cancel-circle Switch
Alerts

China - Chinese Yuan - Currency Guide

 

Foreign exchange guide to China and the Chinese Yuan (CNY)

   

General Currency Info - Chinese Yuan

The Chinese currency is actually called renminbi, but you will more frequently hear it called by the name of its primary unit, the yuan. The renminbi-yuan relationship is similar to that of Britain’s sterling-pound (sterling being the name of the currency and a pound being one unit of that currency). The ISO for renminbi, or the yuan, is CNY. An ISO of CHN denotes yuan traded in offshore markets, such as Hong Kong.

According to the Bank for International Settlements’ 2016 survey of the foreign exchange market, the yuan is now the world’s eighth most traded currency and has overtaken the Mexican peso to become the world’s most traded emerging market currency. However, disappointingly, 95% of all yuan trading remains against just one other currency, the US dollar.

The yuan reached its all-time low against the dollar in January 1994 when the exchange rate for USD/CNY reached 8.73. It's all-time high occurred in January 1981 when USD/CNY hit 1.53.

A high point for Chinese officials in recent years came when the yuan was added to the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights basket of currencies in October 2016 and, with its inclusion, joined the dollar, euro, yen and the pound as an official world reserve currency.

Importantly, China’s currency is not freely floating, which is to say that it is not determined wholly by market forces or purely by demand and supply. While market forces do play a part in China’s ‘managed float’ system, daily changes to the value of the yuan are restricted by the country’s central bank to moves of 2% above or below a midpoint, or reference rate, against the US dollar. This special rate is set each day by the central bank after consideration of the values of currencies from China’s main trading partners.

   

CNY News, Forecasts and Trends

NAB told Bloomberg TV that it sees a recovery in Asian currencies in the 2nd half of 2020 if the coronavirus comes under control.

In early August the offshore yuan surged to a decade high of 7.05 per US dollar, breaking the symbolic and closely watched USD/CNY = 7.0 exchange rate, after the trade war flared up again and the US labelled China a "currency manipulator".

Increasingly, the yuan is being used as a barometer for progress made on US-China trade talks.

Trade tensions have ramped up again since May when President Trump announced higher tariffs on Chinese goods, after China retaliated with tariffs of its own, and then after Trump placed Huawei on the "entity list," thereby making it impossible for the tech giant to do business with US firms.

The below interactive chart shows the USD to CNY exchange rate, trend and recent alerts for the last 90 days.

   
Recent USD to CNY 90-day trend
 
1-DAY0.5% 90-DAY-HI (2d)
USD/CNY at 7.1373 was trading 1.1% above AVG:7.0593 with LO:6.932 and HI:7.1694 (90 days). There are no current rate alerts.

US Dollar to Chinese Yuan - Historical Rates

USD/CNYPeriod to 29-MayDateRate
0.1% ▲1 Week22 May 20207.1304
0.9% ▲30 Days29 Apr 20207.0769
2.1% ▲90 Days29 Feb 20206.9919
3.4% ▲1 Year30 May 20196.9019
15.5% ▲5 Years31 May 20156.1810
4.5% ▲10 Years01 Jun 20106.8293
USD/CNY 10 year rates & changes to 29-May-2020 (7.1373)

US Dollar to Chinese Yuan - Quick Conversions

USD CNY
U$ 1 ¥ 7.1373
U$ 5 ¥ 35.69
U$ 10 ¥ 71.37
U$ 20 ¥ 142.75
U$ 50 ¥ 356.87
U$ 100 ¥ 713.73
U$ 250 ¥ 1,784
U$ 500 ¥ 3,569
U$ 1,000 ¥ 7,137
U$ 2,000 ¥ 14,275
U$ 5,000 ¥ 35,687
U$ 10,000 ¥ 71,373
U$ 50,000 ¥ 356,865
U$ 100,000 ¥ 713,730
More amounts
USD CNY
U$ 0.1401 ¥ 1
U$ 0.7005 ¥ 5
U$ 1.4010 ¥ 10
U$ 2.8020 ¥ 20
U$ 7.0050 ¥ 50
U$ 14.01 ¥ 100
U$ 35.03 ¥ 250
U$ 70.05 ¥ 500
U$ 140.10 ¥ 1,000
U$ 280.20 ¥ 2,000
U$ 700.50 ¥ 5,000
U$ 1,401 ¥ 10,000
U$ 7,005 ¥ 50,000
U$ 14,010 ¥ 100,000
More amounts

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What currency should I use in China?

The domestic currency in China is the Chinese Yuan.

What is the Chinese Yuan currency code and symbol?

The three letter currency code for the Chinese Yuan is CNY — symbol is ¥.

Which countries use the Chinese Yuan?

It is the domestic currency in    China.

Is the Chinese Yuan a closed currency?

No, the Chinese Yuan is freely available and convertible. See guide: What is a closed currency?

