This is a wiki crowdsourced by the Monzo Community to help you travel with Monzo.
Just like Wikipedia, anyone can edit it to help out others. If you have any tips or feedback for visiting China with Monzo, please feel free to edit this guide. You can also add a comment or question below — someone will then incorporate your comment into the main text below and then delete your comment. To create your own “Monzo in …” guide if one doesn’t already exist, just copy this template into a new post and write away!
China uses the Renminbi (yuan; ¥)
Card payments are rare in China as mobile payments are preferred; plus UnionPay is the primary card issuer in China so you may find your card (Mastercard) is generally not accepted. Acceptance will be better in Tier 1 cities such as Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen but likely only in tourist-orientated places. It is unusual for card transactions to take place at all due to mobile payments (Alipay, WeChat Pay) dominance so you may find it easier to rely on cash.
Whilst not all ATMs in China support Mastercards, acceptance is good with larger banks such as ICBC, Bank of China and Merchant Bank. You’ll often find the ATM is in a lockable cubicle outside of the bank and may be labelled as a ‘Cash Deposit/Recycling System/Service’ but can be used as an ATM. An English option may be available, follow on screen instructions for this.
When making a withdrawal, you may be asked which account you wish to withdraw from. You can select Default, Savings or Checking (whichever of these is available) and not Credit. This happens because you can often withdraw from other accounts you hold with the bank, but doesn’t apply to non-Chinese cards.
Payment and withdrawal limits
All Monzo cards have some payment and withdrawal limits. To check yours before you leave, tap on the manage card icon and then tap on Spending and card limits.
Crowdsourced merchant data
Data will most likely be scant so please try and contribute relevant feedback about transactions
If you happen to hold a Chinese bank account, try to use some of the more interesting payment options such as Alipay.
- Try Didi (Like the Chinese Uber) instead of Taxi if you want to pay by card. An English version is available which fully supports Monzo cards.
- Prepare a VPN if you wish to use the apps you’re used to. A VPN is NOT required for the Monzo app. Be aware before you pay one, however, that most VPNs do not work in China.
To edit this guide, just tap the pencil icon below. Alternatively, add a reply with your comments and someone from the community will incorporate your suggestions into the guide and then delete your comment.