Sending money to Cuba is much the same as sending money anywhere else, but on average fewer options are available due to restrictions on transactions into the country. When considering how to send money to Cuba, it’s crucial to know which options are best, and for the most part, the available transfer services are pretty affordable and efficient.
It should be noted that the currency exchange situation in Cuba is different from most other countries, and as a result, how you will send money into the country will differ. Cuba has two official currencies: the Cuban Peso (CUP), a closed currency, meaning it is not open for exchange in the international market. So you can only access it inside Cuba. The other Cuban official currency, the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), is tied to the exact value of the American Dollar (USD), as it is meant to be used by tourists in Cuba.
Both of these currencies are considered legal tender inside Cuba, although there are many abnormalities surrounding how they are used within the Cuban economy. For your typical money transfer to Cuba, your money will be converted from your current local currency to the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). To convert money into CUP is impossible outside of Cuba, even in the case of an online money transfer.
Sending money to Cuba is as simple as in other locations, but we understand it can be tricky for newcomers. This section outlines the steps you need to follow for completing a money transfer to Cuba.
There are several ways to send money to Cuba, which gives you freedom of choice. However, you should be aware that many money transfer services do not operate in Cuba because of restrictions.
Bank transfers: you can send bank transfers to Cuba, and you should expect to pay around $20-50 per transfer. This is significantly higher than what most money transfer services charge. Also, bank transfers from the United States to Cuba are not allowed. That is because US and Cuban banks are not permitted to do business. The most popular Cuban banks include Banco Internacional de Comercio, Banco Metropolitano, Banco Nacional de Cuba and Banco Popular de Ahorro.
The transfer speed of money transfers via banks is usually around 2-7 business days. This is a slow processing time compared with the speed of specialist money transfer services like Wise.
Cash pickup: services like Western Union allow the sender to make a payment using cash pickup services. This means the recipient can get physical cash without accessing a bank account. It is an option that many senders find useful for sending money to family and friends in Cuba from abroad.
Money transfers services: sending money with money transfer services is fast and convenient. The registration process of signing up with a new service can be done online and usually takes just 5 minutes. In most cases, the speed of transfers with specialist transfer companies can be instant to 24 hours.
The competitive FX rates and low fee structure are among the top reasons to choose money transfer companies. In addition, they match the mid-market rate for many currency pairs, which gives you a better deal than most banks.
Debit card: making payments with a debit card is one of the fastest methods of sending money to Cuba. There is a fee of 1.5-3% for debit card transfers, but you may want to consider this option because of the transfer limitations that exist in Cuba. Card payments are accessible to most people since nearly everyone has a MasterCard or Visa card.
Mobile app: sending money with a mobile app is widely available. Visit Google Play or the App Store to determine if your bank or specialist transfer provider offers an app. Next, inspect the app’s feature list to figure out if international money transfers are available. Sending money from the convenience of a mobile device means you can manage finances while traveling.
This section provides methods of how you can send money to Cuba. However, keep in mind that these are just a few examples, and in reality, you will have access to multiple other methods of sending money.
To send money to Cuba without setbacks, you need to have the correct information. You need specific details depending on the money transfer methods and your chosen service.
Bank transfers require the most details, so they are slower than alternatives. In most cases, you need to share the account number, bank name, SWIFT code, routing number, recipient name, currency, and the amount you wish to send. You may find that the details autofill when you send money to the same recipient more than once.
If you are sending money via cash pick up, you may need to specify the branch where the recipient needs to collect money. Also, you will need the recipient’s name and share the transaction number once the payment has been completed. In most cases, the funds will be available for pick up instantly after the sender has made payment.
Consider using money transfer companies to reduce complexity. They can be set up to only need the recipient’s email to complete the transfer. These services require the fewest details, which means that sending money regularly is efficient.
There is a limited number of options for receiving money in Cuba compared with most other countries. However, there are enough methods to offer something for most money transfer customers. Below is an overview of the most popular options that you can receive to get money in Cuba today:
To ensure that you get money on time and without setbacks, the correct details must be provided. Bank transfers require a lot of information compared with specialist transfer providers. You will need to supply your name, account number, SWIFT code, routing number, bank address, bank name, and possibly other details. Incorrect details can result in the transfers being rejected, including a fee.
For cash pick-up transfers, you only need to supply your name and possibly the branch where you would like to pick up the money. Also, the sender needs to share the transaction number and bring a photo ID to pass verification.
Money transfers require the fewest details and are an easy way of receiving money. Services like Wise allow you to only share the email address if you select the function. This means that you can enjoy a level of anonymity when receiving money.
You may want to send money to Cuba for many different reasons. You need to be aware of separate considerations for each reason to get the best deal. We hope you find it useful to help you send money to Cuba without problems.
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Cuba has restrictions that have caused many money transfer companies to avoid the country altogether. This means you have a limited choice compared to most other countries in the world. On the other hand, this makes the decision easier since you can only choose from one of 2 companies. Below is an overview of both services to help you decide between them.
Western Union is a well-established money transfer service that also operates in Cuba. You can use the company to receive a cash pick-up from over 400 locations in the country. Also, they provide a convenient mobile app that enables you to manage your finances while out and about.
The 24/7 customer service of Western Union allows customers to get help when they need it most. Support is available using live chat, email, and phone. They are a trusted brand with over 170 years of experience under their belt.
Small World is the other money transfer service that facilitates international money transfers to Cuba. They are a UK-based company that is available in over 190 countries around the world. Their mobile app is available on Google Play and the App Store.
Fast transfers are one of Small World’s advantages, and they have several payout options. They include mobile wallets, pick-up locations, cash cards, and bank accounts. Therefore, you can use this company as an intermediary for getting funds to your Cuban bank account.
Jonathan is the founder and editor of MoneyTransfers.com. Jonathan is highly experienced in the currency transfer market, having previously worked in the FX trading industry, alongside being an avid traveller. Using his knowledge he identified a need for transparency and further education to help people save money on their money transfers, leading to the creation of MoneyTransfers.com