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United States credit cards

United States credit cards

Old Mar 31, 17, 1:27 pm
  #1  
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United States credit cards

Are any US credit cards usable in Cuba? If so
(Getting conflicting answers) are they good anywhere?
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Old Apr 4, 17, 11:51 am
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Last I checked is there is one random bank in South Florida that issues a card that works in Cuba. Otherwise, no US issued cards will work.
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Old Apr 4, 17, 5:40 pm
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Originally Posted by ChiefNWA View Post
Last I checked is there is one random bank in South Florida that issues a card that works in Cuba. Otherwise, no US issued cards will work.
Stonegate Bank out of Pompano Beach with branches across South Florida is the one.
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Old Apr 4, 17, 6:39 pm
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Interesting, how do they manage that?

I have a Canadian credit card issued by Chase, but because it is a subsidiary of a US company, it will not work in Cuba
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Old Apr 5, 17, 1:46 pm
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I got a Stonegate card specifically to use in Cuba. Went to the well known Partagas cigar shop to purchase and card came back "denied". Luckily I had planned for the almost all cash economy anyway.
Looking at their site now, I see that I overlooked signing a compliance document that they require, probably why it was not usable in Cuba.

Last edited by VidaNaPraia; Apr 5, 17 at 1:52 pm
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Old Apr 7, 17, 11:21 am
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Even if you did have a working credit card its almost an all cash society. If you had a working debit card however that would be great so you could just use an ATM and not have to carry $100 bills in your shoe.
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Old Apr 7, 17, 12:23 pm
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It depends on how "upscale" you're traveling. More upscale places (hotels, some better restaurants) are more likely to accept a credit card.
Stonegate's card is usable at ATMs for cash withdrawals up to your limit.

Who carries $100 bills in their shoe? Besides it being hot enough for sandals, change the bills you've brought at the cadeca/bank/hotel for CUC in smaller denominations which are more useful. Carry what you need for the day. Many casas and most hotels have a room safe for your reserved cash. I have not seen reports of robbery or pickpocketing in Cuba as there are frequently for many other world destinations.

Last edited by VidaNaPraia; Apr 7, 17 at 12:30 pm
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Old Apr 11, 17, 8:02 am
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We tend to be budget travelers, so Casa Particulares and mostly eating in the same places the Cubans did (which ended up being a great way to talk to the average person). The $100 bill thing was more tongue in cheek (though I am one of those guys who only wears flip flops on the beach kind of person), I felt safer in Havana at night then I would in most US cities. Being frugal (cheap) I didn't want to change any more than we would need because of the horrible exchange rate on USD (I had some Euros but not enough).
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Old Apr 11, 17, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by the188 View Post
....mostly eating in the same places the Cubans did .....
Didn't eating where Cubans eat require CUP/moneda nacional/pesos and not the CUC that most tourists exchange for and use? Or at least a lot of 1 CUC bills or coins to get change from in pesos?

If you are a young budget traveler in Cuba, perhaps this is a reasonable strategy, eating with Cubans. Unfortunately, good intensions of meeting locals aside, I found myself (last trip) feeling rather unhealthy (not part of the adventure at my age) without at least one meal a day with "good" food (perhaps including a fresh salad with actual lettuce, not the usual cabbage, or the typical tiny, pathetically overcooked side of unidentifiable veg), which in my case this trip (having tried other options) meant either one of the "better reviewed" tourist restaurants or sometimes eating at home with my casa family (not always good) or cooking for them. I did find the occasional decent to excellent sandwich locally though. But even some of the budget travelers I met admitted that eating with Cubans often meant merely sustaining life, not enjoying a meal.
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