Wuhan - Post Report Question and Answers
Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?
International credit cards aren't accepted much of anywhere - only hotels, really. Everyone uses WeChat or Alipay. These can be complicated to set up and require a lot of information from you. Once they are finally set up, things are easy, but it takes a lot of work. Only a few banks' ATMs will allow you to withdraw cash with a non-Chinese card. Cash is not commonly used, but will be grudgingly accepted, and you'd better have change unless it's a very large store. You need a local Chinese bank account and card to link to Wechat. Alipay has a Tourpass function that worked to add money with a US card after a few tries but then I ran into a problem using it that has yet to be resolved. Even the hospital where I went would only take cash (complicated) or WeChat. - Jul 2021
Credit cards are NOT widely accepted. There are a few banks (Bank of China, ICBC) that accept foreign debit cards for withdrawal. It is becoming more and more common to pay using Alipay or WeChat pay. In fact, I rarely carry much cash anymore. These apps work best when attached to a Chinese bank account. - Jan 2020
International credit cards are not widely accepted. It's best to open a local bank account in RMB and get local debit and credit cards. - Feb 2008