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Money Matters

CNY ( Chinese Yuan) is the official currency of People's Republic of China. In Chinese it is called  Renminbi (literally means the people's money), abbreviated as RMB. The unit of the currency is Yuan (sometimes written as Yuan and popularly called Kuai by Chinese) with the symbol of '?'. The smaller denominations are Jiao (popularly called Mao) and Fen. One Yuan equals ten Jiao and one Jiao equals ten Fen. The current issue of CNY is the fifth, and the notes include 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 Yuan, 5, 2 and 1 Jiao and 5, 2 and 1 Fen.


Foreign currencies are prohibited to be used in China, the Bank of China and other appointed foreign exchange banks are the only official places to handle the currency of your country, credit cards, and travelers' checks exchanged into CNY. Most hotels in China also provide convenient and quick money exchange services but some of them provide the service only to their own clients. Foreign currencies which can be exchanged into CNY include the US dollar, British pound, Euro (European dollar), Japanese yen, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, HK dollar, Swiss franc, Danish Krone, Singapore dollar, Malaysian ringgit, Macao dollar, and Taiwan dollar.


Credit cards acceptable in China include Master Card, Visa Card, American Express Card, JCB and Diners Card. You can use the card to withdraw RMB at branches of the Bank of China and some appointed shops in most Chinese cities. However, in some remote area, credit cards are not always accepted.

At present, ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) is available in most of the major cities in China. Foreign travelers can directly draw RMB from those machines marked with any printed symbol of the credit cards mentioned above. Although the number of the ATMs which accept foreign credit cards is not great, it is increasing very quickly. Meanwhile, do not rely on ATM when you are in remote areas in China.


As in other countries, China has some regulations on its currency. There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency you bring to the country but you must declare them when entering China. You can only exchange money at officially appointed banks and shops. Any personal deed of money trading is prohibited by Chinese laws and will be published according to the related regulations in China.

One thing you should bear in mind is that, you need to keep the exchange slips issued by the Bank of China when you have your money exchanged. Because you need to present these when you want to have the RMB converted back into your own currency when leaving China. Each foreigner is allowed to take less than RMB 6,000 out of China. See more at our Exit Page.

I want to say
  • Replyc.srinivasan,   India
    2011/9/18 2:54:00

    If I book hotel room in china on line through my credit card is it safty?

    • Lisa :2011/9/19 23:14:00

      Yes, I think it's safe, but do through a reliable China hotel booking agency.

  • ReplyM. L. F.,   United States
    2009/10/13 21:59:00

    Are fen still being issued.
    Please respond!

  • Replywan zeng,   China
    2009/10/14 19:56:00

    Yes, it is still being issued every year as i know.