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How much cash to bring for trip to Beijing and HK for 10 days?

How much cash to bring for trip to Beijing and HK for 10 days?

Old Oct 13th, 2013, 06:40 PM
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How much cash to bring for trip to Beijing and HK for 10 days?

Do I need two separate currencies?

Does a lot of places take credit cards?
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Old Oct 13th, 2013, 06:55 PM
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Don't bring cash - get your cash from ATMs in both places.

Yes, there are two separate currencies. A lot of places do accept credit cards, but you will still need some cash.
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Old Oct 13th, 2013, 08:30 PM
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How about paying for taxi?


Should I request two dollar hundreds before my trip?


Then once I check into my hotel then go to the ATM?
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Old Oct 13th, 2013, 10:30 PM
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Get your cash at an ATM at the airport. Getting HKD or CNY in the US, you'll be paying through the roof.

And yes, you need cash to pay for taxis in HK. Only a handful - literally - takes CC.
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Old Oct 14th, 2013, 01:22 AM
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For Mainland China you need to change to RMB. For HK you need HK Dollars. Exchange some small amount in the airport once you arrive so you have enough money to pay for taxi and/or some drinks, snacks etc. Then you either can use the ATM and/or visit one of the many banks to do some currency exchange. Double-check with your home bank if there are additional charges for the ATM as well as if they partner with a specific bank which might allow you to waive certain transaction fees.

HK taxi only accept cash. You will have difficulties finding one accepting credit cards.

Regarding on how much money you might need: really difficult to answer since it depends on your individual travel style.
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Old Oct 14th, 2013, 06:05 AM
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Here's what I do- when I arrive at a foreign airport, I stop at the ATM and get about $200 (US) and buy a small item like candy or gum if I need smaller bills. Check with your bank and credit card company. My bank charges a 1% ATM fee and my credit card company has no foreign transaction fees. Be aware that if you have a non chip and pin credit card (most American cards are like this) that it may not work at some places- I've had trouble buying train tickets from a machine and had to stand in line for a clerk who could manually enter my card number. And call your bank and credit card company to let them know you'll be out of the country!
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Old Oct 14th, 2013, 12:57 PM
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> Do I need two separate currencies?

I have to ask, looking at several of your questions on these pages, have you tried looking anything up for yourself at all?

> Does a lot of places take credit cards?

Yes, in Hong Kong. No, in mainland China, unless you stick almost entirely in a made-for-tourists and not even always then, and despite the presence of familiar credit card logos--in many places only Chinese versions of well-known cards are accepted.

In neither place expect to pay for small purchases with a card. Cash remains king. In mainland China you usually pay cash for airline tickets (and there's a surcharge of up to 4% if foreign credit cards are accepted), and always for rail tickets, although you may typically pay for hotels and anything signed to your room with a card. It remains primarily a cash economy, and you should always have plenty of cash to hand, including small bills. Taxi drivers will not be happy with a ¥100 note for a ¥15 fare.

For local money simply use ATMs at airports to start. In Hong Kong almost any machine will take any card you ever heard of. The charge is set by your card issuer, so ask how much before leaving home. HK machines will alert you if there's any extra fee because the machine is third party. (They will in mainland China, too--but they're rare, there.)

In the big tourist-haunted cities of mainland China most ATMs will now accept most common cards, but again the presence of familiar logos on screens doesn't guarantee it. Larger branches of the Bank of China are your best bet elsewhere. You may find yourself limited to as little as ¥2000, and commonly ¥2500 per transaction, although multiple successive transactions are usually possible. In Beijing, Bank of Beijing machines usually give ¥3000.

Four or five digit PINs are not a problem at ATMs (instructions appear on screen if you need to convert four digits to five), but six-digit ones are. There can also sometimes be a problem with the wrong number of digits when paying at a shop, but if it's a souvenir shop that accepts cards, you're shopping in the wrong place.

But the biggest problem with credit cards in mainland China is the dreaded DCC, which may be a problem at otherwise sensible foreign-run hotels. This is where you're offered a chance of paying in your own currency or the local currency, and the problems are two-fold: one that you're not offered the choice, but charged in your own currency; and the other that even though you choose to pay in local currency (as you should), you're charged in your own currency anyway. They problem is that you may end up paying 4% to 7% extra through the application of an appalling exchange rate. Scrutinise anything you're given to sign carefully, and if there's any possibility that you may be charged not in local currency, write '¥RMB ONLY' on the receipt, and keep a copy.

But best of all, pay cash.
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