Not a tourist guide but can SAVE MONEY AND PROTECT yourself from "RISKS"; compliment the good services and feedback the poor performance for improvement! Though China is changing fast but still there are many useful experiences that you need to know for sharing.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Planning your Trip to China 5

10. Credit Cards: Foreign major credit cards are accepted nowadays in most of the China cities. The most popular credit are Visa and Mastercard. Other credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, JCB, Federal and Million are not so common. However, there are many restaurants and shops do not accept credit cards including some of the two and three stars hotels. Therefore you have to check first or else you have to carry a large sum of money.

Please note that you can use your credit cards for withdrawing money from your hotel, banks and ATM machines.

Hotel cash advance: Some of the 4 and 5 stars hotels allow customers cash advance in their hotels for emergency usage. There will be 5% to 10% handling charges on your cash advance amount. Maximum cash advance amount is RMB2,000 per day.
If you are a member of some hotels, you can cash advance once without any handling charges.

Important point to note: please check the exact cash RMB amount that you receive from the hotel cashier. If possible, please request the cashier to use their money detector machine to scan the RMB first. Just to prevent receive fake money notes.

I have experienced twice that during the staying in one of the 5 stars hotel group in different cities, two times that I received one fake RMB hundred dollar note. I didn’t notice until I deposited the money in the bank. The bank told me that they have to forfeit the one hundred dollar fake note and told me to sign a note. So be careful!

Bank cash advance: For the time being, as I know, there are only two Banks - Bank of China and Chinese Commercial Bank accept foreign credit cards cash advanve. Usually you have to go to the local city main bank to do the transaction. The bank will also charge you 5% for the handling fee of you cash advance amount with your credit card. You can cash advance RMB20,000 maximum. However if you use American Express credit card, there will be no handling fee for your cash advance amount RMB5,000.

ATM cash advance: There are many ATM machines but you have to know which bank’s ATM machines with the international credit cards logo that can accept your credit cards cash advance. Visa and Mastercard can easily find the ATM machines. Only the Bank of China carries the American Express credit card ATM. (American Express really needs to expand their service market strategy)

Point to note: When you take your money from the ATM machine, please spread the taken money and show the money upon the ATM machine with an inner camera len area. These can protect you from robbing as evidence.

In China people use to carry domestic credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard. However, many domestic bank issue the credit card credit limit are based on the people cash deposit amount in the bank.

11. Traveler’s Cheque: can be used in Banks (Bank of China and Chinese Commercial Bank only) and Hotels in China.

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