Best way to exchange money (AUD) in Cuba
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Dec 1, 2012 4:57 PM Last Post By: southamericansky
Nov 25, 2012 10:15 PM
Best way to exchange money (AUD) in CubaGreetings,
We are an Aussie couple traveling through Mexico first and then through Havana, Trinidad, Cienfugos in Cuba. We're trying to work out which of the following works best:
1. use our Australian debit cards (Visa) at ATMs throughout; where are we likely to find ATMs in Cuba?
2. carry AUD in cash and exchange them as we go; this may not be as safe? or are we better off bringing USD or Mexican pesos instead of AUD?
3. any other travel card alternatives?
Nov 25, 2012 10:36 PM
11/. yes - provided that they have no links however indirect with the land of the unfree e.g. the 28 Degrees Mastercard which is one of the very best Oz cards for travel as it has ZERO ATM/Forex fees is prevented from working in Cuba.
Visa in ATM's; Mastercard and Visa inside banks/Cadecas.
Havana/Cienfuegos have ATM's. Trinidad does not.
2/. AUD is not accepted in Cuba. Of the 9 currencies accepted for exchange USD and Mx Pesos are the 2 worst currencies to bring. Euros or CAD are preferable depending on which what rates you can buy them for in Oz. If you are travelling back through Mexico ot USA then having some say $100USD notes as a fallback in case of emergency despite their poor exchange rate is a possible way to go.
3/. I know of no "travel card" that works in Cuba.
Nov 25, 2012 11:18 PM
2As John says - you'll be fine for ATMs if our Visa debit card has the magic 'no links'. NAB is good, I have also used the ANZ Qantas visa in ATMs. NAB now has a travel card, but I wouldn't try that, would just use the Visa debit card, even though what used to be free has turned into a $3 or $4 charge for each withdrawal. Grrr.
Nov 27, 2012 12:21 PM
Nov 27, 2012 2:40 PM
4I have a NAB gold (coloured) visa debit card, and I have been using it for three years in Cuba, most recently up to July this year. My only problem came early this year when I tried to use my Macquarie account to transfer $ to NAB - the Macquarie site, after nearly three years, was no longer available in Cuba! Big panic but my daughter was able to access Macquarie from Singapore and did the transfer. The reason it was a panic is that I don't hold money in the NAB account, it's just for travelling.
So - I guess - having either a backup plan or a daughter somewhere with decent access is a good idea!
Dec 1, 2012 2:40 PM
Dec 1, 2012 3:13 PM
6Several guidebooks give that impression. There is no evidence however that Cuban ATM's are any more prone to do this than say in Sydney or New York.
Most people who repeat this urban myth have never actually used Cuban ATM's.
We have had over 200 ATM transactions in Cuba without a single glitch.
I generally avoid using an ATM outside a closed bank particularly if planning to leave that town early the next day.
Dec 1, 2012 3:51 PM
Dec 1, 2012 3:55 PM
Dec 1, 2012 4:15 PM
Dec 1, 2012 4:38 PM
10De nada Ed!
BTW despite my lack of erstwhile keeness to go there if I was flying into Vaadero anyway and wasn't short for time I would certainly spend a couple of day having a gander. There are now casas there and a no of newly opened private restaurants(paladares). Apparently the beaches there by Cuban standards are pretty good.
Dec 1, 2012 4:57 PM
11i will give it a go for a night or 2. With Havana beckoning I do not think I can resist its famous allure
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