Replies: 9 - Last Post: Feb 7, 2012 3:46 PM Last Post By: jbonobo
Jan 11, 2012 10:16 AM
Jan 11, 2012 1:59 PM
11) Your american debit/credit cards will not work.
2) You can't exchange (buy or sell) Cucs outside of Cuba
3) Get enough Cucs to cover your first day or so, at the airport. There are a great many places to change money in Habana, and I've never had anything more than a brief wait in line.
and, most of all:
4) This, and most other basic information about traveling in Cuba, has been posted...and updated, here, many times.....and the site has an excellent search engine...please use it...and then, if there is current info that you just can''t find, everybody here will be happy to help...but do a little work yourself, first. Please see point #1 in the "Cuba Branch FAQ"....the second thing, after "politics"....to be always found in the Topic List.
Edited by: jconchie
Jan 11, 2012 11:27 PM
Jan 12, 2012 4:08 AM
Jan 12, 2012 11:31 PM
4When most people, from any one place to any other place, travel, they do not want to travel with their entire vacation funds in wad-o-cash, no? Whenever possibel they use the "plastic", e.g. credit or debit cards, to make their travels monetarily safe.
Are you with me so far?
For Americans, there is only one debit card we can use. Odd that it never goes mentioned until I mention it. What can one possibly make of that fact?
The Caribbean Transfers Travel Card
...is the ONLY debit card an American can use in Cuba. It is not only the only way an American can get additional money while in Cuba but it is the only card that gives us the opportunity to be monetarily safe at the level of every other non-American tourist in Cuba, none of whom, inexplicably, reccommend it as anything but some sort of an "emergency backup". The only option for an entire country to get a free card so we might enjoy the safety they would never leave home without, is only to be used as an "emergency backup". Keep in mind that we are the only ones who are reduced to a single option. That only makes the card more valuable.
It's free and takes 15 minutes to setup on a phone call. You never need use it. If you do not, it doesn't cost you 1¢. If, however, you are an American who runs out of cash in Cuba, it can save your entire vacation, and at almost the exact same rates any other lesser option could provide.
Give them a call Fridayz and feel free to contact me via the private message feature on this forum. Right click on any user's name and choose "send a private message" and it will get to me............Mod-willing.
Feb 5, 2012 12:20 PM
I went to the Caribbean Transfers Travel Card website. Correct me if I am wrong, but it would appear that to receive a credit of 100 CUC on the debit card, you have to pay $122 US dollars. For $100 USD you would get $80.38 CUC on the debit card. That seems to me to be a very high commission.
Feb 5, 2012 2:48 PM
6Two things make your statement misleading, jc.
1. The only way you can make a deposit online is by using a Credit Card. Those rates should be for emergencies only, e.g. when you find yourself in Cuba with no money and no way of getting any. If that situation arises even the slightly higher CC rates will seem like manna from the heavens.
The prudent way to make deposits is with an Int'l Money Order or a Cashiers Check.
2. The smaller the amount of money you deposit, the more costly it is. That's true of ANY money exchange you would ever pursue. Nobody deposits just $100 for a trip to Cuba. $1000 is probably a rock-bottom number to use. I deposit many times that but I go for 2 months at a time.
An example that makes some sense is depositing enough to put $1000 CUC into your CT account to use in Cuba.
Using a Credit Card only permits you to deposit a maximum of $553 USD for which you get $476 CUC. An exchange rate of about 86% or $860 per $1000
Using a Cashiers Check or Int'l MO to deposit $1090 USD will put $1000 CUC into your account. An exchange rate of about 92% or $917 per $1000.
Even the far less desireable Amex TCs only return about $13/$1000 more, are much harder to cash and afford you no way to replenish your funds or even to get compensated for their loss while you are in Cuba.
It's really a no-brainer for an American despite the efforts to mis-describe on the part of a few here. One might even feel they didn't like Americans.
BTW, it is also misleading to suggest it is American banks that make it impossible to use American Credit Cards in Cuba. Nor, despite the 1960's moronic rhetoric, is it the fault of Amerikan Imperialism. The fault, dear jconchie, lies not in those stars, but in the Miami Mafia. (with a nod to the bard)
Feb 5, 2012 2:56 PM
7#5 yes $122.45USD returns 100CUC.
You can reduce the "commission" in 2 ways - by paying via money order rather than direct credit card transfer and/or paying in a larger amount.
Clearly the shorter the trip or the smaller the amount of money you want to access the lesser the viablity of using the card other than as an emergency back-up in case other options go totally awry e.g. travellers cheques or cash of some type.
Ultimately it's your call as to what's best for your circumstances/needs.
Feb 5, 2012 3:56 PM
Feb 7, 2012 3:46 PM
9Peloblanco, you make a good point about having the ability to get money once there. For Americans, that would be particularly useful. The security aspect is also very appealing so that you don't have to carry too much cash on your person, particularly if you are staying in a casa particular without a safe. Are there many ATM's where the money can be withdrawn using the card and are there any other charges due when you withdraw?
Below were the card pick up locations referenced on the website for Havana province. You mentioned having the card waiting for you at the airport. Where would pick it at at the airport?
Office: Fincimex Bauta, Artemisa
Phone: (047) 37-3696 , 37-3697
SERVICUPET AUTOLANDIA AVE.251 # 13015
Office: Fincimex Guines, Mayabeque
Phone: (047) 52-6758 , 52-6759
SERVICUPET HABANA CALLE 86 ESQ.45 GUINES
Also, the only reference I found on the web site to paying with money orders was that they sometimes do that and says to contact the agency. Can you perhaps explain that process and how long it take? I am also not sure what the difference is between the Debit Card and the Transfer Card. You had referred to a debit card, but looking at a pop-up window explaining transfer cards, there was a reference made to pick-up at the airport.
I am very interested in the program and would appreciate your advice. i suppose I could contact the agency myself directly, but you personal experience I think would be useful to the forum,
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