If you plan to do business in China, you probably want to know how to convert American dollars into Chinese yuan and back again. Shifting currency does not have to be difficult if you understand your options.
Your bank probably comes to mind as a way to change your money into another currency. Per U.S. News and World Report, here are some reasons why your bank may or may not be an option.
When your bank may help you
First, you probably have a long-standing relationship with a bank, which could simplify your request to exchange your currency. Moreover, if you have a checking or savings account, you may fulfill the requirements of the bank for a currency transfer. Also, if your bank is easy to access, you can quickly convert your money before and after an overseas trip.
Even if multiple banks can exchange your currency, your bank might have the best exchange rate. Since not all banks and credit unions possess the same exchange rate, you might receive less Chinese yuan for your dollar than you expect depending on the institution you use.
Reasons you need another option
Conversely, your bank might not exchange dollars into Chinese currency or even perform currency transfers at all. You may also want to deal with a U.S. bank that has branches in China, as you might want to convert your money while in the country. Not all American banks conduct business in China.
Keep in mind that other options exist if your local bank cannot help you. Other financial companies offer currency exchanges or provide debit cards after currency transfers. Consider how to minimize your fees and get the best exchange rate for your money.