MONEY – TIPS
1. Bring cards of the international VISA payment system with you, since there are NOT MANY banks and ALL ATMs service ONLY VISA system cards. Having a MASTER CARD system card in your pocket you will NOT disappear, of course, but you will encounter additional difficulties with cash withdrawals.
Firstly, you can withdraw money only during the day on business days (excluding Saturday and Sunday) during business hours (usually from 9-00 to 16-00) in the branches of METROPOLITANO Bank. Moreover, there are not so many of these branches and NOT ALL branches have the ability to withdraw cash from MASTER CARD cards. Do not forget to have a PASSPORT when you visit the bank and be patient, as the queues are VERY BIG (when Cubans take off their salaries there for an hour or two it is not a question of standing).
Secondly, you can withdraw money during the day on business days (excluding Sunday) during business hours (usually from 9-00 to 17-00 or sometimes until 19-00) in the offices of the CADECA system of state exchange points. At the same time, there are NOT LOTS of departments either in ALL branches; there is an opportunity to withdraw cash from MASTER CARD cards. You can EXACTLY do this at the CADECA Branch in the NACIONAL Hotel (main entrance, then left and left down the stairs to the basement, then again left to the cafe and right to the door at the entrance to the Hotel swimming pool), or in the Central Department CADECA on 23rd Street in the VEDADO area next to the HABANA LIBER Hotel, which is open until 19-00. Do not forget to also have a PASSPORT with you and be patient, as the queues are LARGE in the Central Branch of CADECA, and in other branches as lucky.
2. Take cash with you in EUR, as due to long-standing tense political relations with the USA and the economic embargo, the Cuban Government in all currency exchange offices of banks takes an additional fee to the treasury when exchanging US dollars for Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) in the amount of 10% of the transaction amount.