The ICBC bank is the sole issuer of UnionPay cards in the US. Given that UnionPay is still supposed to be accepted in Russia, could I get a UnionPay card and use it to withdraw cash or make purchases when I travel there? There were some rumors that UnionPay would leave the Russian market, however they seem to be expanding their presence at the moment.


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I have recently read that Russians are having a hard time using their UnionPay cards in-country, and as we know, UnionPay has stopped cooperating with sanctioned Russian banks. It’s not clear whether those banks that are not sanctioned can still process foreign UnionPay cards for merchants or whether the transactions would flow directly through the Russian national payments system. My guess is that one should not expect UP to work in Russia anymore, though as foreigners we may have an easier time using a UP card there than the Russians themselves.

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