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Nowadays two currencies are circulating in Cuba: the Cuban Peso (CUP or MN) and the Convertible Cuban Peso ($CUC), both made up of 100 cents (centavos). The $CUC was issued in 1994 and at the time of this writing, one $CUC is worth twenty-four Cuban Pesos. There are circulating banknotes of 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 $CUC and coins of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 cents ($CUC 1).
As much the Cuban Peso as the Convertible Cuban Peso are exchangeable and expendable only within the country. You may obtain $CUC at your arrival exchanging Euros, $CAD, $GBP, $USD, and other currencies. Cuban currency exchange services are provided at airports, hotels, banks and currency exchange houses called CADECA or Casas de Cambio, spread along the country, some of which work 24 hours, seven days per week.
You can find the daily Cuban currency exchange rate published at Banco Metropolitano web site.
Cuban currency exchange rates are slightly less favourable at the airports, so we advise to exchange there only what you may need to start your trip and then exchange the rest of your currency in a bank, hotel or CADECA.
The Convertible Cuban Peso must be used everywhere: all tourist places, restaurants, stores, and supermarkets. Nevertheless, you can use Cuban Pesos (MN) when buying vegetables and fruits in the agro-markets. One $CUC is worth 24 Cuban Pesos.
The credit cards accepted in Cuba, either to pay for services and goods or to draw cash from ATMs, are Master Card International and Visa International.
You can find ATMs in several locations of Havana, almost in every bank and hotel of Havana. Some of the Exchange Houses (CADECA) also have ATMs. You can also find ATMs in the principal cities, such as Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, or in resorts such as Varadero, or the keys. However, it’s not the same in smaller cities and towns. If you are going to visit a small city or a town, please, be sure to take the cash you may need.
Traveller’s checks issued by non American Banks can also be used to withdraw money in banks and some hotels.
Tourist and other visitors may bring in as much currency as they wish. However, if you intend to carry with you the equivalent of $USD 5,000 or more when departing, be sure to have declared it when entering the country.
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Last update May 05, 2013
**Exchanging $USD cash into $CUC is subject to a 10% tax on top of the exchange rate. This tax does not apply to other currencies or when $CUC is exchanged into $USD.
We strongly recommend exchange your currency only at Cuban Exchange Houses (CADECA), hotels or banks. In the streets, you may find scammers trying to exchange fake $CUC bills or Cuban Pesos, usually offering better exchange rates, based in the traveller’s ignorance of the differences between the Convertible Cuban Peso and the Cuban Peso.
Cuban currency exchange house logo (CADECA).
• Watermark: with the denomination of the currency and José Martí’s effigy visible against light.
• Safety thread: with the text “PATRIA O MUERTE VENCEREMOS” visible against light.
• A 5 points star motive with a perfect front/back coincidence.
Credit cards and traveler’s checks issued in any country by American banks or their branches are not accepted in Cuba.