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Chinese Currency

The unit of Renminbi is a yuan and with smaller denominations called jiao and fen. The conversion among the three is: 1 yuan = 10 jiao =100 fen

RMB is issued both in notes and coins. The denominations of paper notes include 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 yuan; 5, 2 and 1 jiao; and 5, 2 and 1 fen. The denominations of coins are 1 yuan; 5, 2 and 1 jiao; and 5, 2 and 1 fen.

In spoken Chinese, yuan is often called as kuai and the jiao as mao.

No foreign currency is allowed to circulate in China. Illegal selling of foreign exchange is not allowed. Travellers may exchange foreign currency cash or checks at Bank of China offices or exchange counters at the published exchange rates. These bureaus would issue a foreign exchange statement which shall be valid for 6 months.

The RMB is not easily convertible on the international market so it is only usable in China. It is advisable to change only the money that you need for you trip as it may be difficult to change back to your preferred currency. You can convert unused RMB to another currency in China by producing the receipts for your original purchase of RMB in China. This exchange is done at the airport as you leave China.

The Fourth Set of RMB, issued at Apr. 27, 1987

The Fifth Set of RMB, issued at Nov. 18, 2002

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 6.70 (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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