Ways to Send Money to China at the Lowest Cost

By HX Wenli
November 25, 2021

It is a complete guide on how to send money to China with the lowest cost.
You’ll learn:
Western Union
Telegraphic Transfer
Letters of Credit
And more!
In short: if you want to save money by paying China wholesale Suppliers, it’s the guide for you.

Chapter 1: Sending Money To China Basics

What Is Sending Money To China?

International trade is an important aspect of conducting sales of goods transactions. Every step taken in such a transaction is to connect parties across countries. If you are the buyer, one thing you cannot avoid is sending payment for the goods to your seller in another country.
You must transfer money to China if you are making an international transaction with a seller in China. In this article, we will discuss how you can transfer money to China with ease and convenience. Also, know that you can discover the best way to send money to China.


Why Is Sending Money To China At The Lowest Cost Important?

When you are shipping your goods from China, you have to pay them. However, some people end up paying more. So it is essential to see if there is the cheapest way to send money to China.
It is not bad to try to save when you transfer money to China. This is what we will discuss in this article.

What Should You Consider When Sending Money To China?

There are a lot of things you should consider before you wire money to China. These things can lead to an increase or decrease in your shipping cost. It does not matter the nature of goods you want to ship. Making remittance to China is a crucial stage in the importation business.
You should consider part of those things: finding the best and cheapest way to send money to China, knowing what works for your shipper, hidden fees attached to making payments in China, etc.
All these will help you make better decisions when it comes to making remittances to China.

Chapter 2: China Sourcing Agents

There have been a lot of comments on using China sourcing agents to send payment to China. A China sourcing agent helps the buyer to sort products and completes the payment for the sale of goods. You can expect them to speak multiple languages.


Usually, you can use a China sourcing agent to wire transfer to China. These China sourcing agents know domestic companies and understand the market. They are very good at negotiating with the suppliers and can help you secure discounts and other deals that favor you.
China sourcing agents can help you do almost everything you need, including completing your payment transfer. Several times, it has been proved that using China sourcing agents for your operations, including payment, will save money and get things done faster and more professionally.
You can compensate your China sourcing agent in three ways:

  1. You can use the Flat Rate Commission, often between 1-10% of the factory price. The China sourcing agent will collect this commission when it is time to pay the China wholesale supplier.
  2. There is Blind Markup. It is the commission received when the agent acts as a middleman to receive money from China. Here, you may not know the actual cost and only pay the rate as directed by the China sourcing agent.
  3. Another way to compensate your China sourcing agent is using the Factory Commission. It goes to an agent who works on behalf of the factory and secures buyers by connecting them to its products.

Be assured that your money transfer is safe as long as you are using a reliable sourcing agent. The China sourcing agent will handle everything, including import/export duties, taxes, tariffs, and discounts.
A China sourcing agent is familiar with the region and China markets. They will help you sort complications arising when you make remittances to China. However, it is advisable to ensure you deal with a trusted sourcing agent with a convincing track record. Set out the terms of agreement and enjoy their services.

Chapter 3: Western Union

Western Union money transfer to China is another way to wire transfer to China for your goods. This transfer mode is an online banking method you can operate through the website or on the app. Users often go for the western union to send money to China because it is one of the straightforward ways to wire money to China.

3 Sourcing Agents

Interestingly, the recipient does not need to have a bank account. Western Union sends money to China by operating a quick money transfer feature which means the money can be deposited within minutes after initiation. The minimum deposit value is $1.
Most banks charge high fees for western union money transfers to china, including hidden fees and complex exchange rates. One convincing review about the western union is its convenience and friendly exchange rates. There is no doubt the system makes money transfer to China easier.
Another feature that makes western union fees to china a good payment method is the ease experienced in repeat transfers. This is particularly helpful and time-saving for buyers who are constantly sending money to China. Western Union allows you to save the recipient’s details.
Sometimes, buyers might need to make large payments so they can trust and be assured of the safety of their monies. The western union can allow you to send a large amount of money even though the maximum you can send to a bank account can vary.
Nonetheless, you can always track the large payments in real-time with the tracking number MTCN sends to your mail or accessible from your transfer history page. One of the reasons you should trust western union is that it is a universally acceptable mode of international money transfer.
Western Union money transfer to China offers little traceability of your funds. Apart from that, the system is secured, and many suppliers prefer to send money to China through it.

Chapter 4: Telegraphic Transfer

There is no doubt telegraphic transfer, or T/T is a cheap way to wire money to China and anywhere else in Asia. One notable feature of telegraphic transfer is that the payments are irreversible once made. The banks are not responsible for making sure you do not pay into the wrong account or get scammed.

