The Low Down on Singapore Currency
Monetary Authority of Singapore
S$ or $
|Currency sub unit:|
S$2, S$5, S$10, S$20, S$50, S$100, S$1,000
1, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents, S$1
The Singaporean dollar (SGD) came into circulation in 1967, with each dollar consisting of 100 cents. You might hear the dollar being affectionately referred to as ‘sing’ by the locals.
TThe 10,000 SGD note is currently the most valuable banknote in the world, although in 2014 Singapore stopped printing it, with the aim of taking it out of circulation. It is still legal tender, and will be until the last notes are returned to the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
You are likely to find a 10% service charge added to your bill in restaurants. If not, there is no general rule for how much you should leave – it’s really up to you and whatever you feel comfortable giving. Remember though: if you’re in an airport restaurant tipping isn’t typically allowed, whereas tipping in bars or taxis is very uncommon.
What to spend your dollars on:
Singapore Sling cocktail at Raffles Hotel
Return trip to Sentosa by Cable Car
Day-pass to the S.E.A. Aquarium
One-day pass to Universal Studios
Must-sees in Singapore
Exchanging Singapore dollars online is easy
Order Singapore dollars online, lock in the rate and collect at your local store, at the airport before you fly or have it delivered at home.
- 1. Select your currency
Just tell us how much you need
- 2. Choose how to get it
Collect your currency from over 3,600 locations or have it delivered to your home
- 3. Pay online
You can pay online using either BPAY, Visa or MasterCard®
Singapore Travel Money Guide
The Southeast Asian island of Singapore is found off the southern coast of Malaysia. Known for its ultra-clean streets, lush tropical atmosphere, safety, and huge array of shopping experiences, it makes for a stress-free holiday from Australia. It’s also a popular stop-over for many travelling through to Europe with great international airport connections.
Along with Singapore’s cleanliness and order come high standards of living, and higher prices than many of its Southeast Asian neighbours. Planning on going to Singapore for a holiday? Read on to discover all there is to prepare your finances before you fly.
Cash is always handy in Singapore, with small purchases, some taxis, and the world-famous hawker centres usually being cash-only. Known as a super-safe destination, carrying larger amounts of cash around with you should not be dangerous, however always follow your common sense when doing so, as low crime does not mean no crime!
Why foreign cash?
- Crime rates in Singapore are very low4, as such it is relatively safe to carry cash around with you.
- Some famous Singaporean attractions like Hawker Centres are cash only.
- Cash is flexible and can be used anywhere, with no hidden fees.
Things to consider:
- Even in low crime areas, carrying large amounts of cash around with you can be risky.
- If your cash is lost or stolen you may have a limited amount of protection with your travel insurance.
Travel Money Cards allow you to lock in a rate at the time of exchange, meaning you can save money in the long-run. Opting for a backup card means you’re also covered in case of loss or theft. However, some Singaporean experiences are cash only, meaning it is recommended that you keep some Sing Dollars handy for that Nasi Lemak hawker dish!
Discover how you can explore Singapore with ease with our 5* award-winning Travelex Money Card!
Why prepaid travel card?
- Cards are widely accepted in Singapore making paying with a travel card easy.
- Prepaid travel cards can save you money in the long run, as you’re able to lock-in your exchange rate prior to departure*.
- Choosing the option to get a backup card means you are covered if your main card is lost or stolen.
Things to consider:
- Travel cards may not have your name printed on them. This can be a problem if merchants want to see some ID.
- There may be hidden fees by the issuer and also topping up the card may bring a fee.
Taking your own credit or debit card is an easy travel money option in Singapore, as ATMs and card payment facilities are plentiful. Remember though that there are often hidden fees and charges when using foreign cards, so check with your bank before you leave to see if they have any mutual agreements with Singaporean banks.
Why debit or credit card?
- All major credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Singapore.
- Some Singaporean banks will have arrangement with Australian banks and as such charge no operating fees. For example, Singaporean bank DBS has an agreement with Westpac, meaning low or no fees when withdrawing with a Westpac card (5).
Things to consider:
- Some Singaporean experiences can be paid for in cash only. This includes many food vendors and some taxis.
- It is easy to overspend when paying using bank cards.
- You may be left in a pickle if your cards are lost or stolen. Ensure you keep photocopies of your cards and have a financial backup.
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are located all over the country. They can be easily found in banks, MRT station, shopping centers and on main shopping streets. Most machines allow Visa or Mastercard withdrawals, but watch out for any hidden fees associated with withdrawing cash from a foreign card.
Why withdraw cash in Singapore?
- ATMs can be easily found all around Singapore.
- Generally, ATMs in Singapore won’t charge an operator fee.
- You can withdraw cash as you need it without carrying a large amount around.
Things to consider:
- Some banks will charge a fee when using a foreign card to make foreign currency transactions in store5.
- It is easy to lose track of spending when you use your card.
FX ATMs are a very convenient way of exchanging cash last minute whilst still in Australia, before you depart from the airport. However, not all FX ATMS will dispense Singaporean dollars, so make sure you check the Travelex site for a full list of ATM locations and the currencies they provide.
Why use Travelex ATMs in Australia:
- FX ATMs are an easy stress-free way to get cash at the airport before leaving Australia. Find out if there is a Travelex Foreign Currency ATM dispensing Singaporean Dollar before you fly.
- There are no forms to fill in, the process is self-serve, and ATMs operate for 24 hours.
Things to consider:
- There may not be an FX ATM dispensing Singaporean Dollars at the airport you depart from.
- Carrying large amounts of cash with you may be stressful.
- Can I use other currencies in Singapore?
Other than Singaporean Dollars and the Brunei Dollar (BND), no other currency is accepted in Singapore as legal tender.
- Will my bank card work in Singapore with only a 4 digit pin?
While most Singaporean cards are issued with a 6 digit pin, if you have a foreign card that requires a shorter pin, it should be accepted without a problem.
- Can I use travellers cheques in Singapore?
Whilst it is becoming harder to find places to cash travellers cheques in Singapore, it is still possible. However, a combination of cash and card is recommended.
*Rates are subject to change throughout the day. In-store rates vary compared to online.
**The figures provided are indicative only and are there to provide an idea of the amount of travel money you may need during your trip.
^^Based on mid-market and Travelex Online AUD to FX exchange rates as of the date of the relevant social media post and/or email communication. Rates are subject to change throughout the day. Any rates and savings are quoted as a guide only.
Travelex Limited (ABN 36 004 179 953, AFSL Number 222444) arranges for and sells Online Foreign Currency via its Online Ordering Facility. You should consider the Online Foreign Currency Product Disclosure Statement and Terms and Conditions before deciding whether to acquire the product.