Cuban Pesos (National Currency)

CUP (aka MN): Cuban Pesos may be acquired at CADECA exchange counters, presently at a value of $24 CUP to $1 USD. As a short-term visitor to Cuba, you’ll probably have very little use for Cuban pesos, as the best-stocked stores are currently priced in USD using electronic payments only.

CUP denominations:
Multicolored bills – $1, $3 (Che Guevara bill), $5, $10, $20, $50, $100
Coins – $0.05, $0.20, $1.00, $3.00 (Che Guevara coin)

US Dollars (USD)

US cash currency no longer circulates in Cuban stores. Beginning 21-Jun-21 and until further notice, Cuban banking institutions are not accepting it for exchange in Cuban territory.


There is no specific dollar limit on authorized expenses for licensed US travelers. Authorized travelers will be allowed to engage in transactions ordinarily incident to travel within Cuba, including payment of living expenses and the acquisition in Cuba of goods for personal consumption there.

Authorized US Travelers to Cuba cannot use U.S. credit and debit cards in Cuba until the Embargo is lifted and US banks open that possibility to their citizens. Even if it were possible, we wouldn’t recommend that you use either in Cuba if you’re not undertaking travel in one of the authorized categories and aren’t 100% certain that your trip content qualifies for authorized travel. While we hope that the debit card system will one day function with North American Interact cards, that system is NOT operational at this time.

Exchanging international currency for CUP

What funds can you exchange for CUP?

International cash currencies (divisas) accepted for exchange to CUP in Cuba:

  • CAD (Canadian Dollars)
  • EUR (Euros)
  • GBP (United Kingdom Pounds)
  • JPY (Japan Yen)
  • CHF (Swiss Francs)
  • MXN (Mexican Peso)
  • DKK (Denmark Kroner)
  • NOK (Norway Kroner)
  • SEK (Sweden Krona)

Best rates: CADECA exchange counters (banks & hotels have less favorable buying/selling rates) Where else can you exchange funds: Banks (BFI, Banco Metropolitano), and most hotel reception desks (usually at the least favorable rates).

These are the official exchange counters. At this time most visitors are exchanging their foreign currency on the black market at far more favorable rates than those offered by the state. It’s a consumer beware situation when buying CUP. Many private establishments will post their foreign exchange rates on menus etc.

Current Exchange Rates

Note that the international CUP exchange rate (tied to the current value of the USD) varies depending on the establishment where the exchange takes place. The airport Cadecas and some at higher-end hotels (with exchange rates displayed on a back-lit sign) have higher rates for exchanging foreign currency than at normal Cadeca counters or banking facilities, since they serve a captive audience with fewer lineups.

Travelers Cheques

Travelers cheques are accepted in many banks (BFI/Banco Financiero Internacional or BM/Banco Metropolitano) and hotels (typically more so in larger cities) in Cuba. Exchange surcharges for travelers cheques range from 3 to 6%. Banco Metropolitano does not accept travelers cheques at any Havana branches. Those which are reported to have the most success are Visa, although in general travelers cheques are reputed to cause difficulty for the traveler in Cuba due limitations in where they can be negotiated, no possibility of replacing them in Cuba in the event of loss, and the exchange rates applied when cashing them in. You should bear the bank receipt for the original traveler’s cheque purchase since most financial institutions in Cuba that accept travelers cheques will need to see that prior to negotiating them for cash.