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Melia Habana Hotel

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16 minutes ago, Corylax18 said:

No, you are not.

$1,000 USD = 805 euros

805erous x 1.11 = 898.55 CUC

Even with the rates you're specifying you will be 28.55 CUC AHEAD, per thousand. 

And if I account for how much I make per hour, the time I have to go to the bank to order them (which has to be done during business hours, which means I have to take paid time off), my bank doesn't allow ordering currency over the internet, I'm NOT ahead. My time is much more valuable than 28.55 per hour. Not to mention the gas I'm spending going to and from. But thanks for playing.

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19 minutes ago, FatherOfPugs said:

Maybe it's different if you're looking to take $10,000 of whatever currency you have with you, but I would never be bringing that much. If I spent that much on cigars/rum/Cuba trip, my wife would kill me, literally. If you have that much to throw around on a trip, more power to you!  I hope to be at that level some day, but I'm not right now. So for me, the difference of a few dollars in exchange rates is not worth my time or effort given my banks rates.

I think y'all missed this part.....

 

But each person values their time at their own rate. It's the one thing we'll never get back. 

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37 minutes ago, FatherOfPugs said:

No, my calculations are not off. I used the wrong word, I should have said "currency conversion or conversion rate" 🙄 I'm still losing money by exchanging for Euros, last time I checked the conversion of USD to Euros was $1.14 = €1. And that was just for the flat out currency conversion not even taking my bank's fee into consideration. Your bank may differ. My math is NOT off. I lose money. Period.

Using current currency conversion rates of the US market, and what my bank charges for currency conversion as of today 2/8/19:

If I exchange for Euros at my bank today, like right now, €1 will cost me $1.195. That's 19.5%. If I go to Cuba and exchange USD to CUC, the "conversion rate" is 13%, that's 6.5% more for me for not going to Euros. Euros are still more for me when factoring in the "conversion rate" and the extra charge my bank costs for ordering foreign currency. 

$1000 = €805 at my bank, taking into account everything I am going to pay. 

$1000 = 870CUC in Cuba, I'm ahead 65CUC and it's 5 less steps for currency in the process, time which I don't have to run around shopping from bank to bank. 

Fair enough. Do whatever suits you. I didn't mean to offend nor I would never try to tell you what to do.

Though if you like, and only if you like, convert the €805 euros you would get at your bank to CUCs, using the rate I got in Cuba last month (€1 = 1.11404 CUC) and you'll be able to see the reason I wrote my post in the first place. As I said, if you don't want to, that's fine. There's no point falling out over this.

I have to bring quite a bit of cash to Cuba as I pay for my accommodation in cash for the entire trip when I get there.

 

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15 minutes ago, FatherOfPugs said:

I think y'all missed this part.....

 

But each person values their time at their own rate. It's the one thing we'll never get back. 

We didn't miss anything. The math is the math. 

We can debate all day if its worth it or not. You're right there, its different for different people. I wouldn't have fun for long in Havana with only $1,000, excuse me 870 cuc, to spend. But printing out a coupon, stopping by a currency exchange on my way home from work (maybe 30 min extra time, maybe) is worth it when my TOTAL fees come to 5.5% or 7.5% less then exchanging in Cuba. 75/1000 x 4 or 5k (300 or 375) is worth it for me. If you're getting paid $600-$700 an hour, good for you. But I would rather have all that money in my pocket, not the Cuban governments.   

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Just now, Corylax18 said:

We didn't miss anything. The math is the math. 

We can debate all day if its worth it or not. You're right there, its different for different people. I wouldn't have fun for long in Havana with only $1,000, excuse me 870 cuc, to spend. But printing out a coupon, stopping by a currency exchange on my way home from work (maybe 30 min extra time, maybe) is worth it when my TOTAL fees come to 5.5% or 7.5% less then exchanging in Cuba. 75/1000 x 4 or 5k (300 or 375) is worth it for me. If you're getting paid $600-$700 an hour, good for you. But I would rather have all that money in my pocket, not the Cuban governments.   

Again, if that works for you great, there is no currency exchange store anywhere near where I live and work that will give me Euros or any other currency for that matter, I HAVE to go to the bank to get those. Even if I bring $3000 with me or excuse me 2610CUC, when it's all said and done if I try doing that with Euros, I'm ahead 85.65C based on the 28.55CUC difference you noted, not worth how much hassle I have to go through to get it. But we each value our time differently.

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Just as a side note: if you expect go to Cuba again anytime soon keep a 50 CUC bill to pay the taxi when you reach the airport.

Sometimes the queue in the exchange office is long.

But, of course, you have to see if it´s ok for you. I have 150 CUC at home and I don´t see a problem.

