Discussion » Travel » VISA card

  • Daniel Westerberg
    Daniel Westerberg wrote:
    Anyone knows if any bank in China allows us "laowais" to open a bank account with VISA or MASTERCARD so we can use it abroad?
    (I don't want credit card, just to be able to use ATMs abroad)

    the local BoC says it's not possible, but as usual in China, what one person/bank/employee says dosn't always apply to all other places..
  • Børge Notkevich
    just open a savings account
  • Daniel Westerberg
    BoC = Bank of China, thats my usual bank, and they just don't offer that.

    I checked with a bunch of other banks, apparently the only way for a foreginer to get a VISA card (without having a job in china) is to become a VIP customer.
  • Hans Christian Eriksson
  • Rebecca Arnesen
    yep, thats it. You can't even exchange more than 1000(of your own money, that you earned living and working here) into foreign currency without a native pengyou, at least in kunming where i tried it. luckily i found a pengyou...
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    Hahahaha ... while they are talking about developing the China's economy, they wont let you change currency in a bank, and it is not even a large amount ...
  • Daniel Westerberg
    agree, the exchange rules here are terrible, I remembered when I was supposed to pay 60$ to a indian software company (they didn't have paypal) so I had to wire the money by western union and after standing in line half a day they told me I had to go to the bank and exchange rmb to $ so I did, got back after another half day in line with 60$, stood in line at western union again for half a day and they told me there was a fee of 5$ i think and I couldn't pay the fee in rmb.. so I ended up mailing the 60$ with EMS instead :D
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    Daniel ... I read something from today's China Daily and I think it might help you ...

    These guys are often known as CFC (Consumer Finance Companies, not KFC, though I would like to see anyone getting a loan from KFC) ... think of a normal auto-loan or personal loan, but in smaller scale ...

    This guy in the story actually borrowed just to buy a iPhone ... the phone cost RMB5xxx, and he had to pay it back over 12 months, plus RMB3xx.xx in interest (I dont remember the actual numbers, but they were something like that) ...

    Obviously, if you dont like to owe money to anyone, this might not be a very good idea, but it is still an alternative ... also, the CFC is only in infancy in China, so it might not really help much ...

    Another idea is to get a credit card associated with a department store, my guess is that they might be more flexible than banks?

  • Andre Misund
    Andre Misund wrote:
    you can use your BOC card all around the world, just not in taiwan...
  • Daniel Westerberg
    thanks for the idea, but I'm not looking for loan, I just want a VISA card to be able to use ATMs around the world.

    Currently the UNIONPAY that all chinese cards have don't allow ATM usage.
    In many countries, there are stores who offer the use of unionpay when paying, but since not all stores offer unionpay, it can be rather difficult to use the money that is in the account when being in another country, causing you to be forced to bring cash when travelling, and since I don't like running around with like 50 000 rmb in my pocket, I prefer to be able to use the ATM in the same way as I can use my Swedish bank card in chinese ATMs (the Swedish card have VISA, but no credit, so I can only spend money I already have).

    and Mark, no, you can't use the BoC card around the world, it comes with Unionpay and while possible to use it in stores that offer unionpay payments, the ATMs don't allow you to withdraw money, probobly due to Chinese exchange laws..
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    Daniel ... I did have another idea last night, but not sure if it will apply to you, but since you mention "travel with RMB50k", my guess is that it might ...

    If you happen to know anyone in Hong Kong, you could ask them to find out, if it is possible for you to get a credit card from any of the mainland banks operating in HK (BoC, ICBC etc), and link it up with your local bank account ... it's a bit of a long shot, but it might be worth trying ...
  • Daniel Westerberg
    that sounds like it could work, hong kong is a bit better when it comes to these kind of problems, atleast it would probobly be possible to just wire the money inte the HK account and then be able to use it in both mainland China and abroad.

    Thanks for the idea, i'm gonna check it out.
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    Hahahaha ... you are welcome ... I do have some light bulbs spare, so if you need all kinds of weird ideas, feel free to let me know or post in the forum ...
  • Kodi
    Kodi wrote:
    I think you just need to have a certain amount of money in their bank and they will allow you to get the Visa with them.
  • Daniel Westerberg
    I found a bank in Beijing after a lot of searching.
    China Min Sheng Bank, gonna pick up my Euro Visa Card this week. No need to have money in the card either to get the VISA usage, most other banks required a deposit of 50 000 up to 100 000 to get the VISA card but not Min Sheng. I used the office in ChaoYangMen to open the card :)

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