Stonegate is pleased to announce that the Bank is now offering a Debit MasterCard card that can be used at the Point of Sale terminal at any of Cuba's 10,000 hotels, restaurants and other card-accepting merchants.
"This is the first step in relieving the burden of U.S. travelers carrying cash when travelling to Cuba and another step in normalizing commercial relations between the two countries. Hopefully more issuing banks will help this process by approving credit and debit cards as well," said Dave Seleski, President and CEO of Stonegate Bank.
Initially, cardholders will need to sign for all Debit MasterCard purchases. Stonegate expects to expand the use of the cards to ATMs in 2016.
Before visiting Cuba, Stonegate cardholders will need to ensure they are traveling under one of the 12 categories authorized by U.S. regulations, including religious and professional purposes.
MasterCard originally removed its network block on U.S.-issued cards being used in Cuba in March 2015. Since then, federal rules left the final decision to each bank whether its cardholders will be allowed to use their cards on the island.
"As the infrastructure continues to develop on the island, this milestone reinforces a collective effort, starting with last spring's trade mission, to deliver our cardholders a convenient and safe way to pay when traveling to Cuba," said Jeff Wilson, President GeoCentral Division at MasterCard.