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China’s First Credit Card for Foreigners

Made possible by Panda Guides, CITIC Bank is offering foreigners in Beijing a the first-ever Chinese credit card.


Beijing is CITIC Bank’s first tester market for these credit cards and at the moment, there’s only one branch in Beijing where you can submit your application (in person). To apply, you must bring your passport with a valid visa, and a document that proves you’re working here (ie: business card, name tag, or employment contract).



Q & A for CITIC Bank – Panda Guides Joint Credit Card


Who can apply for this joint credit card?
Any expat (from any country) living, working or studying in mainland China who does not own a Chinese identity card.


Why do I need a local credit card from a Chinese bank?

A local credit card will make your life much easier if you’re staying in China for an extended period of time. Without a Chinese credit card, it’s a hassle to shop online, pay bills remotely, and book air tickets and hotels online, etc.

In addition, when linking your bank card with WeChat payment, or Didi, having a local credit card simplifies the process.


How can I apply for this credit card?

You are welcome to add Panda Guide on WeChat (ID: 13347780889) for inquiries. You’ll then be added to a group, and you need to go visit our office mentioned previously to meet the bank staff face to face. 


How much do I need to deposit?

There are three levels of credit cards: Basic, Gold, and Platinum. The limit for the Basic card is ¥5,000 the applicants are required to deposit ¥6,000; the limit for the Gold card is ¥10,000, the applicants are required to deposit ¥12,000; the limit for the Platinum card is ¥30,000, the applicants are required to deposit ¥36,000. In addition, we also have ¥50,000 and ¥100,000 limits for the Platinum card, and the security deposits are ¥60,000 and ¥120,000, respectively.


When should I deposit my security money?

You are required to deposit the security money within two months after you activate your credit card.


How can I deposit my security money?

You can place the security deposit into your credit account in the three different ways: One. Go to any CITIC Bank branch and ask the cashier to help deposit the security money; or Two. Deposit the money at any CITIC Bank ATM machine, or Three. Transfer from your bank account into your credit account via online banking.



What’s the difference between the Platinum, Gold, and Basic cards?

The most distinct difference is the limits. In addition, different cards enjoy different benefits.


Is there any membership fee for the credit card?

Normally, there is a membership fee for all credit cards. But the membership fee for the first year of Basic (¥100) and Gold (¥200) cards will be waived if you use the credit card for any purchase or a cash withdrawal at least once in the first month after activation. Subsequently, if you make five purchases or cash withdrawals within a year then the following year’s fees will be waived. For the Platinum card, the membership fee is ¥2,000 annually.


Which cities can I apply for the credit card?

Currently, we have opened the application process to Beijing only for trial, and we will expand to more and more cities gradually.


Can any of my dependents apply for a dependent credit card?

Yes, they can. 


Can I use my credit card overseas?

Yes, you can use the credit card wherever authorized by UnionPay. In addition, you can withdraw any local currency with this credit card.


How long can I have an interest free repayment period?

50 days.


What kind of benefits can I get from CITIC Bank?

This joint credit card enables you to enjoy discounts and benefits from numerous partnered businesses. Take the Platinum card for example; you have the privilege of free golf driving ranges; VIP boarding at airports and high-speed railway stations; and you will be compensated ¥1,000 in the case of a flight delay longer than 2 hours if you use this joint credit card to book the air ticket, plus much more!


When will my security money be released after I stop using the credit card?

Your security money will be released and transferred to your local bank account within two days when you pay off the balance and notify CITIC Bank of the cancellation of your credit card by calling 95558.’



While you probably already have a local debit card in your wallet, there are still things that it just can’t do. For example, traveling with only a debit card is a hassle, whether in China or abroad. Hotels will not take security deposit with a debit card, meaning that you either need to bring your foreign credit card along or carry a wad of cash.


Shopping abroad is also less of a hassle with a credit card. Not all places that accept UnionPay will accept a UnionPay debit card. The cashier usually will also not have any clue as to as to what type of UnionPay card they accept, so it’s basically a trial and (potentially) decline situation.


WeChat ID: 13347780889
Tel: 8590-3026 or 152-0108-6152
Email: 15201086152@139.com


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