Using your Popular Bank MasterCard in Cuba

Foreign policy changes announced last December 17, 2014 by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury now allow Popular Bank customers to use their MasterCard credit card at authorized points of sale and cash withdrawal terminals (ATMs) in Cuba.

What you must do before you can use your Popular Bank MasterCard® credit card when traveling to Cuba

If you don’t have a Popular Bank MasterCard credit card, please visit one of our branch locations to apply.

Before your trip, you must complete and sign the Cuba Travel General License Compliance Declaration and email it to If you don’t have email access, you may deliver a hard copy of the signed document at any of our branches. This document certifies that the purpose of the trip falls under one of the 12 categories authorized by U.S. regulations. If the use of your credit card is authorized, it will be enabled to be used in Cuba within the next working day (Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM) following delivery of your declaration. You will not receive a confirmation. If the use of your credit card is not authorized, one of our representatives will contact you within the aforementioned period. Each cardholder that will travel to Cuba must complete the form individually. In other words, if your account has an authorized cardholder or a co-signer who intends to use his or her credit card during the trip, he/she must complete and sign a separate declaration.

For more information about the changes published by the U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. Department of Commerce in relation to the still enforced Cuba Sanctions Program (Cuban Assets Control Regulations), click here.

Travel categories allowed by law for U.S. citizens

One of the most significant changes is the issuing of a general license for 12 existing travel categories allowed by law, subject to certain conditions.

The 12 categories are:

  1. Family visits
  2. Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
  3. Journalistic activities
  4. Professional research and professional meetings
  5. Educational activities
  6. Religious activities
  7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
  8. Support for the Cuban people
  9. Humanitarian projects
  10. Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
  11. Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or materials
  12. Certain authorized export transactions

Please be aware that tourism is NOT one of the 12 authorized categories and therefore you are not authorized to use your MasterCard credit card in Cuba for this purpose.

Note: Persons or entities under the jurisdiction of the U.S. must meet all provisions of the modified regulations; violations to the terms and conditions may give way to economic sanctions in conformity with U.S. law.

For more information please call 1-844-294-2576.