Find fast and convenient ways to transfer money from Canada to friends and family in China.
Expats from China who have chosen Canada as their new home are often in need of a quick and cost-efficient way to send money back home to friends and family members. Small business owners may also need cheap and quick ways to send funds overseas to China.
Many Canadians look towards the future and invest in Chinese businesses and property. If this applies to you, you may want to compare companies that send international money transfers to and from China.
Whether you need to send emergency funds to family, take care of monthly bill obligations, or send profits from investments back to China, there are many fast and convenient options available to you.
Comparison of services that allow transfers to China
Using the table above, you can compare services and accounts from money transfer companies and banks which allow you to send money to China. Use the table headings to sort through products based on their fees, minimum transfer amounts and other features. If you want to learn more about a product, click the “More info” link. To open an account, click the “Go to site” button.
Speak to an FX Expert
Case study – Banks vs money transfer companies
When Kim found out that he was going to have the opportunity to relocate to Canada, his first concern was for his elderly parents who would not be able to make the trip. They relied heavily on his income for survival as they have not been able to work for many years.
For peace of mind, Kim decided to make sure that he would first have a secure way of sending them money from Canada before committing to the move. What he found in his initial research was that he could choose between Canadian banks and dedicated money transfer service companies.
|Bank||International money transfer service|
|Rate of exchange||$1 CAD = 4.78 CNY||$1 CAD = 5.19 CNY|
|Fees for the transfer||The bank will charge $25. Kim will have to check with the destination bank in China to find out if additional fees apply.||Kim will be charged $15 to send $1,000 to China.|
|Amount of CNY received for every CAD1,000||CNY4,660.50||CNY5,117.31|
|Amount of time for transfer to complete||Bank to bank transfers typically take 2-3 business days to complete.||This company will be able to complete the transaction in minutes or less than 24 hours.|
|Options available||You can only make a bank-to-bank transfer with this service.||For money being transferred to China, you can choose cash pickup or have it deposited into a bank account. You may also get a choice of currency to transfer. Sending directly to a bank account may be more cost-effective.|
What’s the difference?
Kim’s parents will receive CNY456.81more if he decides to use the money transfer service instead of the bank. He will also save $10 on each transaction of $1,000. Over a one year period, this is a CNY5,481.72 saving, which is over $1,000.
How do I compare companies when transferring money to China?
When you see how different fees and exchange rates can be between banks and dedicated transfer money providers, it’s easy to understand the importance of comparing your options. Consider the following features when comparing money transfer options:
- The exchange rate. This can really impact the amount of money you send or receive. Some transfer services will offer a competitive exchange rate but offset this with higher fees. Others may offer less competitive exchange rates but lower fees, so be sure to factor this into your comparison.
- Fees. Fees must be examined closely to ensure that a good exchange rate is not being offset by high fees as mentioned above. Many specialist transfer companies will give free transfers when the transfer amount is above $10,000.
- Pickup options. This is important to the recipient of your money. You don’t want to put them in a position where they have to travel far to pick up the money that you send. If your recipient in China does not have a bank account, a cash pickup service might be a good option.
- Turnaround time. While time may not be as important for regular payments, having the option of an instant transaction during an emergency can be helpful.
- Transfer amounts. Many companies and banks have a cap on the amount of money that can be sent during each transaction. If you intend to send large amounts of money, this will be a feature you’ll want to research in depth. Keep in mind some companies will have minimum transfer amounts and for some companies this can be as large as $1,000.
What methods can I use to send money to China?
Both banks and money transfer service providers can send money to China from Canada. Banks will typically only allow bank-to-bank transfers, while overseas money transfer companies provide additional options including cash pickup.
Consider comparing some of the features that these providers offer:
- Money transfer companies. Many money transfer companies allow you to send money to China. These companies can offer a variety of extra services, including regular transfers, forward contracts and market orders. You can compare these features in the table above.
- MoneyGram. As far as options go, you will find that MoneyGram has many to choose from. They will conduct cash transfers in a number of currencies as well as bank deposits. With over 300,000 locations worldwide, MoneyGram services many countries around the world.
- Western Union. Western Union also allows for bank deposits or cash pickup. In addition to these options, they will conduct the transaction in either CNY or CAD. They also have hundreds of thousands of locations worldwide.
- Banks. Most Canadian banks allow you to send money to China. Keep in mind that many times these transactions can be more expensive than sending money through a specialist money transfer company. Some banks have products dedicated to sending money overseas, like the HSBC Multi-Currency Bank Account, which allows you to send, receive and hold funds in different currencies, including CNY.
Emergency cash transfers in China
If you are visiting China and find yourself in need of money, there are a few options available that can help you get your hands on emergency cash including:
- Bank travel card. Some banks offer travel cards that can be loaded with multiple currencies. These can help you access cash fast if you lose your wallet or your money is stolen.
- Travel insurance. You should not travel outside of Canada without travel insurance. Under certain circumstances, insurance companies will replace your cash if you lose your purse or are robbed.
- A money transfer service. Even though you are outside of Canada, you are still permitted to receive funds through a money transfer service company, provided you have a valid photo ID.
Cash pickup locations in China
China Construction Bank700 Yanan East Rd
Huangpu DistShanghai, Shanghai 200001
Open Monday through Friday 9 am to 4 pm Closed on Saturday and Sunday
Postal Savings Bank of China
279 Huangpi Bei Road
Huangpobei Lu 279 Hao
Shanghai, Shanghai 200003
Open Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:30 pm Saturday and Sunday 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
CCB 1st Floor Dingxin Building No27
Dongcheng DisBeijing, Beijing 100062
Open Monday through Sunday 9 am to 5 pm
Agricultural Bank of China
Bld 21 Yard 8 Taiping St
Xicheng DistrictBeijing, Beijing 100050
Open Monday through Friday 9 am to 5:30 pm Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm
ICBC SH Guojijichang Branch
Open Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm Closed Saturday and Sunday
Bank of Communications
99 Huaihai East Rd.
Open 9 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. Closed on Saturday and Sunday
BOC-BJ Chedaogou Sub-branch
88 Zi Zhu Yuan Rd
Hai Dian DistrictBeijing, 0
Open Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm Saturday 9 am to 4 pm Sunday 10 am to 4 pm
BOC-BJ Lianhuahe Sub-branch
178 Guang An Men Wai Avenue
Xuan Wu DistrictBeijing, 0
Open Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm
Tips for picking up cash in China
Canadians travelling to China are advised by the Canadian government to exercise normal safety precautions. You should always be wary visiting a money transfer location to pick up cash no matter where you are in the world. Travel with a friend if possible and ask your hotel to arrange safe transportation for you. After receiving your cash, secure it back in your hotel safe before heading back out.
Documentation you will need to process your transfer
If you’ve decided that a bank or money transfer service is your best option for sending money from Canada to China, you’ll need to set up an account. If you’re going to take advantage of a money transfer provider, then make sure that you know the following information:
- Your full name (and the recipient’s). When picking up cash, your recipient will need to show photo ID. The name on this ID must match the name on the transfer order exactly.
- Your recipient’s bank account information. If you’re choosing to send the money to a bank account, make sure that you know the institution name, bank account and bank routing number.
- Your recipient’s address. You may be asked to provide an address for the recipient.
- Your recipient’s contact details. In addition to the address, your money transfer service or bank might ask for the recipient’s phone number.
For a cash pick-up, you’ll be given paperwork that contains a personalized tracking number. You’ll have to pass the tracking number along to your recipient in order for them to retrieve the money.
Choosing the right overseas transfer company is a big decision considering the amount of money it could potentially cost you. Compare all of your options carefully before making a final decision.