No matter where you plan to visit in Beijing, you must exchange your currency into RMB. Where and how to exchange currencies in Beijing? Let’s take a look at it.
1. Chinese BanksThe best place to exchange foreign currency in Beijing is the Beijing airport’s arrival area: just before you exit the arrivals gate and enter the terminal. On the side there is a Bank of China.
This Bank of China booth does not charge for travelers’ check and does not charge other fees for the transaction. It is also open 24-7, 7 days a week.
Once you leave the arrivals gate you can’t reenter. Once you step out of the arrivals gate there are extra charges for exchange at all banks, including the Bank of China. Banks in China will exchange foreign currency Monday to Friday only, not on weekends. All banks are open seven days a week but will not process a foreign exchange transaction.
2. Exchange in ATMs or HotelsIf you do not want to line up and schedule for money exchange at the Bank of China, ATMs and your hotels are good options.
ATM machines are everywhere and you can choose to operate in English. There are some banks at the airport, and if you exchange no more than 500$, you will be charged 30 RMB for a service fee there, except for at the Bank of Agriculture.
ATMs are also widely available, although only some will work with international cards. Look for machines with your card system’s logo. Bank of China machines accept most international cards and seem to be reliable and easy to use.
Exchange rates and fees are controlled and the same everywhere within China, so usually it is the easiest way to change money at the airport or in your hotel. There are several major Chinese Banks and they are open 24 hours a day.
Save receipts as these are needed to change RMB (yuan) back into foreign currencies. Without the receipt WHERE and HOW you got the Yuan, they will not exchange your country's currency for you.
Note: ATM scams do happen in China although it is not a big problem. So do cover the keyboard when you enter your password and choose a machine you deem safer. An ATM inside a bank or at an airport is safer than a hole in the wall.
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