China travel guide


China Travel Guide

Traveler's checks, cash and cards

Checks, cash and cards The best way to carry your funds is by traveler's checks, which are available through banks and travel agents in major cities of China. Their exchange rate in China is fixed and in fact better than for cash, and they can be restored if you lost them.

By contrast, they can be cashed only at principal branches of the Bank of China and a few tourist hotels, with a lot of lengthy paperwork to do, except in Hong Kong and Macau. Some generic brands like American Express or Thomas Cook are little common, so bank-issued traveler's checks will only accepted in few larger cities of the Chinese east.

Sometimes is not a bad idea to carry any important foreign currency such as US, Canadian or Australian dollars, or British pounds, which are more widely exchangeable and may be helpful in an emergency.

Credit cards are useful too. Visa, American Express, and MasterCard are the more accepted cards at big tourist hotels. In Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing some ATM machines accepts Visa cards.

Make money transfers through the Bank of China can take weeks even in Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou, and rates charged at both ends make it a badly alternative except as a last option or if you have made arrangements with your own bank before to travel.

In Hong Kong and Macau any bank or government may cash traveler's checks or foreign currency bills with pleasure, though charges are not predictable. Many bank ATMs in Hong Kong have Cirrus-Maestro connections too, which let you draw funds from your home account.
Money transfers in Hong Kong are very simple. All the main international banks can arrange a financial movement to a particular branch in Hong Kong from your home bank in one day, and for a handling fee payment.
International companies, like Western Union Money Transfer, can handle the transaction for you and charge a percentage of the total transferred.

American Express
MasterCard International
VISA International
Bank of China
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China
Bank of Communications
China Construction Bank
CITIC Industrial Bank
China Merchants Bank
Guangdong Development Bank
Agricultural Bank of China

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