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Two years in a row, I had a cashier at the exchange at the airport tell me I had given her €1,950 rather than €2,000, i.e. 39 - €50 euro notes rather than 40.

The first time it happened, I put it down to the possibility that I had miscounted, the second time I was a little more suspicious to say the least.

Now, when I go to Cuba, I go to my bank the week before and get €500 euro notes, not common but the banks usually have them.

Now I count it out 1, 2, 3, 4. It's much harder to lose 1 of 4 notes than 1 of 40. Plus much easier to carry.

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3 hours ago, Ryan said:

Two years in a row, I had a cashier at the exchange at the airport tell me I had given her €1,950 rather than €2,000, i.e. 39 - €50 euro notes rather than 40.

The first time it happened, I put it down to the possibility that I had miscounted, the second time I was a little more suspicious to say the least.

Now, when I go to Cuba, I go to my bank the week before and get €500 euro notes, not common but the banks usually have them.

Now I count it out 1, 2, 3, 4. It's much harder to lose 1 of 4 notes than 1 of 40. Plus much easier to carry.

I think I may do this next time. I had been given smaller note bills and it took FOREVER to exchange in Cuba at the airport

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3 hours ago, Ryan said:

Two years in a row, I had a cashier at the exchange at the airport tell me I had given her €1,950 rather than €2,000, i.e. 39 - €50 euro notes rather than 40.

The first time it happened, I put it down to the possibility that I had miscounted, the second time I was a little more suspicious to say the least.

Now, when I go to Cuba, I go to my bank the week before and get €500 euro notes, not common but the banks usually have them.

Now I count it out 1, 2, 3, 4. It's much harder to lose 1 of 4 notes than 1 of 40. Plus much easier to carry.

Purple's my favorite Color! I did something similar the first time I went. It makes things much easier than having piles of 3 different sized and infinitely different colored currencies. 

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I'm still left to wonder guys what the best approach is... 

Do I buy 500-1000 EUR here and then hope my driver can hook it up? I have heard that the black market money exchangers go gaga over the hundred dollar bills with the blue magnetic stripe across the back. 

I just wanna get most bang for buck out there without paying thru my teeth. I bank with Citibank in the states and they can deliver currency to my local branch. The exchange rate is the thing that'll drive that discussion. 

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For me the black market was too risky. I took Euros and converted in Cuba at a bank. I’m also in the US. There is no charge or penalty to convert CUCs to USD when you exit. 

 

Edited to add: Pay close attention to the count when converting. On the way out the cashier ‘forgot’ to convert 100 CUCs. ;+)

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The black market will give you, by far, the best rate. Typically 95 CUC per 100 USD, but I would only recommend making these exchanges with someone you or your driver are personally familiar with. (or have some connection too) I've never heard about or seen Fake CUC, they cant even print their own cigar bands, so counterfeiting bills would seem to be far out of reach for lots of reasons. 

There is also the personal/ethical pull. I would much rather give a citizen(in any country) hard currency that they can do whatever they want with. Exchanging at a Cadeca is essentially giving the government 10% extra for them to do as they please with. I'm already giving them plenty through cigar purchases, so I would rather keep as much out of their hands as possible. 

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So what's the exchange rate from EUR to CUC? I'm thinking of buying EUR here thru my bank and then converting at official cadecas. 

Is there any benefit to purchasing Canadian dollars to Euros instead? I'd love to hear from anyone who's tried both or favors one over the other. I'm just not looking to get beat. I've read about guys taking big bills to avoid the cashier "miscounting" by mistake on purpose. 

I'll be down there in November and want to stay making moves. 

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10 hours ago, ElJavi76 said:

So what's the exchange rate from EUR to CUC? I'm thinking of buying EUR here thru my bank and then converting at official cadecas. 

Is there any benefit to purchasing Canadian dollars to Euros instead? I'd love to hear from anyone who's tried both or favors one over the other. I'm just not looking to get beat. I've read about guys taking big bills to avoid the cashier "miscounting" by mistake on purpose. 

I'll be down there in November and want to stay making moves. 

Nobody can answer these questions for you. For a couple reasons; first exchange rates vary from day to day, bank to bank and currency to currency. So do the associated fees. You will have to do the math yourself and break down weather the added time to go through a double exchange is worth it for you. 

The first time I went I exchanged USD to Euro to CUC and saved about 4.5%. It was worth it for me, on that trip. I havent done it since though. Ive never been shorted by a cashier in Cuba, but i recomend large bills as well. Those purple 500 Euro notes are a beautiful thing. 

