Are you trying to send money home from China? I have broken down and attempted to simplify the best options you have.
Sending money home from China, if you are not an American, can be expensive or time-consuming. When we arrived the company we worked for had no idea how to send money overseas and when asking around everyone seemed to be doing it in different ways costing different amounts of money and different amounts of time.
Anyway the more I talk the more it seems like this is confusing so I will break down your options.
Online (PayPal, Western Union) – Good for U.S. Citizens.
Simply set up an account online using these two online methods and send UP TO U.S.$500 a day back to your home account. The reason this is only really a viable option for U.S. guys and gals is that both PayPal and Western Union use U.S. Dollars as their transfer currency, meaning if you want anything other than dollars in your home account then you will have to pay 2 separate commission fees.
The first one is from Yuan – Dollars and the second is from Dollars to your chosen currency. Along with the general fees that these companies charge, you are looking at a 12% cost of the money you transfer home …. which is outrageous.
Through your Chinese bank – Cheapest option but a little time-consuming. (MY CHOICE OF OPTIONS)
- Go to your company and ask for a STAMPED pay slip for the months money you want to send home
- Go to the Local Tax Office (I have included the tax office I go to in Beijing) and get proof that you have paid tax. Don’t worry if you don’t speak Chinese, I didn’t say a single word the first time I went there. Just take a ticket and wait for your number to be called – it will probably be down the hall to your right. Make sure you bring a photocopy of your passport.
- Get a copy of your contract.
- Go to the bank with these three documents and change all of your Yuan into your choice of Currency. Do this inside your account, NOT CASH. With these documents you can exchange any amount of Yuan up to the amount you got paid. So you can do the entire transfer in one day without the daily limit.
- When you have your currency in your Chinese account you can simply go online and wire the money back to your home account.
This sounds complicated but it really isn’t. Once you have done it once then you will be able to do it easily once a month from then on. Also I recommend ICBC Bank as their online banking is very good.
Give your money to a Chinese person (The easiest option)
If you have a Chinese friend you absolutely trust then you can simply give them all the money and they can change over all of this money online into your currency and send it back all online in a matter of minutes. They have no daily limit and a total yearly limit of U.S.$50,000. And if you’re sending home more than that then lucky you!
Send a bank card home
This is the last option you have but I have no idea how much an ATM in your country is going to charge for cash withdrawals. What you do is tell the bank that you lost your card when you haven’t and post this back to someone in your home country that you trust.
This means you have a card to use, as well as them. They then go to an ATM and withdraw the cash and deposit in your home account. We have been told about this option by a few people – apparently the banks don’t actually cancel your card if you lose it so be careful with it!
Unfortunately it is like this as they have changed the rules in the last couple of years. Some people who have lived here longer than me still have accounts set up that new foreign national no longer have access to, including me.
If you have any questions about this, and I’m almost certain you do, please give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will discuss the best option for you to send money home.
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