Question: I need the location of the banks where I can change travelers’ checks in Havana.
Answer: If you’re bringing travelers’ checks, make sure they’re issued against a bank that does business with Cuba. You also need to bring the receipt you received when you purchased the cheques, showing both date of purchase and the numbers of the travelers’ checks.
In Cuba, the only bank – including all its branches located around the country – where you can cash travelers’ checks is the Banco Financeiro Internacional (BFI for short), one of Cuba’s main international banks. The commission is 13.78% on top of the normal exchange rate applied to the particular currency of the Travelers’ Checks.
In Havana, all branches of the BFI are open Monday through Friday, from 8:30am to 3:30pm. The telephone directory lists all the branches, but below are a few of the main ones:
- Miramar: The head office and main branch of the BFI in Havana is located here, at Calle 18 #111, e/ 1 y 3, telephone 204-2058
- Vedado: On Calle 1 at the corner of B St., telephone 833-3423 or 833-3424
- Habana Vieja: Oficios at the corner of Teniente Rey (or Brasil St.),
Many of the larger hotels also have a small BFI branch on site which will also cash travelers’ checks. In Vedado, some of these hotels are the following (this is not a definitive list, so be sure to check at other hotels to see if they have a BFI branch on site):
- Hotel Habana Libre, corner of Calles 23 y L.
- Hotel Nacional, Calles O y 21. Here, the BFI is located near the pool. Open from 8am-11pm daily, this branch has the facility to check with overseas banks, if necessary.
- Hotel Habana Riviera, located at the corner of Paseo y Malecon
As well, some (but not all) Casas de Cambio (CADECA or exchange booths) will also exchange travelers’ checks. In Havana, the largest CADECA – open daily from 8am to 10pm – is found in Habana Vieja at the following address:
Obispo # 257
e/ Cuba y Aguiar