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Old 10-10-2014, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,868 posts, read 14,237,629 times
Reputation: 9011

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Agreed. Advise the son to stay the hell away from the nightclubs, and there is really no danger of any theft or financial folly. And also advise the son that nearly everything in China is counterfeit. Unless this kid can tell real jade from resin, don't bother. Same thing with pearls and gemstones. Go there assuming it's all fake. And then there's really not much to buy -- food, water, tea, beer. That's all that's left when you get away from the fake pearls, the fake jade, and the fake Gucci and Rolex.

And don't think I'm knocking China. I'm not. China is great. I absolutely love going there. I'm planning on going again next year. My visa is still good, so why not? I also have the advantage of being married to my translator. :-)


PS -- If son is staying with a Chinese family, send him with stuff to give to his hosts. Multivitamins are a great choice (seriously, the parents and grandparents are ga-ga for American multivitamins). Also, anything that is blatantly American, like a NY Yankees baseball cap, Ray-Bans, Levis -- the sort of thing that is normally counterfeited in China. Can't go wrong with that sort of gift. I usually go with baseball caps and vitamins -- one size fits all.
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Old 10-10-2014, 02:18 PM
 
128 posts, read 159,391 times
Reputation: 207
Open a checking account with Schwab. You do not need to invest with their brokerage services, but will have one opened at no cost. With Schwab, you can withdraw from any ATM in the world, and at the end of each month, you are reimbursed for all international ATM fees (keep all your ATM receipts, just in case). There are no maintenance fees and no foreign exchange transaction fees (versus the industry standard of 3%). I think you should be ok, but check with Schwab on withdrawing money in CNY. If you use your debit card to withdraw foreign currency from an ATM or to pay for a purchase with foreign currency, you are charged in your account only for the USD equivalent of the transaction. There is no additional percentage added for the foreign currency transaction.
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Old 10-10-2014, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,868 posts, read 14,237,629 times
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ATMs in Asia using American bank cards is hit-and-miss at best. Since the US does not yet have chip-and-pin cards, many cards are basically useless.

Travelers bring cash to China. That's how their economy works. Anything that ISN'T cash is a sub-optimal plan.
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Old 10-10-2014, 03:01 PM
 
2,538 posts, read 4,029,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyonpa View Post
I would Get a Pre-Loaded Visa/MC card.

There is some much hack/fraud, i would not want to use a debit card that is linked to a account. When he get there he will need "Pocket" change, a draw from a ATM can work for that
That is actually pretty bad advice, as Visa and Mastercard are not widely accepted in China. As others have said, credit cards in general are not common, and not accepted at smaller locations. But when they are, they want local cards such as UnionPay.
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Old 10-10-2014, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,868 posts, read 14,237,629 times
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I wish the people answering questions like this would divulge how many times and how recently they have traveled to the country in question. I've been to China several times, and the last time was this summer.

BRING CASH!
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Old 10-10-2014, 03:10 PM
 
6,293 posts, read 3,564,804 times
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Looks like lots of good advice already. To fill in the gaps, if any, check out some traveler's forums. "Lonely Planet" has specific advice for China:

Lonely Planet's travel money essentials - Lonely Planet
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Old 10-10-2014, 04:42 PM
 
Location: City of Angels
2,935 posts, read 4,763,635 times
Reputation: 2236
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoopLV View Post
I wish the people answering questions like this would divulge how many times and how recently they have traveled to the country in question. I've been to China several times, and the last time was this summer.

BRING CASH!
Ive been to mainland china 5 times

I think the "bring cash" brigade in this thread looks ridiculous. Just because you bring an atm card doesnt mean all your purchases have to be made with that card. What do you think atm machines are for?
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Old 10-10-2014, 08:55 PM
 
3,280 posts, read 3,829,223 times
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You are going about it the wrong way. I would not want to give my credit card info out in China. If it gets hacked or something, the FBI cannot help me.

Cash only is the way to go. It's what I did in China.
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:54 PM
 
Location: City of Angels
2,935 posts, read 4,763,635 times
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ive withdrawn a few $100,000's from ATM machines in foreign countries and never had anyone steal my info.
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Old 10-10-2014, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,960,359 times
Reputation: 3502
The only thing I'd add is if you go the credit card route then warn your son not to use it in sketchy establishments and try not to let it out of his sight. This wont eliminate the chance of credit card fraud but should greatly reduce it.

I tend to use credit card for big items (fancy restaurants, travel tickets, etc) and cash for everything else. Last time in China: September 2013. And will be back later this month.
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