4 Telegraphic Transfer

A telegraphic transfer is a bank-to-bank transfer. You will initiate the payment. To start the process, you can use a specialized platform for the transfer like Wise. You can also work with your regular bank. TT is also called wire transfer or telex transfer.
If you choose to send the funds through your regular bank, you can initiate the process by visiting your bank. You can also speak to a representative over the phone or through available online banking. Banks have different requirements for TT, so you should check the procedures.
A telegraphic transfer sends the money to the recipient’s bank account in China. You should confirm from the recipient if he can withdraw from his bank before using this method. It takes 1 to 5 business days to complete the remittance to China.
Destination, time variance, holidays, different currencies, and the verification process affect the delivery of funds. The exchange rate is usually the mid-market rate you will see on Google but can vary with banks. Some add markup and hidden fees to make profits.
It is essential to confirm the procedures and documents your bank requires before making the TT payment. This must include gathering all necessary details about the recipient. Understand that the payment can be made online or by directing your bank representative on the phone.
You should also pay all additional fees. This ensures the bank does not remove the charges from the money the recipient expects to draw. These transaction fees include upfront fees, exchange rate markup, and recipient bank fees. Have proof of transaction and copy the wholesale supplier.

Chapter 5: Documentary Letters Of Credit

A documentary letter of credit, otherwise known as LC or letter of credit, is a transaction document. It is often used in international money transfers. It is also the best way to send money to China. There are four parties in this transaction.

5 Telegraphic Transfer

The buyer will direct his bank to open a credit in the supplier’s name with another bank. It is best if the bank is in the supplier’s country. This credit opening is an assurance that the supplier will get the payment for the sale of goods.
The issuing bank will inform the confirming bank of the credit opening. The confirming bank will also notify the supplier that LC has been opened in his name. You are the applicant of the LC, while the supplier in China is the beneficiary.
There is a timeline for payment of the agreed amount, which is set in the LC. One key principle of LC is that payment will only be released when necessary documents are presented. When the supplier tenders the shipping documents, the bank will release the payment.
The banks handle all the documents. LC ensures a safe transaction between you and the supplier. You will be charged opening charges and retirement charges when you initiate this method of payment.
Letters of Credit is a viable option for large imports. There is a security of funds. The supplier will get the payment as long as he submits the documents. The documents you need for LC are:

  • The bill of lading/Airway bill
  • Packing list
  • Issuance certificate
  • Commercial invoice
  • Certificate of inspection
  • Certificate of origin

Reviews show that LC is the safest mode of remittance to China.

Chapter 6: PayPal

Another cheap payment method is PayPal. PayPal sends money to China was launched about 20 years ago. The aim is to help users shop online, send and receive payments, and make secured business transactions. Now it is one of the safest means of making payments to China.

Telegraphic Transfer

PayPal is an online platform that allows you to conduct international transfers over the web or through the app. All features to make remittances to China are on the platform, including PayPal China fees. To use the system, you must register and verify your account.
Know the currency conversion rates and the fees structure before you send money to China’s PayPal. PayPal China fees depend on the location of the recipient as international transfer fees may be incurred. You must know these, so you do not want to incur extra charges.
PayPal is a secured system you can trust. As long as you have your account registered and verified, you will have no problem making payments to China. PayPal is fast, reliable, and simple to operate.
Additionally, there is Buyer Protection for all purchases. The system will reimburse you if an item you pay for is not what you expect or does not arrive. Also, there is the option of a refunded return. You can ship back any purchased item and get up to a 20% refund on the return shipping cost.
When using PayPal, expect some PayPal fees in China. Understand their transaction rates for different currencies and the currency conversion rates. This is to make sure you are not charged more than expected.

Chapter 7: Payoneer

Payoneer is one of the payment methods that make help small businesses transfer money to China. It connects customers and businesses for online payments. You can pay online through a credit card or a bank account.


When you register and deposit money, the funds will go into the supplier’s Payoneer’s account. The China wholesale supplier can move the funds into their bank account or use the funds using their Payoneer debit card.
One requirement for using Payoneer is that you and the seller must have registered and verified accounts with Payoneer. This is to ensure that you enjoy a smooth, hassle-free transaction. The system is convenient as long as you follow the processes.
A benefit of using Payoneer is that the system helps you manage currency exchanges and international payments. You can operate with about 150 currencies through bank transfer. You can use localized bank transfers to accept these payments.
The system is very popular in the online marketplace as businesses, and freelancers get paid through it. Operators in China markets also like the option of using Payoneer to receive money in China. It is flexible, has low transfer fees, and completes payments in minutes.
Payoneer ensures your funds are secured while still in your Payoneer account. It does not allow your China wholesale supplier to charge you directly. Your supplier will need to wait till you initiate the payment upon request.

