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Money Matters


The currency in China is called Renminbi, and is issued by the national bank — the People's Bank of China. The units of Renminbi are Yuan, Jiao and Fen. Jiao and Fen is the fractional currency. The paper money comes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 50 and 100 Yuan. The Jiao's denomination can be 1, 2, 5; similarly with the Fen. Ten Fen is one Jiao and Ten Jiao is one Yuan. There is also coinage for One Yuan, Five Jiao as well as One, Two and Five Fen. But Fen is not commonly used in the coin form in daily life. The abbreviation of Renminbi is RMB or CNY with its symbol of ¥. Colloquially, Chinese, people often say Kuai and Mao instead of Yuan and Jiao.

 Foreign Currency Exchange

Foreign currency and traveler's cheques are not to circulate in China, so you have to exchange them for Chinese Yuan only at Bank of China or the banks' cash centers at major airports and hotels.

 Foreign credit cards available in China

Master Card
Visa Card
American Express Card
JCB Card
Diners Card

Actually China is still a cash-dominated country. But there are places like star-rated hotels, chain international shopping malls, etc, which do accept credit cards/ traveler's cheques. But most other places might have difficulty handling credit card/TC payment. ATM of Bank of China is so extensive that you can easily go and draw RMB with your credit cards whenever you need.


All Chinese Banks including BC (Bank of China), CCB (China Construction Bank), ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) and ABC (Agricultural Bank of China) and their branches, plus some other banks will transact financial affairs for foreigners.

It is quite easy to open a Chinese RMB account with Bank of China that opens 7 days per week. You only need to show your passport (ID attached) with valid visa. You will get issued with a passbook and card on the spot for a small fee of about CNY10 then you can use any of the ATM to withdraw cash.

When you withdraw your $US currency over the counter, you can then easily exchange it into Chinese RMB before you leave the bank. It is safe to carry cash but of course you need to be discreet about it.

 The following are some of the banks in Beijing.
Beijing Branch of BC
No.8, Yabao Lu, Chaoyang District
Beijing Branch of CCB
No.28 Building, Xuanwumen Xijie, Xuanwu District
Beijing Xidan Branch of ICBC
No.176 Xidan Beidajie
Beijing Dongcheng Branch of ABC
Hua Li Mansion, No.58, Jinbao Jie, Dongcheng District
Bank of Beijing
No.156, Fuxingmennei Dajie, Xicheng District
Beijing Branch of CITIC Industrial Bank
Investing Square, No. Jia 27, Jinrong Jie Jia, Xicheng District
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Comments and Questions

Can South African Rands be exchanged for RMB and if so, how? If not, what is the best way to get some money SA Rands to RMB please

Reply2/6/2018 1:02:15 PMJarred,   South Africa

Diana :2/11/2018 12:20:06 AM

Yes, the currency exchange center at Capital Airport is a good choice. Or you can exchange some USD before leaving. Then it is very easy to change RMB in China.

Do you know if I can exchange Indian rupees (INR) to RMB in the city in Beijing? I have had problems in Shanghai in that none of the banks would exchange INR

Reply4/24/2017 8:26:13 PMAlecia,   Australia

Evelyn ( United Kingdom ) :5/2/2017 4:00:22 AM

As I know, banks in China might not provide the exchanging service for INR. But you can have a try at the business hall of United Money. I found there are branches on Taoranting Road and Shizipo Street. You may go there.

Can I exchange Canadian dollar into RMB in China

Reply7/3/2016 5:05:00 AMAtaulhaq,   Pakistan

Peter ( Australia ) :7/3/2016 8:42:55 PM

Sure! You can convert CAD to CNY at many bank, including Bank of China, Construction Bank of China. Agricultural Bank of China, etc. Have a try! ;)

Can Indian money be converted at Beijing airport in to Chinese currency?

Please reply.

Reply6/20/2016 10:18:10 AMAmit Kumar Mishra,   India

Julia ( Australia ) :6/20/2016 8:58:30 PM

You must refer to Capital Airport, right? You can convert the currency to CNY at Travelex in Domestic Arrival Hall, F1, T1; ICE in International Arrival Luggage Hall, F2, T2; ICE in the departure check-in hall,F4, T3-C, etc.

Hi, I am in China. Can you please help. I have south African currency and I'm trying to exchange it. Where can I exchange it?

Reply2/24/2016 6:34:00 PMThula,   South Africa

Mia ( Italy ) :2/25/2016 2:00:32 AM

Dear Thula, I am sorry that it might be hard to convert your currency to CNY through banks. But you might try at some hotels or the communities where South Africans live together. Good luck to you!

hi I am in south Africa, can I fly to China then exchange rands for yuan there?

Reply1/11/2016 9:14:47 AMlindelwa,   Swaziland

Joe :1/31/2016 10:53:24 PM

I'm afraid it is not easy to accomplish this. You are suggested to exchange some USD in your country. Then upon entering China, it is quite easy to exchange Yuan.

Hi .. I am going to work from Beijing.. Can i transfer RMB to INR into my Home account in India. My account is with ICBC in china and SBI in India. is it possible to transfer RMB to INR ? please advise

Reply11/24/2014 12:07:15 PMHari,   India

Julie :11/26/2014 8:54:12 PM

As I know, they are able to transfer your mouney from CNY to INR, because I succeed in transferring from CNY to HKD. For the exact procedure, you can consult in a bank or call 95588 for more info.

HARSH ( India ) :5/14/2015 12:43:12 AM

Hari...can u able transfer amount RMB to INR

can I use my ICBC card in Kenya? I dont know if they use CUP and/or CIRRUS2 in their ATM's.

Reply6/15/2013 7:17:45 AMJeff,   China

Ashley :6/17/2013 7:03:56 PM

yes, i think you can use it. but you'd better consult the bank before you go to Kenya.

how i can exchange indian rupees into dollars or yuans

Reply6/3/2013 8:36:05 AMshiva,   India

Betty :6/3/2013 7:15:49 PM

you can exchange them at the Bank of China.

Hi. I'm in Guangzhou now. I need to knwo where I can change south african rands to chinese yuan. Please assist.

Reply2/24/2013 6:07:04 AMadeel,   South Africa

Kelly :2/25/2013 6:26:33 PM

try a nearby Bank of China.

adeel ( South Africa ) :2/27/2013 2:46:22 AM

Hi Kelly. Thank you for replying to my post. Unfortunately Bank of China does not accept South African Rands. I, however have managed to call my bank in South Africa and can use my bank cards. Thanks
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