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If I am a U.S. citizen with a specific educational license to travel to Cuba for two months, how should I bring money?

I can't use any of my cards since they would not work in Cuba, and I don't want to bring American cash because it is devalued.

I could convert it to Euros, but I don't feel comfortable carrying a sum of cash large enough to last two months.

I could try to get an ATM card from a third country, but I don't want to raise suspicions that I'm laundering money or doing business with shady institutions.

How should I bring money to Cuba?

  • 1
    Just to understand better can you specify the amount you wish to carry, I mean at a minimum... say less than $5000 or more? – skv Nov 23 '14 at 18:53
  • @skv Yes, I'd say between $2000 and $5000. – Peter Olson Nov 23 '14 at 21:21
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Wikitravel has a page on Americans in Cuba.

Under the 'Buy' section, they go into a lot of detail, but there are a few key points:

  • credit cards will not work. Well, they will .. maybe .. if completely unaffiliated with US companies. US credit cards definitely won't. So don't rely on those or US bank cards.
  • Most travellers carry cash. There is however, a 10% penalty on exchanging USD, so convert to CAD (Canadian) or EUR (Euros) first before arriving there.
  • Do the currency conversions well in advance - the airport may be more expensive.
  • there are also prepaid / rechargeable payment cards you could organise, but this does take preparation in advance. Some are listed in the article (eg Duales, Telecash)
  • If you're returning, you might consider opening a bank account in Cuba - Canadian banks can wire to your account there.
  • By "do the conversions" do you mean "calculate everything" or "exchange money"? Why is it important to do it "well in advance"? I can't think of an obvious reason, especially if the exchange rate is trending in your favour \-: – hippietrail Nov 24 '14 at 11:03
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    @hippietrail it's from the wiki article - I was just summarising (and they mean actually exchanging) - they're claiming it's more expensive at the airport. Some have said that before on here. – Mark Mayo Nov 24 '14 at 12:37
  • Sorry I didn't realize. Why not use the block-quote format by starting the line(s) with >? – hippietrail Nov 24 '14 at 12:43
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    Because they're just summary points of a giant wall of text, I didn't want to just copy the whole thing verbatim :/ – Mark Mayo Nov 24 '14 at 12:45
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    I really need to learn to read properly. I can see you say just that now. – hippietrail Nov 24 '14 at 12:47

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