Sunday, June 2, 2013

How to transfer money to or from China?

How to transfer money from your home country to China?
How to transfer money from China to your home country?

Transfer from bank to bank

When you transfer money from bank to bank, bank will take their commission.
The Chinese bank will charge a transfer fee. The middle bank will charge a transfer fee. In the end your home bank will change to home currency and also charge a fee to change currency!

The fee charged by one bank is fixed when the amount is below 10 000euros. It should be 300 to 500 euros.

A fellow foreigner tells us : "I transferred 3000RMB last week. It said it would be converted into £324, but I only received £306. As well as paying Bank of China a fee of 170RMB they said "a middle bank became involved and charged £18". So, all in all after transferring 3000RMB, they've managed to charge more than 10%!"

In order to avoid the middle bank you can open  a bank account at ICBC in your home country and another bank account at ICBC in China. Thus you will only deal with one bank.
I think that you can also do this with Bank of China. But I believe that ICBC offers the best conditions.

Bring money from China back home?
You can carry some cash with you.
This is of course the best way to bring money back home as it includes no extra costs!

However you are allowed to carry 5000 euros with you when travelling to China.
And the other way around I think it is about 50000rmb that you can take with you from China.
Note that it is also possible to carry your cash from mainland China to Hong Kong. This trip is cheaper and fast. I can be done legaly and several times. Once in Hong Kong, you can put your cash in any HSBC bank.

Howewer while carrying cash with you beware pickpockets!
As for changing the money into rmb if you have a Chinese friend, he can help you change in the street. Just outside of the banks some Chinese people offer this "illegal" service. You will benefit from the best rate...

Western Union
Western Union allows you to send money from China to someone in your home country. 
But there should be two people involved: one to send the money and the other one to receive it.

I think that western Union allows to send 3000US dollars per month and 15 000 us dollars a year.
However I was told that Western Union charge a lot for its services! It should be better to use the services of a bank. It is certainly much better if you use ICBC.

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