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Basic information about spending money in Beijing (4)
11:36, July 12, 2008

CURRENCY REGULATIONS

There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency and foreignexchange bills that can be brought into the Chinese mainland by overseas tourists. But if you want to bring into China 5,000 U.S. dollars or more in cash, or cash that is equivalent to 5,000 U.S. dollars or more, it must be declared to the customs. Otherwise, you might probably be considered as trying to smuggle foreign money into China and be fined by the authorities.

Besides, overseas visitors are allowed to bring into or out of China a maximum sum of 20,000 yuan in cash.

If you want to bring foreign money in cash out of the country, the maximum sum is 5,000 U.S. dollars or equivalent to 5,000 U.S. dollars. If the amount of cash falls between 5,000 U.S. dollars and 10,000 U.S. dollars, you need to apply for a personal valid "foreign exchange certificate" from the Chinese banks. If the cashyou want to bring out of China exceeds 10,000 U.S. dollars, you need to apply for a "foreign exchange certificate" from a local branch of the SAFE.

In addition, overseas visitors are allowed to open bank accounts in the Chinese mainland, both the yuan and U.S. dollar accounts. But the U.S. dollar account can only be opened at designated foreign exchange banks, which refer to banks duly authorized by the Chinese central bank to undertake the sale and purchase of foreign exchange. You do not need to have resident status for account opening. A tourist visa is sufficient.

TRAVELERS' CHEQUES, CREDIT CARDS

Travelers' cheques provide a fairly secure way of carrying yourmoney. Always remember to keep the record of cheque numbers separate from the cheques for reference in the event of loss.

The BOC is the sole banking partner of the Beijing Olympic Games.

For the convenience of overseas tourists, the business department of the Bank of China (BOC) headquarters and domestic branches a Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Guangzhou and branch in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as well as branches inLondon, Singapore and Luxembourg sell renminbi travelers' cheques.

Also the BOC sells travelers' cheques for other banking institutions such as American Express, Citibank, Tongjilong Travelers' Cheque Co., the Sumitomo Bank of Japan and the Swiss Banking Corporation.

The BOC can also cash travelers' cheques sold by international commercial banks and travelers' cheque companies in the United States, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Britain, France, Switzerland, Germany as well as many other countries.

Credit cards are gaining ground in China. The most common credit cards held by overseas visitors include JCB International, Thomas Cook, Diners Club, Mastercard International, Visa International and American Express International. They can be usedin most mid-range to top-end hotels (three star and up), Friendship Stores and some department stores. Credit card cash advances have become routine at head branches of the BOC.

Source: Xinhua

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