Sending money to Cuba from the United States

Americas By Margaret Fogarty September 25, 2020

Western Union has enabled individuals in the United States to send money to Cuba for nearly 20 years. We are committed to facilitating money transfers between family members with convenience, reliability, and speed while adhering to regulatory requirements.

This Q&A provides the most up-to-date information about money transfer services between the U.S. and Cuba and will be updated regularly to reflect any change to services.

1. Transferring money to Cuba quickly and reliably

Western Union offers many options to send money to Cuba. You may choose to send online 24/7 via wu.com, through the Western Union Mobile App or from one of more than 50,000 U.S. agent locations.

You have the option to pay with a credit or debit card, directly from your bank account, and via Apple Pay® or with cash at an agent location. Whatever is easiest for you, Western Union has got you covered.

Family remittances:

Send money to family members related by blood, marriage, or adoption, even if the sender and receiver don’t have the same last name. Family members include:

  • Children, stepchildren, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren
  • Parents, stepparents, grandparents, and great-grandparents
  • Spouses, siblings, in-laws, spouses’ parents, and grandparents
  • Brothers/sisters, nephews/nieces
  • Uncles/aunts, cousins, and second cousins

Emigration remittances:

Pre-visa: You are permitted to send up to $1,000 before the receiver has obtained a U.S. State Department visa to help cover the receiver’s preliminary emigration expenses.

Post-visa: After the receiver has obtained a U.S. State Department visa, you may send an additional $1,000 to help the receiver emigrate from Cuba to the U.S. Fees can help your recipient with charges associated with emigration, such as plane tickets, exit payments, third-country taxes, and other trip-related charges.

For all digital and retail transactions, you will be required to provide the necessary receiver information and a valid ID. For your first money transfer online, you will need to create a personal online profile and then have your identity verified. Once your profile is verified, you will be able to send money online.  Please visit the FAQ on WU.com for more info.

Customers from the U.S. can send up to a maximum of $1,000 every 90 days per receiver in Cuba.

2. Receiving money to Cuba quickly and reliably

Your recipient can pick up their money at one of over 400 agent locations throughout Cuba. The agent locator can help them find the closest location.

Western Union money transfer payouts in Cuba continue in CUCs. In providing payout in CUCs, the company complies with applicable regulations.

Western Union is exploring all possible options to deliver safe and reliable money transfer services for customers, including USD payout.  At this stage, USD payout is not available. Consistent with our nearly two decades of service commitment, we make it a priority to inform customers immediately if there are any changes to the services we offer.

3. FX Rate

Currently, Western Union customers in Cuba are paid out in local Cuban currency (CUC) in compliance with local regulations. The foreign exchange rate for money transfers from the U.S. to Cuba is fixed and determined by Western Union’s master agent in Cuba. When Western Union or its Agent calculates the payout value, this rate is applied.

The FX rate for Western Union transfers from the U.S. to Cuba was updated effective Sept. 24, 2020. Moving forward, the FX rate for the CUC will pay out $.99 on the U.S. dollar, an improvement of 2 percent from the previous rate for our customers.

The FX rate for transactions paid out in CUC and USD payout in Cuba are unrelated. Western Union continues to explore all possible options to deliver safe and reliable money transfer services for customers, including USD payout. At this time, USD payout is not available in Cuba.

4. General

Western Union’s master agent in Cuba is Fincimex, which is owned by the Cuban government. There is no other relationship between Western Union and the Government of Cuba. Western Union is, of course, bound to comply with the same laws and regulations as other companies that do business in Cuba, and like other businesses has ongoing contact with the Government of Cuba regarding our compliance with those laws and regulations.