Xian Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Your Guide to Living in China - Money Exchange

The official currency in China is the Renminbi (RMB or CNY). The basic unit is the Yuan, which equals 10 Jiao, which is then divided into 10 Fen. The conversion among the three can be displayed as below: 1 Yuan = 10 Jiao = 100 Fen. RMB is issued both in papers and coins. Paper currency comes in 1,2,5,10,50 and 100 notes. Paper Jiao come in denominations of 1, 2 and 5. The denominations of coins are 1 Yuan; 5, 2 and 1 Jiao; and 5, 2 and 1 Fen. 1 and 2 Fen notes are rarely used as they have no purchasing power. All coins are also used but are more common in larger cities.

Money exchange facilities for both currency and travelers' checks are available at major airports, hotels, and department stores. Please note that hotels may only exchange money for their guests. Exchange rates fluctuate in line with international financial market condition and are published daily by the State Exchange Control Administration.

Keep your currency exchange receipts because you will need to show them when you change RMB back to your own currency at the end of visit. Cash rather than credit card is essential in remote areas and you should ensure that you carry sufficient RMB and travelers' checks to cover your requirements.

You can exchange traveler's checks or cash at most banks, and hotels always have a money exchange counter. You can also get a cash advance on most common credit or debit cards, but this facility is available only from the main branch of the Bank of China in most major cities.

RMB is not fully convertible on the international market. It is advisable to change only the money that you need for your trip as it may be difficult to change back to you preferred currency.

Learn more about life in China, please visit Your Guide to Living in China

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