China

The renminbi (RMB) is the official currency of the People’s Republic of China. The yuan (Chinese: 元; pinyin: yuán) is the basic unit of the renminbi, but is also used to refer to the Chinese currency generally especially in international contexts. Notes come in 1 yuan, 5 yuan, 10 yuan, 20 yuan, 50 yuan and 100 yuan.

Currency Exchange

We recommend all our customers to purchase your RMB before you leave Australia through your bank or an exchange store. If you exchange your money through your Australian bank you have many other benefits such as a travel money cards and services. Usually it will take one or two weeks for the bank to process your money exchange.

However, money exchange shops will provide you a better exchange rate for your amount. It will also be a lot less of a hassle to deal with. There are a wide range of exchange stores you can find in cities, airports or shopping centres.

Cash/Credit cards

You will only need cash to purchase some optional tours or programs, extra meals and souvenirs from small shops (that may not have Eftpos). Most of the stores in China accept Mastercard and Visa card so don’t worry too much about cash.

Load & Go China Card

  • $0 reload fee
  • Manage your card anywhere with the Load & Go
  • Get access to over 10 million merchants in China and around the globe
  • Currencies available: Chinese Yuan (CNY), Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Initial purchase fee: $0
  • Load up to the maximum available balance: $10,000 AUD
  • Foreign currency conversion fee: $0 for conversions between AUD and CNY
  • 24/7 Load & Go Customer Support

Multicurrency Cash Passport

Add up to 10 different foreign currencies and use your card at millions of MasterCard retailers and ATMs around the world.

  • Add up to 10 foreign currencies on the one card
  • $0 commission4 when you buy or reload foreign currency
  • No transaction fees for purchases or withdrawals
  • Withdraw local currency at over 2 million MasterCard® ATMs worldwide or pay for goods and services at over 35.9 million MasterCard retailers globally3
  • Get help if your travel card or Multi-currency Cash Passport is lost or stolen, and access emergency cash through 24/7 global emergency assistance6
  • Lock in the exchange rate7 when you buy or reload your card
  • Reload online wherever you are

ATMs

If you would like to find an ATM close to a spot on your tour or near your hotel, your tour guide can show you which ATM is for your Master or Visa cards.

If you have an issue using the ATM you can also ask your guide to help you. Most ATMs should have an English language setting though so you should be fine.

Japan

Payment methods in Japan

Cash

Cash is still the preferred payment method in Japan, especially when it involves small amounts. Big notes such as the 10,000 yen to pay for small items is acceptable in Japan. Although if you go to smaller cities, villages or rural areas it is advisable to have cash on you at all times.

Cash is usually the only way to pay for small entrance fees at tourist sights, at smaller restaurants and small shops. The majority of lockers in stations or the airport require coins. Preparing coins in advance by using the vending machine, bus or train is really handy.

How to get your Yen

Currency Exchange

In Japan, currency exchange is usually handled by banks, post offices, some larger hotels and a handful of licensed money changers found especially at international airports. However, sometimes these places can charge you higher rates. Before you go to Japan it would be recommended for you to get your Yen through your Australian bank. If you do it through your bank you can receive the Yen at a favourable rate and you can receive it within one or two weeks. Also it saves you time during your trip to go and find an ATM to get out a lot of money. If you get most of the Yen you need out then you can just use the ATM for smaller amounts. While you are doing this you can also ask your bank for a global currency card that they can show you how to use and convert the Australian dollars to Yen. As well as access your funds online through your account. You can receive two currency cards, one to use and one as a backup. You could also go to an exchange shop to exchange your money. The exchange rates may be a lot cheaper and it could be a lot more time efficient.

There are also other currency cards that you can find in Australian post offices such as:

Multi-currency Card Passport:
  • Add up to 10 foreign currencies on the one card
  • $0 commission when you buy or reload the foreign currency
  • No transaction fees for purchases or withdrawals
  • No transaction fees for purchases or withdrawals
  • No transaction fees for purchases or withdrawals
  • Withdraw local currency at over 2 million Mastercard ATMs worldwide or pay for goods and services at over 35.9 million Mastercard retailers globally
  • Get help if your travel card or Multi-currency Cash passport is lost or stolen, and access emergency cash through 24/7 global emergency assistance
  • Lock in the exchange rate when you buy or reload your card

ATM Withdrawals

Many ATMs in Japan do not accept cards that are issued outside of Japan. Although there are post offices and convenience stores that have ATMs that will accept your credit or debit card.

