Posted in Banking

Banking for Dummies in China – Part 2

Late October last year, I posted a dummies guide to banking in China.  To start the Chinese New Year, I’m posting part 2 on my dummies guide.  Of the banks in China, I’ve banked with Bank of China, Bank of Communications, ICBC, China Construction Bank and China Postal Bank.  Among the services that these banks offered, I’ve only used online banking, credit card, savings account, time deposit account, salary account and bills payment.

Between October and the present, here are some stuff I missed in my previous note:

  • ICBC can only provide either a passbook or an ATM account.  Bank of China on the other hand can provide you both passbook and ATM when you open an account.
  • You can use your ATM card to withdraw in other countries as long as the ATM machine has the Unionpay logo.  Make sure it’s Unionpay as it also look similar to the JCB logo.  Maximum withdrawal per day is RMB 5,000 worth of whatever currency you’re in and RMB 15 for each withdrawal.  RMB 4 will be charged for balance inquiry.  This is a cheaper alternative than Western Union or Moneygram.         
  • For faster service in the bank, go for VIP accounts.  China Merchants Bank offer their Sunflower Gold Card for clients with RMB 50,000.  Bank of China will offer VIP service to clients with over RMB 500,000 in deposits.
  • Money transfer using ATM is acceptable.  Same bank transfer will be quick but inter-bank might be a hit and miss.
  • Platinum credit card of Bank of Communication will incur an annual charge of RMB 1,000.   However, you will get VIP access to airport lounges in China.
  • When you open a savings account, you are not limited to RMB currency only.  You can also put other currencies such as Euro, USD, HKD, JPY alongside with your RMB.
  • Interest rates and witholding taxes are added or deducted from your account every 3 months.
  • If you need a bank certificate, take note that your money will be frozen up until the date you would like the certificate to be valid.  You may withdraw it at any time but it will be a hassle.  Also, they levy a service charge of RMB 10-30 for each certificate.

That’s it for now.  I know it’s not a lot but don’t worry as I’ll add more in the future.  This is the best way to rant about bank services. Hahaha!


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