Chinese currency is called Renminbi (RMB) and is issued by the national bank, the People’s Bank of China. The local unit of currency is called the "Yuan". There are one hundred "Fen" in a "Yuan" and ten "Fen" in a "Jiao". There are 1, 2, and 5 Fen coins and different size and colored bills for 10 and 50 Fen, and for 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 Yuan. Airports, hotels and many tourist facilities have a currency exchange counter where you can exchange traveler’s checks and/or cash at the official exchange rate, which is the same throughout China for that given day. Islamichina suggests that you bring a combination of cash and travelers checks for your trip. It is not a good idea to bring only travelers checks, because only 50% of exchanged value can be converted back to your home currency. US dollars in cash form are accepted at many places while Euro or travelers’ checks must be converted into RMB first.
It is possible to exchange traveler's checks or cash at most banks, and 5-star and 4-star hotels always have a money exchange counter. Cash advances are available on most common credit/debit cards e.g. American Express, Visa, MasterCard, but this facility is available only from the main branch of the Bank of China in most Chinese cities. A fee of 3%-4% will apply. The Bank of China has an ATM network that will allow cash advances from major credit / debit cards and ATM cards. Check you credit card provider for this information before leaving your home country. You are required to present your passport to change money/travelers checks etc. Hotels will usually only allow you to change money if you are guest at the hotel.
The RMB is not easily convertible on the international market so it is only usable in China. It is advisable to change only the money that you need for you trip as it may be difficult to change back to you preferred currency. RMB is now readily convertible in Hong Kong.
You can convert unused RMB to another currency in China by producing the receipts issued at the time that you originally bought your RMB in China. Banks at airport terminal buildings provide this service when you depart China. Banks at your departing airport will not convert your unused RMB if you can not provide the money exchange receipt.
Credit cards are not widely accepted in China but are becoming more popular in major cities. International hotels, department stores and shops frequented by foreign tourists generally accept them. Cash advance by credit card is not common and is only possible at big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.
Although the Government is trying to eradicate this practice there are still some problems with the use of counterfeit money, although the problem is decreasing. It is very common practice for those who are receiving money to check its authenticity. Do not be offended by this practice. You may get counterfeit money when street vendors give you change or at free market once you get change back. Therefore you need to be extremely careful shopping on the street or at free markets.
5-star and 4-star hotels arranged by IslamiChina provide money exchange service while 3-star hotels normally don’t have this service. After checking in hotel, you may change money at Cashier of the Front Reception Desk. The exchange rate all over of China is the same.