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I'm a US citizen and will be taking a cruise in January with two stops in Cuba. I'll be in Canada next month. Should I use my cash card to get some Canadian money to use for the currency exchange in Cuba? How much should I get?

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'If' there are no fees associated with getting the Candian then go ahead.

If thre are fees then it;s not worth it.

 

How much? Only you know that answer, maybe a bazillion $ or so.

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'If' there are no fees associated with getting the Candian then go ahead.

If thre are fees then it;s not worth it.

How much? Only you know that answer, maybe a bazillion $ or so.

 

Blanket statements like that are not useful. Whether or not it is worth it will vary with the individual and with how much is being exchanged. There will always be a savings involved, whether or not it is big enough to justify the effort is entirely up to you.

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Blanket statements like that are not useful. Whether or not it is worth it will vary with the individual and with how much is being exchanged. There will always be a savings involved, whether or not it is big enough to justify the effort is entirely up to you.

Actually, it's your statement that is incorrect. Depending on the day's exchange rate, if you are only exchanging $100 or so, you could find yourself losing money in the long run if you have to pay average bank fees.

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Blanket statements like that are not useful. Whether or not it is worth it will vary with the individual and with how much is being exchanged. There will always be a savings involved, whether or not it is big enough to justify the effort is entirely up to you.

 

A blanket statement suffices.

This subject has been covered repeatedly, a search will bring up more details if the op is interested.

 

I personally cannot bebothered to explain the math involved in exchanging $ to CuCs

 

Hence, the blanket statement.

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I was there last week on the Norwegian Sun. It took close to 2 hours to get through customs. We had Euros. We lost money exchanging and then again changing back. Real pain in the..................I would never go there again. It is too time consuming for one day.

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Actually, it's your statement that is incorrect. Depending on the day's exchange rate, if you are only exchanging $100 or so, you could find yourself losing money in the long run if you have to pay average bank fees.

 

The only way that you are going to lose money is if the exchange rate variation and the exchange fee conspire to exceed 10%, which hardly ever happens.

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In Havana the currency exchange was closed when we returned to the ship around midnight. So if you are going out at night ask what time they close if you want to exchange CUC back to your currency

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The only way that you are going to lose money is if the exchange rate variation and the exchange fee conspire to exceed 10%, which hardly ever happens.

Do the math. If your bank charges you $7 like BOA does for the average Joe to buy foreign currency, and you only buy $100 worth of CAN $, you will come out worse most of the time. Remember, the bank is not giving you the actual exchange rate, plus you're still paying a 3% fee to buy CUCs.

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Do the math. If your bank charges you $7 like BOA does for the average Joe to buy foreign currency, and you only buy $100 worth of CAN $, you will come out worse most of the time. Remember, the bank is not giving you the actual exchange rate, plus you're still paying a 3% fee to buy CUCs.

 

Beating the dead horse once again, I did the math. The 3% is there either way. If your $7 fee and whatever else the bank charges you exceeds 10% then indeed you lose. My experience was that they did not come anywhere near 10%. I agree that the savings might be so small that it wouldn't be worth the trouble for a small amount like $100, and if your bank is charging a flat fee for exchanges that would be of greater impact for small amounts.

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Beating the dead horse once again, I did the math. The 3% is there either way. If your $7 fee and whatever else the bank charges you exceeds 10% then indeed you lose. My experience was that they did not come anywhere near 10%. I agree that the savings might be so small that it wouldn't be worth the trouble for a small amount like $100, and if your bank is charging a flat fee for exchanges that would be of greater impact for small amounts.

You're also losing some on the initial exchange rate when you buy CAN $ or Euros. You have to actually run the numbers by doing a mock transaction at your bank.

 

For example, using today's rates, you can purchase $125 CAN for $102.50 US at Bank of America. They will also charge you $7.50 for the transaction, so you've spent $110 US.

 

That $125 CAN will buy you $94.56 in CUCs.

 

If you simply used the original $110 US to buy CUCs, you would receive $95.70 in CUCs.

 

That's why I said that you could actually end up losing money by purchasing Euros or CAN $ rather than just exchanging your US$ for CUCs directly.

