Calling Cuba from the United States can seem complicated, but with the right information, it's easy to stay connected with friends and family in Cuba. In this complete guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about calling cuba from united states.

Overview of Calling Cuba from the US

After decades of severed telecommunications between the US and Cuba, phone calls between the two countries are now possible-though still subject to regulations. There are a few different methods for calling Cuba depending on your needs how to call to cuba from usa:

  • Using an international calling card
  • Calling directly through a US carrier like AT&T, Verizon, etc.
  • Using a web-based calling service
  • Downloading a Cuban calling app

Each option has its own pros and cons in terms of cost, call quality, ease of use, and more. We'll explore the specifics of each method below. First, we need to understand the basic process of connecting calls to Cuba.

How Phone Calls Get Connected from the US to Cuba

Technically, calling cuba from usa to Cuba works the same as dialing other international numbers. However, there are specific routing requirements due to the US economic embargo on Cuba.

Here is what happens when you place a call to Cuba from the United States:

  1. The call originates from your phone line in the US and goes through your local phone carrier.
  2. For the call to complete, it must pass through designated telecommunications operators in third countries that have service agreements to handle US-Cuba calls.
  3. From the third country operator, the call crosses international waters and terminates with Cuba's state-owned telecom provider, ETECSA.
  4. ETECSA then connects the call to the recipient in Cuba.

This multi-step routing is why calling Cuba often results in long-distance charges, connection fees, or other surcharges. The designated intermediary countries are currently Spain, Venezuela, and Mexico.

Calling Cuba Directly with a US Phone Carrier

The most straightforward way to call Cuba from the US is through a major phone carrier like how to call cuba from usa. Here's how it works:

Availability: Nearly all US carriers provide direct service to Cuba though some older family plans may not include Cuba calling. You'll need to check your specific cellular or landline contract.

Dialing Process: To dial Cuba directly, use:

+53 + Cuba's local number

So a full number would be:

+53 52 55 1234

Cost: Expect international long-distance rates of around $2-3/minute on average. Exact rates vary by provider. There may also be connection fees of around $4 per call.

Call Quality: Direct carrier connections provide reliable call quality, similar to making other international calls.

Ease of Use: Dialing directly through your existing US phone provider is the most convenient option. But costs can add up quickly for frequent callers.


  • Simple dialing using your regular phone line/cell service
  • Good call quality
  • No need for third-party services


  • Very expensive long-distance rates
  • Connection fees per call
  • Calling rates can vary widely

Using an International Calling Card to Cuba

Another option is to use an international calling card service to save money compared to direct carrier dialing. Here are the key details:

Availability: International calling cards are widely available at most convenience stores, supermarkets, and online. Cards are issued by third-party providers, not directly from US carriers.

Dialing Process: To make a call, you first dial the calling card's access number, then enter your card details and PIN to connect. Finally, dial the Cuba number when prompted.

Cost: Calling card rates to Cuba average $0.20-$0.50/minute. Connection fees are minimal or nonexistent.

Call Quality: Call quality is usually decent but may have occasional lag or static, more so than direct carrier calls.

Ease of Use: Calling cards require more steps to dial compared to direct carrier calls. You have to enter access numbers and PINs each time.


  • Substantially lower per-minute rates
  • No or low connection fees
  • Available for purchase locally


  • Call quality isn't as reliable
  • More steps are required to place calls
  • Need to purchase a new card when minutes are used up

Using Web-Based Services to Call Cuba

Web-based calling services provide another flexible option for cheap calls to Cuba. These services let you place calls online through your computer's microphone and speakers or through a mobile app. Here are the main details:

Availability: Many web calling platforms provide Cuba dialing, like Callmama. You simply need to create an account.

Dialing Process: To make a call, you log into your account online or via the app. Enter the Cuba number and the platform connects the call for you.

Cost: Web-based calls are usually the cheapest option at $0.05-$0.10 per minute. No connection fees apply.

Call Quality: Call quality rivals or exceeds direct carrier calls. These services utilize optimized telecom routing.

Ease of Use: After registering and adding credits, dialing calls through a website or app is very convenient.


  • Extremely low per-minute calling rates
  • No connection fees
  • Excellent call quality
  • Easy-to-use platforms


  • Need a computer/smartphone and internet access
  • Must continue adding credits to account

Using a Cuba Calling App on Your Phone

In recent years, calling apps designed specifically for calls to Cuba have been launched. Examples include CubaHIT, Cubacall, and CubaCall+. The process goes like this:

Availability: The apps are available on both iOS and Android app stores. Download is free but you must fund your account to make calls.

