Money and Cost in China

1. Chinese Currency

(a). What is the legal tender of China?
Answer: The legal tender of the People's Republic of China, issued by the People's Bank of China, is the Renminbi, literally people's currency.
• Short official name: CNY (China Yuan)
• Chinese: Ren Min Bi (人民币)
• Abbreviation: RMB
• Symbol: ¥
• Monetary unit: Yuan (元)
• Fractional units: Jiao (角) and Fen (分)

(b). How many sets of RMB have been issued?
Answer: With the establishment of the People's Bank of China on December 1, 1948, the first edition of Chinese currency was issued. By far, China has already issued five sets of currencies. The fifth has been circulating since October 1, 1999.

(c). Is the currency used in Hong Kong the same as that of the mainland?
Answer: The currency used in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan is different
• Hong Kong: Hong Kong Dollar Abbreviation: HKD$
• Macau: Pataca Abbreviation: MOP$
• Taiwan: New Taiwan Dollar Abbreviation: NT$

(d). I often hear people say "kuai"; does it refer to RMB?
Answer: Yes, in Chinese, the Yuan is kuai, while the Jiao is mao.

(e). What is the conversion among Yuan, Jiao and Fen?
Answer: 1Yuan = 10 Jiao = 100 Fen

(f). What are the main notes used now?
Answer: Currently, the paper money used is 1 Jiao, 5 Jiao, 1 Yuan, 5 Yuan, 10 Yuan, 20 Yuan, 50 Yuan, and 100 Yuan. The coin used is 1 Yuan, 5 Jiao and 1 Jiao.

(g). Is it possible to receive counterfeit money in China and if yes, how to identify the them?
Answer: Like many countries in the world, China is also suffers from counterfeiters.
You should be much more careful when you receive a large note (100 Yuan or 50 Yuan); make sure that the note is not a fake by following the ways below.
(1). The fifth edition of Chinese currency has a watermark on the left of the front side. You can see it clearly in the authentic paper money against the light.

(2). The easiest way is use a money detector

(3). The Denomination ID in bottom-left of the front side color change hologram effect: seen from different angles, the denomination ID of ¥100 changes from green to blue, and that of ¥50 changes from golden to green.

(4). There is a security line in the middle of RMB100, RMB50, RMB20, RMB10 and RMB5 (the fifth set).

2. Money Exchanging

(a). Can I exchange money in China?
Answer: It is quite easy to exchange money in China and the rates will be more favorable, but it is advisable to exchange a small amount of money in your country before leaving.

(b). Where can I exchange money in China?
Answer: Usually, four-star and five-star hotels offer exchange service, but only for their guest. Mostly people will go to banks for exchange. Remember to take your passport, which need to be presented when converting currency in China. However, for remote areas, it is difficulty to exchange currency or use a credit card, so it is advisable to take enough money when you are going to travel in the remote area.

(c). When getting Chinese currency, I was given many 100 Yuan notes, while the smallest one was 50 Yuan, which brought me into many inconveniences. What should I do?
Answer: For the sake of easy carriage, the bank staff will always give you some big notes. However, you can ask them to give you small one, which will save many troubles.

(d). Can I exchange the unused Renminbi back in US dollars?
Answer: Of course you can. Please keep all your currency exchange receipts, which you must present. However, this kind of exchange can be quite unfavorable in rate, so you'd better use all your RMB before you exit China.

(e). Is there anything I should notice when exchanging money?
Answer: Yes, pay attention to the followings.
(1). Choose a bank which is the nearest to your hotel if you are going to exchange a large amount of money or you can exchange in your hotel directly if it offers this service.

(2). Do not exchange money in the street or the small shops which is mostly illegal and sometimes forgeries may be given.

(f). Can I use RMB in Macau and Hong Kong?
Answer: Of course, you can. 100 Yuan is widely accepted in Hong Kong, however, the smaller notes such as 10 Yuan and 20 Yuan are not so accepted. Usually, you pay them in RMB, while they may give you changes in Hong Kong Dollar.

3. Bank Account

(a). Can foreigners open a bank account in China and how?
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 bankcard. You can use the bankcard to withdraw money from the ATMs.

