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Best travel money card China

Using a travel money card is a great way to spend money safely while in China. They avoid costly transaction fees, can be topped up online and can even be blocked if lost or stolen. This makes spending travel money quick and easy while abroad.

China's currency is the renminbi (RMB), while Hong Kong uses the Hong Kong dollar. Before you travel, you'll need to load your travel card with the right currency for your destination to avoid conversion fees.

Using other currencies in China

While some countries accept euros and/or dollars as well as their national currency, China does not. You'll need to ensure you have RMB or Hong Kong dollars in order to make payments when you're in the country.

Using debit and credit cards in China

You can use your existing bank cards to make payments or withdraw money in various Chinese cash machines. Just check your with card provider before travel. Big cities typically offer a large number of card readers and ATMs that accept Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, Maestro Plus and American Express. These usually have dual-language programming, so you'll be able to use them easily. Bear in mind, though, that they may charge an extra fee to cover the currency exchange rate.

In smaller cities, you may need to resort to cash, as there are fewer card readers and ATMs here. Haggling is also a key part of life in China, so carrying a few notes is always a good idea.

Counterfeit currency

When withdrawing cash or receiving change in China, you should be on the lookout for counterfeit bank notes. Banks won't replace them, and they can even be dispensed by ATMs, so you should always check your money before walking away. Here are a few signs of a fake note:

  • The image of Mae Zedong is blurry.
  • You can't feel the textured surface of his coat.
  • The note denomination number in the bottom left is faded and/or blurry when held up to the light.
  • The square in a circle in the bottom left doesn't line up with the same symbol on the back when held up to the light.

Best travel money card for China

There are many options when it comes to choosing a prepaid currency card for Chinese RMB. Some of the most popular providers are Citi, HSBC, Qantas, 7-Eleven, Travelex and Caxton FX, all of which charge different fees. Just make sure you choose a travel card that supports Chinese currency, as you may face repeated conversion costs if you don't.