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How to send money to China on the cheap

Information verified correct on March 27th, 2017

Need to send money from the US to China? Find a quick, affordable way to move your money internationally.

If you’ve landed on this page, chances are you’re looking for information on how to send money to China. Maybe you’re helping out friends or family in Beijing or investing in a business in Shaingai — the last thing you want to do is navigating a potentially complicated and expensive process.

Sending money from the US to China doesn’t have to be expensive. From bank transfers and online transactions to options that allow recipients to collect your funds within minutes, you’ll want to compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the many options available to you to get the best deal.

Compare international money transfers

Use our comparison calculator to assess transfer fees, exchange rates and other details for sending funds to China with our money transfer partners.

Rates last updated March 27th, 2017

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Save money on your personal or business international money transfer today. Fill in the form and you’ll be contacted by a foreign exchange expert to have an obligation-free discussion about your options.

With over 17 years of foreign exchange expertise and over $100 billion transferred, OFX can help with all your currency exchange needs, including:

  • Buying property abroad
  • Emigrating
  • Regular overseas payments
  • Risk management
  • Forecasting

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Services Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received
Wyre International Money Transfers
No transfer fees for finder... No transfer fees for finder.com readers. Make transfers with Bitcoin.
OnlinePhone
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
World First Foreign Exchange
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee ... Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for more than 100 currencies.
USD 1,000 1 day
Online
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
WorldRemit International Money Transfers
Use promo code FREE to ... Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer for no fee, to over 110 countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.
USD 1 Within an hour
OnlineCash Transfer
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
TransferWise International Money Transfers
Enjoy high maximum transfers into ... Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.
USD 1 1 day
Online
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
OFX International Money Transfers
Send safe... Send safe, no-limit transfers with no fees and competitive exchange rates.
USD 150 1 day
Online
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
HiFX International Money Transfers
Transfer money into 20 currencies ... Transfer money into 20 currencies and schedule regular payments. $5 fee waived for transfers over $5,000.
USD 100 2 days
Online
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
TorFX International Money Transfers
No hidden fees and a ... No hidden fees and a best rate guarantee for 60 global currencies.
USD 150 1 day
OnlinePhoneAgent
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
Go to site More
Wells Fargo Bank
While more expensive than other ... While more expensive than other options, securely send money to 13 Latin American and Asian countries.
USD 1 1 day
Online
Rates are always
changing, click to check
your price today
More

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  • If the provider quotes a different rate to the one above please let us know
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Sending money to China

How to send money to China

in 3 easy steps
    1. Locating a service icon

      Find a service

      Select a money transfer specialist that works for you from our comparison table.

    1. Send money icon

      Initiate the transfer

      Complete the required information with the service and provide the funds.

    1. Money arrives icon

      Receive the money

      Your recipient receives their money in their bank account or picks it up as cash.

Sending money to China

When sending money overseas, you’ll usually need to create a free account with a money transfer provider. The process varies by company but generally requires you to provide your name, contact information and proof of identity. If you’re not paying for your transaction with cash, you’ll also provide your banking info in order to have the funds withdrawn from your account.

Once you’ve selected a payment option and entered the full details of your transfer, you make your transaction and wait for the funds to arrive. You’ll most likely receive a reference number or receipt that you can use to track the progress of your transfer.
Laws and legal documents when transferring large sums of money into China

How do international money transfers work?

An international money transfer allows you to send money to friends, family and businesses overseas. Generally, it involves you sending cash or money from your bank account to an intermediary transfer service or bank, which then exchanges and sends the money to your recipient in another country — in this case, China.

Depending on the provider, you can initiate a money transfer in person, online or by phone. Your cash or bank account transfer is then either deposited into your recipient’s bank account or made available as cash for pickup at a location in their country.
A beginner’s guide to starting an import/export business with China

Banks vs. money transfer companies

China’s economy is experiencing a boom, and the Chinese yuan has become increasingly popular among traders on the global currency market. Many major US banks offer the option to send funds to China, but they typically charge high transfer fees and offer exchange rates that are significantly lower than the mid-market rate — or the rate banks and transfer providers use when trading among themselves.

