CUC is an international currency code (ISO 4217) for Cuban Convertible Peso. Cuban Convertible Peso is one of two official currencies used in Cuba. This article explains in detail everything about Cuban Convertible Peso – its history, value, exchange rate, and more. Pictures of front and back side of CUC are included.
CUC History – Why Cuban Convertible Peso Exists
History of CUC reaches as far back as 1994. Cuban government introduced it back then but it was used on a very small scale – just as some form of experimental currency system. US dollar was still preferred currency of choice used by most tourism related establishments. As many as four currencies were widely accepted throughout Cuba at the time (CUP – Cuban National Peso, CUC – Cuban Convertible Peso, US Dollars and Euro), which was causing confusion. In order to put entire monetary system of Cuba back in order, Cuban government decided put a stop on wide acceptance of foreign currencies and made CUC the only currency accepted in establishments where US dollars and Euros were previously used.
CUC – Cuban Convertible Peso became the only official currency accepted by tourism and luxury items related businesses on November 8, 2004. Cuban financial institutions also ceased to accept US dollars entirely on that day. It was still possible to exchange US dollars for CUC, but an exchange rate would incur additional 10% charge.
Cuban Convertible Peso is informally called “chavito”.
Value of CUC – Cuban Convertible Peso
Cuban Convertible Peso is pegged to US dollar and has been at $1.08 US since 2005. That means value of CUC is 8% above value of US dollar. When Cuban Convertible Pesos were officially introduced as primary “tourism and luxury” currency, value of CUC $1 was US $1 but it was increased by 8% on March 24, 2005 by the central bank.
CUC – Cuban Convertible Peso Exchange Rates
Here’s a list of sample exchange rates (Valid January 2009):
1.00 EUR = 1.22177 CUC (Euro)
1.00 CAD = 0.756105 CUC (Canadian Dollar)
1.00 CHF = 0.812825 CUC (Switzerland Francs)
1.00 GBP = 1.30107 CUC (British Pound Sterling)
1.00 JPY = 0.0103551 CUC (Japanese Yen)
1.00 RUB = 0.0282358 CUC (Russian Ruble)
1.00 USD = 0.925900 CUC (US Dollar, subject to additional 10% Cuban tax on top of this exchange rate)
Cuban Convertible Pesos Scams
There have been cases of tourists getting scammed by Cubans on mix of currencies. The scam consists on accepting CUC – Cuban Convertible Pesos but giving change in CUP – Cuban National Peso. CUP are much lower in value than CUC (1 CUC = 24 CUP). It is advisable for every traveller to Cuba to get familiar with the way their money looks so as to avoid such scams. See below for pictures of CUC – Cuban Convertible Pesos
Pictures of Cuban Convertible Pesos
CUC coins are available in following denominations:
5, 10, 25 and 50
1 and 5 (5 Pesos coin exists, but is very rare though)
CUC banknotes are available in following denominations (in pesos):
1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos.
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