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You're also losing some on the initial exchange rate when you buy CAN $ or Euros. You have to actually run the numbers by doing a mock transaction at your bank.

 

For example, using today's rates, you can purchase $125 CAN for $102.50 US at Bank of America. They will also charge you $7.50 for the transaction, so you've spent $110 US.

 

That $125 CAN will buy you $94.56 in CUCs.

 

If you simply used the original $110 US to buy CUCs, you would receive $95.70 in CUCs.

 

That's why I said that you could actually end up losing money by purchasing Euros or CAN $ rather than just exchanging your US$ for CUCs directly.

 

Yes, I agree that it is possible to lose money if you are charged a flat fee by your bank and you are only changing $100, My bank didn't do that and I was exchanging considerably more. In your example, as I said earlier, the cost of exchanging exceeded 10% and you lose. I guess our only disagreement is how common the situation is. My assumption was that most people would be exchanging more than $100 and I was not aware that some banks will charge you a fee on top of the exchange.

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I'm very confused at the many that say you save money by getting Euros before leaving the states. I was looking at getting $1000 in Euros so I wouldn't have any fees. But with $1=.86euro and 3% taken when exchanging euro to cuc and 13% converting usd to cuc doesn't it equal out? I'm I missing something?

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11 hours ago, jamscckmc said:

I'm very confused at the many that say you save money by getting Euros before leaving the states. I was looking at getting $1000 in Euros so I wouldn't have any fees. But with $1=.86euro and 3% taken when exchanging euro to cuc and 13% converting usd to cuc doesn't it equal out? I'm I missing something?

The only way to truly determine your savings is to do a mock transaction on your bank's website because you are not going to receive the actual currency exchange rate you'll see on the currency exchange calculators available on the internet.  Once you see how many Euros you can buy for $1,000 US at your bank, then use a currency exchange calculator (there are several on-line calculators available) to see how many CUC's that amount of Euros will buy in Cuba.  You already know that $1,000 US will buy $870 in CUC's, so you can easily compare.

Or, you can take our word that you'll save a bit by converting that large an amount into Euros or CAN $ before travelling to Cuba.  I didn't convert but $100 or so, but also had no fees attached to the transaction and saved about $5, so you should expect savings somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 if you're converting $1,000.

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Someone was telling me they would like to have the US dollar.  I can't imagine that.  So anyway, do they take our dollar?

 

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On 10/22/2018 at 6:05 PM, spindrift said:

Someone was telling me they would like to have the US dollar.  I can't imagine that.  So anyway, do they take our dollar?

 

In some places like souvenir market or private guide - yes. In stores - no

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Does anyone know if they accept Sterling at the currency exchange?  We are from the UK but sailing from Miami, so will have Dollars for our time in the US, but could also bring Euros, but obviously Sterling would be easiest for us, as long as there are no problems exchanging them.

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Don't bother changing  large amounts to cuc. Every store we went to took US$. Even craft vendors. We changed just enough to give tips, although many gave tips in us$.

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I was under the impression that Cuba charges a 13% exchange rate to convert US dollars, but there is no transaction fee associated with converting Canadian dollars in Cuba. Is this true??

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Yes it's true that Canadians are not charged the US extra10% conversion rate but the Canadian dollar is weaker. I believe it was only .77/CUC. I would not bother getting Canadian dollars to exchange to CUCs if you are from the US. You will save a little if you get Euros ahead of time but it's not really worth it unless you are changing large amounts. Since almost every store and vendor took US$ we ended up changing very little and just paying in US$.

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6 minutes ago, jamscckmc said:

Yes it's true that Canadians are not charged the US extra10% conversion rate but the Canadian dollar is weaker. I believe it was only .77/CUC. I would not bother getting Canadian dollars to exchange to CUCs if you are from the US. You will save a little if you get Euros ahead of time but it's not really worth it unless you are changing large amounts. Since almost every store and vendor took US$ we ended up changing very little and just paying in US$.

 

Thank you. We did convert some US to Canadian, but I won’t bother getting more. I appreciate your advice - and am looking forward to our trip!

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