A reputable money transfer specialist can offer better exchange rates and also charge lower fees, saving you money and putting more Chinese yuan into your recipient’s pocket.

Case Study: Henry sends money to China

Henry has waved good-bye to his parents in China and settled in the US. To thank his family for their support for his education, he wants to send his parents a $1,000 gift. Henry compares the fees, rates and options of two independent online money transfer providers to find the better deal.

Money transfer company A
Money transfer company B
Exchange rate1 USD = 6.13 CNY1 USD = 6.20 CNY
Transfer fee$7$70 for cash within minutes at an agent location; $8 for bank account transfer
Transfer speed
1 business dayCash pickup within minutes; 4–8 business days for account deposit
Transfer options
Bank account depositBank account deposit, cash at agent location
Total yuan received
6,130 CNY6,200 CNY

Henry learns that fees vary greatly by service, and that a small difference in exchange rates can mean a big difference in what his family receives. By going with Money Transfer Service A, Henry can deposit money into his parents’ account more quickly — and send 70 more yuan in the process.

How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to China

  • Exchange rates. Nearly all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate — the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves — and look for the smallest margin between them.
  • Transfer fees. Find out whether the provider charges a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
  • Transfer speed. If it needs to be there fast, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow for quick cash pickups, often in minutes. If you’ve more time, you’ll get better rates and fees with an independent provider.
  • Transfer limits. Your best option might depend on how much you want to send. For large transfers, weigh the best exchange rate — especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. For smaller amounts, consider the fees you’ll pay on top of the exchange rate.
  • “Hedging” options. Ask whether you can schedule payments ahead of time or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract.
  • Customer service. Most companies offer customer service by Internet chat, phone, in person or by email. Make sure help will be available if you need it.
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Foreign exchange rates explained
The exchange rate determines how much one country’s currency is worth in another currency. When a country’s currency is strong, it yields more money when exchanging it in a country with a weak currency. Most countries’ exchange rates are flexible, which means they can change from moment to moment. Factors that influence the exchange rate include interest rates, economic stability and inflation.

What are the ways that I can send money to China?

  • Bank transfers. Many major US banks will allow you to wire money to banks in China.
  • Money transfer providers. It’s simple and convenient to send an online money transfer to China from the comfort of your home.
  • Providers with cash pickup. Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram offer the option of sending funds that can be picked up from thousands of agent locations across China.
  • PayPal. Electronic payment giant PayPal allows you to send money from the US to China.
  • Checks and money orders. Although not a quick option, you could send an international check overseas, obtained from your bank or US Postal Service.
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Mobile top-ups

Many companies that we use for money transfers in the States offer “reload” services for prepaid credit cards and mobile plans that make it easy to convert cash into communication — often within minutes.

If you need to send minutes to a prepaid phone in China — whether your own or a loved ones’ — consider online providers WorldRemit and Xoom. To add or gift minutes from an agent location, standbys Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria are an option.

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Emergency cash transfers in China

You might need to send an emergency cash transfer to China — for example, if a friend traveling through the country loses their wallet. When you need to transfer funds urgently, your fastest possible transfer will often be your most expensive option. Carefully review the exchange rate and transfer fee against your needs so that you understand exactly how much it will cost you.

Receiving cash in China

Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria provide the three largest money transfer networks in the world, with thousands of agent locations around the globe. You’ll need to pass your transaction reference number on to your recipient to allow them to pick up your funds. They’ll also need to bring along a photo ID.

Tips for picking up cash

Although China is considered a safe country for American tourists, exercise caution when picking up cash from an agent location. Don’t advertise the fact that you have a wallet full of cash, and head to your bank as soon as possible to deposit the funds.

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US International Money Transfers Offers

Learn about our information service
HiFX International Money Transfers

Transfer money into 20 currencies and schedule regular payments. $5 fee waived for transfers over $5,000.

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

Use promo code FREE to send your first transfer for no fee, to over 110 countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.

World First Foreign Exchange

Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee
No-limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for more than 100 currencies.

TransferWise International Money Transfers

Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

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