I'm heading to China next month. Any tips for exchanging dollars for yuan? Will I be able to use credit card to get yuan at an ATM?

  • 1
    related: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/10060/…
    – Vince
    Sep 2, 2013 at 14:25
  • Yes you can get withdraw yuan using any Visa or MasterCard supported ATM card. But i suggest you to try different bank machines when you arrive in china. As some foreign cards work in one bank machine and others may not work and vice versa
    – Ali Asad
    Oct 21, 2013 at 9:26
  • Each time withdrawal and balance inquiries deduct some taxes equiliant to 3 USD
    – Ali Asad
    Oct 21, 2013 at 9:28
  • I've been in China (Beijing) last August. I had to withdraw money from an ATM (Bank of China) with my credit card (Spanish/Euro) and there were no problems at all.
    – SERPRO
    Feb 26, 2014 at 15:08

3 Answers 3


The cheapest place to change money in China is usually the Bank of China. Typically, only one branch in each city provides such a service. You need to take your passport or similar ID with you. Often there are illegal money changers touting outside the bank - they will offer a better rate but use at your own discretion.

Using credit or debit cards is an option - check your bank's fees beforehand. Many, but not all, ATMs will accept VISA or MasterCard. Look for the logo on the front of the machine. Do remember to tell your bank that you are travelling to China and take note of the bank's telephone support phone number just in case.

I wouldn't want to rely solely on credit cards while in China. Most shops do not accept them and if you find yourself unable to draw cash you could get stuck. Take part of your money as dollar cash just in case.


We went to Yunnan and Sichuan in April. It's no problem to use ATMs if you've got Visa card. MasterCard also works but not at all places.

I would not suggest American Express or Diners.

On each withdrawal simply take the maximum amount since the commission is fixed.


Yes, there are ATMs that accept credit cards, but it might be easier if you have an ATM card instead since not all ATMs accept credit cards.

You will generally be more lucky to use Credit Cards in larger cities and at international banks.

Something that you have to be even more careful is that you might get fake banknotes in obscure ATMs such as in Hotels (even good Hotels). So do not pull too much money unless you are at a reputable location. Check the serial numbers, if they are all the same, they are fake. It's very common and illegal to own those.

  • 2
    To be precise, be careful as in China, the largest Credit Card network is UnionPay, neither VISA nor Mastercard. The set of "universal" ATMs is not so large, so look around you at ATMs accepting your card.
    – Vince
    Sep 2, 2013 at 14:28
  • 1
    In the big-medium size cities and in the popular cities no problem to find "universal" ATMs - I think all Bank Of China ATM are universal Sep 3, 2013 at 5:26

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