Havana ATM machines now accept some U.S.-issued credit cards

Posted: 06-Jul-16 10:24

It is now easier for American travellers to access cash while visiting Cuba. In a major announcement, Cuba's central bank confirmed that some U.S.-issued credit cards can now be used to withdraw cash from Havana automatic teller machines. This becomes just the latest move in efforts to make it easier for an increasing number of Americans to holiday in Cuba.

Havana ATM machines now accept some U.S.-issued credit cards

As a growing number of American travellers eye Cuba as a holiday destination in the near future a major announcement makes it easier than ever to travel there without the need for carrying along large sums of cash. That’s been a major issue for travellers in the past. Until recently U.S.-issued credit cards had not worked at automatic teller machines in Cuba.

That all changed in June when a top official from Cuba’s central bank announced certain U.S.-issued credit cards would now work at Havana ATM machines. The news was outlined in an article published by Reuters.

Author Marc Frank credits the announcement to Cuban banking officials, writing that Stonegate Bank, a Florida-based institution, has issued around 500 MasterCards. Mostly the cards were issued to Cuban Americans and U.S. businesses either interested in the country or those who often travel to Cuba.

Frank details that while the cards work at certain Cuban restaurants, car rental agencies, hotels and now Havana ATM machines, they are not yet accepted at the thousands of state-run retails stores in Cuba. More than a year ago Stonegate emerged as the first U.S. bank in generations to open up a Cuban office.

It wasn’t until the beginning of this year, though, that MasterCard gave initial approval for using its U.S.-issued credit cards in Cuba. With a March effective date from MasterCard, Stonegate began issuing the first MasterCards for usage in Cuba this June. The news is significant because until now all U.S. banks had declined backing Cuban credit card transactions, noting deregulation insecurity and the longstanding U.S. embargo against Cuba.

While Irma Margarita Martinez, a first vice president of the Cuban central bank admits:

“To date no other U.S. bank has approached us or expressed an interest.”

She also clarified that the country remains open in the future to offering Cuban service to all other American credit card holders.

Even as interest grows in Cuba from American travellers and U.S. businesses, until now financial services had lagged well behind other destinations and U.S. visitors were urged to carry cash. Foreign currency in Cuba is required to be exchanged to CUC, often at the risk of high fees for American dollars.


Popular Holidays in cuba

OUR EXCLUSIVE DEALS AND LATEST OFFERS

Best Value

From £599 per person
villa pinares de mayari

Villa Pinares De Mayari

4.0 stars

Beautifully perched on the panoramic Mensura Hill, surrounded by striking greenery, this blessed and secluded natural...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £629 per person
villa mirador de mayabe

Villa Mirador De Mayabe

2.0 stars

This enchanting villa hotel is surrounded by exuberant tropical plants and is perfectly located in a high point towering...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £679 per person
sercotel club cayo guillermo

Sercotel Club Cayo Guillermo

3.0 stars

The perfect haven for lovers of nature in its purest state, the Villa Cojimar hotel sits in an idyllic location amidst...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £679 per person
club amigo atlantico guardalavaca

Club Amigo Atlantico Guardalavaca

3.0 stars

Get away to one of Cuba's best kept secrets for a dream holiday at Club Amigo Atlantico. Guardalavaca is known to host...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £679 per person
tryp cayo coco

Tryp Cayo Coco

4.0 stars

The perfect beach holiday awaits you the all-inclusive Tryp Cayo Coco hotel, where non-stop entertainment and utmost...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation
From £699 per person
memories holguin

Memories Holguin

4.0 stars

Enjoy a perfect beach setting while you unwind in the historic sands of the all-inclusive Memories Holguin. A short...

Included
  • Flight
  • Accomodation
  • Transportation
  • Representation

More deals


Explore cuba your way

Tailor made cuba holidays

For those who prefer to travel at their own pace or to explore places not included in the brochure itineraries, we have years of experience at organising tailor-made holidays.

Create the perfect trip with the help of our specialists

Our expert tour consultants will be pleased to suggest ideas to complement your own and to organise the most appropiate programme to suit your interests, time and budget.

Call 0207 644 1600
to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

If you would like a member of our team to contact you back, please click here Contact us