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Chinese Yuan to USD

Chinese Yuan to USD

Old Jul 18, 19, 11:10 pm
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Chinese Yuan to USD

I am currently in Beijing traveling bask to the US tomorrow. I have around 7,000 Chinese Yuans that I would like to exchange to US dollars. Where should I do this? Beijing airport? Bank?
Thank you for your help!
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Old Jul 18, 19, 11:18 pm
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Originally Posted by fromYXU View Post
I am currently in Beijing traveling bask to the US tomorrow. I have around 7,000 Chinese Yuans that I would like to exchange to US dollars. Where should I do this? Beijing airport? Bank?
Thank you for your help!
Larger banks are okay as long you have a well documented paper trail. If not, you could ask locals for advice on money changers (big business in Shenzhen... honestly not sure about elsewhere, but they presumably exist), or maybe open a bank account, and connect it to WeChat/Alipay.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 5:40 am
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No paper trail will be asked for 7,000RMB.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 7:26 am
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Originally Posted by JPDM View Post
No paper trail will be asked for 7,000RMB.
You're probably right, but I don't want to give the OP too much confidence. Things that should be simple often turn out differently. Plus, there's the distinct possibility that the person you end up with at the bank has no experience with foreign exchange.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 12:14 pm
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I've got a bunch of envelopes at home, all of which have ISO 4217 currency codes written on them. When I visit a foreign country, I take the relevant envelope with me (or create one if I haven't visited before) and when arrive, any US money I have goes into that envelope for temporary storage, and any money in said envelope goes into my wallet. When I depart that country, I just keep the local currency and it goes into the relevant envelope and the envelope gets put on my shelf. When I go back in the future, I'll take the envelope with me and if there's sufficient money in it, I won't have to go to the ATM immediately the next time. So far, I have CNY, CLP, GBP, HKD, JPY, KRW, MOP, and TWD envelopes (I've been to more countries than that, but I didn't pick up any MXN or PAB when I was there, for example).

I don't like ever exchanging one type of cash for another whether at a bank or even worse, one of those exchange booths at the airport. All of the foreign currency I have I got at ATMs in the visited countries (because you lose almost nothing in the exchange so long as you have a debit card that doesn't charge fees). But I won't try to exchange it back to USD because you typically lose at least 2-6% in the process, so I just keep it. The only currencies I'd really not want to hold, and would want to exchange back immediately, are ones like ARS, TRY, or VES, but I've not been to those places yet. In any case, I don't think the value of the CNY is going to decline that much, so one option is just to keep it and use it next time.

Last edited by STS-134; Jul 19, 19 at 12:21 pm
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Old Jul 19, 19, 3:41 pm
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Originally Posted by JPDM View Post
No paper trail will be asked for 7,000RMB.
I'm pretty sure that foreigners can't change more than US$500 a day, so it would require two separate trips to the bank for the OP to change 7000RMB into USD by themselves.

tb
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Old Jul 19, 19, 4:03 pm
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
But I won't try to exchange it back to USD because you typically lose at least 2-6% in the process, so I just keep it. The only currencies I'd really not want to hold, and would want to exchange back immediately, are ones like ARS, TRY, or VES, but I've not been to those places yet. In any case, I don't think the value of the CNY is going to decline that much, so one option is just to keep it and use it next time.
That's not my experience with state owned banks in the PRC. Bureaucratic, yes, but, conniving, no.

I stand by my "open a bank account" advice as plan B. If he's already at the bank, there isn't much to lose by trying. It would help if his hotel gives him a somewhat long dated temp residence permit though.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
I'm pretty sure that foreigners can't change more than US$500 a day, so it would require two separate trips to the bank for the OP to change 7000RMB into USD by themselves.

tb
No, I have exchange a lot more than this, several times, and "paperwork" was never asked even once. But this may depend on the bank branch. The thing about the limit is that branches may not have enough US$ and it needs to be ordered.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 10:33 pm
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Originally Posted by JPDM View Post
No, I have exchange a lot more than this, several times, and "paperwork" was never asked even once. But this may depend on the bank branch. The thing about the limit is that branches may not have enough US$ and it needs to be ordered.
Not sure about RMB to USD, but for foreign currency (cash) to RMB, foreigners are limited to the equivalent of $5000 (at least 3 years ago it was).

I tried to go to a totally different bank on the same day (20 minutes after the first $5000 exchange), and after entering my passport number into the computer, they immediately said "you changed $5000 today already, can't do more". Told me to come back "tomorrow".
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Old Jul 19, 19, 10:44 pm
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Originally Posted by mcjava View Post
Not sure about RMB to USD, but for foreign currency (cash) to RMB, foreigners are limited to the equivalent of $5000 (at least 3 years ago it was).

I tried to go to a totally different bank on the same day (20 minutes after the first $5000 exchange), and after entering my passport number into the computer, they immediately said "you changed $5000 today already, can't do more". Told me to come back "tomorrow".
We can do $50,000 per year, and I did the entire amount in a single transaction a few years ago.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 10:53 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
We can do $50,000 per year, and I did the entire amount in a single transaction a few years ago.
cash?

I know about the $50,000 per year (which actually my banker said is not a hard limit, if it's just my cash from overseas and I have a 'good sounding" reason for needing it in China, it is easy to go over $50,000.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 11:00 pm
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Originally Posted by mcjava View Post
cash?

I know about the $50,000 per year (which actually my banker said is not a hard limit, if it's just my cash from overseas and I have a 'good sounding" reason for needing it in China, it is easy to go over $50,000.
USD wire to my ICBC account.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 11:11 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
USD wire to my ICBC account.
right. Wired money, not cash.

I meant physical cash. That, at least 3 years ago not sure about now, is limited to the equivalent of US$5000/day. I had about Euro15,000 to exchange, so it took a few days. My wife wasn't with me that week, but I assume she could have exchanged it all at the same time.
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Old Jul 20, 19, 1:22 am
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Would it raise suspicion if I were to pay cash for a hotel stay?
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Old Jul 20, 19, 1:54 am
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Originally Posted by fromYXU View Post
Would it raise suspicion if I were to pay cash for a hotel stay?
No...lots of Chinese do this.

tb
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