In Cuba there are currently two currencies: Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) and the Cuban peso (CUP). The exchange rate is fixed: 1CUC = 24 CUP. The tourists and the tourism industry used the convertible pesos CUC. To know the current value of the change of the euro or any other currency to CUC I recommend you go to the page: www.xe.com/currency/cuc-cuban-convertible-peso
*Exchange cash between CUC and USD are subject to 10% tax.
Recently Cuba has removed the 10% exta tax on all transactions made with any magnetic card.
In Cuba the official place for currency exchange is called “CADECA”, where you can change any type of currency. In some of them you can even remove money using your credit card. You can find them all over the country and they open from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM, but don't leave it for the last minute since these places are quite flexible with the closing hours. To change or remove money it is mandatory to show your passport.
Payment using debit card is not possible unless the card can be authorized by your Bank to be used worldwide. You can use credit cards from Master Card, Visa, Eurocard, etc, with the condition that they had not been issued by an American Bank with the exception of the Mastercard issued from Stonegate Bank from Florida. USA.
Recently it has been approved the use of American credit cards in Cuba. However, if you are American citizen or resident we recomend you to contact your bank to make sure you can use your card in Cuba.
You can withdraw cash from any machine in the Country. Bare in mind that removing cash from your credit card will cost you money. This is why we recommend the use of cash as much as possible. You can also pay with the credit card on most of big hotels, restaurants and shops. However once again we recommend you to take always cash with you so you can avoid extra costs and inconveniences in case the credit card is not accepted.
*In the surroundings of the “CADECA” you can find locals that will want to “help you” to change the money. Try to avoid them and always change money in official places.
*Try to change just the money you think you may need. Do not change all the money at once, because if at the end of your holiday you have some money left, then you need to change it back to your own currency and will have to pay commission once again.
*Nowadays the airport taxes are already included in the air ticket(25CUC). Check very well the terms and conditions of your plane ticket to see if it is included or not, because this tax is mandatory, so you avoid last minute surprises.
Giving tips is something popular in Cuba and is an important part of the total income of many Cuban workers and mainly the workers in the tourism industry. Taxi drivers, workers of the hotel and gastronomy normally expect approximately a 10% of gratuity.