Credit Cards and Travelling in China

Before my trip to China, I went to my bank, China Trust, to confrim that I was ok with international withdrawals. No problems, say them. I was sceptical and took enough Yuan with me just in case. I thought I would check out a possible withdrawal and was sadly dissappointed. Even though the banks had PLUS, as did China Trust, it refused the transaction. Take enough cash with you. Don’t depend on ATM. I had enough and actually too much, but too much is better than not enough. Be careful. No need to rant on China Trust, everybody already knows. It was recently re-confirmed.

Get a real VISA credit card (one that needs a signature and must be slided through the machines). They also come with a PIN for withdrawing (at some fee’s). You can tell the difference if the numbers on it are “elevated”.
All the electronic ones suck abroad (from my experience).

Maybe you are using the wrong PIN number. I have a long PIN for Taiwan but a shorter one for international withdrawals.

Banks in china are sometimes fickle but I have always relid on ATMs and had no problems even in western Tibet. Always use Bank of China or ICBC. Most of the other banks will not take an international card.

You should be able to do a cash withdrawal on your visa card at a bank counter.

I used my bank card all through Hainan last year.

Watch out with using a regular credit card at the ATM though; it may be counted as a cash advance, and they may start charging you interest on it right away (ie even if you pay the entire balance when your monthly bill comes, you’d still end up paying interest for the time between your withdrawal and your payment). I suppose it depends on the bank/card, but I got dinged with this once and it really pissed me off.