 

Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for China

China's international visitors have rocketed to an impressive 26 million in 2015. It is said that in less than 10 years, the country will become the first tourist destination with the world's largest number of visitors.

Can I use a Credit Card in China?

Credit cards are still not accepted in many places so it will be convenient to carry a travel card or cash with you. If you're thinking of only visiting the larger cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Tianjin or Chengdu, you'll find no real problems in using a credit card in China. If you plan on travelling outside of the big cities, however, you'll have trouble finding ATMs and businesses that accept credit cards. As general rule the Chinese do not like the idea of debt and so tend to avoid using or accepting credit cards. Even in the big cities it can still be unreliable to depend on using credit cards depending on which area you are in.

The highest denomination (100 yuan) does not carry a huge amount of value so if you intend to make large purchases you may be carrying a conspicuous wad of cash around with you. In only recent years, more and more banks around China have made this possible to the extent it is becoming standard. 

Beware of people on the street side who offer services of money exchange. There has lately been a growing rate of ATM scam, where certain characters set up fake ATMs to scam credit card details. Just try to avoid any ATM that looks suspicious, or use the ATMs at major banks. There is also counterfeit money circulating in China, these are almost always smaller notes so try not to break up your larger notes all the time. Also be sure to notify your bank that you will be using your card in China so that they do not block your card suspecting fraud.

How do I get around in China?

China’s domestic air market is growing rapidly, with more than 180 commercial airports. At least nine new airlines, a few of them focus on low-cost routes, have been approved for operation since the government lifted restrictions on privately invested airlines in 2013. Together with the more established domestic carriers such as Shanghai Airlines, Tianjin Airlines (part of China Eastern), Xiamen Airlines and Dragonair, these new startups provide a vast network of flight services to smaller domestic destinations that previously could be reached only by train or bus.

Flying in China is very much smog/weather dependent. Delays and cancellations are commonplace due to serious air pollution that affects pilots’ visibility during take-off and landing. Traveling by high-speed rail (HSR) is a much more reliable alternative.

The train network in China is one of the most extensive in the world, as it combines older, slower trains that stop at smaller towns with the D-class trains that run up to 124 mph, and also the ultra-modern, high-speed G-class trains (HSR, or gao tie in Chinese) that connect bigger cities at speeds up to nearly 200 mph. Advance bookings are recommended, especially for sleeper classes. Travel by HSR in China is fast, punctual, comfortable and clean.

If you have plenty of time and a limited travel budget, long-distance buses are a good option. They are cheaper than flights and high-speed trains, and tickets are easier to secure however they can take two to three times as long as the high speed trains. Bus service networks also cover many smaller towns and villages that cannot be reached by train.

If travelling to China be sure to check when the local holidays are as everyone in China tends to holidays at once. So 590 million people take to public transport during peak local holidays known as Golden Weeks, which fall over Chinese New Year and National Day in early October. This makes it almost impossible to casually get a train or hotel room, or to see the sights.

 

Travel money for China

Save money and time by Ordering your Chinese Yuan online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the CNY cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.

Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.

For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Chinese Yuan otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.

 
 

USD to CNY - Travel Money & Cards

Provider Amount CNY(¥) Exchange RateFee USDDeal Links
¥7,066.09
1%
Best Overall
7.1016U$5.00
U.S. Bank Foreign Cash
U.S. Bank logo
¥6,680.9
6.39%
¥385 less
6.68090
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo
¥6,614
7.33%
¥452 less
6.680915
Wells Fargo Bank logo
¥6,547.28
8.27%
¥519 less
6.6809U$20
Travelex Online logo
¥6,294
11.82%
¥772 less
6.2940^
 
loading
TransferWise: Travel Money USD→CNY
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:U$5.00 USD (0.5% + U$1)
Exchange Rate:7.1016 (-0.5% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CNY) ¥7,066.09
Total Cost:1%
Time:13:30 Local
Currency Services:Multi-currency debit card with linked foreign bank accounts
Delivery/Collect:5-7 days
Rating:
 
: 4.6/5.0
Reviews:
 
U.S. Bank logo
loading
U.S. Bank: Travel Money USD→CNY
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:0
Exchange Rate:6.6809 (-6.39% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CNY) ¥6,680.9
Total Cost:6.39%
Time:13:30 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Banks - Average Rate
loading
Travel Money USD→CNY
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:15
Exchange Rate:6.2451 (-12.5% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CNY) ¥6,614
Total Cost:7.33%
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
 
Wells Fargo Bank logo
loading
Wells Fargo Bank: Travel Money USD→CNY
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:U$20 USD (Minimum fee)
Exchange Rate:6.6809 (-6.39% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CNY) ¥6,547.28
Total Cost:8.27%
Time:13:30 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
loading
Travelex Online: Travel Money USD→CNY
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:$0 - No fees for Debit & Credit Cards
Exchange Rate:6.294 (-11.82% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CNY) ¥6,294
Total Cost:11.82%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Sat May 30 2020 13:30:03 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Currency Services:FREE Home delivery & Branch pickup
Delivery/Collect:2-3 days
Rating:
 
: 4.3/5.0
Reviews:
 
loading
Snapshot 05/30/2020 - View live rates

Sending money to China

When searching around for information on how to get a good exchange rate when sending money to China you need to start with finding out the latest Chinese Yuan foreign-transfer exchange rate.

