Automatic teller machines are available in China. In some cases, they will work with foreign-issued bank debit cards (especially those on the Cirrus or Plus networks) and usually will only be able to access a checking account for funds. Leave some checking account deposit slips for your parents in case they need to add money to your account. Please be sure to have some sources of funds other than ATM available as well.
Five international credit cards, that is, Master card, Visa card, Diners card, American express card and JCB card are accepted by major hotels and restaurants, and large department stores in China, but few other businesses. Most businesses operate on a cash-only basis.
Bank of China can cash traveler’s checks of international commercial banks and traveler’s checks companies of USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, France, Germany, Switzerland and Hong Kong.
However, traveler’s check is among the most useless things in other businesses in China.
Local Bank Accounts
You can open a local foreign currency/RMB account at the Bank of China (with traveler’s checks) and can withdraw funds using a passbook and/or an ATM card for the account issued in Hangzhou. When traveling, use the ATM card to withdraw funds. You should always carry (safely!) sufficient money in cash to cover emergencies.
You will find several establishments in China where money-changing services are offered. Banks are the best places, offering the official rate and charging a reasonable commission. There also money-changing services at major hotels and international airports. A passport is required to change money. Bring a pocket calculator to check the accuracy of your receipt when changing money. When changing money at an ATM with credit or bank cards, it is not always possible to check the rate you are being offered or to establish if there is a commission fee accessed (some may be higher or lower). Check your receipt carefully and avoid that machine in the future if rates are excessive. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the current exchange rates before you go abroad.
Be sure to save your receipts for all foreign currencies exchanged into RMB. Government regulations allow only 50% of the original amount to be changed back into foreign currencies and require proof of the initial exchange. (For example, if you change $100 to RMB you can only change back half of the RMB to dollars, $50 worth, and must provide the original exchange receipt). The RMB to dollar exchange must be made at the main branch of the Bank of China in the city. The main branch in Hangzhou is located on Feng Qi Lu.
Do not change money outside of the official exchange services. Unofficial exchanges usually result in travelers losing their money. The practice is illegal and you could also face charges of breaking foreign exchange laws.
Safety with Money
Observe safety precautions with money. Do not keep large sums of cash in your dorm room. Buy a travelers’ money belt or neck wallet and beware of pickpockets in crowds and on public transportation.
Nearest Bank Location
Bank of China: Qiu Shi Road, outside of "Xin Qiao Men" Gate of Yuquan Campus, on the right side of the entrance of Lu Yuan (Green Garden) Apartment
Working Hours: 9am ~ 5pm
Note: The service charge is 3% of the transaction amount, al little bit higher than that of the ATM transactions
China Industrial and Commercial Bank: Yugu Road, outside of "Xin Qiao Men" Gate of Yuquan Campus, on the Ground Floor of Lu Yuan (Green Garden) Apartment
Working hours: 9am~5pm
China Agricultural Bank: Zheda Road-Dong Shan Nong Intersection
Working hours: 9am~5pm