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We will be in Singapore from 23/12/13 to 3/1/14. We have used Trip Advisor extensively to plan other overseas holidays over the past few years and found it a valuable tool.

I am sure we will have a quite a few questions over the next few months, but here is the first:

What is the best way to handle spending money:

1. Take Aussie dollars and exchange with money changers in Singapore?

2. Travel Card loaded with Singapore dollars?

3. Exchange Aussie dollars to Singapore dollars in Australia?

4. A combination of the above?

5. Something completely different?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Destination Expert
for Jakarta, Bandung, Singapore, Java
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1. Re: Money

Marco-Deb, hello and welcome to TA forum!

1/ correct.. Changi money changer operate 24/ 7 and offer one of the best rates in the city.

2/ combination of card + cash is always wise and recommended.

3/ you need cash for taxi , hawker center, small purchase from the stall in the street. All other places in SIN are accept all four major cad payers - no problem. From hotel, restaurants, malls etc.

4/ small tip: If you plan some electronic purchase or jewelry, pay cash.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Money

I took some Singapore dollars with me & withdrew from my home bank account via ATM when I needed more cash. I also used my credit card in larger stores.

Destination Expert
for Singapore
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3. Re: Money


you may bring AUD with you for everyday expenses (food, attractions, transport...) in Singapore. On arrival you can change some AUD to SGD at one of the money changers at airport. During your stay you can change money whenever you need as money changers are easy to find, offer decent rate and don't charge fees.

You can use your usual credit card as backup, to withdraw cash or for large expenses like paying your accommodation.

Destination Expert
for Singapore, Bargain Travel, Holiday Travel
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4. Re: Money


There was a question related to yours on the forum a few days ago which might offer help:-


There is more discussion on handling money in Singapore within the Top Questions section (on the right-hand side of this page). Particularly the link titled:- Planning > Currency & Money (Tips about money in Singapore).

Plenty of other topics too which may assist with your trip planning. Please take a look, and feel free to jump back on the forum and ask more questions anytime...

Edited: 4:56 pm, September 27, 2013
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5. Re: Money

We have recently returned and used a combination of AUD cash changed in SIN at a money changer, withdrawal from ATM in SIN and credit card.

Our bank charged $5 for withdrawal from ATM regardless of amount withdrawn and a foreign transaction fee on credit card charges, that was a percentage of the amount of the transaction.

I think the most economical way was the AUD cash changed in SIN or withdrawing larger amounts from an ATM rather than multiple smaller withdrawals or credit card charges.

I had a tendency to run out of cash particularly if I used it to buy food or tickets at attractions where they tend to be quite expensive (eg zoo or bird park).

6. Re: Money

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Perth, Australia
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7. Re: Money

Further to mumwithbub's advice, the best option is to take Aussie dollars (or US dollars if you have them from back when the Aussie was above parity (sighh.. wish I'd bought some back then)).

Still take a credit card but only use this if you need to for large purchases at department stores and reputable retailers. All banks charge fees per foreign cash withdrawal from your card. Purchases don't attract any fees.

Typically I would change enough Aussie dollars to last for at least a couple of days. Personally I would change around $200 in one go. The money changers offer a slightly better rate for larger amounts, thus I was getting a pretty good rate for $200.

Okay so where to change your money. I arrived in Singapore (September 2013) with only Aussie dollars.

In the arrival hall there were a couple of money changers. One of them had a better rate than the others (sorry, I didn't take note of the name) however the XE.com rate was 1.17 and they were offering 1.15, which was still a good rate (compared to the dismal rate being offered back in Australia by local money changers).

So at the airport I would recommend checking the official rate online then see which changer has the rate closest to that. But you only need to change around $50 to $100 dollars to get you started.

Then once you're settled in at your hotel etc. I recommend the following places for the best rates.

Orchard Road: Lucky Plaza - go up the main stairs and to your left, just before entering through the sliding doors the money changer there has the best rate. The official rate was 1.175 and I received 1.170, for changing $200.

Raffles Place: The Arcade - the second (?) floor has like a dozen money changers. A couple of them were offering a rate very close to the official rate. This was by far the best I'd seen anywhere. The official rate was 1.178 and I received 1.174.

So as you can see from my examples above, the variation is marginal and a rate anywhere from 1.15 to 1.17 is still within a good range.

I had some spare Singapore dollars left over at the end of my trip, and rather than change them back to Aussie dollars I'm going to hang onto them for my next trip (whenever that will be) which will save me the hassle of changing money when I arrive.

Edited: 12:37 am, September 28, 2013
8. Re: Money

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