Financial Arrangement in Guangzhou
If you’re planning on visiting Guangzhou, the first thing you should do is to arrange your financial affairs in Guangzhou.
Can I pay for purchases with a credit card?
Is it easy to remit money to a Guangzhou local bank?
How to use my own money in Guangzhou?
The answer to the first question is “No”. Most of the shops in Guangzhou don’t accept international business credit cards.
But if you have an international debit/credit card with a Visa or Master Card logo, there will be no problems withdrawing your money from many ATMs in Guangzhou. Bank of China, ICBC, China Construction Bank… all have ATMs for international cards. And it’s cheaper to take money out from ATMs than that from bank counters.
However, withdrawing money from a ATM with an international card would be the last option after confirming with several bank staffs, because the exchange rate is usually high and there’s a limit to the amount of remittance per day. For example, a China local card can only take out 2,500 RMB/365 USD and 20,000 RMB/2,920 USD per day from ATM.
You need to check up these limitations and restrictions with your own bank.
Carrying cash would be the easiest way. You can inquire your customs about how much money (your local currency or foreign dollars) is allowed to be taken out of your country. Carry as much cash as you could, that’s the top 1 option recommended here. It’s pretty safe to carry cash in China. (*Disclaimer: This is only my personal idea and it all depends on how much money you carry.) You’ll find people tend to carry more cash with them in Guangzhou.
International cards (Visa, Master) can certainly serve as backup options.
If you plan to withdraw over 10,000 USD from banks here, another choice is to exchange US dollar into RMB and deposit it into other person’s account whose account is in Guangzhou. So when you arrive in Guangzhou, you can withdraw money from that person’s account. You can ask your bank about how much money they would charge for this. It’s almost free to withdraw money from banks here. Usually it takes several workdays to transfer money from your bank account to a Guangzhou bank account.
*DON’T do this unless you have 100% confidence in the person whose bank account you’re going to transfer money to! ONLY choose someone you can 100% trust in.