Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A brief word on exchange rates

I'll post the events of last week later after I am back from teaching and have all night to write...

I have a ton of pictures to sort out for here!

But right now I just want to touch on the subject of exchanging money.

It's a pain.

The first exchange I made was at LAX and cost $5.99 US, with exchange rates of about 6.05 USD : 1 yuan. I don't know why the rates were so bad (or good if you're coming back from China), because the actual rates for right now are closer to 6.8. Additionally, the $5.99 fee didn't help.

The 2nd exchange was when I opened my local bank account here. I got a much better rate (this was less than 24 hours from the exchange at LAX), and the fee was minimal (maybe 20 yuan). The rate I received was 6.75 USD : 1 yuan, and this fee comes out to roughly $3 US.

However, the best deal I've gotten so far is actually with my Bank of America account bank home, which does indeed have a partnership with China Construction Bank here. Basically, you can bring your ATM card from the US, withdraw cash from your US bank account and instantly get the best exchange rate possible. Best of all, there is no ATM fee. None.

I also thought I should have waited to exchange money until I got here, but the fee was actually greater at the airport here than at LAX!

I also don't understand why I've experienced such variabilities in the exchange rates...but oh well.

So, just an FYI, when you see me converting amounts on this blog in the future, I will probably just use a rough 6:1 estimate, as it ensures I save the most money considering this will be the worst exchange rate I have received so far. When I go back however, it's kind of funny how the worst exchange rates become the best...

1 comment:

  1. Great Journal Tim... really enjoyed all of it.. pictures are great... You are really being adventurous with the food... watch out for the really old eggs! School looks really good and the apartment also... nothing to complain about there! Think you got the exchange rate explanation a little reversed... should be 6.8 Yuan to $1, not the other way around... it will all work out... Keep up the good work and diplomacy!.... Brian