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can you tip in u.s dollars?

Moncton, Canada
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62 posts
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can you tip in u.s dollars?

can you tip in u.s dollars and buy things with it ? or is it best to change it to cuban money ?

Ontario Canada
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1,609 posts
113 reviews
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1. Re: can you tip in u.s dollars?

US money is discounted 10%. Since you are from Canada, it would be silly to pay extra to convert to US$ just to give staff a 90% tip plus the hassle of getting it converted. To answer correctly, yes you can but not wise. Years ago, Cuba accepted US$ more readily - prior to the embargo.

Take Cdn. and change it over to CUC when you get there. Do NOT tip with coins. If you don't get a chance to convert $$ before you feel the need to tip, then tell them that you'll catch them on another day.

You can buy beer on the bus and tip in Cdn. bills.

Riverview NB Canada
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393 posts
84 reviews
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2. Re: can you tip in u.s dollars?

Do not take US Dollars with you. The Staff can't exchange them at the banks. If you try to exchange them at a bank down there you will take a big hit on the exchange rate. They do accept Canadian money but only paper, no loonies or toonies as tips as the banks will not exchange the coins. We had cubans come up to us with american bills and canadian coins for us to exchange to CUC's and had to turn the majority away as it took away from our money that we had. You can exchange money at the airport, go outside of arrivals to the right and you will find a small one person bank. You might have to wait in line for a while and depending on when your bus leaves you can exchange it there. Or some of the resorts exchange at their check in counters and they have banks at the resort shopping area's. There are charges to change money so be aware, for 300 cdn I got 289 CUC's at the bank. Wife changed a 20 CUC at the bank to get some ones for tips and they charged her 40 centavo's to do it. Also you can change what ever you have back to cdn at the airport departure lounge.

Annapolis Valley, NS
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42 posts
145 reviews
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3. Re: can you tip in u.s dollars?

As stated take Cdn $ not US. I would recommend that if you need cash before you get to the resort (you would really only want it to buy beer for the bus ride) exchange $20 at the airport Cadeca (bank) and make the rest of your exchanges at your resort Cadeca or at the bank in town (depending on which resort area you are going to), as they often have less scamming. The exchange rate should be the same at any Cadeca (based on the daily rate). The resorts front desk should be your last choice for exchanging Cdn $. They should change CUC bills to 1 CUC coins if you ask nicely. but I usually just ask a bartender or waitstaff to exchange a bill for coins. I find that they will usually change for the a minimal number of coins i.e a 5 CUC bill for two 1 coins and a 3 CUC bill, so you might need to ask several times thru the week. Ultimately, only tip for good or consistant serve.

Don't forget to account for the 25 CUC exit tax per person. I always bring a few CUCs home with me for the next year in Cuba, otherwise plan your money use so that you don't have a lot to exchange at the end as the rate is not very good (just like any country). I find that if you can choice the time you go to the resort Cadeca i.e. late morning or early afternoon, you can avoid the longer waiting times, especially on transistion days when there is an inflex of a large number of guests.

Moncton, Canada
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62 posts
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4. Re: can you tip in u.s dollars?

thanks alot everyone

Calgary, Canada
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11,339 posts
117 reviews
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5. Re: can you tip in u.s dollars?

" There are charges to change money so be aware, for 300 cdn I got 289 CUC's at the bank " Not true. The only charge to exchange money is the exchange rate from Canadian to CUC. If you change back at the airport you will take a ghugh buyback rate. If you were charged at the bank for changing a 20CUC note to smaller bills then its either a bank thing or you got scammed.Have never been charged to exchange any CUC to a different denomination.

Cheers

Nova Scotia
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637 posts
22 reviews
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6. Re: can you tip in u.s dollars?

Sounds like you probably got scammed changing that 20 CUC into smaller denominations.

I was in Cuba several years ago and got ripped off for about $20 on my exchange. That was a lesson learned for me. Since then I only exchange in $100 lots when I arrive in the country and if I need to change more, I work out my exchange before I go to the window. When I did get short changed I went straight to my rep and put in a complaint. I was not the only person that was taken by the people manning the exchange office. Lots of people were coming up short. Of course, you only realize it after you have walked out. Ignorance on our part. I simply told the rep that the people just took away $20 in tips!

After I got home I was reading some stuff about the resort and found out that the entire staff at the exchange office had been switched. I don't know if the staff that was there when I was lost their jobs or not. If they did, so sad too bad for them.

Quebec City, Canada
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1,522 posts
222 reviews
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7. Re: can you tip in u.s dollars?

why tipping in US @ CUBA ???

too much trouble to change for them, incredible...?????

Annapolis Valley, NS
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42 posts
145 reviews
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8. Re: can you tip in u.s dollars?

Oy Moineau, the OP was asking not doing it, better to arm one's self with information. He was taking the trouble to find out in advance!!

Cobourg, Canada
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75 posts
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9. Re: can you tip in u.s dollars?

Our last trip, I took $100 in Canadian 5's. Wish I had brought more. I came home with a bag full of loonies and toonies..

They're doing a service for me, (getting a drink) I was doing a service for them, (getting rid of useless coins, for usable money) and everyone was happy.

(and yes, I was trading 4 loonies for a 5'er as well, to make sure they got the better end of the bargain)

Edited: 06 March 2013, 12:38
montreal
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10,219 posts
101 reviews
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10. Re: can you tip in u.s dollars?

Do not take US Dollars with you. The Staff can't exchange them at the banks. If

Sunriseontheb... Too funny who ever told you this as i hope it was not a Cuban .

Of course they can exchange US Money at the bank no problems at all as how do you think Cubans do to exchange the US Money they get from families living in the USA ..

If your talking about a Canadian of course bring Canadian and then exchange to CUC ...