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Travel Budget, Money Matters, Financial Talk Mom, can I borrow ten grand?! Gimme yo mastercard! How the heck can I pay for my trip?! Ideas for making money. How much dough do I need?

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Old 08-15-2006, 08:35 AM   #1
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Hey, everyone. There's a lot of great information on these boards about currency and money-matters in Europe. Does anybody know anything about how things work in Asia (specifically, China)? Are ATMs still the best way to go? Travelers' Cheques? Really, any info would be a help. I leave next month for a three-month stint in Beijing and Shanghai. Thanks a lot!

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Old 08-15-2006, 09:06 AM   #2
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I'll be in China in two weeks so I'll let you know first-hand then. :P

For now you'll have to deal with second-hand info from me - not too much, but hopefully it'll help a little until someone with better info pops by. What my prof/program leader told us is that the exchange rate for traveler's cheques is slightly higher than cash, and that they can be cashed at the Bank of China (they also have ATMs that accept international ATM cards for withdrawals there). I'm thinking it won't be too much problem finding a bank if you're sticking to the cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

For the rest of Asia, my visa debit isn't allowed to be used in most South-East Asian countries (except Thailand) for credit sales, but can supposedly still be used to withdraw from the ATMs.
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Old 08-15-2006, 05:56 PM   #3
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As long as you are going to stick to the big cities, your ATM should work fine at the larger Chinese banks. The top 5 banks in China are: Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Bank of Communications. Many of these now have western investors and are held to a much higher level of standards then the smaller Chinese banks. Stick to these and you should be all set. Alternatively, they should also be able to convert traveler's checks or cash for you.
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Old 08-16-2006, 06:20 AM   #4
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That's perfect. What a help. Thanks to you both.

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Old 08-21-2006, 03:37 PM   #5
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well...I'm leaving in 8 days for China and I've ran into some trouble with my credit card

Washington Mutual MasterCard CREDIT card cannot be used overseas for more than 30 days...after 30 days your account is automatically shut-off....I was really upset to hear about this since that was the only reason I got the card in the first place - is to use it overseas in case of emergency,...so if you have MasterCard I would call the cust. service line and double check

as for debit card, there is a 1% transaction fee for withdraw and purchases...which isnt bad

from what I've heard from friends and family who've been in China, traveler's checks are not as useful but is great for emergency

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