Last Update: December 15, 2020
Cuba is currently in the midst of one of their greatest challenges, the unification of their dual currency system. The money situation in Cuba has been complicated for travelers for many years, navigating the two currencies and the 10% tax that was previously charged to exchange USD. On January 1, 2021 they are eliminating the tourist currency, the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC).
The Peso Cubano - CUP (or MN - moneda nacional) - will be the only official currency after January 1, 2021, although you can spend or exchange CUC for 180 days afterward.
24CUP = US$1
Foreign Currency Accepted in Cuba
Here is the complete list of foreign currencies currently accepted for exchange in Cuba.
- These currencies may be exchanged to CUP at most banks throughout the country
- They can be exchanged at the CADECA and at some banks. The exchange surcharge for travelers cheques ranges from 3% to 6%.
The monetary unification process could result in instability, so until we know more about how the CUP will function in Cuba, we recommend you bring plenty of USD or Euros in cash. Rules and regulations change quickly and often in Cuba, so you should always contact your bank before you travel to Cuba to check if your cards will work. Even if your bank says that your card WILL work, it is best to not rely on only one source of money - as a precaution, for other unforeseen circumstances, and because banks have been know to provide incorrect information. In Cuba, a combination of cash and cards is best.
Always take more rather than less, because Cuba is likely to be more expensive than you imagine, and you don't want to spoil your trip in Cuba by constantly feeling short of funds.