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Currency of Singapore

The Singapore Currency is Singapore Dollar (SGD). It got introduced after the independence of the republic in the year 1967.

Originally, Singapore currency was interchangeable with the Malaysian ringgit. Later, it was pegged to the British pound and then to US dollar. However, all this got changed in the 1970s. In Singapore, the local currency now can still get exchanged at the ratio of 1:1 for Brunei dollars.

Small change to record-breaking notes

The Singapore currency is monitored closely by Monetary Authority of Singapore. MAS is less or more responsible for all the financial issues in the city-state, including issuing dollar notes and cent coins.

Coins come in a variety of cents like 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 denominations and there’s also the coin of one dollar. Banknotes are available for the value of 2, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 1,000 SGD and Singapore is also the home of world’s most valuable banknote – golden 10,000 SGD bill. As of 2015, MAS stopped issuing these notes to decrease fraud. However, those already in circulation are still the legal tender.

Getting it at the airport

After arrival at Changi International Airport, keep this in mind that there are no customs or import restrictions for currency in Singapore. You can bring as much money as you want in any currency. However, if you have 20,000 GSD or more than that, declare it to the Singapore Customs. To do this, choose red immigration channel with the sign, ‘Customs Goods to Declare’.

Changing money after landing

If you import the foreign currency to Singapore, exchange your cash easily for Singapore Dollars at various locations. Nearly, every bank offers this service in Singapore, though the counter of foreign exchange remains closed at most of the branches on Saturday. Also, banks charge a service fee usually for currency exchange services. The fee starts at a minimal charge of two to three dollars, but it can get higher.

If you want to save yourself from service charge, give Singapore’s official moneychangers a try. The one with the license from MAS is safe and reliable. You’ll find them in tourist neighborhood along the Orchard Road, shopping malls, Little India or Chinatown. If you want to trade a large amount of foreign currency for local dollars, comparing different offers is worth the effort.

Can traveler's checks be used?

At the banks and moneychangers in Singapore, you can cash the traveler's checks. However, there are possibilities that you might get the lower exchange rates for checks in a foreign currency than for cash. 

As you need to show the passport while cashing the check, it offers the extra layer of security. However, with low crime rates in Singapore, most of the visitors don’t consider it necessary. Therefore, traveler's checks are the only preferred option for safety conscious expats and tourists. 

Questions to ask while transferring money

Various MoneyGram services, banks, and online organizations provide money transfer to Singapore or back to the home country. If talk about the banks, MAS currently lists about 76 officially licensed disbursement services for transfer of amount in Singapore – the international website like PayPal isn’t included.

Though, one can’t go with every option in detail, below are some of the general points to consider while you transfer money to or from Singapore.

If you want to make transactions frequently or need to transfer the large amount, comparing it with the aspects listed above is worth this effort. If the transfer is urgent to make, visit Singapore Post offices where transfer services of Western Union are available.

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