Chapter 8: Alibaba Trade Assurance

This can be a good alternative to documentary letters of credit. Alibaba Trade Assurance offers multiple methods of payment. You can also connect your credit or debit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Wire Transfer to bring more flexibility to your transactions.

Alibaba Trade Assurance

The security of payment is one of the qualities that make this payment system be sought after. Your funds are secured and will get to your supplier as expected without hassles. You can speak to their Customer Center for inquiries on funds transfer.
ATA offers extra security to payments to China by acting as a middleman between you and your supplier. Consider it as an escrow service. Once you are satisfied with the items, Alibaba then releases the payment to your supplier.
You can get a refund on two instances. One is where the shipping is delayed beyond the specified delivery date. The second condition is where the items do not fulfill the quality requirements.
Operating ATA is easy. All you have to do is place an order through ATA and use the system to notify your supplier. Then create a “Purchase Contract” on Alibaba. Deposit funds through debit or credit card and confirm the contract.
ATA appoints a quality inspection agent to ensure that the manufactured items meet the quality requirements before shipping. It is a good way to ensure that you are receiving goods of good and standard quality.
You can always claim refunds on the grounds listed above. You can also institute a dispute on Alibaba.com if the quality assurance company informs you that the goods do not meet quality requirements. Generally, you can rely on the services of Alibaba Trade Assurance.

Chapter 9: Bank Transfer Or Wire Transfer

Also called credit transfer, this system is another electronic funds transfer. You can initiate this transfer through your bank account or by depositing cash at a cash deposit office to make the bank transfer to China.
This system uses the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) or Fedwire. You can use the wire transfer option if you are making big transactions. The system makes the funds available to suppliers almost immediately.
Direct your bank to process a wire transfer to China. The bank will ask you to provide some information to complete the process. The information includes; the account you are sending the money from, the recipient’s name and bank account number, address/zip code, bank’s routing number, etc.
Wire transfer comes with some charges that may range from $15 to $50 per transfer. These fees depend on the bank, whether the wire is going out or coming in, the transfer amount, and whether the wire is domestic or international.
Bank transfer to China is considered safer compared to sending a check. The transfer is completed almost immediately, and you do not have to wait for cleared funds.

Chapter 10: Wise International Credit Or Debit Card

Wise is an improved borderless money transfer system that allows debit and credit card transactions. With this system, you can spend and transfer funds to and from anywhere around the world. One unique feature is that it allows you to transfer at actual exchange rates.

10Wise International Credit Or Debit Card

There are generally zero transaction fees and low conversion fees. You can pay with any currency into your verified account. The system automatically converts your money using prevailing exchange rates.
Wise allows you to hold and manage your money in over 50 currencies, which helps you prepare for subsequent transactions and exchange rate fluctuations. You can easily spend money and make transfers like having a local card.
There are no minimum balance requirements and no exchange rate markups. It allows you to send to China quickly and conveniently. We advise that you confirm with your China wholesale supplier before you use this method to transfer money to China.

Chapter 11: Cash

Cash is a popular way of making a payment to China. Buyers can deliver cash payments to their suppliers upon the delivery of goods. Of course, there is no doubt that cash payment is a much safer payment mode. Suppliers even would prefer to receive cash if there is that option.
However, the option for the delivery of cash is not usually available for both parties. This is because the buyer might be in another country outside China. So it might be difficult to pay in cash. Nonetheless, there is a way this can happen.
If the supplier prefers cash transfer, you can always reach out to someone available in China to do the delivery. The person can either be someone you know or an agent. Buyers often use agents to make remittances to China.
Cash delivery through an agent is safe. Ensure you finalize the arrangement with a trustworthy agent to transfer money to China bank account. You may incur agent charges for the transfer. Agents will collect fees for helping you deliver the cash to the supplier.
When the arrangement is set, you will make the payment into the agent’s account or through their preferred method. The agent will then withdraw the money and deliver it to the supplier to complete the transfer.

Chapter 12: How To Choose The Best Mode Of Sending Money To China 

11 Sending Money To China

In choosing the best payment method to send money to China, there are some tips you will find helpful. These tips have been proven over time, and if you stick to them, you can never go wrong with the best way of sending your payment to China.

