Are American Express travelers checks accepted in Cuba?

Question: Are American Express travelers checks accepted in Cuba?

Answer: In a June 2011 phone consultation with Cuba’s Banco Financiero Internacional, S.A. (BFI) – one of the country’s main banks with branches located throughout the country – they said that American Express Travellers’ Cheques are accepted in Cuba as long as they are payable against banks that are not based in the United States.

Apparently recent posts from some UK and Canadian websites are saying that this is not the case, but the above information from Cuba’s banks is what counts.

Note: To use your American Express traveller’s cheques – or ANY traveller’s cheques – in Cuba, it is required that you have the receipt showing that you purchased them, and that this receipt indicates the number series of your cheques. Without this receipt, you will not be able to use your cheques in Cuba.



4 thoughts on “Are American Express travelers checks accepted in Cuba?

  • Any traveller’s cheques from any country are a pain to cash & only can be cashed in large hotels in big cities such as Havana or Santiago or major resort areas, But after 13 years of being there I don’t recommend it! Cash is the best way (budget so much per day to bring with you & lock it in your suitcase or room safe & only carry what you need per day) & if you need more cash then taking it from a Visa credit card (not issued from an American bank) is the easiest way > you can actually go to a bank machine with your PIN number and CUC’s (Cuban dollars come out) in the amount you requested just like at home. Master card must be done in the bank or CADECA office but again only if not from a US Bank or credit union > important to check with your card company before leaving home that it is not “sponsored by a US bank” even if it is issued in another country or online many are American supported. If you are an American maybe take some traveller’s cheques just in case of emergency but don’t count on using them regularly because you will spend all your time in CADECA (money exchange) lineups instead of enjoying your time! Long line ups & slow very slow, slow service & closes suddenly & you are stuck waiting an hour to open again…. You cannot use them to pay in private or small restaurants or even stores for purchases…. cash only people it is a cash society or Visa can be used for only big ticket items like cigars or large hotels restaurants with amounts over $100cuc & even then they may say the machine is not working so ask in advance & confirm you can use the card before ordering with the manager, this has happened to me, not a good situation to be in! Also beware “prepaid cash loaded visa cards” do not work in Cuba no where!” I have spent too much time trying to help people who have not prepared in advance their cash situation before coming to Cuba! Be prepared & organized it is not like other countries!

  • I forgot to mention I live in the US

  • I just came back from Cuba and was able to use traveler’s checks. As a matter of fact the CUC exchange was highter (95%). I could onlyt cash the checks at the international banks and CADECA stores in five star hotels.

  • This implies that Amex Checks obtained WITHIN the USA are not accepted when in fact they are!

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