Getting Money out of China with Bank of China Demand Drafts

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    There are some people that think purchasing Demand Drafts is the BEST option to get your money out of China, but after having done it several times, I now think that if you value your TIME, it’s doesn’t offer a huge advantage over Telegraphic Transfer (wiring the funds).

    Last time I went to Bank of China for a Demand Draft, there was no line so I was able to go straight to the teller without a wait, but the transaction itself took 90 minutes. 90 minutes! And then, of course, there may be a bit of a wait when you have to go back to pick it up. In my several Demand Draft transactions, I was only once able to receive it immediately after purchasing. All the other times, the manager needed for the signature was not around so I had to come back at a later date for pick-up. You must have an account at BoC and your ATM card with you in order to purchase a Demand Draft there.

    For an idea on fees at BoC for a Demand Draft, it is a little over 90 RMB for 15,000USD or a bit over 50RMB for 5,000USD.

    At ICBC there is a 150 RMB fee for an outgoing wire, plus a small percentage of the amount being transferred, with a MAXIMUM that is actually very reasonable (though i forget the exact figure). I think if you are a VIP customer at certain banks, it could be even cheaper. Bear in mind that your bank accounts abroad will charge a fee for an incoming wire, my American banks charge $15.

    Many tout the greatness of Remote Deposit for the Demand Drafts, but my banks in the US have low maximum daily/monthly aggregates when using the Remote Deposit feature for Personal accounts, so for my circumstances, a Telegraphic Transfer is both more time and cost efficient for international remittance of LARGE sums.

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