Can I get CUC pesos using my Canadian Mastercard or debit card?
Replies: 16 - Last Post: Nov 22, 2012 8:04 PM Last Post By: BeardoUK
Nov 19, 2012 12:44 PM
Can I get CUC pesos using my Canadian Mastercard or debit card?I'm a bit confused about how to obtain CUC pesos in Cuba. Can I use my Canadian (Bank of Montreal) Mastercard and/or debit card? A friend suggestedthat my GF and I each take a few hundred Canadian dollars and exchange them for CUC pesos. What's the best way to go? I understand it's best to get small denomination CUC pesos. Are 20 peso notes too big?
Nov 19, 2012 1:49 PM
Nov 19, 2012 1:51 PM
2I have no idea if your card works in Cuba. If it does, then yes, you can draw cash over the counter at banks or cadecas - and that would be CUCs. Or you can take CAD and exchange - most people recommend small denomination CAD. The best depends on what your bank charges for such and how much cash you want to carry.
I understand taht most Canadian debit cards don't work in Cuba.
With CUC, larger than 20, you will probably be asked for ID and have to sign a form.
Nov 19, 2012 2:23 PM
3You better get your money straight before you go otherwise you will be paying 5cuc for a street pizza instead of 5 peso or about 22c cdn. A Cuban can spot a neophyte a mile away who doesn’t know his cuc from peso.
There are 2 currencies in Cuba, CUC that most tourists use and MN or peso most Cubans use. When you ask if 20 peso notes too big well a 20 peso note is less than a dollar cdn. If you are referring to cuc a $20 cuc note is what most people carry. Note: if a taxi driver or store owner doesn’t have change you are out of luck so carry some small cuc bills or coins. $10 cuc is enough to exchange into 240 peso for street food like a banana for 1 peso.
Nov 19, 2012 3:02 PM
4A CUC is a convertible peso - I don”t think there is anything wrong with what the OP wrote. As he talks about a couple of hundred CAD, I guess that he is probably staying in an all-inclusive and wanting spending money, not planning on getting into the CUP economy at all.
Additional advice - only change money in banks or exchange bureaux, certainly not on the street.
Nov 19, 2012 3:10 PM
5One Canadian debit card that does appear to work is the CIBC Advantage Visa Debit Card.
Being Visa it has the added advantage of working in ATM's.
Nov 19, 2012 3:30 PM
6I've had restaurants tell me they didn't have change. Occasionally it may be true but a cab driver has change, as does a restaurant. If not, then I get them to find change. Amazing what happens when you get stubborn. All of a sudden, change does show up.
Still, to avoid delays etc.... always have some smaller bills in your pocket. I guard 1cuc bills with my life.... jeje
Nov 19, 2012 6:17 PM
7The BMO mastercard will work, I used it last week. I would take cash over the credit card. It's easier to exchange you don't get the 10% fee.
Nov 19, 2012 6:31 PM
Nov 19, 2012 6:58 PM
9Sorry, I should have specified. It's a fee from BMO for international transfers.
Nov 20, 2012 6:34 AM
Nov 20, 2012 11:15 AM
11Roxy, I can't find a 10% fee mentioned anywhere on the BMO website.
From what I can see it's $4.50 per cash advance transaction at an international (outside of Canada/US) ATM and $6.00 per cash advance at any international (outside of Canada/US) financial institution.
Am I missing something?
Nov 22, 2012 2:56 PM
12I use a TD visa card and make ATM withdrawals often.
I also go to the cadeca and make withdrawals on it.
There is a service charge from TD and and an unfavourable currency exchange rate, but it is no where close to being 10%.
To avoid interest charges, prepay your visa card before leaving for vacation.
Nov 22, 2012 3:03 PM
Nov 22, 2012 3:52 PM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$217.26 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$326.39 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$237.11 per night