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Changing money back on depature

Miami Beach, Florida
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843 posts
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Changing money back on depature

You did say that the best exchange rates are at banks and that the exchange back to dollars on departure is a ripoff.

We will be arriving and deparing through VRA (Veradero) We will follow the advice and change our Canadian dollars piecemeal at banks in Havana. My question is this: I know there is a 10% penalty for exchanging USD for CUCs on arrival. When we LEAVE, is there also a penalty for exchaning leftover CUCs back into US dollars? We'd prefer to do that as we are returning straight away to the US after returning to Canada. Thanks.

Calgary, Canada
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19,645 posts
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1. Re: Changing money back on depature

You can't exchange CUC back to USDs.

Stick with the advice given... watch your budget and arrive at the Airport with 25 CUC per person for the Departure Tax and spend all your left-over CUC at the Duty Free.

Have fun.

Cheers,

Terry

Toronto Canada
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260 posts
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2. Re: Changing money back on depature

Best to hold on to your money for the next trip, change your money every few days that way you only need to exchange a small amount depends on excursions and the way you tip. I always have money left over that way i have an excuse to go back ha ha ha hope this helps.

Havana, Cuba
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3. Re: Changing money back on depature

I am surprised by your response Terry.

Anybody can certainly change CUC back to any of the foreign currencies traded officially at Banks and Cadecas including USD.

You can view the change rates at this link Richard:

bc.gov.cu/Espanol/tipo_cambio_METROPOLITANO.…

Havana, Cuba
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4. Re: Changing money back on depature

But be careful with which amount of CUC you are left because it is illegal to take out of the country more than 250 CUC. Everything else can be confiscated.

Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: Changing money back on depature

Voy, just because those currencies are listed on the Banco Metropolitano website does not mean they're available for exchange at all Cadecas. For example the Cadeca in the Departure Lounge at Varadero generally only exchanges CAD, GBP and EUR, the other 7 currencies are usually ignored and there's a sign on the Cadeca stating this - and that's only if you're lucky enough to even find the Cadeca open, which many times it isn't.

The Cadeca inside the Arrivals area many times doesn't have USDs either, nor does it always carry Norwegian Krone or Japanese Yen or Swedish Krona.

Cheers,

Terry

Edited: 22 August 2011, 20:05
Calgary, Canada
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19,645 posts
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6. Re: Changing money back on depature

But yes, I should have more clearly stated, "You can't always exchange CUC back to USDs at the Airport."

In any case it's a moot point because exchanging CUC back into any foreign currency is a rip-off. The advice in Reply #1 is accurate and makes a lot more sense.

Cheers,

Terry

Edited: 22 August 2011, 20:08
Havana, Cuba
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4,097 posts
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7. Re: Changing money back on depature

Not sure why you want to portray this issue as being difficult. It is not. Nobody asked about Jen, Krone…but USD. At the airports it is not a big deal to change them back. I experience such thing daily.

I did not refer to any of the other advices or anybody’s concepts or definitions about what’s ripping off or not.

The questions were simple and before adding any other comments we should address them primarily IMHO. Your initial response was not accurate. Not a big deal, I guess. Nobody is perfect.

Calgary, Canada
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8. Re: Changing money back on depature

With all due respect Voy my initial advice of not exchanging CUC back to USDs in Cuba because it's a total rip-off is dead accurate. The OPer will do MUCH better in Canada. That's a fact.

And like several of the other currencies that you linked to in your reply #3 USDs are NOT available at all times in Varadero Airport. That's a fact too, one that I confirmed again less than 3 weeks ago.

Planning to exchange CUC back to USDs in Cuba is a bad monetary decision from every angle. Period.

Cheers,

Terry

Edited: 22 August 2011, 23:26
Hamilton, Canada
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957 posts
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9. Re: Changing money back on depature

hi there - i am usually the one at the airport exchanging USD to CUC for the porters and other staff that want to save the hassles of them having to take it to the bank. and i do one dollar for one pesos rate. they are happy and remember me each time. usually come home with 70-80 USD's and lots of pesos to ensure that i will have to go back to spend it...lol. i live close to niagara falls NY so enjoyhaving the USD to spend at the casino.

cheers

USA
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10. Re: Changing money back on depature

Of course you can convert your CUCs back to dollars. They just don't give you back what you paid for them (by the way, it's a 20% penalty on American dollars...not 10%). You give them $100 dollars...you get 80 CUCs (Chavitos) back. Always do the math BEFORE you get to the window. On large, uneven transactions it's easy to get confused and some CADECA clerks take advantage. They will short you 10 or 20 CUCs (or "Chavitos") and hope you don't notice. If you do notice, they slap their forehead and say "ay mi madre!" as if they made an innocent mistake and pay up. Most, (I would guess) do not.

You always get face value upon exchanging CUCs back into dollars which means, you lost the 20%. By the way, they DO NOT buy back coins...which means, you have to do something with them OR risk taking these little souvenires back into the USA. By the way, aside from being hostile, Martian24 is mostly wrong about his advice. Best to ignore his posts.