(b). 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 bankbook with a bankcard 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 bankcard 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 the Savings Deposit.

Note: when you open a new account, a certain amount of money is required to deposit in your account. It varies according to the bank and deposit you choose.

4. Credit Card and ATM

(a). 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, which are not accepted in rural areas.

(b). 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. You should notice that different banks have different limits on the sum that can be withdrawn each time from the ATM, which is generally 20,000 Yuan in any day.

(c). Can I apply for a Chinese credit card?
Answer: You can apply for a Chinese credit card, but to be honest, it is not so easy to have one in China.

(d). I heard that the PIN of Chinese card is six figures, but mine is four. If I withdraw money from the ATMs, can they recognize my card?
Answer: Yes, what you need to do is put two zero before you four PIN to see if it works. Some banks accept the four digital PIN. Keep in mind not to make more than three incorrect number attempts, or your card will be locked.

(e). My card was retained by the ATM, how can I take it back?
Answer: Most probably, it occurs when you press the wrong number more than three times. When the card is retained, 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.

5. Traveler's Check

(a). Are traveler's checks accepted in China?
Answer: Traveler's checks are acceptable in the major banks of China, where also provides traveler's checks.

(b). What is a traveler's check?
Answer: The traveler's check, 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 check also has different kinds of par values, and is issued in various currencies. At present, the 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.

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

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

(e). What if I lost my traveler's check?
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 check, because it will be required if the checks are lost or stolen.

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

6. Cost of Traveling in China

(a). Is traveling in China very expensive?
Answer: No, Travel in China is affordable compared with other places in the world. Prices are much cheaper than in most western countries, for everything from meals to train or plane tickets.

(b). What may be the biggest expense for traveling to China?
Answer: The round-trip plane tickets may be the biggest expense.

(c). What is the transportation cost in China?
Answer: Public transportation costs are reasonable in China. Buses are the most economical public vehicle, while traveling by metro, taxi or hiring a private driver can make your tour more comfortable and more efficient.

(d). What about the souvenirs in China, are they expensive?
Answer: No, the souvenirs are cheap in China if you catch the knack of bargain.

(e). Does taxi in China cost a lot?
Answer: The charges of trains and buses are more reasonable, while that of taxis is relatively high. Taxi fares vary from city to city. The table below is the taxi fare ( which is always attached on the door of the taxi) of the major cites in China (in 2011).  

 City    Flag-down Fare (CNY) Price per km
City Flag-down Fare (CNY) Price per km
Beijing 10  2.0 (over 3 km) Lhasa  10  
Chongqing  5  1.2 (over 2 km) Macau  MOP 10   MOP 1.0
(per 200 m)
Chengdu  9   1.9 (over 3 km) Nanchang  7   1.9 
Shanghai 12   2.4 (over 3 km) Nanjing  9  2.4 (over 3 km)
Tianjin  8   1.7 Nanning  7   1.6 (over 3 km)
Changchun  5   1.3 Qingdao  9  1.4
Changsha  6  1 (over 3 km) Shengyang  8   2
Fuzhou  8  1.8 (over 3 km) Shenzhen  12  2.6 (over 2 km)
Guangzhou  7   2.6 (over 2.3 km) Shijiazhuang  5   1.2 
Guilin  7  1.6 (over 2 km) Suzhou  10   2 
Guiyang  10  1.6 Taibei  TWD 80 TWD 5 (per 350m)
Hangzhou  10  2 (over 3 km) Taiyuan  8  1
Harbin  8  1.9 (over 3 km) Urumqi  6  1.3
Hefei  6  1.2 Wuhan  6  1.4 (over 3 km)
Hong Kong  HKD 15 HKD 1.4 (per 200m) Xian  6  1.8 (over 2 km)
Jinan  7  1.5 Xining  6  1.3
Kunming  8  1.8 Yinchuan  5  1
Lanzhou  7  1.3 Zhengzhou  6  1.5 (over 3 km)







Quick search a tour:
How long your trip will be:
You plan to start in:
tailor made your owns China Tours


[email protected]


+86 13978369041



Associated with or Member of:

Follow Us at:

Travelers' Reviews on:

Copyright © 2010-2019 China Expedition Tours. All Rights Reserved