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This is making my head hurt. 

It all comes down to how much $ you're exchanging and how much hassle you're willing to go through to save the money relative to how much you're converting.  I did go through the hassle of converting $ to Euros on both of my trips, but the amount I converted was around $2,000.  I did that because of advice on this forum and because I tired rather quickly trying to determine if that was good advice or not.  I just said screw it and did the dollar to euro conversion thing.  Was it the best way to go or not?  I don't know and really don't care.  The difference now seems to be inconsequential given the hassle I went through to convert.   

If you're converting a small amount of $, it may not be worth the hassle.  I will not drive an extra three miles to save a couple of dollars for a tank full of gas.  I will not forego buying fruit or vegetables or meat I want just because they're priced a little higher at certain times of the year.  But that's just me. 

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On 2/7/2019 at 8:19 AM, Derboesekoenig said:

Granted I've only been once, but when I start going more often, I will be bringing minimum $5k USD - $10k. Anyway, my bank doesn't charge a fee. You order the currency, and it gives that current global rate. So for $10,000 USD to Euro currently, your 13% is $1300 USD. That's unequivocally nuts. I might as well burn the cash

Your bank charges me a fee, trust me.  No bank doesn't.  You may not pay a fee per se, but they will manipulate the exchange rate.  USD to Euro right now is 1.14, when you get your money you will see no fee, but they will exchange at 1.20.   Roughly 5%.  Trust me on this, I've tried every way to avoid paying fees, it can't be done.

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On 2/8/2019 at 6:03 AM, Ryan said:

The other variable is how much in euros you bring back, and then have to convert back. The trick is, don't bring any euros back to the US from Cuba. Convert them all to cucs on arrival in Cuba, then when leaving Cuba convert what cucs you have left over to US Dollars, which you would be doing anyway, regardless of whether you had brought USD or Euros to Cuba with you in the first place. There is no 10% penalty when buying US dollars back at the airport in Cuba, just the 3% conversion fee.

Better yet, assuming your come back, just keep the euros for your next trip.

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On 2/9/2019 at 5:24 PM, Monterey said:

Your bank charges a fee, trust me.  No bank doesn't.  You may not pay a fee per se, but they will manipulate the exchange rate.  USD to Euro right now is 1.14, when you get your money you will see no fee, but they will exchange at 1.20.   Roughly 5%.  Trust me on this, I've tried every way to avoid paying fees, it can't be done.

..This..

Wells Fargo builds 5% into the conversion rate for any major currency in which I try to convert. 

Basically it comes to this:

Pay the US bank 5%

or

Pay the Cuban Government 10%

Difference:

::::Net 5% gain to me

           5% gain to my bank

           0% gain to the Cuban Gov.

 

The 3%’s for the Cuban exchange are a wash on the forward or the backward conversion. You will pay 3% no matter what you convert into cuc at the exchange. So, unless you have a Cuban contact that is bold enough to be converting currency into cuc at a lower/no 10% penalty rate, you can exclude this portion from complicating the thought on the problem.

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With all this being said, Wells Fargo has online ordering for me as a customer; I have a branch 3 minutes from my house; I will have to go out of my way to get there. I make $70/hr. I value an hour of my time even higher than that because I hate my current position and, as Matt touched on, the money is not as valuable as time to me.

I would need to convert $2000 in order to have a $100 return. That would be a +/- for me personally. In my experience, Wells Fargo takes forever (although I have yet to try the online ordering) and does not handle these types of transactions often. So, it becomes a cluster where I find myself chasing the inner demon trying to create the next viral irate YouTube video....which has now cost me my job and in turn my standard of living. Was that $100 really worth losing everything over?😂😂😂

Seriously though, it’s all up to the person. 

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On 4/28/2019 at 6:13 PM, La_Tigre said:

With all this being said, Wells Fargo has online ordering for me as a customer; I have a branch 3 minutes from my house; I will have to go out of my way to get there. I make $70/hr. I value an hour of my time even higher than that because I hate my current position and, as Matt touched on, the money is not as valuable as time to me.

I would need to convert $2000 in order to have a $100 return. That would be a +/- for me personally. In my experience, Wells Fargo takes forever (although I have yet to try the online ordering) and does not handle these types of transactions often. So, it becomes a cluster where I find myself chasing the inner demon trying to create the next viral irate YouTube video....which has now cost me my job and in turn my standard of living. Was that $100 really worth losing everything over?😂😂😂

Seriously though, it’s all up to the person. 

Their online ordering is easy and quick. Delivered to the door just like a pizza. Only, you have to be around to sign for it. I wouldn’t want them leaving cash on my doorstep anyway. 😉

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