Cuban Currency

In Cuba, cash is king and credit/debit cards simply won't work. There are two currencies: Cuban Peso Nacional (CUP) for locals and Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) for foreigners.

1. CUP - Cuban Peso Nacional

  • CUP is the national Cuban currency, used primarily by locals.

  • The exchange rate is around 25 CUP / 1 USD.

  • You might use it for street food, local peso restaurants, flea markets, ice cream or giving tips.

2. CUC - Cuban Convertible Peso

  • Cuban Convertible Peso is the currency used in the tourism industry. Travelers will need it the most.

  • Exchange rate for CUC is pinned to the US Dollar, which means 1CUC equals 1USD.

  • All currencies have a 3% exchange fee, (US Dollars have an additional 10% tax upon exchange)

  • Most hostels, restaurants, bars, museums and taxis only take CUC.

Where to Exchange
  • Airports - Airport’s lines to exchange money can be quite long.

  • Cadecas or exchange houses in the city. (Ask your casa particular owner or hotel front desk for the closest option, they may even offer to do it for you.)

  • BFI and Banco Metropolitano.

Travel Tips
  • To save money, we'd recommend exchanging at most 5% of your money to CUP. You can only use this for local food options or local deals.

  • Paying for lodging via a website (online) is helpful, as it lessens the amount of cash you need to carry.

  • No credit card associated with an American bank can be used in Cuba, contact your bank in advance if you are not sure.

  • All other credit cards, most hotels and high-end restaurants will accept credit cards.

  • ATMs will not accept Americans debit cards. Visa debit cards associated with a non-US bank are accepted at ATMs.

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