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
Due to the very low value, fen notes and coins are almost useless.
What is the best way to exchange currency?
The Bank of China is the only domestic bank that exchanges money. In comparison with international banks such as Citibank, HSBC and Standard Chartered, the rates are competitive but the bank fees are higher.
Currency is only exchanged freely from foreign currencies to RMB. However, freelance moneychangers outside banks are usually more economical and commonly used. Bank of China ATM machines will 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 bank cards. Hotels catering to foreigners will accept international credit cards.
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 advisable to keep cash on you at all times.
By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
Cash is preferable, but other arrangements can be made if necessary.
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?
Xiamen has highly developed banking services. The biggest banks are the state-owned commercial bank, Sino-foreign joint venture Xiamen International Bank, and the solely foreign-funded Xiamen City Commercial Bank. Foreign banks with established representative offices in Xiamen include:
- Hong Kong - Jiyou Bank, Bank of East Asia, Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd., Hang Seng Bank
- Singapore - Oversea-Chinese Bank Corporation (OCBC), United Overseas Bank (UOB)
- US - Bank of Orient, Citibank, Hartford Financial Services
- Europe - Standard Chartered Bank, Credit Lyonnais Bank
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 required, such as proof of income tax payment. 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 traveler's checks.
What are typical banking hours?
Usually, banks are open Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
Yes, ATMs are available around the clock.
Is there any other money information that might help me?
For your convenience, it is a good idea to exchange some money from your home country into yuan before your arrival in Xiamen.
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.