Can I use foreign bank cards in China?
It’s not usually possible to make card payments using an overseas debit card. However, you shouldn’t find it too difficult to withdraw money from ATMs in China using an overseas bank card. However, read the advice below before you sling your card into an unknown ATM.
Things to be aware of
Most ATMs in China support Visa, MasterCard and Plus debit networks, although major banks such as Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) are your best bets.
You will be charged a transaction fee when using an overseas bank card in a Chinese ATM. Charges are usually insignificant, but ask your bank before departure about ATM services, debit cards and other transaction fees you may incur while using your card in China.
Also, check to see whether there is a daily or weekly limit on how much you can draw out – some banks will lock cards that attempt to draw out too much in a given time period – and make sure you check exchange rates so you don’t accidentally draw out more than you’re allowed.
You may need to apply for a six-digit PIN number to use with Chinese ATMs – your bank at home will be able to tell you if this is the case or not.
Finally, check the ATM before your put your card into the machine – if the ATM displays your card provider’s logo, you should be able to use it without any problems. If the ATM doesn’t display your card provider’s logo, you may wish to be cautious and look for an ATM that does.