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Posts: 186

Governor

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Q: How to get a VISA debit card from any one Chinese Bank?

Is it possible for (foreign) students to get a VISA debit card from a local bank?

And also, will it be possible to make overseas transactions with it? I mean, will I be able to get money from an ATM outside of China?

 

I've been planning a trip for a long time but all hotels require a booking and all require either a visa or mastercard.

I don't want to bother anyone and constantly ask if they can lend me their card.

7 years 46 weeks ago in  Money & Banking - China

 
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Posts: 3046

Emperor

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When you are in China, you can open a bank account (savings) at any of the many banks here and will get an ATM card with a UnionPay logo on it.  That will allow you to make withdrawls and deposits from any of the bank's ATM machine.  also merchants locally will accept the card as for of payment in larger stores, so it does work like a debit card too.

i do have seen the same bank cards with Visa and/or Mastercharge logos on it, but never seen a foreigner with one yet.  Only Chinese. 

For foreigners to have a credit or debit card issued by Chinese banks he or she must have lived here for a while, maybe even own property, be married to a local, have staedy employment and income, etc.  Many banks think foreigners will leave China sooner or later, and if they do will not pay any debt in the card, so they are very reluctant to issue one.

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7 years 46 weeks ago
 
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Emperor

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Any foreigner can get a VISA DEBIT (not credit) card in China. The most convenient one is with the China Merchants Bank but you usually have to deposit 50,000 rmb to open the account and there are penalties if the balance falls below that figure. You can use it outside of China for ATM withdrawals or POS transactions BUT you cannot do overseas transactions from China on line so it is no good for booking hotels in other countries.

 

There are other alternatives to the CMB for obtaining a VISA Debit Card. You can try places like the Minsheng Bank and Huaxia Bank but often the amount you have to deposit is substantially higher.

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7 years 46 weeks ago
 
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