The short answer to whether on not Australian Bank Cards work in Cuba is No.
No Australian bank cards work in Cuba.
Having tried all of the big four bank cards and a couple of travel cards (ANZ, NAB, Westpac, Commonwealth, Qantas, Virgin etc.) I can personally confirm they do not work in Cuba.
Any Australian travellers to Cuba must carry cash with them as their cards will not work and nobody in Cuba accepts travellers cheques.
There is some debate online as to whether credit cards work when debit cards do not but this author has personally tested both from all of the major Australian banks and can confirm that no Australian bank cards work in Cuba.
Australians can use their cards to book Airbnb (casa particulars) and hotels via all of the major booking sites and make payments to travel companies in Cuba while they are outside of Cuba. And this is because most of the companies use third party payment processors often based in Germany.
Once in Cuba an Australian bank card will not work anymore even if the establishment is using a third party payment processor based abroad. And this is because Australians cannot verify the transaction from within Cuba as their two-factor authentication (often via SMS message) does not work in Cuba.
Visa and Master Cards issued by Australian banks will not work at bank ATMs or over the counter with banks in Cuba. CADECAs will not be able to process transactions or give cash advances on Australian bank cards.
If you are an Australian travelling to Cuba you must bring cash in Euro (or USD) to Cuba as your bank cards will not work anywhere in Cuba.
Where Can I Get More Information About Cuba?
I’ve made a Cuba Frequently Asked Questions Page (FAQ) available on this website. And I would strongly advise you to read it before travelling to Cuba.
My Cuba FAQ page will save you a lot of time and a significant amount of money on your trip to Cuba. Cuba is not the sort of destination in which you can just arrive unprepared.
Read the Cuba FAQ Page here.