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Money Matters

The official name of Chinese currency is Chinese Yuan (CNY), also known as Renminbi (RMB). The unit of currency is called “yuan” or "kwai". Notes come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100. The largest denomination seen in daily life is the 100 yuan note.
You should convert your personal foreign currency into China's local currency. You can do so at a bank in China, at the airport, or at your hotel. Generally, you get a better deal at the bank. Look carefully at the rates and fees to make sure you're getting a fair deal. Prices and exchange rates vary, so find up-to-date exchange rates between Chinese yuan and your home currency before you go. Keep your exchange (or ATM) receipts so you can re-exchange your Chinese currency for home currency on your way out.

Credit Cards
Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted in China but you can't always depend on being able to pay with them. All major cards such as Visa, Master Card, American Express are readily accepted in major tourist cities. Certainly at international-standard hotels, upscale restaurants, shops and tourist offices you will be able to use them. However, fees for accessing money this way are high, and you often need to pay interest in the money immediately. Be sure to inform your credit card company that you'll be traveling so they don't block your purchases.

Traveler's Checks
Besides the advantage of safety, traveler checks are useful to carry in China because the exchange rate is more favorable than what you get for exchanging cash. Checks from most of the world's leading banks and issuing agencies, such as Thomas Cook, American Express and Citibank, are accepted in China. You can also purchase traveler’s checks from the Bank of China. Traveler’s checks can be cashed at banks, major hotels and department stores.

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User Comments

Name:Money Matters Reply

I am a Singapore Citizen. I would like to travel to Xiamen China to visit relatives. What is the maximum amount chinese yuan, a person can bring into China? Is there any restriction? Thanks if you can reply quickly. Thank you & Regards, Leng Leng

Name:Re: Money Matters

Hi. As far as we know, the maximum amount of RMB cash for inbound and outbound foreign tourists is 20,000 yuan per person per time. In additon, all major cards such as Visa, Master Card, American Express are readily accepted in major tourist cities. Thank you for your attention to our site and welcome to contact us if you need any travel service.

Name:Restriction on Foreign Currency Reply

I have another question if you can help. I would like to find out also the amount resticted to bring into China the currency in Singapore dollar. That is when I travel to china, i would like to bring some Singapore dollar too and bring the RMB as well. I am sure there is a restriction on the customs. Thank you & Regards Leng Leng

Name:Restriction on Foreign Currency

Yes, there's restricted amount of foreign cashes brought in/out China by foreign tourists. If the amount is over USD5,000 (or equivalent foreign cashes), the declaration is needed.

Name:Money Matters / Currency Exchange Reply

Hi Elma. I have a question about the currency. I don’t want to bring too much cash in China because it’s not safe. I want to bring traveller’s check with me. Is traveller’s check convenient in China?

Name:Re: Money Matters / Currency Exchange

We don’t suggest you taking traveller’s check in China because it’s not convenient. It requires you to go to the bank in person and there’s amount limit of cashing a check per time. So it’s better to bring cash to China or use a credit card.