< Back What is the local currency? What denominations does it come in? What is the best way to exchange currency? What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)? Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash. By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid? What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it? Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages? Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country? What are typical banking hours? Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock? Is there any other money information that might help me? 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. ↑ Top 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. ↑ Top 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. ↑ Top 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. ↑ Top 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. ↑ Top By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid? Most rent and utility bills are paid by automatic transfer from a Chinese bank account. To cover such 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. Into that account, you must deposit a small amount of money 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. ↑ Top 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. ↑ Top Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages? The banks operate in Chinese, but there is often at least one teller who can help foreigners in English. Most ATM machines are in both English and Chinese. There are also English-speaking staff at the state banks. ↑ Top 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 traveller's checks. ↑ Top What are typical banking hours? Typical banking hours are usually from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday. Some banks are also open from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday. ↑ Top Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock? Yes, many ATMs are available around the clock in both English and Chinese. ↑ Top Is there any other money information that might help me? Always bring some cash with you when you are shopping in or travelling around China. ↑ Top IMPORTANT NOTE: 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.