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changing money in china

 
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Capo



Joined: 09 Sep 2007

PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:06 pm    Post subject: changing money in china Reply with quote

I read in china everywhere has pretty much the aame exchange rate. So anyone know what ot is like to change won in china? Actually my friend said it was not worth doing it in korea. How abput international ATMs anyone know the current situation?
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CentralCali



Joined: 17 May 2007

PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spent the last year in China. Exchanging money in China at a bank is a bit of a pain. If you know how much cash you're going to need, purchase RMB before going to China. If you're going to be in Beijing, Guanzhou, or Shanghai, you might be able to use your Visa credit/debit card for purchases. Most likely, you'll only be able to use the Visa card for getting money from an ATM in China. Now, if your bank happens to be in the Unionpay network, then you're good to go as the vast majority of places that do accept plastic only accept Unionpay.
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lemak



Joined: 02 Jan 2011

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My KEB card works at China Construction Bank and Bank of China (didn't try any others, but I assume it'd also be fine).

Smaller Bank of China branches won't touch won. They'll only handle 5 or 6 currencies (usually US$, Sing$, HGK$, Oz$, Yen and Euros). Change to dollars in Korea if you're worried. As mentioned it can be time consuming...(20~30 mins)...they'll fill in a long form and want copies of your passport and such even just to change 50 bucks.

Fancier hotels have a money changing counter who can do the transaction in seconds, and often give a marginally better rate than the banks. Depending on the hotel though they may only provide this service for their guests.

Sleazy looking guys will loiter around out the front of Bank of China branches offering to change the $ for you. I have friends who've used them and reported no problems, but unless you're experienced at spotting fake RMB notes I'd be inclined to give them a miss.
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ttompatz



Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Location: Kwangju, South Korea

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:20 pm    Post subject: Re: changing money in china Reply with quote

Capo wrote:
I read in china everywhere has pretty much the aame exchange rate. So anyone know what ot is like to change won in china? Actually my friend said it was not worth doing it in korea. How abput international ATMs anyone know the current situation?


DO NOT TAKE WON TO CHINA.
DO NOT TAKE WON OUT OF KOREA.

Buy your RMB in Korea or buy USD, GBP or EUR and then get RMB as you need it in China.

Exchanging won in China means "hard to do" and "a very poor exchange rates" (losses of about 25% vs a spread of 3% by taking dollars).

.
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Jake_Kim



Joined: 27 Aug 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My short visit to China was mainly within major cities, so I was fairly well covered by Citibank (Korea) International Cash Card with which I withdrew RMB from my KRW account at Citibank China ATMs.
You get RMB at remittance rate which is way superior to cash exchange rates. However, I also prepare a small amount of RMB cash as a precaution from KEB, so that I can assure my survival between airport and a Citi ATM where I get the big chuck of cash.
Citibank China lists their ATM network at: http://www.citibank.com.cn/homepage/en/cn_homepage.htm under 'Locations' at the bottom. The same list is available in Chinese too, a printout of which becomes useful.
Of course, this method won't be possible if you go to remote areas or economical if you withdraw only small amounts over multiple times.
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CentralCali



Joined: 17 May 2007

PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Major city" in China is different than what the unitiated would expect. In Korea, a city of seven million people is a major city. Not always so in China. As noted above, I lived in China for the last year and that was in a city of over seven million. Basically, the city was a small town. The fun thing was that for my first month there, the banks in that city were having their ATM network upgraded. The first casualty during the upgrade process was foreign credit/debit/ATM card access. After the upgrade was complete, the only places to get cash using my Visa card was at bank ATMs (and not all the banks had opted into such service). The one and only credit/debit card the merchants, including Wal-Mart, Mannings, and other foreign outfits operating in China, was China UnionPay. If your Korean card doesn't have the UnionPay logo on it, don't count on using that in China other than at the banks. Either get enough cash to tide you over for your trip or make sure you're near a bank branch that accepts foreign cards.

Another fun thing I learned shortly after arrival in China: if you have a Chinese bank account (as anyone who's lived there before will likely have), remittances from outside of China to your Chinese bank account aren't actually deposited into your RMB account. What happens is that the first US dollar transfer, first GBP transfer, etc. as the case may be will automatically create a foreign currency account for you attached to your current bank account. To access the money from that account, you don't go to the ATM. You go to the teller and complete a form requesting permission to import foreign currency, another form requesting withdrawal of your foreign currency from your foreign currency account, and yet another form requesting permission to convert foreign currency into RMB. The teller will then hand you cash in RMB. You can accomplish this at some bank branches at some ATM stations that are sometimes operating during non-banking hours but only if you had set up the ATM station remittance in advance in person during banking hours. Otherwise, it's simply not going to happen.

Don't bother buying RMB in China if you're going there for a short jaunt. Scope out your schedule, check to see if everywhere you're going has an ATM (accessible outside of normal banking hours) which will accept your foreign card, and make sure you have enough RMB in hand before you go to China. You're just creating problems for yourself otherwise. Oh, don't even think about using an ATM more than a day into one of China's Golden Weeks. The ATMs will be out of cash and there won't be anyone to restock the things, except possibly in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing, and Shanghai.
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