Does Cuba take canadian money? – Cuba – Debbie's Carribean Reviews Forums

trishthedish 2015-01-21 12:34:41 UTC #1

I have heard Cuba will now take Canadian money, or does it still need to be exchanged for Cuban convertible pesos?? My husband bought American money??

annem 2015-01-21 13:07:54 UTC #2

It is better to bring Canadian dollars and change them into CUC once you are in Cuba. American dollars are subject to a 10 or 11% penalty to convert them.

Please do not tip with Canadian coins, as coins (anywhwere, not just in Cuba) cannot be exchanged into local currency, only paper bills can be exchanged. You can pay with Canadian bills when you arrive (if you take a taxi or you buy beer, for example), but once you are settled in, please use the local currency (CUC).

canuks 2015-01-21 13:08:11 UTC #3

Canadian $’s are best …no coins not even loonies or twoonies but you end up loosing on the exchange (game) when you use US money…if you are Canadian

bergerman 2015-01-21 14:36:03 UTC #4

You certainly can take CAD, but as been noted please do not tip with Cad coins. Exchange your Cad dollars soon after arriving in Cuba. Put 25 CUC/person away for departure tax. From then on tip with CUC for good service you recieve.


cubajack 2015-01-21 16:44:00 UTC #5

Hi Trish, and a belated welcome to the forum.

I was curious where you heard that? There are a couple different things that might have caused some confusion for some of us.

Resort workers will accept tips in Canadian currency, or, in fact almost any currency, even coins. But it really is better to tip in CUC. The only way they can exchange coins is by asking another tourist to exchange for them. They can’t spend Canadian money any more than we can, so they would have to go to a bank or cadeca to exchange for CUC. That almost makes the tip more of a nuisance than a tip.

The duty-free shops in the airport departure areas have recently begun accepting Canadian currency for purchases. I think this has happened since the new rule forbidding export of CUC came into effect, as travellers are now less likely to have CUC when they are leaving.

Other than these two cases, Cuba is pretty much like everywhere else. It is not really possible to buy things by using a foreign currency.

Hope that helps.

francoisp 2015-01-21 19:28:22 UTC #6

If one already have USD it might be a good idea to bring it. Last week even with a 10% penalty it was better than CAD with a 87 CUC for 100 USD vs 80 CUC for 100 CAD.

Still not worth it to transfer from CAD to USD to CUC but if you have it on hand it’s better to change to CUC directly instead of CAD.

cubajack 2015-01-21 21:37:38 UTC #7

If you already have US dollars. you may be better off exchanging them for Canadian dollars. You may just come out ahead, depending on when you bought them. At today’s rates, your bank should give you somewhere around $118 to $120 CDN for $100 US. If you took $100 US to Cuba, you would get 87 CUC at the bank there. But the Cuban bank should give you about 95 CUC for the CDN$ you could buy with that $100 US.

trishthedish 2015-01-22 04:34:30 UTC #8

Thank you all for your input!!! A friend of mine said they were starting to take canadian instead of having to exchange it but my honey has already purchased the US $ and he paid about .20 on the dollar so might as well keep the US lol

Spunky 2015-01-22 12:23:50 UTC #9

If you exchange your US for Cdn before you go, you will save$$.

gambitt 2015-01-22 15:20:25 UTC #10

Trish, Spunky is right!

Do not take that US cash to Cuba… With the Canadian dollar at a 4 year low, you should keep the US bills here; and withdraw Canadian cash to take to Cuba!!

cubajack 2015-01-22 16:46:25 UTC #11

Other than these two cases, Cuba is pretty much like everywhere else. It is not really possible to buy things by using a foreign currency.

OK, Sorry, I just was reminded of another case where Canadian dollars will be accepted. The beer vendors at the airport (at least in Varadero, and probably other resort-type areas) will take Canadian dollars. The usual rate seems to be two beer for $5.

Admin 2015-01-23 00:07:14 UTC #12

I would only take Canadian dollars to Cuba at the moment. Like Spunky mentioned holding US for a bit more can make you some $$ when you transfer back US$ to Canadian $$ as Canadian dollar is getting weaker comparing to US$ at the moment!

francoisp 2015-01-23 14:15:20 UTC #13

Yeah I guess I’m not that good at math! So it’s in fact a good thing I forgot my USD at home when I left to Cuba!

desmei 2015-01-30 20:15:06 UTC #14

So it’s cheaper to buy your bus beer with CAD than CUC.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.