China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Money and Exchanges

As a Tour Operator to China and Tibet for the past 17 years one of the questions I get asked about is Money and exchanges. Credit cards can be used in department stores, hotels and a few of the better restaurants but not all. As uncommon as they are, Travelers Checks and in particular American Express travelers checks get the best exchange rate...better than cash. But only in major cities as they usually are not accepted in villages and small remote cities. Your hotel is the best place for exchanges as they do it as a courtesy rather than a high exchange fee. Some banks will accept them but it often takes much longer and the hours are varied. Cash machines are available in some cities but do charge a larger fee and no receipt. All receipts should be kept in order to exchange back into dollars usually at the airport on your way home. Chinese money, yuan, is not always exchangeable by your home bank. Exchange what you think you will need for a couple days unless you are going into remote areas where you will not be able to exchange checks or U.S. dollars either. For more answers on money, credit cards or travelers checks, contact me at

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