Transferring Money from USD to CNY

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  • #41699
    NWhit20NWhit20
    Participant

    I’ve decided to pay for my entire year-long trip to Chengdu with my savings (USD). How would I go about transferring all my money into a Chinese bank account (RMB)?

    #41700
    Rick in ChinaRick in China
    Participant

    Since you don’t have an open bank account (unless you want to transfer it to mine.) in China, you should open a bank account with branches in both Chengdu and where you’re at – a multicurrency account. You can transfer between the USD<>RMB from over here, and access as you wish.

    You could also just have someone western union you the cash when you get here and deposit directly to an account (just need passport or somethin to open account here).

    #41702
    CharlieCharlie
    Keymaster

    It might be possible to keep the money in USD in the states and find a bank that allows you to make free withdrawals from here. That would allow you to keep the bulk of your money in the US in case something happens. Once you move a large amount of money into China, it will be a real hassle to move it somewhere else. People smuggling huge amounts of cash across the border out of Mainland China is a real thing because the currency is so tightly controlled here.

    #41704
    Rick in ChinaRick in China
    Participant

    Banks will charge shit exchange rates doing extractions that way – they eat up way more than they should more often than not, I’d have a VERY hard time trusting them. When I extracted money out of my account in China, for example, in Australia, they fucked me *hard* on rates, like 10-15% worse than I would have gotten had I exchanged in person at a bank in China. It was going from CNY>AUD, though, not the other way around — still I’m SUPER skeptical of withdrawing cash from overseas with automatic currency conversion now.

    #41707
    CharlieCharlie
    Keymaster

    Banks will charge shit exchange rates doing extractions that way – they eat up way more than they should more often than not, I’d have a VERY hard time trusting them. When I extracted money out of my account in China, for example, in Australia, they fucked me *hard* on rates, like 10-15% worse than I would have gotten had I exchanged in person at a bank in China. It was going from CNY>AUD, though, not the other way around — still I’m SUPER skeptical of withdrawing cash from overseas with automatic currency conversion now.

    Good point. Maybe there’s no good way to keep your money in USD. But if I were facing this situation I would try to find a way to do that because moving $10,000 USD into China would make me a little nervous since it’s so hard to move it around from there.

    #41710
    Bala
    Participant

    You can deposit a US check to your bank account in China. Takes about 4 weeks to clear, but exchange rates are pretty decent and no other fees. MB, ICBC & BOC offer good exchange rates (in that order)

    #41713
    Rick in ChinaRick in China
    Participant

    moving $10,000 USD into China would make me a little nervous

    Well, you can easily transfer 10k out via western union with no hassle – or even carry it out, no? Last I read the little customs thing it allows up to 10k USD (in any currency or combination of currencies) per person per exit without having to declare it at customs… as long as it’s not a bunch more, I’d think that’s reasonable to bring over and deposit directly/transfer into rmb.

    If you want to transfer from RMB to USD, legitimately at the bank, just get any Chinese national to head to bank with their shengfenzhen and few minutes later, bam, USD back in hand at a proper rate 😀 I convert RMB to USD monthly.. and use HSBC to transfer to my USD HSBC Canada account, online – it’s free with premier, otherwise some small transfer fee. In the online form you just check the box for “foreign national transferring money back” or whatever, instantly done. There are probably some limits or something but I’ve not reached ’em so never had any problems..

    #41718
    NWhit20NWhit20
    Participant

    Carrying 10k in cash over would freak me out, so that’s a no-go for me. I’ll probably go exchange some spending money before I leave, get some RMB in cash, arrive, open a bank account, and western union myself the money. Maybe not all at once; maybe do it in 3 month increments in case I decide China isn’t for me.

    By the way, HSBC premier is not for a broke ass mofo like me, you need a minimum of $100,000 in assets to qualify for that.

    So Rick, moral of the story, trying to take my money back from the Chinese bank at the end of my trip will be a nightmare, so budget wisely so I don’t have a crapload left at the end, because they’ll F me in the A?

    #41729
    CharlieCharlie
    Keymaster

    I convert RMB to USD monthly.. and use HSBC to transfer to my USD HSBC Canada account, online – it’s free with premier, otherwise some small transfer fee. In the online form you just check the box for “foreign national transferring money back” or whatever, instantly done. There are probably some limits or something but I’ve not reached ‘em so never had any problems..

    So you exchange RMB to USD and then deposit that at HSBC which goes into your Canadian HSBC account? Or you deposit RMB and it’s automatically exchanged to USD and deposited into your overseas account?

    #41730
    ratatoee
    Participant

    you can enter China with 9999 USD in Cash without justify ! it’s no worry at all to carry USD into China ! you have to justify if you carry 10 000 USD, you can exit China without justify with 9999 USD at the Border Customs won’t make much problem to foreigner,  those who are targeted for money laundering are more the chinese citizen !! so go head you can come with usd cash wont happen any thing !! the most trouble is if you carry out china RMB as it’s not allow to export this money !  China are flexible for currency import and export it is not any more like before !!

    #41815
    Mr. KlinkMr. Klink
    Participant

    Since you don’t have an open bank account (unless you want to transfer it to mine.) in China, you should open a bank account with branches in both Chengdu and where you’re at – a multicurrency account. You can transfer between the USD<>RMB from over here, and access as you wish.

