American dolars or CUC? For tips, etc
Replies: 21 - Last Post: Dec 10, 2012 7:37 AM Last Post By: OldCubanCigarSt...
Dec 4, 2012 2:00 PM
American dolars or CUC? For tips, etcGuys!
I am a bit confused, if we shall have dolars or CUC in Cuba, for tips, food etc... All the time I was thinking about having american dolars there, but recently I've read somewhere that Cuban people have problems with exchanging dolars then, because they get less afterwards, so it's a bit inconvenient for them. We want, obviously, leave tips at casas particulares and we just don't know what is better for them.
Will be grateful for some opinions about it!!
Dec 4, 2012 2:03 PM
1Leave your USDs at home, they suffer a 10% surcharge in Cuba.
Exchange your money into CUC, the locally accepted currency.
No need to tip your casa particular owner.
Dec 4, 2012 3:10 PM
2No need to tip your casa particular owner.
Ditto Terry in post 1. I always tip the cleaning lady of the casa a few days before I check out and I usually tip the server in the restaurants regardless if the owner adds on a 10% s/c if he/she is on the ball and provides excellent service and the taxi driver if he carries my suitcase into the casa and I buy drinks for the band and singers and I tip the bartender on my first drink so he will remember me, etc.
Dec 4, 2012 4:20 PM
3I've never seen a problem with leaving US dollar bills as tips. Cubans can easily change these. Just don't feel like you are tipping $1 -- it is more like (someone correct me) 80 cents.
Leaving Cdn loonies or toonies is a different issue as the Cuban banks, like all banks around the world, won't change coins.
I agree with the above - no need to tip casa owners, but their maid would really appreciate the extra money, as she doesn't earn much....
Dec 4, 2012 4:43 PM
4Honestly, I've never understood the fascination with using USDs as tips...
Why tip with the only foreign currency that instantly loses 10% of its value the moment the recipient hands it to their bank teller? Why not simply tip in the locally accepted currency same as you would at any foreign destination?
Dec 4, 2012 5:28 PM
Dec 4, 2012 5:39 PM
Dec 4, 2012 6:08 PM
Dec 4, 2012 8:32 PM
8I've also been told by more than one Cuban (so that means 2 - but hey, I don't know many Cubans in Cuba) -- that some folks actually like to have a small stash of a real, tradable currency. Whether that is to give to tourists who may have been asked to bring something special to Cuba for them, or waiting for something to happen in the future, I don't know. Just sayin'.....
Dec 4, 2012 8:42 PM
Dec 4, 2012 8:48 PM
10Patty @ #8... I've helped out several Cubans in that situation... they get the hard currency and I get CUC and no one pays the buy/sell commission charged at the bank - it's a win-win for everyone.
Using $1 US bills to tip strangers though... that still feels really lazy/disrespectful to me... I can't get over the fact why a visiting foreigner would choose to not use the locally accepted currency. Are there other countries where you would do that? I'm betting no...
To each their own.
Dec 4, 2012 9:13 PM
11I generally suspect that the Cubans who want USD are those planning to leave soon. But it is true that some Cubans do like to have funds in their mattress which cannot be affected by their government - but it is easier enough for those Cubans to get USD from someone who has visitors from the US etc.
As Terry says, there is no reason to tip in USD, except perhaps those who have just arrived and haven't had time to change any money.
Dec 5, 2012 6:25 AM
12I'm with Terry on this one. No matter what country I'm in, I use the local currency for tips. I simply can't believe a tourist would be so lazy, or simply not care to bother to change their money for local currency.
An employee anywhere should be required to provide good service to earn their tip. When you tip in a currency that forces them to also use their personal time to go and line up at a bank just to get those tips converted into a useable money, that IMHO is rude.
Anyway, to each their own, but really..... how hard is it to convert your money. Not hard at all.
Dec 5, 2012 7:11 AM
13Even if one tips in u.s. dollars it beats nothing ; they sure as hell know how to cope with it ; as far as them getting say cad coins I usually take them off their hands when I am returning ; I feel that it is my privlidge to give tips in what ever currency I have and that includes u.s. dollars .I know if I tip my waiters three times a day for a whole week at a resort ; it works out more than a months salary for each of them AND i am only one tourist . .
Dec 5, 2012 8:14 AM