WASHINGTON, D.C. – Engage Cuba praised Florida-based Stonegate Bank for today issuing the first U.S. credit card intended for use in Cuba. The Stonegate Mastercard will allow Americans to more easily travel to and conduct business in Cuba. Last year, Stonegate was the first U.S. bank to sign a correspondent banking relationship in Cuba.
While the Cuban government has announced plans to end the 10 percent penalty on dollar transactions, this change has yet to be implemented. The Stonegate MasterCard will be exempt from the 10 percent penalty, making it not only the most convenient option for American travelers, but also potentially the cheapest.
"For the first time in 54 years, U.S. travelers and businesses will have the option to use credit cards in Cuba with Stonegate Bank's new Mastercard. This move will make it easier for Americans to travel to and conduct business in Cuba," said President of Engage Cuba James Williams. "In 2016, you can't have normal relations with a country where you can't use a credit card. Stonegate is leading the charge, and we hope more financial institutions follow their lead in normalizing financial transactions with Cuba."
In 2014, President Obama released a series of regulatory changes that allowed for U.S. financial institutions to issue debit and credit cards for the use in Cuba. However, liability concerns over the trade embargo have prevented many banks from authorizing credit cards.