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Chinese Currency

The Chinese currency is called Renminbi (people's currency) and is often abbreviated to RMB. The basic unit is Yuan. Ten Jiao make one Yuan; ten Fen make one Jiao. Thus 100 Fen make one Yuan. Here are some samples of Chinese currency paper notes and hard coins.

100 yuan


10 yuan

5 yuan

2 yuan

1 yuan

5 jiao

Counterfeit bills are a problem in China. Very few Chinese will accept a RMB50 or RMB100 bill without first checking to see whether or not it is a fake. Notes that are old and tattered are also sometimes hard to spend. If you are having problems with a note, exchange it for a new one or small change at the Bank of China. Counterfeits, however, will be confiscated.

Hong Kong's currency is the Hong Kong dollar and Macao's is the Macao dollar. Both currencies are worth 7% more than Renminbi.

Exchanging rates

US $1.00 = RMB 8.00 (approximately)

Carrying Money

For a trip to China and Far East, It is better to carry the money in the combination of US cash (in various denominations), traveler checks and Credit Card. A money belt or pocket sewn inside your clothes is the safest way to carry money. Velcro tabs sewn to seal your pockets shut will also help thwart roving hands.


US dollars in cash form is good for the purpose of tips and small purchase. In the remote areas, cash is probably is the best way of payment.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are gaining more acceptances in China for use by foreign visitors in major tourist cities. Useful cards include Visa, Master Card, American Express, JCB and Diners Club. They can be used in most mid-range to top-end hotels (three star and up), Friendship Stores and some department stores. Note that it is still impossible to use credit cards to finance your transportation costs; even flights have to be paid for in cash.

Credit card cash advances have become fairly routine at head branches of the Bank of China, even in places as remote as Lhasa. Bear in mind, however a 4% commission is generally deducted.

The phone number to call to report the check missing should kept by hand.

Traveler Check

Besides the advantage of safety, traveler checks are useful to carry in China because the exchange rate is actually more favorable than what you get for cash. Checks from most of the world's leading banks and issuing agencies are now acceptable in China - stick to the major companies such as Thomas Cook, American Express and Citibank and you'll be OK. However it is only acceptable in the bank instead of shopping centers.

You also can purchase those major traveler checks from Bank of China.

Your passport is always required when you are using traveler check. It is preferable to have traveler? checks in amounts of US $100 or less in denomination, as when you exchange these you will have quite a stack of bills to carry. Large hotels and department stores will usually accept the traveler checks.

The copies of your traveler checks and the serial numbers of the traveler checks should be place well in case you lose them and need to make a claim of loss.
The phone number to call to report the check missing should kept by hand.


Using your ATM card can be a good way to get cash in foreign countries. With the ability to draw out small amounts of cash as needed from ATMs, you can avoid the risk of traveling with large amounts of cash. At the present time, ATMs are available in most cities of China. The ATM will issue money in local currency.

International Money Transfers

Except in Hong Kong and Macao, having money sent to you in China is a time-consuming and frustrating task that is best avoided.

China Courier Service Corporation (a joint-venture with Western Union Financial Services in the USA) is very fast and efficient. In Beijing, there is a branch at 173, Yong'an St. Tel: 86-10-63184285.

For foreign currency exchange rate please check

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