Discussion » Beijing Life » How to get a VISA card?

  • Joakim Lund Rangel
    Joakim Lund Rangel wrote:

    I just came back from Bank of China where I asked for a VISA card.

    They told me that as a foreigner the following requirements needs to be forfilled for me to get a Visa card:

    • I need to have stayed in Beijing for at least 6 month.
    • I need to document that I`m employed
    • I need to own a house in Beijing(!!)

    I refused to believe that this is true, but still after several followup questions to make sure there were no misunderstandings. I also showed them my Norwegian Visa card to make sure that they understood what I wanted. But they still claimed that the above IS the requirements to get a Visa card.

    So I asked them what is the requirements for a Chinese to get a Visa card. I told them that then I could just ask a chinese friend to setup an account where I just transfer small amounts of money to his account to use the card to pay for online services etc.

    But then they told me that a Chinese can only have a Visa card by depositing 50,000 RMB into that same account.

    wtf? is any of what I`ve been told today true?

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)


    Hahahahaha ... I often wondered, if this is some form of protectionism ...

    I think Daniel asked about this before, but I cannot find the thread ... I called my wife, but she is talking to some insurance agent now, so she cant tell me the details, she just said that it is damn complicated ...

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)



    I called my sister-in-law, who used to work for the Merchants Bank, but not in the credit card department ... she is not 100% certain about this, but she does not believe that you would need to buy a property to get a Visa ... you will, however, need a certificate of temporary residence (get it from the police station), proof of income (such as a letter, and maybe bank statement or bank book) ...

    I also tried to call a friend, whom I believe still work for the Construction Bank, but her phone is off, I sent her a SMS, and will get back to you when I hear from her ...

    Q: do you need to get it from BOC?

  • Joakim Lund Rangel

    It`s not written in stone that I need to have it in BOC. But I have all my other bank accounts in BOC so that would be more convenient. 

  • Micky
    Micky wrote:

    You do not need a landed property or apartment for that, but there must be a Chinese who's not living with you that knows you well for reference together with what DD outlined above.

    However I'd rather suggest you apply in other Banks.. the more accounts you have in different banks the better and easier for you.

    Good luck

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)



    OK, I have finally talked to my "direct supervisor" while she was on her merry way home on Line 5 ... the bad news is that, not only they made it complicated, the approval is also damn strict, if not difficult ...

    Understandably, the banks are afraid of losing money due to "escaped" foreigners, who can freely leave the country anytime, whereas they can "control" or monitor locals much easier with ID card and passport, as it is difficult to get visas to other countries (even HK and Macau) ... or at least they think so ...

    ... yeah, I know, this is silly, because locals in foreign countries cannot be controlled and monitored ... but this is how the banks think ... 

    As a "foreigner" once, I did apply for a Visa (or Mastercard?) in Oz when I was a student many years ago, the requirement was only to have 10k in a bank account, which was not too difficult ...

    So ... ridiculous as it might be, a property is a guarantee that you are less likely to flee ...

    If I remember correctly, the last time we talked about this, I suggested Daniel to get a credit card in HK ... but my guess is that this is not how you want to do it ...

  • Joakim Lund Rangel

    I don`t need (or want) a credit card. A debit card is just fine, as long as it is Visa.

    Does that make any difference?

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)



    I only know that CUP has debit cards, but not sure Visa has debit card in China ... you can check though ...

  • Tina
    Tina's猫 wrote:

    is that the special requirements for BOC

    it's ridiculous that u need a house to get a credit card,i think other banks will be fine

  • Minger
    Minger wrote:

    I remember when Yaya was a student BOC gave her a credit card, and she did not own property or have 50k at that time. Apparantly it was a special student offer though.

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