JP Post Bank

(a post office with a banking service inside) allows you to use your Australian bank card to get cash out or make a deposit. JP Post ATMs have easy to understand English translations and a simple process for you to take out your cash. JP Post ATMs will charge you 200 yen per transaction so if you do not want to be charged each time you should take out more cash than you expect to use. JP Post ATMs are very easy to find and are located in various locations throughout the city, usually close to the train stations, department stores or attractions. You’ll never have to worry about where to find an ATM you can use!

Convenience Stores

Throughout Japan there are a range of convenience stores to choose from. You can go to Lawson, Family Mart and 7-Eleven. These convenience stores are located in every city, town and country side area in Japan so it is very easy to access an ATM. The ATM in the convenience store is available for Australian and other foreign bank cards.

  • E-net ATM

    Allows you to take out cash by using your Australian bank card or any other foreign bank cards. You must check whether your card can be used on the machine or not before using it.

    These ATMs have English language settings as well as Chinese and Korean. These ATMs charge you around 250 yen to take out money or deposit money.

  • Lawson ATM

    Allows you to take out cash by using your Australian bank card or any other foreign bank cards Please check up the top if you can use your card or not with the Lawson ATM There is also an English language setting on this ATM so don’t be worried you’ll always be able to read it in English. The Lawson ATM also charges you around 250 yen to take money out or deposit money.

  • 7 Bank ATM

    Allows you to take out cash by using your Australian bank card or any other foreign bank cards. Please check which bank card you can use on the ATM. There is an English language setting on the ATM. 7-Eleven ATM also charges you around 250 yen per transaction so please keep that in mind.

Tax

In Japan there is a tax rate of 8% when you buy an item from any shop. If you buy a drink from a convenience store it will say 100 yen but actually it will cost 108 yen. As foreigners though in Japan you can be exempt from paying consumption taxes if you buy items in department stores, home appliance stores, discount stores and such (on condition that they are taken out of Japan). So when you’re shopping for souvenirs and such just remember that there is tax and non-tax items so if the price is higher you will know why.

Taiwan

New Taiwan Dollar is the official currency of Taiwan (in Mandarin it is "元" or "圓" (pinyin: yuán). Notes come in $1, $5, $10, $50, $100, $500 and $1000.

Currency Exchange

We recommend all our customers to purchase your NTD before you leave Australia through your bank or an exchange store. If you exchange your money through your Australian bank you have many other benefits such as a travel money cards and services. Usually it will take one or two weeks for the bank to process your money exchange. However, money exchange shops will provide you a better exchange rate for your amount. It will also be a lot less of a hassle to deal with. There are a wide range of exchange stores you can find in cities, airports or shopping centres.

Cash/Credit cards

You will only need cash to purchase some optional tours or programs, extra meals and souvenirs from small shops (that may not have Eftpos). Most of the major stores in Taiwan accept MasterCard and Visa card so don’t worry too much about cash.

Travel Currency Cards:

Multi-currency Cash Passport

  • Add up to 10 foreign currencies on the one card
  • No transaction fees for purchases or withdrawals
  • Withdraw local currency at over 2 million MasterCard® ATMs worldwide or pay for goods and services at over 35.9 million MasterCard retailers globally
  • Get help if your travel card or Multi-currency Cash Passport is lost or stolen, and access emergency cash through 24/7 global emergency assistance
  • Lock in the exchange rate when you buy or reload your car
  • Reload online wherever you are

ATMs

If you would like to find an ATM close to a spot on your tour or near your hotel, your tour guide can show you which ATM is for your Master or Visa cards. If you have an issue using the ATM you can also ask your guide to help you. Most ATMs should have an English language setting though so you should be fine.

South Korea

Korea’s currency is the Won (원). Won comes in 10 won, 50 won, 100 won, 500 won, 1,000 won, 5,000 won, 10,000 won and 50,000 won.

Currency Exchange

We recommend all our customers to purchase your KRW before you leave Australia through your bank or an exchange store. If you exchange your money through your Australian bank you have many other benefits such as a travel money cards and services. Usually it will take one or two weeks for the bank to process your money exchange. However, money exchange shops will provide you a better exchange rate for your amount. It will also be a lot less of a hassle to deal with. There are a wide range of exchange stores you can find in cities, airports or shopping centres.

Cash/Credit cards

You will only need cash to purchase some optional tours or programs, extra meals and souvenirs from small shops (that may not have Eftpos). Most of the stores in Korea accept MasterCard and Visa card so don’t worry too much about cash.

ATMs

If you would like to find an ATM close to a spot on your tour or near your hotel, your tour guide can show you which ATM is for your Master or Visa cards. If you have an issue using the ATM you can also ask your guide to help you. Most ATMs should have an English language setting though so you should be fine.