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Paying for excursions

Hi all,

Just booked our trip to Sandals Hicacos in Varadero for April 23-30, 2009… I can’t wait!!

We will want to do a couple of excursions while we’re there. Anyone know if excursion prices with tour operators are priced in CAD or CUC? (We booked with Transat Holidays). Do we pay cash, or are we better off using Visa?

Thanks in advance!

Ok, never mind… I poked around and saw mention in a couple of threads how much people paid for excursions in CUC.

[quote=@ellejay] Do we pay cash, or are we better off using Visa?

Thanks in advance![/quote]

You can pay for excursions booked with your rep. on your Visa provided your credit card is NOT affilliated with a US bank.

This saves you taking a lot more cash and once you receive your credit card statement, you’ll find the amount in CDN dollars to be virtually the same as it would have been had you opted to pay cash in CUC after converting your CDN $.

Enjoy your trip!

We just got back from Varadero and get a load of this:

We paid for our excursion on Visa. We were told that will get charged in USD! Even though Cuba had NOTHING to do with the USA! Funny Stuff; so anyway the trip was $187.00 CUC which if I’d paid cash and converted my CDN $ would have been $267.14 CDN. So with charging it on my VISA; it will be $205.00 USD or converted at todays rate $263.69 CDN. Which is a few bucks less!

We had a good laugh about it; the Air Transat Rep didn’t know why it was this way either, but made light of it as well!

Have fun on whatever excursion you do; but the Jeep Safari is a MUST!! Best time EVER!

Do a search & you will find cc’s are always charged in US$, on my Cubana flight from Habana to Guatemala they were selling duty free liquor in US$ & only grudgingly accepted CUC.

[quote=@torti]We just got back from Varadero and get a load of this:

We paid for our excursion on Visa. We were told that will get charged in USD! Even though Cuba had NOTHING to do with the USA! Funny Stuff; so anyway the trip was $187.00 CUC which if I’d paid cash and converted my CDN $ would have been $267.14 CDN. So with charging it on my VISA; it will be $205.00 USD or converted at todays rate $263.69 CDN. Which is a few bucks less!

We had a good laugh about it; the Air Transat Rep didn’t know why it was this way either, but made light of it as well!

[/quote]

Torti, there is an excellent thread about money exchange under Cuba FAQS and it explains the “myth” about using a credit card & the reason for conversion to US$. Using a credit card for major expenses, like tours, is a great idea and saves taking down a lot of cash. It is, also, not surprising that your tour operator didn’t understand the concept behind the transaction. Often it is the phrasing they or store clerks use that create the misunderstanding that it will cost more to use a credit card.

I urge anyone mystified about money use in Cuba to read Martian’s excellent thread noted above.

Thanks; I’m going to check it out.