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credit cards or cash: Exchanging currency??? in China

Travel Forums Asia credit cards or cash: Exchanging currency??? in China

1. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 9y

1. I ve heard of travelers cheques, but not sure what those are.
they are as good as cash, so its like carrying cash??? once stolen, it can be used like real money?

2. If you exchange your cash, never at the airport??? I once exchange 10,000 pesos which became 5,000 baht.
I wasnt thinking. I got a 1pesos to one 1 baht in some money changer booth in the market area.
So its wise to not change currency in airport or banks???

3. Credit cards??? Do backpackers travel with lots of cash??? answer this question through a Private message.
You cant use a credit when you buy food from street vendors, right.

4. THE ATM: you will be charge per transaction? and then the exchange rate is not as good as the ones in the market areas???

5. Isnt it dangerous to carry all CASH when you travel??? So backpackers carry credit cards and whatever gadget?

2. Posted by rowdy1 (Budding Member 16 posts) 9y

hi swept away
definately do not take travellers cheques to china if you can help it, i had a lot of trouble cashing them as your signature has to be exactly like the one on the cheque, and i had to sign some of them 2 or 3 times before they were satisfied. it did not help that some of them were 18 months old and it is very hard to redo a signature at the best of times, let alone coping an old one, had no problems with ATM machines, but some are for chinese cards only, but these were signposted.

rowdy1

3. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

I was in China back in March 2005 so money matters shouldn't have changed much. When I went $US were good for changing in many places and sometimes they may have even accepted them. Like rowdy1 said travellers cheques are just a waste of time don't bother with them in China or anywhere in the world for that matter. Creditcards were acceptable in a lot of places but are certainly not what you should totally rely on. In all probability you wont find any street vendor in China that will let you use a credit card, so taking some cash with you, a bank card and then a creditcard (only to be used if you run out of money or the other bank card wont work) should do.

If you don't have the local currency before landing at the airport, only change a very minimal amount just enough to get in to town and the first nights accommodation. At least by doing this you aren't going to lose a lot of money through a bad exchange rate, but you will have enough to get yourself to town and drop your baggage off at the hostel/hotel.

If you don't carry huge amounts of cash at one time and don't do stupid things like walk down an isolated alleyway by yourself particularly at night and basically use the same sort of precautions you would back home well carrying cash isn't unsafe. Like back home you wouldn't carry $1000US cash in your wallet and home is where most people feel safest, so why would you carry $1000US cash in your wallet while you are away in a place that you will probably stand out and attract attention?

The charges with ATM's vary depending on your bank company, and country of which the card belongs. Nobody on this site will be able to tell you will 100% accuracy what fees will happen on your ATM card. You'll need to speak to your bank to get that information. Excahnge rates on bank cards (at least on my Australian bank accounts) is better than what you get at the markets, so I would asume it'd be the same with your bank card even though it won't be an Australian card.

4. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 9y

I am in China, Shenzhen at the moment. I was really scared for I was a walking cash register in the train arrival.

NO INTERNET CAFE in the area.

the crowd thinks Im a local, so I get a lot of those people trying to sell me hotel rooms and stuffs. It was very scary. I slept for almost 24 hours, a lifetime for someone with a 14 day Visa.

I had a very BAD EXCHANGE rate at the airport and in Shenzhen, they dont seem give out reciepts to things you buy, including money exchange.