Spending Money in China

One of the questions I have been asked several times is how did I pay for things in China?  For the most part, I paid in cash.  This meant I had to order Chinese currency at my bank.  If you are going to order currency, you will more than likely need to give your bank a few days to get it.  Also, my bank charged quite a bit more than my son’s bank.  You might shop around a bit.  Currency exchange may also be available at the airport, but I didn’t want to wait and take a chance (and I have heard that they don’t give as good of a rate).  Once in China, there were ATMs available that you could use to get cash.  Our hotel in Beijing (The Penta Hotel) had an ATM which could even take your US dollars and give you Chines Yuan.  I used the ATM several times at Shanghai Disneyland with no issue.

You can also use your credit card.  I was very hesitant about this because I had my bank debit card with me.  I did feel safe using the credit card to make purchases at Disneyland and at the airport.  I preferred instead of making several small purchases with my credit card, I withdrew cash at the ATM instead.  Others on the trip used credit cards more liberally, and I haven’t heard of any issues at all.

So, long story short.  I tried to pay almost everything with Chinese currency.  We did, however, go over our budget and I took money out of the ATM a few times.

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