What is the local currency?
China's currency is the renminbi (RMB) or the yuan, which means "people's currency."
In spoken Chinese, the yuan is referred to as kuai.
What denominations does it come in?
The currency has three units: yuan, jiao and fen. One yuan equals ten jiao, and one jiao equals ten
fen. The following denominations are available:
- Notes: 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, 1 yuan; 5, 2 and 1 jiao; and 1 fen
- Coins: 1 yuan; 5 and 1 jiao; 5, 2 and 1 fen
Do note: due to the very low value, fen notes and coins are almost useless.
What is the best way to exchange currency?
You may exchange money at most branches of any of the larger domestic banks (Bank of China, ICBC, China Construction Bank, China Agricultural Bank.) You may also do so at international banks such as Standard Chartered; the rates are competitive but the bank fees are higher.
Currency is only exchanged freely from foreign currencies to RMB. Freelance moneychangers outside banks are usually more economical and commonly used but this is technically illegal in China. Bank of China ATM machines can accept foreign ATM cards.
What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
Cash is the most commonly used although larger supermarket chains and upscale stores will accept local ATM/debit cards. Hotels catering to foreigners will accept international credit cards. It is advisable to carry small denominations of money (i.e. change) when shopping at local Chinese stores, taking a taxi, or having food or other items delivered to your home because many local establishments and their workers may not carry change.
Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
Hotels, restaurants and major shopping chains accept credit cards. It is still advisable to keep cash on you at all times.
By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
If you live in a serviced accommodation, payment can be made to the onsite management center. Alternatively, bills can be paid at the post office or a 24-hour convenience store.
What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
A passport and a small amount of cash are usually sufficient, although strictly speaking, a residence permit is also required.
Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
Although it is a simple process to open a new bank account in most banks in Nanjing, it is advisable that you are accompanied by a Chinese person since the level of English (as well as other languages) of most bank employees is low.
Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
The yuan is not a freely converted currency. While it is easy to change foreign currency into yuan, it is often more difficult to exchange yuan into a foreign currency without additional paperwork, and documents such as proof of income tax payment is required. Additionally, transferring RMB out of China is not permitted nor is transferring foreign currency that has originated in mainland China. Changing RMB to a foreign currency is not permitted unless it is changing money back that was cashed using traveller's checks.
What are typical banking hours?
Most banks are open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Most domestic bank branches are also open during the weekends.
Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
Domestic banks have ATMs that are available around the clock. However, international banks are not yet permitted to issue ATM cards for accounts opened locally.
ATM cards can be used at foreign banks as long as the funds being drawn are from a foreign bank account.
Is there any other money information that might help me?
Check with your bank of choice for any changes that may have occurred or are about to occur regarding the bank's policy.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.