Bank cards issued by many international financial institutions can be used at ATMs in China. The most widely acceptable ones are VISA and MasterCard. Some others, such as American Express, Diners, Discovery, and JCB are also acceptable to a smaller number of ATMs. Therefore, we suggest you take VISA or MasterCard to China.
However, the majority of cards issued by foreign banks cannot be used to withdraw cash over the counter at Chinese banks. If you need a large amount of cash, you have to go to the head office of the Bank of China downtown.
You can exchange a certain amount of RMB as the first few days of daily expenses when arriving at the airport. Carrying a large amount of RMB poses a hidden risk to your safety and lots of bank outlets in Shanghai offer foreign currency exchange service.
It is strongly suggested that students not go to the place unauthorized to exchange money, you may risk getting counterfeit at these places.