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Home Housing & Finance How To Exchange RMB In China
How To Exchange RMB In China
Housing & Finance

A foreigner can bring cash and exchange RMB at banks in China. A foreigner can also get the money exchanged through traveler’s check. Credit cards can also be used. What follows is a more detailed explanation.

Traveler’s check

Traveler’s checks provide a fairly secure way of carrying money. In China, there are two banks can cash traveler’s check. One is the Bank of China (BOC) and the other is China Construction Bank (CCB). The Bank of China (BOC) can cash traveler’s check sold by international commercial banks and travelers’ check companies in the United States, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Britain, France, and Switzerland, Germany and other countries and regions. China Construction Bank (CCB) can cash travelers’ check of US dollar, pound, Euro, Australia dollar, and Japanese yen.

Also the Bank of China and China Construction Bank sells travelers’ check for such banks as American Express, Citibank, Tongjilong Travelers’ Check Co. and the Sumitomo Bank of Japan, the Swiss Banking Corporation and others.

Currency Conversion
At present there are four banks in China can exchange foreign currencies, which are the Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and Agricultural Bank of China. Currency exchange rate always changes, as in any place in the world. The change rate varies every day. However, the counter's rate does not change as frequent as the online transaction. It reports the rate of that day every morning and the rate is displayed at the counter – look at the big screen with red characters - it is the exchange rate display board. Check the current exchange rate online at Please note that there should be a very slight difference between the online rate and the rate at the counter - the former is refreshed in real time and the later is refreshed once per day.

What should be mentioned is that BOC can exchange 17 kinds of currencies (pound, Hong Kong dollars, US dollar, Swiss franc, Singapore dollar, Norwegian krone, Japanese yen, Danish krone, Canadian dollar, Australia dollar, Euro, Philippine peso, Thailand baht, Macao pataca and New Taiwan dollar), while ICBC can exchange 9 kinds of currencies (US dollar, Hong Kong dollar, Japanese yen, Euro, pound, Australia dollar, Canada dollar, Singapore dollar, Swiss franc). CCB can exchange US dollar, pound, Euro, Australia dollar, Japanese yen, etc., less than that of ICBC. ABC can exchange US dollar, Euro, Hong Kong dollar, Japanese yen, pound, Swiss franc, Canada dollar, Australia dollar, Danish krone, Sweden krone and Singapore dollar. However, you should ask for information at the service desk of a local branch because the service may vary in different places.

For foreigners, please pay special attention that the RMB is not a free-exchange currency. You can change USD to RMB freely in China but the reserve exchange (RMB to USD) is restricted. If you want to change the remaining RMB back to USD, do keep the exchange receipt with you. RMB to USD exchange is not accepted with your original receipt.

Remember to keep your currency exchange receipts, because you will need to show them when you change RMB back to your own currency when you have finished your visit to China. Currency rather than credit cards is essential in remote areas, and you should ensure that you carry sufficient RMB and travelers’ check to cover your requirements.

Credit Cards
At present, the following credit cards are accepted in China: Master Card, Federal Card, Visa, American Express, JCB and Diners Card. Holders can draw cash from the ATM and POS with the label of VISA, MASTER or labels of other foreign credit cards.  

Consult with your bank before departing to make sure that your brand of cheque or credit card will be accepted.

Currency Regulations
There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency and foreign exchange bills that can be brought into China by tourists, but the amount must be declared to the customs.

About RMB
Chinese currency is called Renminbi (people‘s money), often abbreviated as RMB. Issued by the People‘s Bank of China it is the sole legal tender for both the Chinese nationals and foreign tourists. The unit of Renminbi is yuan and the smaller, jiao and fen. The conversion among the three is: 1 yuan = 10 jiao =100 fen. Chinese people normally refer to Yuan as Kuai, Jiao as Mao. RMB is issued both in notes and coins. The denominations of paper notes include 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, and 1 yuan; 5, 2 and 1 jiao; and 5, 2 and 1 fen. The denominations of coins are 1 yuan; 5, and 1 jiao; and 5, 2 and 1 fen.

The telephone number of some banks for customer service:
Bank of China: 95566
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China: 95588
Agricultural Bank of China: 95599
Construction Bank of China: 95533


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