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China has no shortage of things to see and do. From visiting the Great Wall near Beijing and the Terracotta Army in Xi’an to eating wonderful Chinese food in a chic Shanghai cafe or relaxing on a beach in suddenly trendy Sanya, there are countless reasons to visit the country. If you’re a US citizen, you need to secure a visa before you go — whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure.

Shanghai is an ultra-modern and cosmopolitan city. Image courtesy of Getty Images.

The easiest way to get a visa to visit China (or other countries that require a visa) is to use Allied Passport. You’ll need to make sure you complete several steps (outlined below) before you can send your materials off to Allied to begin processing:

  • One completed China visa application (PDF)
  • One professionally printed passport photo on hard stock glossy paper with a pure white background
  • Passport valid for six months beyond trip completion and side-by-side blank visa pages
  • One flight itinerary with passenger name listed on reservation (required, but does not have to be a purchased ticket or confirmed reservation — unbooked itineraries are acceptable)
  • One Allied Passport & Visa order form (save to your desktop before typing)

Once you’ve gathered all the above materials, send them via FedEx to Allied’s office at the following address:

Allied Passport
1 Saint Matthews Court NW
Washington, DC 20036

You’ll have to pay the Chinese embassy fees (which vary according to how quickly you need your visa), Allied’s processing fee (which also varies according to date needed) and the return shipping costs, all of which can be found on Allied’s site. I used Allied’s services on a recent trip to China to review Xiamen Air’s 787 Dreamliner, and it took all the guesswork out of the process and saved me from spending hours in the Chinese consulate to apply in-person.

If you’re traveling to China soon (or to another nation that requires a visa for US passport holders), you should certainly consider using Allied Passport & Visa to help with the process. Mention The Points Guy on your order form to get a $5 discount just for TPG readers.

Featured image of Beijing courtesy of Getty Images.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.