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Small Bills for Tipping Question

Toronto
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Small Bills for Tipping Question

Have not been to Cuba in a few years. Since we no longer need US money I am wondering about tipping money. The last time we were there it was hard to get small change in Pesos for tipping. As well I hear there are long lines to get money exchange at the resort I am going to. So until I get a chance to exchange money will small american bills work?

Newton Aycliffe...
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for Cuba, Rafael Freyre, Guardalavaca, Holguin
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1. Re: Small Bills for Tipping Question

I wouldn't tip with US bills because there is a 10% surcharge when exchanging US cash so my guess is whoever you tipped with that dollar bill will be looking to find another tourist to take it off their hands.

You can always change some Canadian bills at the Airport Cadeca once you land in Cuba.

Edited: 26 January 2012, 01:10
Salmon Arm, Canada
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2. Re: Small Bills for Tipping Question

Why would you take American when you are from Toronto? I would do as Bellagio suggested or even take a few loonies if you are worried about the airport cadeca. Also once you have exchanged money and you need smaller bills, ask at the front desk and tell them it is for tipping.

Mike :)

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Small Bills for Tipping Question

Have never had a problem getting 1CUC coins for tipping, have exchanged 20.00CUC at a time for 20 coins, sometimes they will say come back after lunch if they run short, but usually not a problem, and personally I would rather take US bills than loonies which are totally useless unless another tourist can change them, at least they can change the US bills. But as Bellagio suggested just change your CDN money at the airport.

Edited: 26 January 2012, 01:43
Ontario Canada
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4. Re: Small Bills for Tipping Question

Do not take Loonies or Twonies, they cannot exchange them and I get fed-up with having wait staff beg me to take loonies off their hands.

The airport cadeca will be the same exchange rate as the one at the resort. The line-ups are bad the first few hours a new bus arrives and then are very short, especially late in the afternoon. They had 'stacks' of one and three peso bills when I was there.

We always hang on to a few pesos for our next trip down but if you need to tip and have nothing, just smile and tell them you haven't changed your money yet. I personally found the service at both Barcelo last year and MCSM to be identical whether you tipped or not.

The tour guide on the bus specifically said that the driver was quite happy to take Canadian bills for tips - just not coins. I think a fiver for a bus ride is a bit much, just MHO.

Newton Aycliffe...
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for Cuba, Rafael Freyre, Guardalavaca, Holguin
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5. Re: Small Bills for Tipping Question

Definitely don't tip in loonies and twonies as Doug says. They can't be exchanged anywhere other than with kindly Canadian tourists.

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Small Bills for Tipping Question

Not just loonies people tip with, we saw dimes, quarters and nickels last visit, what on earth are they supposed to do with them? Mind boggling. Always come home with pocketfuls of change.

Toronto
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7. Re: Small Bills for Tipping Question

Thanks all.

Alberta
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8. Re: Small Bills for Tipping Question

Unfortunately Cuba makes it difficult with their currency situation. So, I'm afraid I don't have total sympathy for them. Getting change for the bus driver to the resort tip is a problem if you have no $CUC from the last trip. The currency exchange at the airport will likely be lined up, and your fellow passengers are not going to be impressed waiting for you until the bus can leave.

My thoughts are that you can tip with loonies and toonies for the bus driver only, or even $US ones if you have them. They will find a way to exchange them. Their problem is that they need a passport to exchange money, and they likely do not have one. Also coin cannot be exchanged. That said I exchanged a $20 bill for $20 worth of loonies and toonies for a bus driver. That is about the only way they have, and they probably prefer that to getting nothing at all.

But that said, for heavens sake don't tip in $US or with coins at the resort. It is too easy for you to get $CUC in ones. They of course can handle them with no problem, and I'm sure much appreciate it. And don't be surprised if you are asked to exchange $US or $CDN by staff for $CUC. It is not a bad idea if you are leaving and have extra $CUC to get rid of. Even up exchange is better than selling your $CUC back at the currency exchange counter.

Salmon Arm, Canada
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9. Re: Small Bills for Tipping Question

I am a little confused. If loonies or toonies are totaly useless then why does the beer sales guy and bus attendants selling beer advertise for canadian dollars. I realize it is hard to change back but I would rather leave a tip in canadian than no tip at all.

Mike :)

ps: I was one of the Canadians that was more than willing to buy the US and Canadian dollars off the workers.

Consett, United...
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10. Re: Small Bills for Tipping Question

Once you have taken the effort to exchange your canadian for the Cuban CUC , you can go to any staff member that has tips.

You say to them please do you have , say 20 coins for this 20 cuc note.

They will change it for you. After all they do not want pockets of coins when they can have notes instead.