Chinese Currency

The official currency in China is the Renminbi (RMB)or "people's currency."the basic unit is the yuan (also known as "kuai"),which equals 10 jiao (or "mao"), which is then divided into 10 fen. Paper currency comes in 1.2,5,10,50 and 100 yuan notes. Paper jiao come in denominations of 1,2, and 5. There are also 1 and 2 fen notes, but these are rarely used as their purchasing power is exactly zero. As for coins, there are 1 youan ,1 and 5 jiao,and 1,2, and 5 fen(ahain, the fen are basically useless).

Changing Money

You can exchange traveler's checks or cash at most banks, and hotels always have a money exchange counter. You can also get a cash advance on your American Express card, but for this you need to go to the Bank of China headquarters at Fuchengmen or the one at the Asia-Pacific Building (Ya Tai Da Sha) on Yabao Lu. To change money, you have to have your passport at hand. If you want to change money in a hotel, you usually have to be a guest there. Sometimes if you are not a guest in a hotel but need to change money there, you can just say a random room number, but this doesn't always work. Universal Currency Converter ®
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At present the RMB is not exchangeable on the international market, so it is only usable within the country. So when you are changing money, don't change too much, because it is difficult to change back into other currencies. To change RMB back into your home currency, you must retain the exchange slips that are given to you at the bank or money exchange counter. Then when you want to go home, you have to bring the slips with you to prove that you are merely changing back money you haven't spent instead of taking out needed foreign exchange. If you lose the slips, you can change on the black market (locations vary , ask a Chinese friend for details),but the exchange rate is not so good. And of course it is illegal. The currency in circulation is as follows:

RMB 100 YuanRMB 50 YuanRMB 50 Yuan

100 RMB two types although only one in common circulation. The maximum denomination note. Equivalent to about $13 US. The older style is blue and is pretty much gone but is still valid currency. 50 RMB two types, both in common usage, newer type to the left. The older, yellow type is larger and proved a big target with currency forgers but this style is dying out slowly.

RMB 20 Yuan RMB 10 Yuan

20 RMB one type circulating, 10 RMB one types circulating.

RMB 5 YuanRMB 5 Yuan RMB 2 Yuan

5 RMB two types circulating. The left style is the newer, harder to fake version. It is slightly smaller than old one. 2 RMB one type circulating.

RMB 1 YuanRMB 1 YuanRMB 1 Yuan

2 different 1 RMB notes and a coin. The new green 1 RMB note (left) was introduced in late 2004. The 1 RMB coin is fairly large, about 2cm and heavier than all other coins.

RMB 5 JiaoRMB 5 JiaoRMB 2 Jiao

5 Jiao (0.5 RMB) note and coin. The 5 Jiao coin is fairly small and is easily recognisable as the only bronze colored coin in the Chinese currency system. 2 Jiao (0.2 RMB) note. As with the 5 Jiao note is smaller than the 1 RMB note by about 15%. The 5, 2, and 1 Jiao notes are all pretty much this size.

RMB 1 JiaoRMB 1 Jiao

1 Jiao (0.1 RMB) note and coins. Note, the 1 Jiao coin is tiny. Its about 1cm across. Most of the Fen coins specified below are bigger than the 1 Jiao, but worth much less. Also an older 1 Jiao coin still exists. Its larger and made out of the same light, cheap metal as the Fen coins.

Credit Card

Major credit cards such as Master Card , Visa, JCB and American Express can be used to purchase goods in large department stores. Credit cards cannot be used in small restaurants or small convenience stores. They are mostly useful for paying for really expensive things. They can be used to pay for hotel rooms and for meals in some of the fancier restaurants. You can also buy plane tickets with them. As mentioned above. Am Ex can be used to get a cash advance in the main offices of the Bank of China. It is also possible to cash a check against the Am Ex card ,but again , only in the main offices.

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