The Convertible peso is value now at 1.08 US dollar. Currency exchange from US dollars in Convertible pesos will be subject to a 10% charge while transactions from Canadian dollars, Euro, UK pounds and Swiss Francs are not going to be taxed when exchanged into Convertible pesos, of course, the amount of CUCs you?ll receive for your Canadian dollar will reflect its new, stronger value ($US 1.08).
Changing cash is easily done at hotels, most of which charge very modest service fees. You may find CADECA, official exchange bureau, available at international airports, local banks and hotels. Notwithstanding unused Convertible Pesos (CUC) can only be re-exchanged back at Bureaus of Change in international airport and local International banks, thus excluding the hotel receptions.
All credit transactions, regardless of nationality of card holder, are charged at 11.24%. Credit cards are accepted in the most hotels, restaurants and shops, although they must not be drawn from a US bank. When paying by credit card, card, it is advisable to have your passport ready and please be prepared to sometimes wait a while for the assistant to gain authorization. Credit cards such an MBNA, Abbey National, Capital One, AMEX and Diners are not accepted in Cuba since these are affiliated to US banks. Despite the new monetary policy recently established , credit cards will continue to be accepted as form of payment for any service contracted or goods purchased as well as for money withdraw from ATM machines, which are only available at the banks. While there are limited amount of ATMs in Cuba, you cannot use your bank card to withdraw cash. You can use your credit card to withdraw CUCs from ATM- however you´ll be charged the 11.24 % plus your credit card interest is charged from the day of the withdrawal.Visa, Thomas Cook & American Express Travelers? cheques and Visa & Master Card credit cards are accepted in Cuba.
Based on the monetary legislation, all the prices you will see are in Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) and it is virtually impossible for a visitor to Cuba to spend local Cuban Pesos, which can only be utilized by the locals. So basically you don´t need them so it is pointless getting any unless you want a souvenir.
Since tipping became legal, it is now the norm to tip in Cuba. It is up to you how much you tip but 10% would be a good benchmark, and 1 Convertible Peso for small service.
Many Cuban workers rely on tips to supplement their basic income and they all work really hard. Tips help them get better lifestyle. So if you receive a good service, it is very good etiquette to tip accordingly.