gifts such as cigars and rum or partaking in excursions.
What is the currency in Cuba?
The major legal currency for Cuba is the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC).
For international exchange purposes 1.00 CUC = 1.00 USD.
The CUC bills are printed in 1, 3, 5,10, 20, 50, and 100s. The CUC coins come in 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 centavos, or cents.
There is a 3% exchange fee for all currencies and a 10% penalty charged when exchanging USD to CUC. This means that 100 USD will convert to 87 CUC after the fee and penalty.
Where and how do exchange money in Cuba?
Money can be exchanged for CUC at:
- Major hotels like Hotel Nacional or Hotel Saratoga
- Major banks like Banco Financiero Internacional (BFI) or Banco Metropolitano
- Cadecas, or exchange houses in the city
Always count the amount of Cuban currency you receive at the teller to make sure there weren’t any errors.
The CUC bills are printed in 1, 3,5 ,10, 20, 50, and 100s. The CUC coins come in 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 centavos, or cents. Try to get smaller bills to make purchases easier. Many smaller stores, bars, and restaurants won’t always be able to break your larger bills.
There is a 3% exchange fee for all currencies and a 10% penalty for exchanging USD into CUC. The fee and the penalty apply at all locations to exchange your currency.
You will need your passport to exchange money. Cuba will not exchange any bills that are torn or written on when exchanging into CUC.
Can I use my credit card or Traveler’s Checks?
Credit cards, debit cards, and ATM cards issued by United States banks will NOT be accepted in Cuba.
Tipping in Cuba
Tipping 10% is welcome and expected for good service. If you received truly excellent service, you can increase that to 15%. Double check your bill, some restaurants might already add a 10% service fee.
It’s also a good idea to have a few 1 CUC bills on hand. It’s customary to tip when your bags are taken to your room and to leave a 1 CUC bill for the maid each day of your stay in a hotel.
Tipping your tour guides depends on the type and length of the tour. You should tip about 2 to 6 CUC per day at the end of the tour.
Many restrooms in stores and restaurants have attendants. Offering a small tip is a good gesture.
It’s expected if you listen to a band or musician to tip them. Leaving 1 or 2 CUC is appropriate for artists either on the street or in a restaurant.