Do you need to send money from the United States to China? Here’s how to find a quick and 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. Whether you’re sending money to friends or family or sorting out your financial affairs in China, the last thing you want to have to deal with is navigating a potentially complicated and expensive process.
Sending money from the United States to China doesn’t have to be expensive. Compare the transfer fees and exchange rates of the many options available to you to get the best deal. From bank transfers and online transactions to options that allow recipients to collect your funds within minutes, sending an international money transfer to China is easy. However, do your research and shop around for the best available deal.
Compare International Money Transfers
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Sending money to China
When you send money overseas you will usually have to register for an account with a money transfer provider. The process for doing this varies between companies but will generally require you to provide your name, address, phone number, email address and proof of identity. If you are not using cash for this transaction, you will need to provide your banking info in order to have funds drafted from your account.
Once you’ve selected your payment option and entered the full details of your transfer, you can make your transaction and wait for your funds to arrive. You’ll most likely be given a reference number or receipt, which you can use to check the progress of your transfer.
Sending money to China is fast, easy and convenient. Just make sure that you compare the range of transfer options available to you before deciding on the one you’d like to use.
How do international money transfers work?
An international money transfer allows you to send money to a recipient overseas. Generally, a transfer involves you providing funds to a bank or an independent transfer provider, which then sends the money to your recipient in another country — in this case, China. This can be done in person or oftentimes online. You can use cash or transfer funds from your bank account, which will then either be deposited into your recipient’s bank account are made available as cash for them to pick up at a location in their country.
Banks versus money transfer companies
As China’s economy has experienced a boom in recent decades, the Chinese yuan has become increasingly popular among traders on the global currency market. Many major American banks offer the option of sending funds to China, but banks typically charge high transfer fees and offer exchange rates that are significantly lower than the mid-market rate.
Money transfer providers offer better exchange rates than many banks and also charge lower fees, leading to more affordable transactions. This means that you save money, and your recipient ends up with more Chinese yuans in their pocket.
Henry has waved goodbye to his parents in China and settled in the United States. However, he’d like to send his family $1,000 as a gift to thank them for the financial support they provided during his education. In an attempt to get the best available deal, Henry decides to compare what two separate online money transfer providers charge for the same transaction.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 6.13 CNY||1 USD = 6.20 CNY|
|Transfer fee||$7||$70 for cash within minutes at agent location, $8 for bank account transfer|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Bank account deposit, cash at agent location|
|Processing time||1 business day||Within minutes, or 4-8 business days|
|Amount received (in Chinese Yuan)||6,130 CNY||6,200 CNY|
As you can see from the comparison, fees vary greatly depending on the service you use, and a small difference in exchange rates can mean a big variation in the amount of cash that reaches your recipient.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to China
- Exchange rates. How do each company’s exchange rates compare to the competition?
- Transfer fee. Check to see how much you will be charged each time you send a transfer, and remember that different payment and transfer methods (for example, paying with a credit card or making cash available for pickup) may result in different fees.
- Transfer methods. Find out whether you can make transfers online, over the phone or by visiting a branch. You should also compare the payment methods available.
- Transfer options. Can you schedule repeat payments months in advance? Can you lock in an ideal exchange rate now and transfer the money later, known as a forward contract?
- Transfer time. How long will it take your funds to arrive? While some services offer transfers within minutes, others can take several business days for your funds to arrive.
- Pickup methods. Will the money be sent directly to a bank account in China, or can the recipient collect the cash from a local agent location?
- Minimum amounts. Some companies will impose a minimum limit on transfers, so make sure you’re aware of this before signing up for an account.
- Customer service. Check to see what customer support options are available so that you can receive help when you need it.
Options for sending money to China from America
- Bank transfers. Many banks will allow you to send an international money transfer to banks in China.
- Online money transfer services. It’s simple and convenient to send an online money transfer to China from the comfort of home.
- Money transfer services with cash pickup option. 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 United States to China.
- Checks. Sending an international guaranteed check is a secure but slow method of sending funds overseas.
Emergency cash transfers in China
When you need to send funds quickly, you’ll often have to pay an extra fee or receive a lower exchange rate in order to get your funds processed as quickly as possible. With this in mind, it’s important that you check the details of your transfer before you send it to ensure you know exactly how much you are spending.
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 the funds. They’ll also need to bring along a photo ID.
Although China is considered a safe country for American tourists, you should 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.