Most of shops in Yiwu don’t accept international business credit cards.
But if you have an international debit/credit card with a Visa or Master Card logo, there will be no problems withdrawing your money from many Yiwu ATMs. Bank of China, ICBC, China Construction Bank… all have ATMs for international cards. It’s also cheaper to take money out from ATMs than withdraw them from bank counters.
But after confirming with several bank staffs, using an international card to withdraw money from ATMs would be the last option, because usually the rate is high and there are limitations for how much you can withdraw once, or per day… For example, a China local card can only take out 2,500 RMB/365 USD once and 20,000 RMB/2.920 USD per day from ATMs.
You definitely need to check up these limitations and restrictions with your own bank.
Carrying cash would be the easiest way. You can check with your customs for how much money (your local currency or foreign dollars) is allowed to take out of your country. Carry as much as you could, that’s the top 1 option recommended here. It’s pretty safe to carry cash in China. (*Disclaimer: only my thinking and it all depends on how you carry it.) You’ll find people in Yiwu tend to carry more cash alone with them.
International cards (Visa, Master) can certainly serve as backup options.
If you plan to withdraw over 10,000 USD from banks here, another option is you exchange that money into RMB and wire to someone’s bank account in Yiwu, and you can withdraw that from his/her/their account after you arrive in Yiwu. You may check up with your bank for how much money they would charge for this. For withdrawing money from banks here, it’s almost free. Usually it takes several working days to transfer money from your bank account to a Yiwu bank account.
DON’T do this unless you’re 100% confident with the bank account you’re going to transfer money! ONLY choose someone you can 100% trust in.
In all, it all depends on how much you would like to spend in Yiwu. If just for accommodation, sampling and small deposit, carrying cash plus bank cards would be enough.
P.S. Most banks in China don’t exchange New Zealand Dollars, so New Zealand visitors have to exchange your dollars to US dollars before entering China.
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