Money and credit cards in Tibet


What Currency Can I Use in Tibet?

Foreigners Shopping in Lhasa

Chinese RMB. Foreign currencies cannot be used directly; they have to be converted into Chinese Yuan "RMB", and people in Tibet do not use coins as the other major cities in China.

If you are traveling to the remote areas in Tibet, try and get your cash in small denominations, since RMB 100 and RMB 50 bills are sometimes difficult to get rid of in rural Tibet. 

How to Exchanging My Money in Tibet?

In Tibet, the only place to change foreign currency and travelers' checks is the Bank of China. The top end hotels in Lhasa have exchange services but they are only available for guests.

The sensible thing to do is to change as much money in Lhasa as you think you need. The only other places to change money are in Shigatse, Zhangmu and Purang (or perhaps Ali). Also notice that banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays in Tibet.

Can I Use Credit Cards in Tibet?

Visa Card
The short answer is YES.

However, credit cards are not recommended as a way of payment in Tibet. Flights out of Lhasa can not be paid by using a credit card.

The Lhasa branch of the Bank of China is the only bank in Tibet which provides credit card advances. Most of time you cannot get cash by ATM from small branches, usually you need to go to the main branch nearby Potala Palace. A 3% commission is usually deducted and the minimum advance is normally RMB 2,000.

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