Here are the basics:
- China is a more cash-based society than you may be used to. You will get used to carrying around more cash than you would have back at home.
- The biggest note is equivalent to $15 USD so your cash quickly becomes a stack.
- Major banks will take your international ATM card, but not all local banks. When you first get here, be prepared to go to a few banks before you can withdraw money from your home bank account.
- EF will help you open a local bank account. Then you can go to that bank with your local bank card and take out RMB. Your local ATM card also functions as a debit card so you can pay with that at restaurants and shopping centers. Keep in mind cash is still more common.
OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT
- Your center will pay your RMB salary into a local bank account.
- The Office Manager will help you to open an account.
- To open an RMB account, you will need to bring your passport and a small deposit to the bank.
- At the bank, you will fill out a short application form and deposit this small cash amount into your new bank account.
- Your ATM card costs approximately RMB 15 and also acts as a debit card, allowing you to withdraw money and pay for goods when you do not have the cash in hand.
DEPOSITING & WITHDRAWING MONEY
- Banks in China do not issue checks.
- It is very easy to deposit money into your account. Just go to the bank with your passport and your money and it can be done very quickly for you.
- In some larger cities, you have to take a ticket when you enter the bank and wait for your number to be called.
- If you are going to pay bills online from your home bank account, set it up before you leave home. Think about appointing a family member or “power of attorney” in case unexpected issues come up while you are
OPENING A FOREIGN CURRENCY BANK ACCOUNT:
A foreigner, regardless of what kind of visa he/she holds, can go to the Bank of China and open a foreign currency account in his/her name (this service is free of charge). Of course he/she must have a valid passport in order to open the account.
CONVERTING RMB INTO FOREIGN CURRENCY:
If you do have RMB savings, you can convert it into foreign currency to send home. Keep in mind that there is a daily maximum amount that can be converted, about 500USD.
If you want to exchange more than 500USD in one day, you will need to show your IIT tax paid receipt to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, who will then issue you with permission to convert your RMB into foreign currency.
Once you have received all the personal legal documents you can go to the Bank of China to convert your RMB salary income into foreign currency (over 500USD). The Bank of China needs to receive the following documentation:
- Foreign Expert Certificate / Work Permit
- Individual income tax receipt (Provided by your center)
- Employment contract
- Temporary Residence Permit
- The board resolution (your center will be able to provide this document)
- The basic company account opening certificate (the center will provide this document and the account must be opened with the Bank of China)
It is important to remember that at EF, we offer a full set of working documents so that you can go to a legitimate bank and exchange money. The black market does exist for people who are not in possession of official work permits and exchange rates are poor.
SENDING FOREIGN CURRENCY ABROAD
The Bank of China charges include 0.1% for the bank processing fee and approximately RMB 200-800 for a tele-wiring fee. Please note the bank can only wire the foreign currency to the overseas account designated by the teacher. The exchange rate will be the official selling rate published by the Central Bank.