Talk To Your Sellers

This is the first thing we recommend that you do. However, you must have selected the seller you want to work with. It would help if you spoke with your seller to know which preferred payment mode works best for them. This is one of the best ways to go about it.

Find Easier Modes Of Payment

If your seller has no preferred payment mode, you can research other modes that are easy and convenient. Easier methods have smooth processing with little or no complexities. Conducting an online search is one way to do this.

Know Rates Of Exchange

Know rates of exchange and how payment systems handle cost manipulations. Use this knowledge to select the best mode of payment. Payment systems have additional costs and varying exchange rates.

Look For Popular And Most Used Mode Of Sending Money

Many payments modes are popular because people use them often. You can use this hunch to choose the best way of payment. Search for the most used payment systems and know why people keep using them. Sometimes, it is safe to follow the crowd.

Conduct A Trial

You can always start with a trial just to be sure in subsequent transactions. Different factors affect the service delivery of these payment systems. You can know how effective and convenient a mode is when you try it. You can choose another if one doesn’t work as expected.

Ask For Recommendations

It is always good to seek recommendations from those who are knowledgeable about these payment modes. They may be international trade experts or popular commercial blogs where analysis and discussions happen. This also includes reading reviews on trusted websites.

Chapter 13: What To Know When Sending Money To China

Some factors will somehow determine the eventual cost of shipping your goods from China. Understand that these factors may not exist together at once. However, you must put them into thought when sending money to China.

12 Sending Money To China

What Payment System China Uses

Before you transfer money to China, you must know what payment methods are available. This is because some payment systems are not available in China as a result of regulations. So do your research to see available options.

Quantity Of Goods

Sometimes, the number of products you want to ship can also determine the overall cost of your shipping. Cargo fees might apply at some point. Therefore, you must factor this into consideration, so you are not unprepared.
Some carriers will list the carriage fees as they apply to the quantity or weight of your goods. And you can also ask your shipper agent to inquire for you.


Another thing you must consider is the urgency of the cargo. Your shipping cost may increase if you ask your shipper to use the fastest method to transport your goods.

Reliability Of Payment Method

As we have discussed, there are a few payment options for your China shipping. One noticeable fact is that these payment methods have garnered varying levels of experience. However, the level of satisfaction may be different.
Therefore, you can consider how reliable a payment system is before processing your money through it. How reliable is the payment method? Is it convenient with no complexities in the process? You can always check their payment processes on their websites or blogs.

Reviews And User Experience

You should also consider checking the reviews of the payment systems. This will further convince you that your money is very safe with the payment system you want to use.
There are blogs and social platforms where users share their experiences and reviews of the payment systems. We advise you use these reviews to find the best way to send money to China.

Chapter 14: Tips To Send Money To China At The Lowest Cost

You can send money to China from us if you need someone to help you with the whole process. If you want to do it yourself, we have put together essential tips you can leverage to send money to China at the lowest cost.
Most payment methods have their peculiar rates and cost implications. But some general tips can help you save money as you make remittances to china.

12 Sending Money To China

Confirm The Chinese Currency Rules

One of the challenges with international trade is that each country has its currency and trade rules. You must know the trade and exchange laws in China to make sure you are safe.

Pay By A local Mode Of Sending Money

We often consider payment into a local bank as the best way to send money to China. It works if the supplier can withdraw from a local bank. Understand that additional costs depend on the payment mode you want to use when you transfer money to China.

Go For An Online Money Transfer Service

Online money transfer specialists have lower costs compared to banks or high-street money senders. Many online international money transfer platforms have cheaper exchange rates and fees. They require opening an account and making payment through a debit/credit card or local bank transfer.

Compare Rates Of Exchange

It is best to look for a service with a competitive exchange rate. This is because exchange rates usually affect the final amount of money the recipient gets. Operators generate their revenues through money transfers. Consider exchange rates.

Send To A Direct Bank Account For Your Recipient

Sending money to China through direct bank account transfer costs less than using a cash collection point. The pay-out office usually charges additional fees. Confirm if the recipient has a bank account for direct money transfer. It is safe and cost-saving.

Choose From Registered And Licensed Payment Platforms Only

The best way to send money to China is to choose only a registered payment mode. Your money is secured, and the transaction is safe. You can always find a low-cost payment mode from even the registered ones licensed by appropriate authorities.

Check For Refund Policy For Unexpected Expenses

Some intermediary banks demand additional charges for money transfers to China from the UK. We advise that you choose a payment mode that enables reimbursement of unexpected expenses.

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