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Chinese Currency

Find out what currency is used in China, tips and tricks for Chinese currency exchange, and how you can save money on your visit with the Wise Chinese yuan card.
Chinese currency

What is the currency in China?

The currency in China is the Chinese yuan (also called renminbi). Each yuan is divided into 10 jiao.

When you’re buying currency for China, look out for the currency code CNY. And once you’re in China, you’ll see the symbol ¥ used to show prices.

You’ll find Chinese banknotes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 40 and 100 yuan and 1, 2 and 5 jiao. The 2 yuan note and the jiao notes are seldom used.

Chinese coins come in 1 yuan and 1 and 5 jiao.

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Use the Wise Chinese yuan card to spend in Chinese currency.

The Wise Chinese yuan travel money card lets you top up in your local currency, and switch to yuan to spend when you’re in China. You’ll get the best rate for spending in Chinese yuan - and can also hold and spend 40+ other currencies with the same card.

Get your Wise travel money card online for free, to send and spend money around the world at the mid-market exchange rate.

Simply top up your card and convert to the currency you need in real time using the Wise app.

You’ll always get the mid-market exchange rate with no hidden costs, and you’ll avoid foreign transaction fees while withdrawing from ATMs abroad, paying in restaurants and shops, and buying your accommodation and flights.

Learn more about the Chinese yuan card

Chinese currency card

Tips for exchanging currency in China.

Familiarise yourself with the mid-market rate before your trip.
The mid-market rate is the true exchange rate - with no sneaky hidden fees. Use an online currency converter before your trip to get a feel for what your money is worth and make sure you get a fair rate when you buy your travel money.
Convert GBP to CNY >
Choose to be charged in China currency when withdrawing from ATMs.
Being offered to pay in your own currency at an ATM is a sneaky trick and causes many travellers to pay more than they need to. Always choose to pay in the local currency - in this case, yuan - to cut your costs and get the best rates available.
Avoid changing currency at airports or hotels.
Currency exchange desks at airports and hotels often markup the exchange rates they use, and may charge hidden fees. Avoid this expensive option whenever you can.
Use the Wise debit card to spend in China without rip-off fees.
Withdraw money, pay for meals in restaurants or spend in shops in Chinese yuan, all at the mid-market exchange rate with the Wise debit card.
Get your travel money card >

Spending money in China.

Paying by credit or debit card in China

In large towns and places where tourists are a common sight, you'll find it's easy enough to pay using a credit or debit card.

However, cards aren't accepted everywhere - so keep cash with you, especially if you're headed off the beaten path.

ATMs in China

ATMs are common in towns and cities, but remember to withdraw cash in advance if you're headed into the countryside, where cash machines are few and far between.

ATMs which accept international cards will also offer services in English, so you don't need to navigate the machine in Mandarin.

To get the best deal when spending on card or withdrawing money in China, don’t forget to use the Wise travel money card to avoid sneaky exchange rate markups and excessive fees.

spending money in China

Chinese currency services.

Convert GBP to Chinese yuan renminbi

Use our currency converter to see how much your money is worth in Chinese yuan and familiarise yourself with the mid-market rate before your trip.

Send money to China

Need to send GBP to China? Use Wise for fast, low-cost, and secure online money transfers from the United Kingdom to China.

See the best Chinese yuan renminbi exchange rates

Compare live Chinese yuan exchange rates and see how much you could save with Wise.

Chinese currency FAQs.

Get your Wise debit card and save on your trip to China

Spend smart, save money. Avoid sneaky bank fees when travelling, with Wise.

Order your card now