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Chinese Yuan into Foreign Currency

AlexKMG (2385 posts) • 0

Anyone with recent experience in changing yuan into foreign exchange, in my case USD. I've got like 10k yuan I no longer need to pay rent with. Looking for ways to change it into USD or transfer to my US checking account.

michael2015 (781 posts) • +2

1. Chinese friends can convert CNY into USD with restrictions. There used to be a way for Chinese nationals to convert CNY<->USD on alipay using an associated app. For CNY 10k - it's nominal so lower probability of fraud but your mileage may vary (YMMV). You can also ask other expats with USD who may want to buy your CNY. Use xe.com or some other agreed upon FOREX platform to determine the exchange rate at the time. Any nominal spare change can be made up with a cup of Salvadors et al coffee, as a courtesy. See item 7...seems I was repetitive.
2. Your bank can convert your account into an international currency account and you can convert CNY into USD and store it in your chinese bank account.
3. SWIFT (international wire transfer) it to your US bank. SWIFT fees are typically USD 30-35 (≥ CNY 180-200)+ whatever usurious hidden charges your US bank will charge you. There's also the transportation costs to & from your bank and the 20 minutes to 4 hours you'll need to cool your heels in the bank (wear a mask) while they do this for you the first time - which is always a pain - however SWIFT is the safest and gov approved mechanism for moving funds internationally. SWIFT is usually a 24-48 hour process from the time the wire is posted on SWIFT.
4. Paypal China to Paypal USA - this is a bit tricky and you may incur taxes from both China and the USA for the transfer, even if it's to yourself. You'll also incur several nickel and dime PayPal service fees, currency exchange fees, etc etc etc. My PayPal account was registered in china with PayPal Singapore (don't ask why), so I can directly withdraw CNY from my chinese bank and it's converted into USD in PayPal for a nominal fee. Paypal does NOT pay interest on funds sitting in PayPal. You can NOT link a PayPal China account with a PayPal (any other country) account - so you'll need a VPN to register another PayPal (eg Usa) account and you can then send money to yourself (make sure to annotate it as a transfer of funds to yourself to try to avoid exit taxes).

5. International currency trading platforms such as xoom (a PayPal company).
6. P2P (peer to peer aka private party to private party) such as Venmo.

7. Friends with USD wanting to buy CNY. Use xe.com or similar apps to see the current exchange rate. Last time I checked it's around CNY 6.4 ~ USD 1.

Safest path is to SWIFT the funds from your bank to your US bank account. Many of the online institutional forex (foreign exchange) sites charge a nominal transfer fee PLUS a nominal surcharge on the FOREX (eg trading CNY 6.3 per USD 1). At about CNY 10k - the SWIFT fees and the hassles and micro charges are roughly a wash - so SWIFT is safer, State approved (SAFE aka State Administration for Foreign Exchange) and as long as you transfer it to yourself - should incur no taxes - go to your local bank for SWIFT and FOREX details.

I use CCB as their FOREX reflects the current FOREX posted on xe.com.

Others have historically reported no speed bumps using ICBC.

AlPage48 (1392 posts) • +2

Can you not simply purchase foreign currency (in this case US $) at a bank?

We've done this in the past to purchase Canadian or Pound Sterling.
I've also purchased US $ at the foreign exchange kiosk at the airport, perhaps at a higher rate, but still convenient.

AlexKMG (2385 posts) • 0

Buying usd is probably option 1. But still didnt want to have to carry it around on the whole return itinerary. Also, haven't changed yuan into usd, so wasnt sure if there were still limits like daily or max. I'll probably just start asking every bank I pass after I get my 1st shot. Most likely I'll end up at the main BOC on remin rd at the end of my inquiries.

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