Tibet Money Exchange and Credit Cards Guidelines
For travel to Tibet, you need to know the Tibet currency and money exchange issue. It is not as convenient as in Beijing or Shanghai where Master Card of Visa card can work efficiently. Everyday there are long queues waiting to withdraw money or exchange money from bank of China, Tibet branch. This is really a time-consuming process and you'd better keep this informed before your arrival. Read more on using money and Shopping in Tibet.
In Tibet, the currency is the same as in China. Local people and businessmen transact in Chinese Yuan or known as Renminbi (RMB or CNY-Chinese Yuan). Notes come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Yuan and 1, 2, and 5 Jiao. 1 Yuan (or Kuai) = 10 Jiao (or Mao).
Foreign currency cannot be used directly but can be easily exchanged in top end Hotels such as The St. Regis or Lhasa Hotel or Tibet Brahmaputra Grand Hotel or famous 3 star standard hotels such as Dhood Gu Hotel, Shambhala Palace, House of Shambhala, Yak Hotel, Kyichu Hotel, etc. the rates offered by these hotels are not as good as in Bank of China in Lhasa, Tibet (normally it is about 0.3-0.5 RMB less for one dollar).
Coins are not acceptable in Tibet. Example, when you take a bus or buy a bottle of water, the coins are not accepted.
Currency Exchange in Lhasa, Tibet
Foreign currency and traveler's checks can be exchanged only at the Bank of China, which has one main office in Lhasa and a few sub-branches in Lhasa, Shigatse, Lhoka, and Nyingchi. Passports must be provided to exchange to currency you need. And for the traveler's checks, you need to sign with your passports at the front desk. Banks are open only few hours on Saturdays and Sundays in Tibet. Normally when your Tibetan tour guide and driver transfer you to Lhasa on the first day, please remind them that you need to go to Bank of China which is about 1 km to west of Potala Palace, then you can get your money exchanged and it saves you lots of time.
Find the Currency Exchange Rate today under this link: Bank of China Currency Rate
|Currency Name||Buying Rate||Cash Buying Rate||Selling Rate||Cash Selling Rate||Middle Rate||Pub Time|
Credit cards are not recommended as a way of payment in Tibet because they are only accepted by the Bank of China and few top end hotels in Lhasa. Furthermore, these hotels or big shops normally have 3.5-5% transaction service charge. If you want to cash out from your credit card, maybe they have a limit of RMB 2000 to RMB 5000 per day and it can only be processed in the Tibet Branch of the Bank of China (Zhong Guo Yin Hang,Xi Zang Zi Zhi Qu Fen Hang-Chinese Pinyin).
- ATM is not widely available. Most of the time, you couldn't get cash by ATM from branches of the Bank of China or China construction Bank, especially when it is the festival season. So, it is better to prepare some RMB cash when in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu or Hongkong for in case.
- All in all, exchange enough RMB cash is helpful. If you work in China, you may have local China banks's cards, that will be convenient to use in Tibet.
|Bank of China||Bank Address|
|Tibet Branch||8 Lingkhor West Road, Lhasa City 850000, Tibet, China-1km west of Potala Palace|
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