Find fast and convenient ways to transfer money from Australia to your family in China.
Expats from China who have chosen Australia as their new home are often in need of a quick way to send money to family members.
This could be to help out in an emergency, to take care of monthly bill obligations, or send back profit from investments in Australia.
In addition, many Australians also look towards the future and invest in Chinese businesses and property. If this applies to you, you may want to consider putting some time into a simple comparison of money transfer companies and products available in China.
Comparison of services that allow transfers to China
The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms "Best" and "Top" are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.
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 more. If you want to learn more about a product, click the 'More info' link, or to open an account click the 'Go to Site' button.
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Banks vs money transfer companies
When Kim found out that he was going to have the opportunity to relocate to Australia, his first concern was for his ageing parents who would not be able to make the trip. They relied heavily on his income for survival as they haven't been able to work themselves in years.
For peace of mind, Kim decided to make sure that he would have a secure way of sending them money first from Australia before committing to the move. What he found in his initial research was that he could choose between Australian banks and companies that specialise in overseas money transfers.
|Bank||International money transfer service|
|Rate of exchange||1 Australian dollar is equivalent to 4.92 Chinese Yuan||1 Australian dollar is equivalent to 5.36 Chinese Yuan|
|Fees for the transfer||The origination bank will charge $22. Kim will have to check with the destination bank in China to find out if additional fees apply.||Kim will be charged $18 to send $1,000 AUD to China.|
|Amount of Yuan received for every $1,000 Australian dollar||4,922.80 Chinese Yuan.||5,358.76 Chinese Yuan.|
|Amount of time for transfer to complete||Bank to bank transfers typically take two to three business days to complete.||This company will be able to complete the transaction in minutes.|
|Options available||You can only make a bank to bank transfer with this service.||For money being transferred to China, you can choose a cash pickup or have it deposited into a bank account. You also get the choice of having the money sent in Chinese Yuan or US dollars.|
What's the difference?
Kim’s parents will receive 435.96 Yuan more if he decides to use the money transfer service over the bank. He will also save $4 on each transaction of $1,000.
How do I compare companies when transferring money to China?
When you see the significant difference in money observed in Kim’s example, it is easy to understand the importance of comparing your options. Over a year period, both he and his parents would lose over 4,000 Yuan if he were to send $1,000 a month. Look at the following features closely when doing your own research to avoid this happening to you:
- The exchange rate. This is big, as it can cost you a lot of money over the long run. Note that some transfer services will offer a competitive exchange rate but offset this with high fees. Others can offer less competitive rates but low fees, so be sure to factor this in to your comparison.
- The amount of fees charged. Fees are something else to examine closely to make sure that a good exchange rate is not being offset by high fees as mentioned above. Also note that many transfer companies will give free transfers when the transfer amount is above $10,000 AUD.
- Pickup options. This is of special importance to the primary person you will be sending the money to. You don’t want to put them in a position where they have to travel far to get the money that you send. Also keep in mind that if you're recipient in China doesn't have a bank account, a cash pickup service might be a good option.
- Turnaround time. While it may not be 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 sent per transaction. If your intent is to send large amounts of money, this will be a feature you will want to explore in depth. Also, many companies will have minimum transfer amounts, for some services this can be as large as $1,000 AUD.
What methods can I use to send money to China?
There are both banks and money transfer service providers available to send money to China from Australia. Banks will typically only allow bank to bank transfers, while overseas money transfer companies provide additional options.
If you are in need of a place to start comparing the features of these institutions, these are some of the providers you could consider:
- Money transfer companies. A range of money transfer companies will allow you to send money to China. These companies can offer a range of extra services, such as regular transfers, forward contracts and market orders. You can compare these 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.
- Western Union. Western Union also allows for bank deposit or cash pickup. In addition to these options they will conduct the transaction in Yuan or US Dollars.
- Banks. Most larger Australian 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. Also note that some banks have products dedicated to sending money overseas. Two examples of these are Citibank's Plus Transaction Account, which allows fee-free transfers to any account anywhere in the world, and the HSBC Multi-Currency Bank Account, which allows you to send, receive and hold funds in different currencies, including the Chinese Yuan Renminbi.
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:
- Bank travel card. Banks such as NAB 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 Australia without this important insurance. Under certain circumstances they will replace your cash if you lose your purse or are robbed.
- A money transfer service. Even though you are outside of Australia, you are still permitted to receive funds through a money transfer service company, provided you have a valid photo I.D.
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
Australians travelling to China are advised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to exercise normal safety precautions. You should however always be wary if travelling to a money transfer location to pick up cash no matter where you are. 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'll need to process your transfer
If you have decided that a bank or money transfer service is your best option for sending money from Australia to China you will need to set up an account. If you are going to take advantage of a money transfer provider, then make sure that you know this information about your primary beneficiary:
- Your full name (and the recipient's). When picking up cash, your recipient is going to need to show a photo id. The name on this id must match exactly the name on the transfer order.
- Your recipient's bank account information. If you are 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 recipients phone number.
On a cash pickup transaction you will be given paperwork at the conclusion that contains a personalised tracking number. You will have to pass this along to the beneficiary in order for them to receive the money.
Choosing the right overseas transfer company is a big decision considering the amount of money it could potentially cost you. Examine all of your options carefully before making this very important decision.