Financial Topics Blog
May 22, 2008 - Expats living abroad in China have many options with regard to accessing money in their foreign accounts. Foreigners can use the ATM's to access their foreign accounts or domestic accounts. What you do should depend on how long you intend to stay.
For tourists and short-term business visitors, the best thing to do is just use your foreign check cards at the ATM's across the major cities. These are quick, easy, and sometimes inexpensive ways to get cash. You can also withdrawl cash from ATMs from your credit card, but that may leave you responsible for cash advancement fees. Some banks have partnership and co-ops with banks in China. For example, Bank of America has a co-op with China Construction Bank (CCB) and allows free cash withdrawals at their ATMs. Another solution is to open a Charles Schwab Free Checking Account, which offers free withdrawals from ALL ATMs, worldwide.
For long-term stays in China, foreigners can open up bank accounts in China. You will be issued a bank check card and can withdrawal money from their ATMs for free, just as you would in your home country. You can withdrawal money from other banks' ATMs, but for a small fee, similar to most other banks in most other countries.
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