Using Revolut in China


Revolut Mastercard was not accepted at a major hotel in Guiyang. Maybe not a Revolut problem as Santander Mastercard debit card was also not accepted, but a Visa debit card was. Revolut was accepted in an ATM located in the hotel.

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China is like another planet. They have local payment systems like WeChat, Alipay.


Don’t rely on using Revolut (Visa) in China: it sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t, even at outlets which accept mainstream Visa credit or debit cards. No particularly discernible pattern: even the same vendor which accepts a Revolut card one day will reject it the next! I have found that Bank of China ATMs usually accept Revolut.
It would be great if Revolut could team with WeChat or Alipay.


Yes I second that - linking to Alipay or WeChat pay would be fantastic. Unfortunately I suspect that it is easier said than done. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


I’ve used my revolut card on four trips to China in the last two years with good success (has never been declined so far) although I prefer to have cash on hand for casual use and I use the card sparingly.

However on my recent trip (still in China) I had the far more irritating problem that the Great Firewall of China is blocking internet access for the card. Since I couldn’t live without mobile access to the account (for my own sanity and mental health) I have had to resort to installing and using a VPN on my phone. My advice is: if you are travelling to China and want to use revolut install a VPN that works in China before you leave home. It is much harder to install once you’re there. Note that not all VPNs work in China, they actively try to block them. YMMV



Thanks for advice about VPN. Does anyone know is China still somehow messing up use of gps in mainland China (by forcing wrong data coordinates/offset) or using offline software (Osmand+) in phone is fine (accurate) now?


Can you recommend a VPN which really works in China? I will go there soon…


I used ExpressVPN with great success. It is not free although they do offer trials. If you’re travelling for business it is well worth the money IMHO. I could not get TunnelBear (free) to work. :frowning:

GNSS (GPS) worked fine for me and I experienced no problems with it. Do be aware that data roaming charges are high, so I always take my Garmin handheld GNSS with OSM maps which seem to be pretty good.


I’m using ExpressVPN - works well (and Support is really helpful: I needed them when the app tried to auto-update while in China…)


I used ExpressVPN a year ago and had quite a lot of problems. Therefore I will try it this year with NordVPN. So far the support was helpful and the pricing is not bad.


No VPN works 100% reliably in China. Using one is also ‘technically’ illegal, although ironically, most Chinese businesses, academic institutions and even gov’t agencies that deal with overseas use them. I live here and have four. Paid ones that I have used and work fairly consistently are ExpressVPN, VyprVPN and Witopia, but all are susceptible to random ‘crackdowns’, (sometimes around ‘sensitive dates’ sometimes for no particular reason at all) where connecting can become a nightmare. Free services suitable for a short visit that are relatively under the radar are VPN Robot and VPNProxyMaster.


NordVPN works just fine. I’ve been using it for a couple of months now without problems. Until now the only place I can use the Rev metal card is WAGAS. But as others wrote best solution is cash, Alipay or WeChat

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VPN360 on iOs is free and works with me.

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Besides of Bank of China the Revolut (as other European cards as well) card usually also works in ATMs of the ICBC. “Usually” obviously doesn’t mean “always”.

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I realize that is thread is rather old but… is there anyone who currently uses successfully a Revolut card in China with services like WeChat?


Any update on using Revolut in China? Travelling next week and wont add money to my Rev card if it will cause problems…


I’ve used Revolut in China for a while now. To be honest, it doesn’t usually work any better or worse than other foreign issued cards (though ‘real’ credit cards sometimes work for offline transactions where Revolut obviously can’t work). I have even linked my Revolut to my Alipay account (though you will need a Chinese phone number, bank account and a lot of red tape to get that done).
Beware that while WeChat/WeiXin and Alipay/Zhifubao are accepted everywhere, cards (any cards) are usually NOT accepted at all. Some international chains such as Starbucks will accept them, others (Walmart, for example) do not take foreign cards (or just don’t know how to handle them). Always carry cash or emoney in a WeChat or Alipay wallet. Bank of China and ICBC are most reliable for withdrawing cash, I don’t even bother trying other ATMs that is just frustrating.
And remember that the Revolut app (just like most other apps on your phone, including the Google Play store, Gmail, Facebook, Instagram etc) will not work in China due to the Great Firewall, so have a VPN (or two!) configured before you go to stay in touch with homes and use your normal apps. I also suggest to unblock the card etc. just in case you can’t log in while in CN.
Hope this helps.
Happy traveling!


Hi, just saw your post now. I have the card setup with Alipay and can use it through the app at some (not all) merchants, most importantly works. I cannot use it to top up credit though.
You will however need a local phone number and bank account, afaik, to set up Alipay in the first place…

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