2011/11/18

Money & Cost in China - Bank Acount / Credit Card / Traveler's Cheque

Content
Chinese Currency
Money Exchanging
Bank Account
Credit Card & ATM
Traveler's Cheque/Check
Cost of Traveling in China

Bank Account

Bank of China
Bank of China
 Can foreigners open a bank account in China? If yes, how does one open one?
 Answer: Foreigners can open bank accounts in most banks of China
The process is fairly straight forward. A passport is required at whichever bank you choose. In addition, different banks may require different amounts of deposits when opening an account, which can be 100 CNY to 300 CNY. When you successfully open an account, a savings passbook is given, as well as a bank card. You can use the bank card to withdraw money from the ATMs.

 There are many kinds of deposit, which one should I choose?
 Answer: Generally speaking, there are two common ways for deposit: Savings Deposit and Time Deposit.
Savings Deposit: There are no limits on the amount and time of your deposit as well as withdrawal. A bank book with a bank card is issued after opening Saving Deposit. You can deposit or withdraw money in the Bank outlets or the ATM.
Time Deposit: There is a settled time and you can only withdraw your money on the date of maturity. The interest rate of Time Deposit is higher than Savings Deposit. There is no bank card for this kind of deposit.
If you are going to live in China for several years and the money you deposit is not in urgent need, you can choose Time Deposit, otherwise choose Savings Deposit.
Note: when you open a new account, a certain amount of money will be needed to deposit in your account. It varies according to the bank and deposit you choose.

 What are the major banks in China which are friendly to foreigners?

 Answer: Some good banks in china are Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Agriculture Bank of China. Usually, in the big branches of these banks, English service is available.
Here we list the service number and official website of these banks. If you have any problem, you can call for help!
Bank of China: http://www.boc.cn/en/index.html (Service number: 95566)
Agriculture Bank of China: (Service number: 95599)
http://www.abchina.com/en/hq/index.jsp/lang=en/index.html
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China: http://www.icbc.com.cn/icbc/sy/
(Service number: 95588)

Agricultural Bank of China
Agricultural Bank of China

China Construction Bank
China Construction Bank

Credit Card and ATM
 What kind of credit card can I use in China?
 Answer: Currently there are seven main foreign credit cards available in China, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, JCB, Federal and Million. Credit cards can be used for withdrawing money, shopping and other transactions in most major Chinese cities, but generally not accepted in rural areas.

ATM for Worldwide Money
ATM for Worldwide Money

ATM of Bank of Beijing
ATM of Bank of Beijing

ATM of Standard Chartered
ATM of Standard Chartered

 Do all the ATMs in China accept my credit card?
 Answer: If the symbols and logos of your credit card are shown on the ATMs, then it can be used to withdraw money. It should be noted that different banks have different limits on the sum that can be withdrawn each time from the ATM, with most permitting a withdrawal of 20,000 Yuan in any day.

 Can I apply for a Chinese credit card?
 Answer: You can apply for a Chinese credit card, but to be honest, it is quite difficult to have one in China.

 I heard that the PIN number of Chinese card is 6 digital, but mine is 4 digital. If I withdraw money from the ATMs, can they recognize my card?
 Answer: The PIN number of Chinese card is 6 digital. You can put two zero before you four digital PIN to see if it works. Some of the banks also accept the four digital PIN. However, It is advised to check with your bank first. Keep in mind not to make more than three incorrect number attempts, or your card will be locked.

 My card was eaten by the ATM, how can I take it back?
 Answer: Most probably, it occurs when you press the wrong number more than three times. You're your card is eaten; it is locked by the bank simultaneously. Go to the bank office with you ID card. With the right PIN number pressed, you can take back your card.

Traveler's Cheque/Check
 Are traveler's cheques/checks accepted in China?
 Answer: Traveler's cheques/checks are accepted in the major banks of China, where you can also buy traveler's cheques/checks.

 What is a traveler's cheque/check?

 Answer: The traveler's chequecheck, which is issued by international commercial banks or authorized travel agencies, offers much more security and convenience while traveling. Similar to cash, the traveler's cheque/check also has different kinds of par values, and is issued in various currencies. At present, the cheques/checks issued by American Express, Visa, Thomas Cook and others are recognized worldwide and are available in most large-scale emporiums, star-rated hotels or can be exchanged in more than 800 banks all around the world, without any limitation on the period of validity.

 What do I need if I'm going to buy traveler's cheque/check?
 Answer: Nothing but your signature! Your signature is also required when cashing a  traveler's cheque/check.
There will be a certain amount of handling charge. However, when you cash them, the service center of your traveler's cheque/check all over the world will provide you with the exchange service for free, except some non-signatory banks.

 Does it have commission fee when I buy  traveler's cheques/checks?
 Answer: Yes, but the commission fee is quite low, less than 1% usually.

 What if I lost my traveler's cheque?
Answer:  A refund or replacement can be easily refundable in any of the appointed banks of the World.
However, make sure the return receipt is kept safe and separate from your traveler's cheque because it will be required if the cheques are lost or stolen.

 Does traveler's cheque/check have expiration date, and if yes, how long?
 Answer: No, there is no expiration time for traveler's cheques/checks, you can use it anytime you want.

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