The state bank, the People’s Bank of China, issues the Chinese currency, known as Renminbi (RMB).
Known to people worldwide as Renminbi (RMB), nearly everyone in China uses “yuan” or “kuai” to denote RMB. The standard unit of the Renminbi is “yuan/ kuai”, with “jiao/ mao” and “fen” as the supplementary units.
1 Fen = 1 cent RMB
1 Jiao / Mao = 10 cents RMB
1 RMB / Kuai / Yuan = 1 dollar RMB
(or 1 yuan = 10 jiao = 100 fen)
Renminbi features the following denominations: one, two, five, ten, twenty, fifty and a hundred yuan; one, two, and five jiao; and one, two and five fen. Yuan, jiao and fen are issued in the form of both bills and coins.
In the past, NSC students budgeted around $8-10USD a day. Your major expenses are meals and incidentals, which are inexpensive in China. You will be able to live comfortably on $200-$300USD a month, unless of course, you love to shop or hit the clubs three nights a week.
Meals typically between $4-$7USD a day depending on your tastes. Again, if you are a gourmand and plan on sampling some of the city’s finer restaurants you should plan your budget accordingly.
A beer at an average bar costs between 3-5$USD, and entrance fee for more popular clubs seldom exceed 7-10$ on weekends and event nights. If you are on a severe budget one can always find liter bottles of Tsingdao for around 0.35-0.60$USD at most shops and stores.
Transportation is plentiful and inexpensive. Buses crisscross the city and are the cheapest way to get around at 1RMB a ride, or roughly $0.15 cents. A ride on the subway costs 2-7 RMB depending on your destination. Taxis are always a convenient way to get around town. Taxis start at 10RMB and increase by 2RMB per kilometer. A taxi across town or downtown costs around 45RMB or $5.65USD. Many students also choose to buy bicycles. A basic bicycle costs between 100-200RMB, and is a very efficient way to get around.
Travelers’ checks can be exchanged at most hotels and banks. Many students use their ATM cards from home as it is possible to withdraw local currency from a number of Bank of China branches and international bank branches throughout the city. The limit is 2000RMB a day.In addition, credit card advances are available at larger banks downtown for a small fee.
The official exchange rate for US dollars is approximately 6.8RMB to $1USD. For an up to the minute rate please go to this link http://www.xe.com/ucc/.
Next Step China has also figured out ways to avoid ATM fees if you do want to use your foreign ATM card. After you have signed up for our program will send you our “NSC Insiders Guide” for tips and tricks to save a lot of money while you are here in China, just one of the little things we do for the benefit of our participants.
Currently, the following foreign credit cards are accepted in China: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and JCB.