Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

I get cash from the Consulate; that ensures not being given counterfeit money on the street, which taxi drivers do on a regular basis. Get a local bank account and use the phone app to pay. I use non-China charge cards very rarely, usually at international businesses and airlines. - May 2019

WeChat pay. Some restaurants can take a card. Local bank account is important to have. - Nov 2018

Everyone uses cash from the Consulate. Even if my credit card worked, I wouldn't use it. - Nov 2015

China is very cash-based. I bought a TV and had to bring a giant stack of RMB to the store to pay for it. I used ATMs with no problems, but stores will almost never accept U.S. credit cards. You can use your credit cards in Hong Kong. - Aug 2014

I've heard of folks having troubles, but no one in my circle, or me personally. Bank of America I think has a deal with a China bank here. - May 2013

Although many stores and restaurants accept credit cards, this is still mostly a cash economy. I've used my credit card maybe 3 times in 2 years. - Apr 2013

China is a cash society. Some upscale grocery stores and restaurants take U.S. credit cards. It's possible to get a local ATM card, but from what I have heard it's more hassle than it's worth. - Jan 2013

Use China Construction Bank and Bank of China with my USAA card and have no problems. Pay only a very very small fee (less than $2). - Oct 2011

It is an all-cash economy, so wouldn't recommend using credit cards, even if they will take them. Only use ATMs that are attached to banks and look reputable. We try to us the consulate's cashier to get money as much as possible. - May 2011

This is a cash culture. You learn to carry lots of cash with you all the time. Reliable ATMs can be found in malls or in banks. - Jul 2009

It's still tough to find places that take credit cards, but ATMs are everywhere and I've never had any problems using them. - Jan 2009

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