Credit cards are another safe China tours way to carry money. They also provide a convenient record of all your expenses, and they generally offer relatively good exchange rates. In China, however, despite the plethora of Visa and MasterCard signs throughout, your international credit card (guoji xinyong ka) is usually accepted only at the top international hotels, and at restaurants and shops catering to foreigners.
You can also obtain cash advances (in yuan) against your American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Diners Club card at major Yangtze River cruises branches of the Bank of China (bring your passport). This is an expensive way of getting cash, as there is a minimum withdrawal of ¥1,200 and you'll have to pay a 4% commission plus whatever your card issuer charges you, so use it only as a last resort.
In general, beware of hidden credit-card fees while traveling. Check with your credit or debit card issuer to see what fees, if any, will be charged for overseas transactions. Recent reform legislation in the U.S., for example, has Shanghai tour curbed some exploitative lending practices. But many banks have responded by increasing fees in other areas, including fees for customers who use credit and debit cards while out of the country -- even if those charges were made in U.S. dollars. Fees can amount to 3% or more of the purchase price. Check with your bank before departing to avoid any surprise charges on your statement.
If you plan to use your credit cards in China, notify your issuer(s) beforehand, as many companies, to prevent fraud, often put a hold on cards that suddenly start registering foreign charges. Loss of credit cards should be Shangri-la tour reported immediately.
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