Changing Money in China
The official currency in China is the Renminbi (RMB or CNY)or in Chinese "Ren-min-bi", which translates as" the people's money", and is generally used in the same way we use the word 'currency'- the Renminbi exchange rate, for instance. The basic unit is the yuan (also known as "kuai"),which is used to express all quantities including prices in shops etc. The yuan comes in paper notes of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 yuan notes, and 1 yuan coins. 1 yuan equals 10 jiao(or mao).
Credit Cards: Credit cards are only accepted at most hotels and some tourist shops and department stores. Expect to pay in cash.
Exchanging Money: Changing Money can be done in a number of ways. Most hotels will have a foreign exchange service and will exchange cash and travelers' checks. As with hotels everywhere, the exchange rate will not be the official bank rate. Most large banks will exchange money and travelers' checks. It is a requirement that you present your passport to complete the transaction. Banks will only accept foreign bank notes that are undamaged. Notes that are even slightly torn will be rejected. Travelers' Checks can be a secure solution if traveling for a longer time.
Cash withdrawals from Visa and MasterCard: credit/debit card are possible at the main branches of the Bank of China in each city. A small fee is charged by the Bank and charges are also applied by the bank/credit card provider.
Bank of China ATM machines are compatible with Cirrus and Pulse so cash withdrawals are easy to complete using these machines. Only use ATM's that display the Visa and MasterCard symbols. An English menu will appear when you insert your card. The exchange rate that is applicable through ATM's is good and this can be a very convenient way to organize your money. Locations for ATM's are available from your card issuer. Limits for withdrawals on each transaction differ but US$250 per transaction is common.
Western Union is available in China although fees apply to transactions. Check the Western Union website for locations. http://www.westernunion.com/info/selectCountry.asp
Always carry some mall denomination cash (5,10,20 yuan) because if you use larger notes there is a small risk that you will be given counterfeit notes in your change at some of the markets or local stalls.
You should check more informations about: Chinese Money & Currency Converter
The yuan comes in paper notes with denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 yuan notes, and 1 yuan coins. 1 yuan equals 10 jiao (or mao).
See pictures of Chinese money notes
- 1 yuan coin
- 1 yuan
- 5 yuan
- 10 yuan
- 20 yuan
- 50 yuan
- 100 yuan
- Any questions about traveling in China? View our Q&A page and find the answers.
I updated this article on February 28, 2014
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