Money transfer from China to Canada

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Money transfer from China to Canada

Post by shahabh »


Can somebody please tell me if it is legal for me to leave my bank of China Unionpay bank card with my wife in Canada and I put money in it from China so she can withdraw from Canada? I know there is a 100,000 yuan annual limit. As long as I don’t cross that, is it ok?

Also, is HSBC international account a good option for me? I can see that when I go to Canada this summer, I can open up an HSBC international account in China (while in Canada).

If there are better options, I would really appreciate it if someone can help me.

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Re: Money transfer from China to Canada

Post by mickeymoo »

Thats how I do it, leave my card with relative in Australia, and when I visit, take 20,000 rmb cash out. All flights/hotels etc paid for via I do a large transfer of 50,000 rmb once via a friend in China. The thought of going in monthly to a bank is too much of an administrative nightmare. All this means I can transfer AUD 38,000 out each year.

Good luck

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Re: Money transfer from China to Canada

Post by shahabh »

Also, I’m just wondering that when I leave China for good, can I still access my account? (Meaningi don’t have my chinese work permit, visa anymore)

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Post by PsyGuy »

Its legal, its just not very practical, because 1) How are you going to access your funds? 2) The bank may very well feel something fraudulent is going on if their showing transactions in both locations, cancel the card and then give you another one. Its not uncommon at all for this kind of scenario, but thats because you have mainly parents sending their Uni kids funds, so its two accounts, one for the parents one for the student. Assuming those arent problems for you your spouse can simply access CAN currency vie ATMs with your union pay card. You will of course pay fees both in transaction fees and in currency conversion differences.

HSBC is an option if you live in a city that has its branches. The major benefit is you can have two accounts one CAN and one Chinese and you can transfer funds between them, vie mobile/internet banking, thus you can deposit your salary into the Chinese account then transfer it to the CAN account (same day settlement of currency conversion). You then would transfer funds from your HSBC account to a local domestic account that your spouse can access vie ATM. You would have to deposit funds directly into the HSBC account in person, so thats a trip youd have to take, since your IS is very likely to have a local Chinese bank that they deposit payroll into.
You need an HSBC advance or premiere account (the advance is cheaper). The maintenance fee for the advance account is CAN$25/mth if you dont meet the minimum balance of CAN$5K. This would allow you unlimited transfers. If youre close to an HSBC branch, and by close I mean not so much distance but a direct line of travel from A too B and your going to make more than 1 transfer a month it would be economical. CAN$25 is about what you would spend for a traditional foreign wire transfer for a local Chinese bank if you shop the rates around and your receiving bank in China either has no fee or a very low fee. Most wire transfers come out to be about CAN$50 per transfer.

Thats the traditional route there are some other options:

1) Alipay: Its a Chinese super app that allows Chinese nationals or those with PR to transfer funds electronically vie an app to banks including those in CAN. A lot of Chinese students in CAN use this with their parents and family. I know what your thinking "Im not a Chinese national", and thats true but youd be surprised how many Chinese staff in ISs will be happy to do it for you or there may be a designated staff member who will do it for you the cost is CAN$10 plus whatever your receiving bank charges.

Incidentally this isnt really an option for you as super apps like Wechat are basically everything in China, you essentially use them to pay for things using QR codes that take the remittance out of your Wechat wallet, which is what you will want to set up once you have your Chinese bank account.

2) Paypal: The fees are really high, but theres convenience and settlement takes about 3-5 days. You need two Paypal accounts one CAN and one Chinese and basically your going to send funds from one to the other after funding the Chinese Paypal account, then once its settled you can withdraw the funds from your CAN account into a CAN bank account.

3) Transfer wise: A couple years ago this was kind of dodgy as they were using individuals to fund their transactions, now theyve switched to actual banks and Im more comfortable recommending them. Basically as the sender you use the app to make a deposit into their corporate Chinese bank account and they allow your receiver to make a withdraw from their CAN bank account. Their fees are pretty low, and transparent, it might all blow up one day though, and while their error rate is really low there have been some lost transactions, but they are so small its a drop of water in the ocean.

4) Remittance Services: Western Union, Money Gram. Cheaper than a foreign wire, but more work. About the only real benefit is that its very fast, and doesnt require technology.

You can access your account even after you leave. Its something like 5 years of inactivity before they close the account, but there are ITs with open accounts longer than that.

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Re: Money transfer from China to Canada

Post by mysharona »

shahabh wrote:
> Also, I’m just wondering that when I leave China for good, can I still access my
> account? (Meaningi don’t have my chinese work permit, visa anymore)

You need to know that when your passport expires your card will stop working. That happened to me recently and I have to go in with my new passport to reactivate my card, not life threatening but inconvenient.

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