How to Exchange Currency in China

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How to Exchange Currency in China. Exchanging currency in China is a very straightforward transaction. The Yuan, or Renminbi, is the currency for China. Renminbi translates as "The People's Currency." Exchange rates for Renminbi are established each day in China and should be displayed wherever currency is exchanged. The rate fluctuates from day to day so do not be surprised.

Go directly to the bank at the international airport before departure. This may allow visitors to leave the airport in China quicker, but the exchange rates may not be as favorable as it would be in China.

Convert to Renminbi after arriving. The four banks with currency exchanges at major international airports in China are Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China, and the Construction Bank of China. These national banks all have branches in the major international arrival airports in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

Have passport in hand when converting currency in China. The official currency exchange form in China requires the teller to see visitor's passports and record the identification number. Some banks may make a photo copy of the passport as well. Fill in the currency exchange sheet, place it, the passport and dollars in the teller window and wait.

Wait until arriving at the hotel to convert large sums. Most three star or better hotels have a currency exchange counter. The taxi driver from the airport will expect payment, and the counter may not be open all day, so ask upon arrival.

Go to a bank. There are banks all over China open seven days a week, except for major holidays. Some are very small branch offices with limited services and others are impressive edifices. Many banks have a system for taking a number, and display the numbers above the teller windows. There are different windows for different functions, but visitors will be directed to the correct window.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep important documents safe. A neck wallet is a good investment, at least for making it through the crowded airport.
  • The Agricultural Bank of China offers Western Union services, except on Sundays.
  • Do not exchange large sums of money in local banks, unless it is very near the hotel. Ask about a deposit box or safe for currency and valuables at the hotel.

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