Many Westerners are unfamiliar with what the Chinese use for legal tender. While the US uses the dollar, China’s currency is named the Yuan, but is more commonly referred to as Renminbi (RMB/ 人民币).
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The Chinese Yuan, also known as Renminbi, is used throughout in mainland China, while in Hong Kong and Macau, the Hong Kong dollar and pataca are respectively used. “Renminbi,” which translates to “people’s money,” is the official currency of China. The basic unit of the Renminbi is the Yuan and the symbol for the Yuan is ￥, just as the symbol for the US Dollar is $.
The Chinese Yuan is further subdivided as follows:
1 Yuan=10 jiao, and 1 jiao=10 fen
In some parts of China, the yuan is called kuai (much like US dollars can be referred to as “bucks”) and jiao is referred as mao. Chinese money is issued by the People’s Bank of China in denominations of one, two, five, ten, twenty, fifty, and one hundred yuan. The jiao (角) and fen (分) coins are both issued in ones, twos, and fives.
For many travelers, exchanging money is frequently required during their trip, which is particularly true for businessmen who do business in China. Currency exchange may be available in large banks, hotels, and airports. Currency exchange rates can vary, so it is highly advised that you look into how much the Yuan is worth before leaving on your trip.
How far will $1 get you in China? Great question!
Exchange rates between different currencies are constantly in flux. However, knowing what the typical rate is before you leave can go a long way in helping you budget how much you might spend on food and souvenirs.
This website shows how many Renminbi one US dollar is worth on any given day.
The Chinese can use five fingers on one hand to indicate the numbers from one to ten, this is very useful when you can not speak Chinese language or you are at a very noisy place, where body language may be more effective than shouting aloud.
The following are images of the different denominations of renminbi, from 100 yuan to two Jiao.
As when traveling anywhere in the world, you need to practice discernment when it comes to handling money. Before your trip to China, look into the current exchange rate for the Yuan and whether you can better exchange rate in your home country or once you arrive in China. Be careful when exchanging money in China, and try your best to pay with multiple smaller denominations than a single, large Yuan note. You should be able to obtain cash at any Chinese international airport upon your arrival.
While the average restaurant, shop, and your hotel in China will likely accept major credit cards, it is always a good idea to carry a certain amount of cash on you at all times and try to make your purchases with such, especially if you are heading into a more rural or remote area of the country. Fortunately, banks can be found easily, provide English instructions, and accept foreign credit cards. Be sure to alert your bank to your upcoming trip to China and ask them if you will incur any fees for using it abroad.
While traveler’s checks are intended to be respected the world over, whether a bank teller in China decides to verify and accept them at any given time is another story. You are better off bringing a reasonable amount of cash for your immediate needs once you arrive than by purchasing traveler’s checks.
Payments made by way of a mobile device are increasingly common and in China can be made through WeChat and Alipay. You will likely come across QR codes to make a mobile payment for a taxi, street vendor, or other merchant in many parts of the country. Apple pay exists as well, but is not supported by as many merchants as WeChat and Alipay.
Speak with a representative here are Chinatour.com and get answers to any questions you have about Chinese currency and what to expect on your exciting tour of China. We have all the know-how to handle any and all of your questions or concerns.
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