Present USD to CUC rate?
Replies: 42 - Last Post: Oct 6, 2012 6:58 PM Last Post By: johnabbotsford
Oct 4, 2012 6:47 PM
30There are not many USD ATM cards that work in Cuba
There is only one I know of which is available to more than a few Americans, chef. Did you have others in mind, besides your very unique one? You are the only American I am aware of who has such a card.
It would seem your Aussie friend agreed with you without recognizing it, chef. AUD does indeed have to be converted to USD before being delivered as CUC. It might be that a transaction fee is not charged, but that process has to happen.
Oct 4, 2012 7:15 PM
31Pelo, they are available here in Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Ecuador that I can think of right now and yes, I know plenty of ex-pats that have them here and many more in CR. How many of them go to Cuba I don't have a clue.
I meet Costa Ricans a lot in Cuba and they are pissed when I tell them.
Oct 4, 2012 10:58 PM
32You know I have long coveted such a card and an account, chef. I couldn't find such a bank in Panama where I actually own property and spent an entire day in GUA just finding someone to cash my TCs or where I could use my American Bank debit card.
While I greatly admire what you have accomplished in that regard, I am rather disturbed by you painting it as some sort of easily accomplished thing. It isn't and it is far more rare than either hen's teeth or tits on a bull, neither of which, btw, I have sought out with equal fervor.
"Ex-pats" are people who are living in those countries, are they not, chef? I am not nor is anyone else I know who also goes to Cuba. You are a freak among men, my friend. A good freak for sure, but never think that you are an iteration of "a normal guy".
When my daughter came weeping to me because her 5th grade peers called her a "nerd" (or some such), I asked her what normal people were like and if that was what she aspired to be. She didn't get it right away but is now a profoundly extraordinary person.
I suspect that the difference between your experience with such things all falls back on the old Cyndi Lauper lyric which describes why you and I view the world so differently......Money changes everything.
Oct 5, 2012 11:43 AM
Oct 5, 2012 11:48 AM
Oct 5, 2012 4:55 PM
35#33, Where on the street? And not to nit pick but the official exchange rate is 87.16 CUCs per $100 as of today.
Pelo, if you had trouble finding an ATM to use your card in here in Guatemala then the problem is yours. They are everywhere and they all take US cards as well as most merchants. Getting a bank account is not hard but it does take more than a day.
Oct 5, 2012 6:32 PM
36As chef suggests, anyone giving you $92 CUC for $100 USD is likely to not be giving you real CUC. Cubans are smart about a lot of things but they are absolute genius's regarding money, especially those who make their livelihood at it. They are somehow making a profit on the transaction and at 92:100 they would be losing money.
I had a card for Wells Fargo and Chase bank at the time, chef, and I walked all over that old town area and none of the banks took them save one. I asked at each bank and got shot down. I think one of the banks was "Azteca"? and the one that worked was something about "Industrial"? None of them suggested I could open an account without a GUA address, although I suspect that is do-able. It took me as long time to find one that would accept AMEX TCs and even then I had to wait for a bank officer to fill out a bunch of paperwork and then stand in a very long line to get the cash.
What I describe , as always, is what occurred, my friend, but I would agree with you on two points, it was definitely a problem for me re the cards and my few days there did not allow enough time to make the sort of connections I needed to open an account. I did find a pretty good dentist, however, and may go back sometime to finish up with him. If you might be available to point me in the right direction I would love to have an account like yours.
Have you ever done GUA bank to Cuban bank transfers?
Oct 6, 2012 3:14 AM
Oct 6, 2012 5:47 AM
38#36 "As chef suggests, anyone giving you $92 CUC for $100 USD is likely to not be giving you real CUC. Cubans are smart about a lot of things but they are absolute genius's regarding money, especially those who make their livelihood at it. They are somehow making a profit on the transaction and at 92:100 they would be losing money."
.... No ?
First, 100 dollars equals 100 cuc if you ignore charges.
Now if you are a casa owner or run a private business / restaurant you probably have connections in the US that will bring you stuff that are either crazy overpriced in cuba or hard to get. If you pay for this it probably won't matter if you pay in CuC or USD (for bigger payments i would think that USD would be the only accepted currency, same when its a third party "mule" delivering the items).
Then if he pays in CuC it will cost him 100 CuC, but if he trades to USD on the street the same will now only cost him 90 CuC (where 90 cuc equals 100 usd), thus he has earned 10 cuc! (or 10% off the total amount of payment, which is a huge number for people dealing with alot of money).
Which means that these types of trades benefits everyone except the state and i see no reason why this sounds so unlikely! This is like the ordinary black marked, just with currency instead other goods or services.
Oct 6, 2012 2:40 PM
39Did you get the email, trap? I think you got taken, my friend, although probably as likely just a clerk who didn't know what he was doing as someone scamming a cash transaction. You know how those WU scam artists prey upon us poor unsuspecting Americans..........jejeje.
The actual "rate" when measuring what you hand them as against what you receipient in Cuba receives, should be right at 91.5:100, including the $8/100 transaction fee. 102 CUC should have cost you.............
$105 ($102 / 0.97)
+ $8 (transaction fee)
It may be that WU charges in $50 increments, e.g. $8 for $100 or less, $12 for $1-150, $16 for $151-200, and you're extra $2 caused it to fall into the $12 category.
The concubine (as opposed to my girl or my concubine both of which hurl insults and reveal ugly presentiments on the part of the speaker, according to our wordsmiths here) to whom I sent money recently got $150.50 CUC and I paid $167.50, $155 + $12.
I'm sure you have a valid point to make, travis, but it doesn't make sense to me. My advice would continue to be to avoid such street transactions.
Oct 6, 2012 4:23 PM
Oct 6, 2012 6:51 PM
41i would never recommend a newbie traveler to do such a deal.
On that we are in perfect accord. I did not want to suggest that a seasoned traveler like yourself might not have access to some legitimate money-saving resources that you had "vetted", but the idea that it might ever make sense for most travelers, especially newbies, to engage in such risky behavior, makes no sense to me.
BTW, I engage with the mercado negro in Cuba at least as frequently as I do the "other one".
Oct 6, 2012 6:58 PM
42#38 Travis spot on explanation - also that sort of win-win exchange at rates at variance to the official bank one occurs for those Cubans simply wanting USD to take to USA rather than engaging in commmercial operations of the type you describe.
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