Dialing Process: Launch the app, enter your funded account details, and then dial the Cuba number directly within the app interface.

Cost: App call rates are on par with web calling platforms at approximately $0.10/minute. No connection fees.

Call Quality: Call quality is reliable. The apps utilize dedicated telecom infrastructure to optimize connectivity.

Ease of Use: Cuba calling apps provide a fast, convenient dialing process once installed and funded on your device.


  • Low per-minute rates
  • No connection fees
  • Easy dialing through the app
  • Call quality optimized for Cuba


  • Need to have the app installed
  • Must continuously add funds to the account

Comparison of Cuba Calling Options from the US


Cost Per Minute

Connection Fee

Call Quality

Ease of Use

Direct Carrier

$2-$3/min avg.

$4 per call


Very Easy

Calling Card

$0.20-$0.50/min avg.

Minimal or none



Web-Based Service

$0.05-$0.10/min avg.




Cuba Calling App

$0.10/min avg.


Very Good


As shown in the table, web-based services and Cuban calling apps generally provide the best combination of low rates, great call quality, and easy dialing. Calling cards can also be a cost-effective option compared to direct carrier pricing.

Tips for Improving Call Quality from the US to Cuba

With the right method, call quality from the US to Cuba can be very good. However, there are also occasional challenges-cutting out, static, echo-based on connection issues. Here are some tips for making sure your calls sound as clear as possible:

  • Try different times of the day to avoid peak network congestion in Cuba. Late at night or early morning often works best.
  • Limit background noise on your end of the call and speak clearly into the microphone. This improves sound fidelity.
  • Use earbuds or headphones to listen to calls rather than relying just on speakers.
  • Contact your service provider if call quality is persistently poor for troubleshooting.
  • Be patient and ask the recipient if your voice is coming through clearly. Repeat yourself if parts of the call drop.

Is It Legal to Call Cuba from the United States?

Yes, calling Cuba from the US is completely legal and does not violate any laws or regulations between the two countries. Direct telecommunications and phone services were re-established in the last few years after travel and trade relations between Cuba and the US began normalizing.

US residents are permitted to call family and friends in Cuba as often as they want using any of the methods covered in this guide. Business communications are also allowed within certain parameters.

The US economic embargo on Cuba does include restrictions on certain financial transactions between the countries. But basic phone calling and related fees are not prohibited.

Can I Text or Use Messaging Apps to Contact Cuba?

Currently, standard SMS text messaging is not possible between the US and Cuba. Cuba's telecom infrastructure is still behind most countries when it comes to digital communications.

However, many of the web and app-based calling services allow users to send messages through their platforms to recipients in Cuba.

Popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger can also facilitate real-time communications with Cuba. Keep in mind the other person will need an internet connection and access to these apps, which is less common in Cuba.

For the most reliable contact, voice calls are still the ideal choice for connecting with people in Cuba from the United States.

Common Questions about Calling Cuba from the US

Do I need a Cuba calling plan to make calls from the US?

No, you do not need a special Cuba plan. But you may need to add international calling to your existing US cellphone or landline plan to dial Cuba directly. Calling cards and web/app services do not require a special plan.

Are there codes like 900 numbers to call Cuba?

No, there are no special codes. You dial Cuba using the regular international dialing format: +53 + local number. The Cuban country code is 53.

Are there restrictions for business vs personal calls to Cuba?

Personal calls have no restrictions. Business calls are permitted within limits by US trade regulations. Most individual communications are fine, but complex legal calls would require authorization.

Can I receive calls on my US number from Cuba?

Yes, if you have international calling enabled, you can receive calls from Cuban numbers on your regular US phone. Call rates are usually reciprocal.

Are there other fees beyond the per-minute charges?

For direct carrier calls, you'll also pay connection fees of around $4. Calling cards and web/app services do not have connection fees. Taxes may apply to calling card calls.

Stay Connected Affordably with Callmama

We hope this guide has broken down everything you need to know about calling Cuba from the United States. With the information provided here, you can select the best calling option to stay affordably connected with friends, family, and contacts in Cuba.

For low per-minute rates, great call quality, and convenient dialing from any device, we recommend using a web-based service like Callmama. You can get started quickly by creating a free account and adding credits as needed for pay-as-you-go calling.

Callmama provides reliable connectivity for calls worldwide. Reach out to Cuba easily along with 200+ other destinations. With competitive rates and no connection fees, Callmama simplifies international calling.