3 Best Ways to Send Money from Canada to Cuba in 2023

Often, Cuban family members rely on money sent to them from their relatives around the world. But these days, it’s so much harder to transfer funds into the country.

While difficult, it’s not impossible. Below you’ll find the top ways customers can still send money from Canada to Cuba. While they aren’t the big-name money transferring services commonly used, they can still get the job done.

Best Ways to Send money from canada to Cuba 1

Why It’s Difficult Transferring Money to Cuba

At one time, Western Union was one of the fastest and cheapest ways to transfer money to Cubans. But as of February 2020, that all changed.

The company released the following statement, frustrating many Canadians that frequently send much-needed money to family members back in Cuba.

“Due to the unique challenges of operating remittance services from countries outside of the United States to Cuba, Western Union is unable to operate money transfer services to Cuba from countries other than the United States, effective February 26, 2020.”

The statement said little else about the reason behind the closure of locations, but many political experts speculate it’s because of aggressive US sanctions imposed on the country during the former Trump administration’s time in office.

The closure leaves many Cuban-Canadians scattering to find other ways to get money to their loved ones. What are the other alternatives?

Top 3 Ways to Send Money to Cuba from Canada

Top 3 Ways to Send Money to Cuba from Canada

With the closing of Western Union locations and other popular peer-to-peer (P2P) payment services like PayPal unavailable in Cuba, figuring out how to get money to loved ones can be tricky. Here are some of the top alternatives to try.

1.  EnvioDinero


Why it’s a good option? It doesn’t have government restrictions, and it’s one of the easiest money transferring services customers can use to get funds to Cuba.

Through EnvioDinero, Canadians can send money to Cuba, where the recipient receives an AIS card. This card is a national debit card used in Cuba.

If the recipient doesn’t already have an AIS card, EnvioDinero automatically generates one. The card is reloadable, making it easy to keep sending money through the service.

The recipient can use the card at ATMs located throughout the country or make purchases. To start, you would need to set up an account and deposit money using either a debit or credit card.

Money transferred to an AIS card can be received in as little as 24 hours but can take up to 48 hours.

There are other ways to get money to your recipient besides the AIS card. You can make a direct deposit into a savings account at Banco Metropolitano S.A. or arrange a cash pickup at one of its branches. Cash pickups are available within three hours and direct deposits within a day.

2.  Duales


Why it’s a good option: Duales is a privately owned Canadian company making it possible to send money transfers to family members in Cuba. They’ve been in business for over 27 years, so it’s a proven option.

With Duales, you can pay for the transfer through a variety of options – debit and credit cards, EFTs, email money transfers, international money orders, and bank drafts.

Recipients can receive the money through an AIS card or even home delivery.

Per their website, the fees are in US dollars. They include a USD 8 fee per every USD 100 for home delivery in Havana. For anywhere else, expect an additional USD 4 charge. Money sent to a bank card incurs a similar charge – USD 8 per every USD 100.

3.  Bank Transfers

Bank Transfers

Why it’s a good option: Transferring money from your bank is a reliable way to ensure the recipient receives the money promptly.

Some Canadian banks do allow money transfers into Cuba. The downside is that the fees will be higher than other services.

In a CBC article about Western Union stopping their Cuban services, they reached out to a customer service rep at RBC that said clients can transfer up to $2,500 online.

However, there’s a $13.50 fee, along with another charge of $20 by the international transfer agent. If that’s not enough, the recipient will most likely pay a fee when they get the money.

While bank transfers are secure and reliable, they’re expensive. Additionally, not all of Canada’s top banks allow transfers to Cuba.

How To Send Money To Cuba.

As shown, if a bank does allow a transfer, it’s either an in-branch wire or through online banking but never both.

Banks are typically known for being a bit slower than other money services so keep that in mind if the timing is of the utmost importance.

Does Wise Allow Transfers to Cuba?

Wise is one of the top money transfer services and is known for its low fees and fast service. But can you use the company to send money to Cuba?

According to their website, it doesn’t look like Cuba is one of the countries Wise provides services from.

Final Thoughts

Sending money to Cuba isn’t impossible, but it certainly isn’t easy. There are limited options, and you’ll ultimately have to choose between a private service or a bank.

If you already have an account at one of the banks that allow transfers to Cuba, that might be your best bet.

Just know you’ll probably incur higher fees. If you frequently send money internationally, check out Wise, one of the top services.

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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