Since 8th November 2004, the US dollar has not been accepted as money in Cuba for tourists visiting the island. The official currency of Cuba since then has been the Cuban convertible peso (or CUC), which had been in use before then but was not as widely spread as the US dollar. Visitors to Cuba will be liable to pay a 10% tax if trying to exchange US dollars into Cuban currency, so visitors are advised to bring pound sterling or euros when exchanging money. Cuba also does not recognise Scottish bank notes, so these should be avoided. You will not be able to convert Cuban currency back into Sterling, so try to ensure you have no excess money on leaving Cuba, but remember you will need 25CUC departure tax per person.
Credit cards are accepted instead of Cuban currency in most hotels but are not generally accepted as payment in shops and restaurants. It is essential to remember that due to the US embargo, traveler's cheques or credit cards issued by American banks will not be accepted anywhere on the island. As there are an increasing number of credit cards with obscure names, please double check with your card issuer that it has not been issued by an American bank - especially if you are relying on it for money in Cuba.
Bank Facilities in Havana
Banks are generally open from 09:00 to 14:00 hours, Monday to Friday. Banks can be found in the following locations:
- Banco Metropolitano (Metropolitan Bank) - Monserrate St. ATM machine available.
- Banco Financiero Internacional - Corner of Oficios & Teniente Rey Streets. ATM machine available.
- CADECA (CAsa DE CAmbio or exchange shop) - Obispo St. between Cuba & Aguiar Streets. ATM machine available.
- CADECA with an ATM machine outside. Corner of Obispo & Compostela Streets.
- CADECA with an ATM machine outside. Corner of Lamparilla & Tacon Streets.
- For those at the Nacional Hotel, there is a bank branch at the business centre, you can draw Cuban currency from credit cards and an ATM machine.
- Outside the Tryp Habana Libre, there is a branch of the Banco Financiero Internacional.