Lost Your Chinese Bank Card? Here's How to Replace It

By That's, February 12, 2018

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It happens to the best of us. Whether your wallet was stolen, you forgot to grab your card from the ATM or you just so happened to leave your purse in the back of a cab after a big night out, you may lose your local Union Pay bank card at some point during your time in China.

But don't worry — we've got you covered. There are only a few steps to help get you back on your feet. We've outlined what to do next in the event of a lost or stolen Chinese bank card.

Step 1: Call Your Bank to Freeze the Card (And Maybe Borrow Some Cash, Too)

Phone call
Image via Pexels

Most banks in China now have English service, making it much more convenient for you to replace a lost card. When calling your bank's hotline (numbers listed below), wait for a message at the very end that says something like, "for English, please press __." 

Banks won't allow you to register for a new card over the phone, but they will freeze your accounts so that no one can access your money. Some banks may also freeze your Alipay, WeChat Pay and Apple Pay accounts. 

Unfortunately, while your account is frozen, you temporarily won't be able to withdraw any cash. In the meantime, you may need friends to loan you some money to help cover your expenses for the next few days while the bank sorts everything out. 

Step 2: Go to Your Bank to Apply for a New Card

Go to Your Bank
Image via Sohu

Some banks may require you to go to the branch where you originally opened your account in order to apply for a new card. Call your bank for the address and other details of your original branch, and also to find out whether or not you'll need to go back to that specific location to get a new card. 

When visiting the bank in person, make sure you bring the form of identification you used to initially open the account, along with photocopies and any other forms of ID or important documentation that may be helpful (just in case). 

If you no longer have the original ID, call the bank ahead of time to see if it's still possible to apply for a new card without it. After all, who wants to wait in line for hours at the bank only to leave disappointed and card-less? 

Make sure you also have cash on hand to cover the processing fee. Some banks won't be able to charge your account directly for the fee when it's frozen, hence the need for spare change.

Step 3: Get Your New Card

Bank Card in China
Image via QQ

Just as you did when you first opened your account, you'll have to fill out some paperwork to receive the new card. Some banks are able to give you a new one right away, while others may make you wait up to 15 days. 

If you need to go back to the bank to pick up the new card at a later date, don't forget to bring your ID to help the clerks at the window confirm your identity.

Step 4: Update Your Payment Information

Payment information
Image via Sina

It's important to note that the bank may also issue an entirely new bank card number. In case you are given a new number, make sure to update all bank card info on your commonly used mobile payment platforms (i.e. Alipay and WeChat Pay). And if you receive your salary via direct deposit to your local bank account, don't forget to notify your employer of the new card number.

And that's it! Generally, replacing your bank card is not a very long process, nor is it too complicated. (But maybe a little mafan). 

Looking to replace your card ASAP? Here's a list of major banks, fees, processing times and hotline numbers to get you started. Keep in mind that processing times may be subject to change and likely extended during major festivals, since most banks are closed during public holidays. Contact your bank's hotline for the most up-to-date information.


Changing Fee: RMB5
Processing Time: Seven days
Hotline: 95588 (English service available) 

China Construction Bank (CCB)

Changing Fee: RMB5
Processing Fee: Within a week
Hotline: 95533 (English service available) 

Agricultural Bank of China (ABC)

Changing Fee: RMB5
Processing Time: 15 working days
Hotline: 95599 (English service available) 

Bank of China

Changing Fee: Free!
Processing Time: 10-15 working days
Hotline: 95566 (English service available) 

Bank of Communications

Changing Fee: RMB5
Processing Time: Seven days
Hotline: 95559 (English service available) 

China Merchants Bank

Changing Fee: RMB5
Processing Time: Seven days
Hotline: 95555 (English service available) 

China Citic Bank

Changing Fee: RMB10
Processing Time: Immediate
Hotline: 95558 (English service available) 

Postal Savings Bank of China

Changing Fee: No more than RMB10
Processing Time: N/A
Hotline: 95580 (English service available)  

Everbright Bank of China

Changing Fee: Free
Processing Time: Immediate
Hotline: 95595 (English service available) 

Lost Your International Credit or Debit Card in China?

For international cards, contact your overseas credit card or bank directly for more details. 

This post was last updated on February 12, 2018. Top image via Pexels

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