American Dollars in China

Oct 16th, 2008, 11:19 AM
  #1  
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American Dollars in China

We are leaving for a 16 day trip to China. We are taking ATM cards and credit cards. Is there any reason to take American Dollars, in any demonination, with us?

Thanks
BabsB is offline  
Oct 16th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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Bring some, in case the ATM at the airport is not working or the line is long.
rkkwan is offline  
Oct 16th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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Bring us $100 bills for exchange as you'll get a slightly better rate. I always carry a few just in case.
Kathie is offline  
Oct 16th, 2008, 01:04 PM
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Thank you. So no need for a handful of crisp one-dollar bills for tips, bargaining etc.?
BabsB is offline  
Oct 16th, 2008, 01:16 PM
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No, no tips. Tip in the local currency anyway.

Just get take a few crisp $100 bills as a backup or expedient. As rkkwan suggested, if the ATM is broken or the line is too long then you can exchange one of the bills to get you into town.

I would take three $100 bills and expect to not use them.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Oct 16th, 2008, 01:17 PM
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you'll be bargaining in yuan, not USD.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Oct 16th, 2008, 01:20 PM
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Thank you. I now have a plan. A few hundred dollar bills, my ATM, my Credit card for emergencies and a HUGE smile on my face. Leave on Halloween. Yahoo!
BabsB is offline  
Oct 16th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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I suggest bringing the telephone numbers to call if you lose your ATM/Credit Card. It happened to me and it was incredibly stressful trying to find a public phone with which I could successfully place the calls to cancel the cards ... and I had the numbers. If I didn't have the numbers handy, I think I would have fainted.
colduphere is offline  
Oct 16th, 2008, 01:33 PM
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Do just as little research into available ATMs for the system your card is on. Although there are plenty of ATMs that will take your card, there are also very many that will not. You cannot assume that any randomly chosen ATM will accept it, although if you are flying into Beijing or Shanghai you'll find plenty of choice. Look for the ATM locator on your card's website.

There is, of course, no tipping in China in any currency. But if you're on an organised tour you may find your tour company attempting to foist it on you.

Peter N-H
PeterN_H is offline  
Oct 16th, 2008, 02:20 PM
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PLEASE lets not go there again!!!!

Really? hundreds? I never carry them here. Will only the airport or large banks exchange them?

My list of what to take is getting longer! Thanks for the suggestion.

Babs - my DH is leaving that day also what is your destination? I leave the US on Nov. 4.

Have a great trip.
Barb65 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2008, 02:28 PM
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I exchanged US dollars at my hotel when I could not find a working ATM. It does not have to be in hundreds, but often these bills carry a slightly higher rate of exchange.
ekscrunchy is online now  
Oct 16th, 2008, 03:06 PM
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You bring the 100s to exchange at a currency counter or a bank. Hotels will often exchange them but not at as good a rate. This is meant to be emergency cash, if you can't find an ATM, or their has been a power outage and the ATM doesn't work, etc. I usually bring home most if not all of the 100s I take.

Do make sure the bills are clean and crisp - no tears or marks. They must be the newest 100s - the big head multi-colored ones.
Kathie is offline  
Oct 16th, 2008, 03:57 PM
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Yes, it will be my emergency money only. And if I am lucky and don't need to spend it, it will be the start of my next vacation fund!

I know to call the bank in advance of the trip and I also have the phone numbers available in a separate location if something were to happen to my cards and I have to call.

I will check the ATM locator, thanks Peter N-H.

Barb65 - we are going to Shanghai, Beijing, Xian, Yangtzee cruise, Hong Kong. (Don't tell anyone but we are going on a Smartour tour, mums the word - haha)

I am very excited....
BabsB is offline  
Oct 17th, 2008, 05:34 AM
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Mum indeed Babs! I won't even say what our plans are now. But getting so many helpful hints here.

We will also be in Xi'an and Beijing but until Nov. 11 - 17.

Thanks all for the advice.
Barb65 is offline  
Oct 17th, 2008, 06:33 AM
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The dollar exchange rate at my hotel in Beijing was exactly the bank rate. It did not matter if the bill was new, as long as it was not torn.
ekscrunchy is online now  
Oct 17th, 2008, 08:48 AM
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Jed
 
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There is not a path in China that was ever trod by a tourist that is not lined by stalls that sell sundries at '2 fa dolla'.
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Oct 17th, 2008, 11:51 AM
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Jed:

I have found this to be true in so many places around the world. LOL
BabsB is offline  
Oct 17th, 2008, 12:45 PM
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Babs -- Please check my thread on GTGs in China and see if any match your travel dates to Shanghai and Xian.
Shanghainese is offline  
Oct 17th, 2008, 01:43 PM
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Jed - happily not entirely true. Absolutely the case for places like Beijing and Xi'an, but I found that further west there were places where any vendors were in the markets busy selling to locals. And at the Stone Forest outside Kunming, a very touristy place, the souvenir sellers ignored me and concentrated on the Chinese tour groups.
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 20th, 2008, 02:54 PM
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ATM's:
Just a word of caution:
I just spoke with my bank to find out if my ATM card was compatible with Chinese ATM's. It is a good thing I called, since I needed to "alert" them to my pending trip, so they could annotate my account! I was unaware I even had to call the bank before I left. She said there may have been a problem if I had not called.
lollylo25 is offline  

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