Then compare your bank's exchange rates to several licensed FX providers exchange rate and fees to see how much you can save (we make that calculation easy here).

Buying property in Shanghai

Have Shanghai property prices peaked?

Shanghai property prices have risen roughly sevenfold over the past decade but being a global city with broad-based demand from occupants and investors, an outright crash is unlikely. Still, today's buyers have probably missed the golden age of price appreciation.

Can foreigners buy property in Shanghai?

Foreigners who have lived and worked legally in Shanghai for one year are allowed to buy for self-occupancy. They are not officially permitted to rent out their flats. Mortgages from local banks are available to foreign buyers, typically with a downpayment of 30 per cent.

What is the most popular property in Shanghai?

European-style alleyway (longtang) homes in the former French concession (French: Concession française de Changhaï; Chinese: 上海法租界; pinyin: Shànghǎi Fǎ Zūjiè; Shanghainese: Zaonhe Fah Tsuka) are charming but heating, plumbing and electricity infrastructure is often dilapidated.

A longtang (弄堂 lòngtáng, Shanghainese: longdang) is a lane in Shanghai and, by extension, a community centred on a lane or several interconnected lanes.

Shanghai "longtang" alleyway


Get a better deal for foreign transfers to China

When sending money to China it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :

  1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
  2. You specify the local or Chinese Yuan amount you want to transfer
  3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
  4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted CNY amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in China.

Use our Send to Chinese Yuan calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Chinese Yuan deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!

 

USD to CNY International Money Transfers

Foreign Transfer Provider Receive CNY(¥) Exchange RateFee USDDeal Links
OFX logo
¥6,852.5
3.99%
Best Overall
6.85250^
XE logo
¥7,030.2
1.5%
¥178 more
7.03020
HSBC logo
¥6,718.71
5.86%
¥134 less
6.7288U$1.50
U.S. Bank International Money Transfers
U.S. Bank logo
¥6,701.3
6.11%
¥151 less
6.70130
Bank of America International Money Transfers
Bank of America logo
¥6,600.78
7.52%
¥252 less
6.7013U$15
Wells Fargo Bank logo
¥6,600.89
7.52%
¥252 less
6.7356U$20
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Bank of America logo HSBC logo Wells Fargo Bank logo
¥6,655
6.75%
¥197 less
6.716815
 
loading
OFX: Foreign Transfer USD→CNY
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:0^ - No fees for BestExchangeRates users (normally $12 for smaller transfers)
Exchange Rate:6.8525 (3.99% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CNY) ¥6,852.5
Total Cost:3.99%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Sat May 30 2020 13:03:13 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone, Foreign Currency Accounts
Rating:
 
: 4.8/5.0
Reviews:
 
loading
XE: Foreign Transfer USD→CNY
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:
Exchange Rate:7.0302 (1.5% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CNY) ¥7,030.2
Total Cost:1.5%
Difference:
¥178 CNY more than using OFX
Time:13:30 Local
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone
Rating:
 
: 3.5/5.0
Reviews:
 
HSBC logo
loading
HSBC: Foreign Transfer USD→CNY
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:U$1.50 USD (.15%)
Exchange Rate:6.7288 (5.72% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CNY) ¥6,718.71
Total Cost:5.86%
Difference:
¥134 CNY less than using OFX
Time:13:30 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
U.S. Bank logo
loading
U.S. Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→CNY
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:0
Exchange Rate:6.7013 (6.11% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CNY) ¥6,701.3
Total Cost:6.11%
Difference:
¥151 CNY less than using OFX
Time:13:30 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Bank of America logo
loading
Bank of America: Foreign Transfer USD→CNY
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:U$15 USD (Minimum fee)
Exchange Rate:6.7013 (6.11% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CNY) ¥6,600.78
Total Cost:7.52%
Difference:
¥252 CNY less than using OFX
Time:13:30 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Wells Fargo Bank logo
loading
Wells Fargo Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→CNY
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:U$20 USD (Minimum fee)
Exchange Rate:6.7356 (5.63% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CNY) ¥6,600.89
Total Cost:7.52%
Difference:
¥252 CNY less than using OFX
Time:13:30 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Banks - Average Rate
loading
Foreign Transfer USD→CNY
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:15
Exchange Rate:6.6875 (6.3% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CNY) ¥6,655
Total Cost:6.75%
Difference:
¥197 CNY less than using OFX
Transfer Speed:
Services:
 
loading
Snapshot 05/30/2020 - View live rates

Country/Currency Guides - A to Z


A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
Y
Z