Can I get a credit card from a Chinese bank?
If you’re in China for an extended period, you might wonder whether it’s possible to get a credit card from a Chinese bank. The short answer is yes - but doing so is not necessarily easy.
If you apply successfully, getting your card will cost you nothing. The process should take around two weeks from submission of your application to the time you receive your card.
However, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Be 18 years old or over.
- Must be in China on a “Z” visa and with a residence permit.
- Have a minimum monthly income of 10,000 yuan.
Applicants must also present the following documents:
- A statement proving that they have been receiving such an income for more than three months.
- Their passport and residence permit.
- Their rental agreement (bring your contract with your landlord).
- A copy of your employment agreement in Chinese.
- Some banks will also require you to have a current account with them before you apply for a credit card.
The application process
1. Choose which bank you want to apply to; you might want to ask a friend or colleague for advice. Also, bear in mind that you may be required to open an account at the bank of your choice.
2. Take the following items to a branch of your chosen bank:
- A copy of your passport and residence permit.
- Evidence of place of residence (a bank statement, a phone or utility bill, or a lease contract).
- Proof of income (ie. your payslip – providing several consecutive months will help your application).
- A document stating your monthly income (your employment contract or a tax certificate).
3. The bank needs a guarantee that you can be held accountable if you fail to repay your debts. Convincing the bank to give you a credit card will be easier if you:
- Are married to a Chinese person.
- Work for a Fortune 500 company that holds an account at the same bank.
- Have a Chinese friend who is willing to vouch for you.
- Have fixed assets, like a property deed or title for a car bought in China.
- A deposit of at least 10,000 yuan.
4. Complete an application form. Make a note for yourself of the application number on the top of the form (or take a photo), as well as the phone number of the bank’s credit card center. This allows you to follow up if your application is rejected or the bank doesn’t get back to you.
5. Your application will be sent to the bank’s credit card center for consideration.
6. If your application is rejected, it may be worth applying again.
Useful Chinese words and phrases
|信用卡||xìn yòng kǎ||credit card|
|自动取款机||zì dòng qǔ kuǎn jī||ATM|
|年费||nián fèi||annual fee|