FAQ: Prepaid Offshore China UnionPay Cards

Many people know that an offshore prepaid Chinese card UnionPay has become an alternative to VISA and MasterCard, but not everyone understands its features and functionality. Our site team often receives questions about China UnionPay (CUP). Our experts will answer the most popular of these questions in the article.

China UnionPay FAQ

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What is an offshore UnionPay card and what are its features?

China introduced its own payment system, UnionPay, in 2022. It was made to simplify transactions within the country. The platform was financed by the government of the PRC and the largest commercial financial institutions of the jurisdiction. These institutions have started issuing UnionPay cards in several variations:

  •  credit
  •  prepaid offshore
  • debit.

Today, China UnionPay (CUP) has 87 shareholders. Their list includes a branch of the People’s Bank of China and several commercial banks, such as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd and China Construction Bank Corp.

Until 2020, the CUP payment system was exclusively domestic until China decided to expand the geography of customer service and began to develop partner networks abroad. At the end of 2021, UnionPay ranked first in the number of cards in circulation worldwide, overtaking global competitors VISA and MasterCard by almost three times (CUP – 9.4 billion cards, Visa – 3.7 billion, and Mastercard – 2.5 billion).

The total geography of UnionPay covers more than 160 countries, including European and Asian countries and the USA.

FAQ on China UnionPay (CUP)

To make it clear to our customers how the UnionPay prepaid offshore card works, we have prepared answers to the most popular questions. For a detailed consultation, please contact the online consultant or use the contacts listed on the site.

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How high is the level of anonymity provided by the China UnionPay prepaid card?

These cards are a stand-alone product and are issued without opening a bank account, which already increases the owner’s level of confidentiality when making payments abroad. Also, prepaid Chinese cards are suitable not only for storing money but also for completing transfers, including from an offshore account and vice versa. UnionPay does not print the name on the card, and personal information is required only to process the card at the issuing bank. However, this is a mandatory condition of all financial institutions worldwide.

How does offshore prepaid Chinese card work?

Working with China UnionPay (CUP) is carried out in the same way as with any bank card:

  • The owner can set the limit at their discretion.
  • Replenishment from a personal or corporate account is allowed.
  •  The default currency is the yuan, but any other currency can be used for settlements and cash withdrawals.
  •  The UnionPay prepaid card has a 6-digit pin code (indicated on the reverse side), which may be required when making transactions and can be easily changed to an individual one when contacting the bank’s support service.
  •  Union Pay cards can work online and offline, including when paying for goods or services on Internet sites.

The UnionPay coverage geography is significant and allows you to easily make payments in more than 160 countries worldwide.

Where can I use an offshore UnionPay card?

You can use CUP prepaid cards in any country that accepts this product. In 2022, there are more than 160 such states, information about which is available on the UnionPay official website.

Can I withdraw money and transfer it to other cards from an offshore UnionPay card?

Yes, you can. But, before withdrawing cash, you should clarify the fees for these transactions at the servicing ATM and the bank that issued your card. Also, remember that UnionPay uses the Chinese national currency yuan by default. Any transactions with other currencies will be carried out through internal conversion at the rate set by the bank.

Regarding transfers, it is necessary to take into account the payment processing time, which in some banks and countries reaches several days.

Are there fees for using a UnionPay offshore prepaid Chinese card?

Like any other bank card, a prepaid offshore card from UnionPay has its own service fees. Features that may incur a fee include:

  •  activation of a prepaid card
  • transferring money from another account
  •  cash withdrawal
  • currency exchange
  • balance request.

To avoid facing an unforeseen situation, we advise you to choose a bank that issues and services offshore Chinese card with our expert support. We will provide tariffs for all operations and help you select the ideal option.

What are the storage and transfer limits on China UnionPay cards?

Everything is purely individual and can change for various reasons, including the client’s residence and the issuing bank. The limit on the amount of money on a UnionPay prepaid card can be approximately USD 10 thousand. But, replenishing the balance for daily expenses is easy and affordable in many ways.

Also, limits on the amount on an offshore card have positive aspects. For example, you will not lose all your funds if a plastic card is stolen. Due to its anonymity, a prepaid offshore card can be used by fraudsters, especially if the PIN code has not been changed. In this situation, we advise you to block the card as soon as possible.

What bonuses can I get with an offshore UnionPay prepaid card?

Some prepaid cards have incentive programs for specific transactions, both in China and abroad. For those who often use such plastic cards, this can be a good bonus and financial savings.

In 2022, you can receive bonuses on the UnionPay card in different countries, including:

  •  QuickPass (Asia, Russia, Australia) – rewards for contactless payments at retail stores, including Watsons and KFC.
  • BDO Bank 2022 UnionPay (Philippines) – discounts for gold and diamond card holders.
  • The Union Pay Prestige card offers some discounts at cinemas, as well as a free movie bonus with the purchase of a single ticket.
  • KTC promotion (Thailand) – discounts are provided for purchases in Big C supermarkets.
  • UnionPay UPlan – international discounts and downloadable e-coupons at various stores.
  • UnionPay HK Your Way (Hong Kong) – cash coupons when paying in participating stores.
  • In Japan, UnionPay users are eligible to receive discounts at selected stores.
  • UnionPay Grab (Thailand) offers discounts when using GrabFood or GrabCar services.

These are just some of the promotions and bonuses that China UnionPay (CUP) prepaid and debit card holders can enjoy. The main advantage of this plastic and virtual card is multicurrency and open access for transactions in hundreds of countries.

Can I hold my China UnionPay card inactive for a long time and use it only when needed?

The issuer can set fees for the inactivity of a prepaid card, which is better to clarify when opening an account. The period of card inactivity can be different, but, as a rule, a multiple of 30 (30, 60, 90 days).

Tip: to avoid paying additional fees, you can initiate the activity of a prepaid offshore card by transactions for a small amount at least once per month.

Does a UnionPay offshore prepaid Chinese card have an expiration date?

Yes, definitely. Like any bank card, a Chinese prepaid card has an expiration date, after which it will not be possible to complete any transactions. As a rule, the bank contacts the client in advance and offers to reissue the card.

How to withdraw money from a China UnionPay card abroad, and in what currency?

As a rule, cash withdrawal in foreign ATMs is carried out in the national currency. At the same time, the UnionPay prepaid offshore card has advanced functionality and allows you to cash out funds in dollars, euros, yuan, and other fiats.

The entire procedure takes place instantly and provides for the conversion of currencies first into yuan and then into the currency requested by the client. You can save on the exchange only in one case – if you keep money in yuan and do not pay for multiple exchange transactions.

Can I pay a broker with a China UnionPay card?

UnionPay supports brokerage deposits and withdrawals in many currencies and countries that accept the Chinese payment system. Also, prepaid cards can be connected to mobile devices and computer browsers, making them more accessible and free to use.

Expert opinion on China UnionPay (CUP) offshore bank cards

The Chinese payment system UnionPay is a universal tool and serves customers from all over the world. China has always pursued an independent policy, and its UnionPay system is no exception. This system does not take into account the sanctions and blacklists of other countries when choosing clients.

Statistics and practice show that Chinese prepaid anonymous cards are widely in demand among individuals and entrepreneurs. These cards are one of the advantageous ways to easily cross the borders of different countries and make payments without worrying about blocking the account and refusal of the transaction.

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