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?
Most rent and utilities bills are paid by automatic transfer from a Chinese bank account.
To cover these bills, you should deposit enough money in your own Chinese bank account or in the landlord's bank account. Normally, the landlord will give you a bank account through which to pay for your utilities. You must deposit a small amount of money into that account to cover your monthly utility expenses. To pay your rent, you can pay cash or transfer money to the landlord's bank account every month.
What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
To open a bank account, you will just need your passport. It is advisable to open a bank account before attempting to lease a house because you need to pay most rent and utilities bills through bank account transfers.
Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
The banks operate in Chinese, but there is usually at least one teller who can help foreigners in English. Most ATM machines are in both English and Chinese.
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?
Typical banking hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, but some banks are also open from 9:00 a.m.to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
Yes, many ATMs are available around the clock.
Is there any other money information that might help me?
Always bring cash with you when traveling around China.
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.