I think the only way is to use a Swift or TT transfer through Bank of China, or Western Union.
Online via Merchants Bank seemed the easiest way to send it back to the UK. Bank of China involves too much of a queue. I'm sure you can do this for sending to the US too.
Hahahahahaha ... stupid question time: does it depend on the amount? I heard there might be a limit on this ...
Western Union can only send USD (you have to bring them cash) and the limit is 10k or less. They also charge more than a wire transfer as I recall. It's best to just have a Chinese citizen convert and send the currency for you at Bank of China. They'll give you the real exchange rate, and the fee for the wire transfer is only 2-300 rmb. An intermediary bank will steal $20, and the US bank shouldn't charge unless it's fagtastic (most are).
"the fee for the wire transfer is only 2-300 rmb"
"Only"? Does that sound a little steep to anyone else? I thought Western Union's rates were right around that same amount, but clearly everyone here knows more about this than I do, since I've never done it. Good info here though folks, I'm proud of y'all.
Western Union is cheaper if you just want to send a little bit of money, since they charge a percentage of the transfer on top of a base fee. If you're sending an amount worth sending, The banks are cheaper and less trouble. In my experience, they're quite accustomed to foreigners using Chinese to do transfers, so just hand them your local friend's passport and tell them that he/she would like to wire this much to this account.
Michael: 2-300rmb sounds right. It`s about the amount I pay when i transfer from norway to Bank of China. If I do express it`s around 4-500rmb. And I believe Western Union is much (!) more expensive than that.
The limits for transferring money into China is 50,000USD per passport per calendar year.
The limits for transferring money out of China is 500USD per passport per day.
“The limits for transferring money out of China is 500USD per passport per day.”
That's per foreign passport. The limit for Chinese passport is 50k USD per year.
Also, When i was in Guangdong they just let me convert money in excess of 500 anyway. I guess the party mandate hadn't reached them there.
"Western Union is cheaper if you just want to send a little bit of money, since they charge a percentage of the transfer on top of a base fee. If you're sending an amount worth sending, The banks are cheaper and less trouble."
Ah righto, that's what I thought. See that's been the rub for me - I have monthly student loan fees, but I never Western Union'd anything cos the fee is so small that I felt like I would be throwing money away if I was sending back payments every single month. Guess I might have to go that route after all though, if sending small amounts is still cheaper through WU than through a regular bank transfer.