How to exchange money from Dollars to RMB

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Customer
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Joined: Nov 3, 2007 9:23 pm

How to exchange money from Dollars to RMB

Post by Customer » Jun 21, 2016 8:23 am

I am leaving for China soon, and I want to have some spending cash when I am in China. Where can I exchange USD to RMB easily before I leave?

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Gary
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Re: How to exchange money from Dollars to RMB

Post by Gary » Jun 21, 2016 8:25 am

Unless you have a weird bank, you can just go to any ATM in China and withdraw RMB from your USA bank account. The exchange rate is better than what you get from those rip-off currency exchange booths at the airport. If your ATM card has a MasterCard symbol, you are OK.

This also keeps you from carrying around huge sums of money. Although the crime rate in China is extremely low compared to the USA, so more likely to lose your purse than have it stolen. While there is no robbery or mugging to speak of, more passive crimes of taking an unattended purse or unlocked bicycle do happen in China.

Most Chinese ATMs will let you get 2500 RMB at a time. I've found some that give as much as 3500 (such as HSBC), or as little as 1500 (from a weird little agricultural bank in the backwaters of Guiyang). Whatever you withdraw, you can do the process again if you need more, until you hit your USA bank's daily limit (probably $500 which is a hair more than 3000 RMB these days).

If standing in line at an ATM, you will need to get closer into the personal space of the person in front of you. Otherwise, somebody will jump right in front of you (standing in a line or queue is not something you see too often in China - Except for Hong Kong where the British taught them the culture of queueing). If somebody does jump the line, and you don't speak Chinese, just yell, "pie dway!" (pai dui), this just means "line," and shame them into standing in it.

-Gary.

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