Money Exchange in China

Old Sep 14th, 2007, 06:01 AM
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Money Exchange in China

Hello everyone,

My husband and I are going to Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian next month. This is our first time to China. We have some questions about money exchange. We really appreciate your help on this.

1. The guidebooks I've read said that money exchange rate is regulated in China. So it does not make a difference if you do so at a local bank, hotel, or airport. Is this true or do they differ in "handling/service" fee?

2. I did some searches on this forum. A lot of people prefer ATM. But my Bank of America ATM charges 3%. Is this still a good option or should I just bring US dollars and exchange at a local bank?

Thank you so much for your help

cocor is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2007, 09:37 AM
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I used my ATM card and also exchanged some dollars for RMB; I cannot help on the ATm fee issue. One thing to remember is to save your receipts. You must have these in order to change any RMB back into dollars when you leave China. If I am remembering correctly, only the receipts for cash exchange are valid for this purpose. The ATM receipts are not. There is also a fairly substantial fee whe you change back to dollars so try to use up your RMB before you leave..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2007, 10:20 AM
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Interesting point, ek. I've never tried to change any back - I try to adjust my last withdrawal, plus I always figure I'll be back!
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Old Sep 15th, 2007, 04:17 AM
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1. I found the rate to be the same everywhere...
2. You could use your Bank of America card abroad, but I know BoA usually has quite a few service charges; I would check to see if the 3% fee is the "foreign transaction fee" and if you'll still have another fee for using an outside ATM...(the good thing is you'll likely NOT be charged by the local bank)

As for exchanging money upon departure, the airport banks do take ATM receipts. I went to a bank booth before leaving three months ago, but they sent me to the Bank of China booth as that was the ATM I'd always used there. (So I'd just make sure to try to go to the same bank ATMs on the visit if you do go with ATMs...)

travels at
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Old Sep 15th, 2007, 11:18 PM
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We found that once outside the airport, changing US dollars meant looong waits at the bank. IMO, you'd want to bring US dollars to change at the airport, then use ATMs after that. Both Bank of China and China Construction Bank are good, and have plenty of branches everywhere. It's my understanding that the latter has an affiliation with BoA; you should check with them and find out what the deal is.
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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 12:57 PM
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Hello Cocor

I am planning a trip to China next May and would like to hear more about your trip. Can you send me hotel tips and have you travelled on your own or on a group tour?

I am Brazilian and have always travelled on my own, but in China I am not so sure.

thank you for all the info you can give me, have a nice evening
Celina Sampaio
[email protected]
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