Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Americas > Cuba
Reload this Page >

MasterCard Removes Block on Cuba Transactions for U.S.-Issued Cards

MasterCard Removes Block on Cuba Transactions for U.S.-Issued Cards

Old Jan 23, 15, 11:24 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: DAB
Programs: DL PM UA PSilver Marriott Lifetime Plat, AMEX Platinum, Avis PC, UA MPPPlus
Posts: 961
MasterCard Removes Block on Cuba Transactions for U.S.-Issued Cards

Today, MasterCard announced it is removing the current block on U.S.-issued card transactions in Cuba as of March 1, 2015.

The rest of their press release is here.
edweird is offline  
Old Jan 23, 15, 2:13 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: YUL
Posts: 10
Now they just need more places to accept them !!
el_che is offline  
Old Jan 24, 15, 10:03 pm
  #3  
mkt
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: MIA/SJU
Programs: AA lt PLT; B6 Mosaic; Emerald Club Executive
Posts: 3,273
This is great! I hope Visa follows suit soon though - my best travel cards are all Visa.
mkt is offline  
Old Mar 29, 15, 9:01 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 164
Has anyone reported any success of using a US issued MC working in Cuba?
adschnei is offline  
Old Mar 29, 15, 1:34 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Programs: AA EXP(.96MM), AMEX Platinum, United Premier Silver, Delta Gold, SPG Platinum 50, Hilton Gold VIP
Posts: 1,744
Originally Posted by adschnei View Post
Has anyone reported any success of using a US issued MC working in Cuba?
I'm heading to Cuba this week, I'll let you know if MC is working.
jammanxc is offline  
Old Mar 30, 15, 4:34 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 164
Originally Posted by jammanxc View Post
I'm heading to Cuba this week, I'll let you know if MC is working.
Awesome! I don't go until Memorial Day, but I'm hopeful to at least have the ability to use my cc should I need o (I understand few places actually accept cards)... Enjoy your trip!
adschnei is offline  
Old Apr 1, 15, 7:49 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum
Posts: 1,565
Visa will go live June 1.

There's more to the issue than MC and Visa lifting the restriction on use of U.S. cards. The financial institution issuing the card also has to lift the restriction, and you also need to check with them, because not all have.
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Apr 2, 15, 4:02 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 164
Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
Visa will go live June 1.

There's more to the issue than MC and Visa lifting the restriction on use of U.S. cards. The financial institution issuing the card also has to lift the restriction, and you also need to check with them, because not all have.
Do you know which institutions have lifted the restrictions? Any of the prime cards (Citi, Barclay, Chase, Cap 1, USBank, etc)?
adschnei is offline  
Old Apr 2, 15, 8:05 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum
Posts: 1,565
No. I don't know. The advice from MasterCard (now) and Visa (for after June 1) is to check with your financial institution to see if it is set up to handle transactions in Cuba. Not all are or will be.
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Apr 3, 15, 7:39 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NYC
Programs: AA GLD, AC
Posts: 2,398
Pardon me for being dense, but isn't the point of a card association to handle all the back-office stuff so that the card transaction goes through?

Why would an individual credit card issuer have to set things up on its own?

This just seems really odd.
M60_to_LGA is offline  
Old Apr 3, 15, 9:01 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum
Posts: 1,565
I agree. One would think that, yes. But every article, every press release about the subject, including the link in the OP, states this caveat. I'm just back from Cuba. My MC worked. I talked to other U.S. travelers and heard mixed stories.
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Apr 4, 15, 5:29 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Middle Earth, and often worse
Programs: BAEC Silver, A3 Gold
Posts: 1,728
Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
I agree. One would think that, yes. But every article, every press release about the subject, including the link in the OP, states this caveat. I'm just back from Cuba. My MC worked. I talked to other U.S. travelers and heard mixed stories.
Yes, it appears that YMMV - and sometimes does. Canadian bank CCs seem to work fine in Cuba. I checked with my Credit Union and they assured me that my ATM will work - in spite of reading to the contrary.
tmac100 is offline  
Old Apr 4, 15, 2:21 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA UA Premier Plat , 1.24MM, AA EXP
Posts: 271
For what its worth, today April 4, 2015, I called the three institutions with which I have Mastercard accounts: Citi, Barclay and Capital One.

Citi and Barclay told me that they do not yet authorize Mastercard transactions in Cuba. Capital One said that they are now authorizing such transactions.
Jimbo is offline  
Old Apr 5, 15, 6:56 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Programs: Hyatt Platinum, IHG Platinum, Aadvantage Platinum
Posts: 179
Are you sure about Capital One? I called Barclays in February and they said it would work but in March they said no, not yet.

I might have to get a Cap One Venture card after all.
wholelottamiles is offline  
Old Apr 6, 15, 12:59 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA UA Premier Plat , 1.24MM, AA EXP
Posts: 271
Originally Posted by wholelottamiles View Post
Are you sure about Capital One? I called Barclays in February and they said it would work but in March they said no, not yet.

I might have to get a Cap One Venture card after all.
Each representative at at each of the three institutions that I spoke to were not able to answer the question immediately. All three had to put me on hold while they spoke to superiors. Both Barclays and Citi representatives indicated that while they were aware of MC's announcement that it was unblocking Cuban transactions, they did not know when they themselves were going to do so. The Capital One representative indicated, after checking, that as of March 1st they were in fact authorizing Cuban transactions.

I was most surprised that Barclays has not yet unblocked their MC transactions given that of the the three, it seems like it has a greater international presence than Citi and Capital One.
Jimbo is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread