Mastercard to lift hold on US credit card swipes in Cuba

Mastercard says it will lift the ban on U.S. credit card transactions in Cuba beginning in March, based on new guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury.

The announcement comes one month after President Barack Obama said the U.S. would work to restore normal diplomatic relations for the first time in more than 50 years with the communist-run island. The move affects Americans who travel to Cuba to visit relatives or for a handful of other authorized purposes, including educational visits. General tourism to Cuba is still prohibited by the half-century old trade embargo, and it would take an act of Congress to lift the ban.

Mastercard Inc. said in a statement cardholders should contact their bank before visiting Cuba to make sure their card will function on the island.

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