Cuba: Exchange via USD?


#1

Hello,
does anyone has experience using the RevolutCard in Cuba? If all the X-Rates (into EUR or GBP) are calculated via the USD, is the the 10% Fee for USD applied? Is there any way to avoid this?

Thank you.


#2

Hi @Rainer,

We don’t officially support the local currency, however some user were able to use their Revolut card in Cuba (USD). It should be wise to have a second bank card with you.


Does Revolut work in Cuba
#3

CUC is accepted everywhere in Cuba along with peso and this is on your supported currencies list


#4

The current list of supported currencies include: AED, ALL, ARS, AUD, AWG, AZN, BBD, BGN, BND, BOB, BRL, BWP, BYR, BZD, CAD, CHF, CLP, CNY, COP, CRC, CZK, DKK, DOP, EGP, EUR, GBP, HKD, HNL, HRK, HUF, IDR, ILS, INR, ISK, JMD, JPY, KGS, KHR, KRW, KZT, LAK, LKR, MAD, MGA, MKD, MMK, MNT, MUR, MVM, MXN, MYR, MZN, NAD, NGN, NIO, NOK, NPR, NZD, OMR, PAB, PEN, PHP, PKR, PLN, PYG, QAR, RON, RSD, RUB, SAR, SBD, SCR, SEK, SGD, SOS, SRD, SVC, SYP, THB, TRY, TTD, TVD, TWD, UAH, UGX, USD, UYU, UZS, VEF, VND, XCD, YER, ZAR.

CUC is not supported, unfortunately


#5

Strangely enough, you still provide the rates in the app for CUC:)


#6

Yeah I noticed that too lol


#7

OK, I’m back from Cuba.
This is my experience : Cuba is a cash country, I saw only a few ATM machines, tried a few but the card never worked. One time only I used the Revolut card in a hotel bar just to give it a try, everyone got exited and confused, but in the end they made it work. I explicitly asked to pay in CUC, but the slip they printed was USD, exactly 1:1 exchanged. So I confirmed and no 10% “Fidel” fee was added.

In summary: when you go to Cuba, bring cash, €,$,£,¥ and exchange them in the change offices for CUC, or for a bad rate in the hotel. Don’t relay on any plastic money.

Hope that helps.


#8

So, the Revolut Card wont work there??

Or it works?

And ATM experience? Zero results?


#9

It works. But don’t expect many opportunities to use it. Zero success at ATM. Go to one of the few banks and get cash with (any) credit card at the Counter. You also need your passport and stand in line for a while.
Better: bring cash. All big currencies. I used EUR. GBP, CHF and USD are also good.

U can use the Revolut card in some big hotels.


#10

I’m back from a trip to cuba and I COULD use the revolut card multiple times at the ATMs. They charge you in USD instead of CUC + a small fee. Each Banco Comercial usually has an ATM around, so no need to queue at the cadecas or carry a lot of cash. Be careful that internet is limited to hot spots, so make sure you have enough credit on your card.


#11

I can also confirm that the Revolut card can be used in Cuba, in ATMs at least. The ATMs will dispense CUC, but charge the card in USD, using a 3% commission on the amount of CUC you are withdrawing, so Revolut does not need to support CUC directly. The 10% government fee, or “gravamen” on the USD does not apply. E.g. Withdrawing 100 CUC = 103 USD * Revolut FX GBP/USD = 80-odd GBP.


#12

Did you try disabling location security? As your phone will be mostly disconnected in Cuba, location security would not work


#13

I just got back from Cuba and yes, Revolut card works with ATMs.
It didn’t work at the beginning, but it turned out I blocked magnetic stripe, and it seems ATMs were using it to read it. Because I had no internet connection I had no idea why my withdrawals were rejected, I learned that some time later when I was got notifications about those failed transactions. I turned on magnetic stripe in the app and then it went smoothly.

As @wrosales82 mentioned, there will be a 3% commision during the withdrawal, but there is also an extra fee in the Revolut app (around standard 2%) after you go over the monthly limit (see FAQ).

I will provide all the details for the full image: I am from Poland so my primary currency is PLN. Before coming to Cuba I exchanged some cash to EUR and later I was also using Cadecas. Exchange rate was 4.19 (spread was 0.01, so it was a good rate) for EUR/PLN.
All Cadecas I have seen had exchange rate very close to 1.20 for EUR/CUC at the time I was there.
So my final exchange rate CUC/PLN with Cadeca was 4.19 / 1.20 ~= 3.49

My example withdrawal from ATM was:
First withdrawal 100 CUC (103$ charged), exchange rate PLN/CUC 0,2937, extra fee 0 PLN. Effective 350,70 / 100 = 3,51
After I passed free 800 PLN exchange limit, I was hit by extra 2% fee from Revolut:
200 CUC (206$ charged), exhchange rate PLN/CUC 0,2932, extra fee 14,05 PLN. This gives me effective 716,43/200 = 3,58

So in general I was paying more for exchange with (could be even a little less with cash if I was getting paid in EUR), but at the same time it was easier to get the money from the ATMs (when it was online, or didn’t have some other problem), because there was always a line to Cadecas.

Imo Revolut was great as a backup plan when we ran out from EUR. If it didn’t work I would get even worse exchange rate from my standard debit card (got 3,63 when I paid in a restaurant), and I can just top it up when needed in Etecsa.

Extra tip: restaurant where I paid with a different card was adding extra fee when paying with card. Cash - 82.80 CUC, card 89.45 CUC. Not sure if it is the same in all of them.


Revolut Card in Cuba