    Tried this recently.  Doesn’t work out like that.  They’ve recently made changes to the requirements for opening a multi-currency account including your state tax certification (not provincial) and documentation as well as your proof of employment.  Even then they funnel these transfers through BoC.  Or so I was told by the stunning ladies at two separate branches of the bank.

    #41816
    Rick in ChinaRick in China
    Participant

    @Klink (updated)

    You’re right if it were opening/managing an account in China and dealing with the Chinese regulations for conversion, maybe that part of the quote wasn’t entirely clear:

    I have a multicurrency account yes, but I do not do the CNY<>USD conversion. I do a cash conversion with local person carrying ID (usually coworker at lunch time) then deposit, in cash, in person. This method requires no documentation, and gets me USD into my China side multicurrency USD account – from which I can complete my entire online to-home transactions without further hassle.

    You don’t need the tax cert to open the account (not at HSBC at least), but you DO need the tax cert to do an actual exchange to USD… that’s why I get a local to do it for me and it takes no time at all 😛

    The quote, however, was from a suggestion for him to get cash to China. He should open an account in USA that he can access here without having to use one of those terminals that supports int’l transactions but charges a bend-over rate/fee.. or did you mean you couldn’t open an RMB account in USA with a Chinese bank that had local branch to you?

    #41817
    Mr. KlinkMr. Klink
    Participant

    The issue I ran into was opening a local branch account that would allow the free, interbank transfer of either currency from one account to the other.  I still can do as you do and make USD deposits into the account and withdraw cash as RMB, but the service I was after (making the swap between accounts without getting tagged with a transfer fee or an exchange fee) was not possible.  I was unable to open a domestic branch of the account that would allow me this unless I provided mentioned documentation.  They in turn referred me to BoC because as the said, any transfer would be routed through that venue.

    I also didn’t bother with HSBC because we use them for our foreign company’s banking and they’re a hellbeast to deal with.

    #41819
    Rick in ChinaRick in China
    Participant

    I agree about HSBC. If you live near one it’s not so bad. If not, you’ve got to go in person to bust out your passport every time you want to do something beyond the online int’l transfers. I’m only stuck with them due to premier ish in Canada, where the service is actually good 😀

    I never heard of any requirement to provide that much documentation to open a domestic account, that sucks. I’ve began realizing why people hate bankers as they hate lawyers, they’re f’n shysters and happily pillage their clients out of every dime possible without remorse.

    #41825
    SlavskySlavsky
    Participant

    My German mate has master card and visa (German bank). My savings were transferred to his card from Latvia for some coins, further he has withdrew money from local ATM and passed cash to me (EUR to RMB). Overall expenses were low.

    #41842
    NWhit20NWhit20
    Participant

    Hey guys, apparently Western Union offers online transfers for $0 fee. It sounds too good to be true. Today, the exchange rate according to Google is 6.18 yuan per USD, and Western Union is offering me to transfer money to the Western Union location in Chengdu at a rate of 6.1766 Yuan per USD. It just sounds too good to be true. Any thoughts on this?

    Also, could I theoretically just keep my regular bank account in America and just Western Union myself money as needed this way?

    How the hell does Western Union make their money if I can do this for free??? Where is the hidden cost?

    #41844
    Rick in ChinaRick in China
    Participant

    @NWhit20

    Please read the second paragraph in the second post (my 1st post). 😀

    WU is great. You aren’t moving lots of money, so WU is probably the best bet. Money transfers int’l become a real hassle when you are dealing with much larger sums out (OR IN) to China. 10k USD here or there is nothing, and has zero hassle, typically nothing is tracked unless it’s 10k or above so financial institutions don’t care so much about sub-10k transactions.

    #41845
    NWhit20NWhit20
    Participant

    @Rick

    Yeah I’m leaning towards using WU for my trip, but my question is how they make their money off of me if they charge no fee. Just wondering if there’s some catch or hidden fee to it. They’re basically letting me send 2999 USD per transaction for $0 without any fee nor exchange rate penalty, according to what I’m reading on their website. As long as I do a direct bank account transfer there’s no fee, but if I use my debit card it’s $88.

    #41847
    Rick in ChinaRick in China
    Participant

    @NWhit
    While it appears to have no fee or penalty, I’d be surprised if they didn’t take a small nibble out of the exchange. Banks make tons of money off of forex, even though there are only tiny differences to us on the exchange – I wouldn’t be surprised if their profit is made the same way.. who knows, all you need to know is if you can get your cash to china, get it in your hands, and not have to seemingly pay any fee, then go go go! 😀

    #42170
    ratatoee
    Participant

    after a year working in chengdu I have left the city yesterday and exit with 12 000 usd and 19 000 rmb all in cash no body customs and check point as asking me any thing ! you can exit or enter with usd 10k maximum with out  any justify over 10 k you need bank certify documents it’s ours ! you can exit and enter china with maximum 20k rmb so the regulations for a country communist its same like western country ! bye bye chengdu I having a good time there i was working at global center intercontinental hotel opening did , the peoples in chengdu are very kind unfortunately  for me the weather is so bad no sun pollution and haze and the language difficulty there ” no one speak english ” make me leaving for those want to come chengdu I cns just say chengdu its not like shanghai and other city developed still for chengdu a long way to go to be international city but it will in next near futures ! peoples in chenghdu its whats I will miss most for their kind attitude Cheers from South Asia ^^

     

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