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15 hours ago, ElJavi76 said:

So what's the exchange rate from EUR to CUC? I'm thinking of buying EUR here thru my bank and then converting at official cadecas. 

Is there any benefit to purchasing Canadian dollars to Euros instead? I'd love to hear from anyone who's tried both or favors one over the other. I'm just not looking to get beat. I've read about guys taking big bills to avoid the cashier "miscounting" by mistake on purpose. 

I'll be down there in November and want to stay making moves. 

 

5 hours ago, Corylax18 said:

Nobody can answer these questions for you. For a couple reasons; first exchange rates vary from day to day, bank to bank and currency to currency. So do the associated fees. You will have to do the math yourself and break down weather the added time to go through a double exchange is worth it for you. 

The first time I went I exchanged USD to Euro to CUC and saved about 4.5%. It was worth it for me, on that trip. I havent done it since though. Ive never been shorted by a cashier in Cuba, but i recomend large bills as well. Those purple 500 Euro notes are a beautiful thing. 

Today Euro quote is 1,16655 CUC

I think all the Cadecas have the same quotes but not sure about it. 

You can find the official cambios in www.bc.gob.cu or in this app in the Google Play store: Cuba Cadeca

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Thanks @oliverdst and @Corylax18.

My bank is selling me Euros for $1.24xxx

I tried converting 3k USD and it would roughly amount to $2415. 

If I convert that to CUC $2415 * $1.16655 = $2817.

$2817 * .97 = $2732 (3% conv fee)

So my 3K worth of USD would amount to $2732 CUC. That's roughly 9%. I save approximately 4%. Might only be 40 bux per 1000 but if you swap up 6 or 7K... It can add up. 

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How late to you guys generally wait to make your exchanges with American bank? We're still 6 weeks out... Today's sell rate from my bank is $1.2255 for context. 

http://30rates.com/eur-usd-forecast-tomorrow-this-week

For any looking to time this... Forecasts show 10/11 to be possible bottom in the next few weeks. Just thought I'd ask around about this subject. I'm not a currency expert by any means. Just trying to keep as much of my money as possible 

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On 7/18/2018 at 10:14 AM, Corylax18 said:

Purple's my favorite Color! I did something similar the first time I went. It makes things much easier than having piles of 3 different sized and infinitely different colored currencies. 

Semi-rookie mistake:, I’m now regretting changing to £ even though I beat the exchange value by about 2% vs €.....next time. 

Maybe have the wife film as I double count on my side of the window before handing off?

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18 hours ago, La_Tigre said:

Semi-rookie mistake:, I’m now regretting changing to £ even though I beat the exchange value by about 2% vs €.....next time. 

Maybe have the wife film as I double count on my side of the window before handing off?

So your thoughts are it wouldve been easier to go with larger Euro bills than with Pounds and not save the 2%?

Im curios myself now and I leave in a week. I've always done Euros and never really had issues

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4 hours ago, SOFLO88 said:

So your thoughts are it wouldve been easier to go with larger Euro bills than with Pounds and not save the 2%?

Im curios myself now and I leave in a week. I've always done Euros and never really had issues

I think it depends on the amount. If they brace me for only a single 50£ note, that will wipe out the 2% savings on a 2500£ bank exchange. It was random that the exchange for £ was better than € after I’d been watching for a couple weeks.

I didn’t consider the number of bills at all until reading this thread. 500€ is the way to go based solely on the Cadeca thievery.

I had this done at the ticketing in the hotel for one of the shows. 50CUC short somehow...even though I just counted at the exchange. Chalked it up to the cost of doing Cuban business but the violation aggravated me. 

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On 6/5/2018 at 5:45 AM, KnightsAnole said:

Stonegate was bought by Centennial Bank several months back (my bank) all the local FL branches have now changed the name. They issue the only CC with US origin that works in Cuba.

Yes this card works however they only limit you to $700 per day to charge. 

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1 hour ago, upnflames said:

Yes this card works however they only limit you to $700 per day to charge. 

When was the last time you tried it? Another members old Stonegate card Didn't work when we were there a couple weeks ago. Did they send you a new card, with the new bank name? 

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When was the last time you tried it? Another members old Stonegate card Didn't work when we were there a couple weeks ago. Did they send you a new card, with the new bank name? 


Man that is a nasty surprise. Hope he had enough extra cash with him to make it through with no problems.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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I had the card from stonegate out of Arkansas and when I ask limit no matter what the limit was only $700 which would do me no good plus it was a debit card. There credit card I hear works better but I havent heard anything else about this. So I cancelled my card.

If you need to exchange USD for CUC I can get you a better rate than the .87 to the 1.00 the currency exchange spots do in Havana. Just hit me up!

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