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How to get your money out of China
Author: EnglishTeacher    2023-03-06


For teachers working in China, sending money back to their home country is a common practice. Whether they want to send money every month or transfer their savings when their stint in China ends, there are various methods for converting Renminbi into a preferred currency and sending it home. This article explores the different methods of sending money out of China and their respective advantages and disadvantages.

1. Bank Transfer


The first and most common method is bank transfer, which is secure and reliable. However, foreign teachers in China can only withdraw up to $500 before having to provide documents proving ownership and tax payment for any amount exceeding that limit. Sending money out of China via bank transfer also incurs a high bank fee and currency exchange fee, making it an expensive method for sending large amounts of money.

2. Chinese Friend


Another option for teachers is to transfer money through a trusted Chinese friend or colleague. Chinese nationals can transfer up to $50,000 annually, which makes it a more convenient and less expensive option than bank transfer. If the teacher has a close Chinese friend or colleague, they can directly transfer the money they want to send home to their friend's bank account or use Alipay to transfer it to the teacher's overseas account, reducing transfer fees and time spent at the bank.

3. Paypal


Paypal is also a straightforward method for sending money out of China. A Chinese Paypal account linked to the teacher's Chinese bank account is necessary to transfer money to either a UK or US Paypal account. However, this method incurs an international transfer fee of 2%-3% and a currency conversion fee, making it an expensive option.

4. Fly With Cash


For teachers leaving China and wanting to bring their money home with them, a simple method is to take cash on their flight back. However, there is a legal limit on the amount of cash that can be taken out of China, and individuals exiting with more than 20,000 RMB are required to declare it with customs. This makes it impractical for teachers who have saved more than 20,000 RMB.

5. ATM Withdrawal


If a teacher still has money in their Chinese account and wants to access it after leaving China, they can withdraw it from an ATM using their Chinese bank card or Union Pay card. However, not all ATMs outside of China accept Union Pay cards, and withdrawal fees and currency conversion fees can be costly. There is also a limit on how much cash can be withdrawn at one time, which makes it an option only for those with a small amount of cash to obtain.

In summary, there are several methods for teachers to send money home from China, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Bank transfer is secure but incurs high fees for large amounts of money, while using a Chinese friend or colleague is convenient and less expensive. Paypal is straightforward but expensive due to transfer and currency conversion fees, and withdrawing cash from an ATM outside of China incurs high fees and limits on how much cash can be obtained. Ultimately, the method used will depend on the teacher's circumstances and preferences.


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