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I exchanged my JPY at Pudong Airport for RMB, but the exchange counter charged me an eye-whooping 60 RMB commission for one transaction. It is ridiculous by my standards, and it was not the case in Hong Kong. How can I avoid the 60 RMB commission at Pudong Airport exchange? What are an alternative to get RMB? I assume an exchange amount is somewhere around 500 to 2000 RMB.

But banks in your home country don't get you the good conversion rate, either. The travel guide encourages you to exchange at hotel, but I'm not sure how they rate it nor whether they charge you.


UPDATE

I want to convert my JPY for RMB and I visit Shanghai from Tokyo. I don't have any credit card to withdraw from ATM. My point is that I want to exchange my JPY for RMB, but while I usually exchange my money at the destination airport, the exchange counter at Pudong airport costs too much in China/Shanghai's case, so I want to know an alternative.

  • What currency do you want to exchange to RMB? Do you have cards you can use to withdraw at ATMs? Where are you coming from and where are you headed (Shanghai I assume for the latter)? There are some unknowns to this question as it is, but essentially for me it is a price-shopping question which is off-topic by our standards, so I am flagging, I am afraid. Maybe an edit can save this? Also mind our canonical: When traveling to a country with a different currency, how should you take your money? – mts Jul 17 '16 at 17:02
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    @mts Sorry for lacking the details, but I tried making it clear. I know about the linked question, and also know that you should use a card to withdraw, but I don't have it. – Blaszard Jul 17 '16 at 17:16
  • Good update (+1 is mine btw). I am afraid I do not know any answer to your question and as it is my close flag still stands (but others may disagree). However if you could rephrase "what is the best way..." to "How can I avoid the 60RMB fee..." I will be inclined to retract my close-vote :) – mts Jul 17 '16 at 17:22
  • @mts Updated. Well, my question title was pretty subjective (and in fact it showed "too subjective that would likely be closed" dialog, but I didn't know any better way to explain it, so posted anyway...). – Blaszard Jul 17 '16 at 17:32
  • Feel free to undo my edit if you disagree. As it is now, I have retracted my close vote and it is a good question! – mts Jul 17 '16 at 17:32
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The post you link to says about exchanging money right after hotels:

[...] Mostly people will go to banks. Remember to take your passport, which need to be presented when converting currency in the country. [...]

On another page of the same site I find bank branches listed in Pudong airport:

For your banking convenience, banks are located in the following areas:

  • Pudong Development Bank: between Gate 10 and Gate 12 in International Arrivals area
  • Bank of China: between Gate 15 and Gate 16in International Departures area
  • Industrial & Commercial Bank of China: between Gate 12 and Gate 14 in International Departures area
  • China Citic Bank: between Gate 4 and Gate 5 in Domestic Departures area

And Pudong airport has an even larger list on their site.

However I have no idea if these exchange services and banks are the ones you refer to with the 60RMB fee. I have never personally used their services.

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If you don't like to pay the eye-whooping transaction fee, it might be better, if not the best, to exchange it at the local bank once you gets to the city.

And in case you must have some money before getting to the bank, you shall exchange a small amount of your cash at the departure airport. This is likely to make you exchange at a bad rate, but still, it is better than the huge exorbitant transaction cost. Especially in China, you cannot use a credit card to take a taxi.

I got through my second trip to Shanghai in this way.

  • What was the fee, is it the 60RMB @mts mentioned ? – blackbird Oct 7 '16 at 16:21
  • @blackbird What fee? The ATM at departure airport didn't take a transaction fee but gave you a bad exchange rate. The local banks in the city didn't take, either. It is an exchange counter at the destination airport that takes 60 RMB transaction cost. I don't remember it, so I'm not sure if its service is operated by one of local banks or not. – Blaszard Oct 7 '16 at 16:25
  • "eye-whooping transaction fee" is this what you're referring to ? – blackbird Oct 7 '16 at 16:26
  • @blackbird Yeah it is the 60 RMB transaction fee. – Blaszard Oct 7 '16 at 16:27

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