Beijing 9 days

Jun 27th, 2019, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,123
Peter, thank you so much for sharing your expert knowledge!
kja is offline  
Jun 28th, 2019, 05:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 300
Originally Posted by temppeternh View Post
The situation with foreign credit cards has changed little. Frequent sightings of VISA and MASTERCARD logos doesn't mean that foreign versions of these cards are acceptable, and where foreign cards *are* acceptable it's a good sign that you'll certainly be paying a lot more than you need to for whatever you're buying (in souvenir shops typically many multiples more). Where ticket agencies actually accept cards there may be a surcharge of up to 4%. In the big hotels where credit cards are routinely accepted, there are now frequent problems with currency conversion. Either the choice of paying in local currency (and letting the card do the conversion) is ignored when you make it, or the choice is not offered, even though credit card companies require that it be so. Opting to pay in your home currency can cost you as much as 7% extra, stolen by way of a poor conversion rate. Services such as ticket acquisition (which you shouldn't be asking your hotel to do anyway) still require cash and cannot be charged to the room.

But WeChat wallet, part of the ubiquitous WeChat app found on the phone of every single Chinese, and a principle form of payment, can now be linked to a foreign credit card or debit card (this has been possible since 2018, in fact), opening mobile phone payments to foreigners. So the option to download that app and set it up to make sure it works before leaving home is also there. (Alerting your card company that you're doing that would probably be a good idea.) It is possible that the other main phone-based method of payment, Alipay, can now also be linked to foreign cards, but it is said that you have to have a Chinese bank card to link first, before adding a foreign one. So that will be of little use to most.
This is no longer the case. You need to be verified and it won't work with a foreign card. Using a foreign bank card can allow you to set it up but you won't be able to use it to pay.
Even those you were able to set it up during the short window when it works will find that you can no longer use it.
CanadaChinaTraveller is offline  
Jun 28th, 2019, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,407
Thanks to both of you. It sounds like foreigners need to use cash. However, I seem to remember reading recently that some places/taxi drivers won't take cash - any info on that?
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 28th, 2019, 02:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 300
No, cash still works everywhere. But I had store clerks in convenience store clearly annoyed to have to find change for my 15.5RMB purchase.
CanadaChinaTraveller is offline  
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