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Travel money guide: Singapore

Compare how you can take your money to Singapore using a prepaid travel card, debit or credit card.

Before you head off on your trip to Singapore, it's important to know how you're going to access your money while you're there. Use this guide to discover the savviest ways to spend in Singapore dollars without racking up travel money fees and charges.

In this guide, you can compare a range of travel money options including prepaid travel cards, debit or credit cards as well as options for buying foreign cash before you leave.

Compare travel cards for Singapore

Name Product Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Initial Load Fee Reload fee
Wise Travel Money Card

2 free ATM withdrawals per month up to AUD$350, then AUD$1.50 and 1.75% per withdrawal

Hold and spend funds in more than 40 currencies, with competitive exchange rates and $0 fees for the first 2 ATM withdrawals (up to AUD$350) per month.
Cash Passport Platinum Mastercard
USD $2.50, EUR €2.50, GBP £2.00, NZD $3.50, THB ฿80.00, CAD $3.50, HKD $18.00, JPY ¥260.00, SGD $3.50, AUD $3.50, AED 10.00
$0 (via online) or $0 (via branch)
More Info
Name Product Interest-free period Purchase rate p.a. Annual fee
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard image
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 12 months, then 12.99%
Get 0% p.a. interest on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months (with a 2% BT fee). Plus 0% foreign fees and complimentary overseas travel insurance.
Westpac Lite Card
Westpac Lite Card image
Up to 45 days on purchases
Save with 0% foreign transaction fees, a low interest rate for purchases and cashback offers through Westpac Extras.
Name Product Card access Own network ATM fee Monthly Account Fee Internatonal ATM Fee Foreign transaction fee
Westpac Choice
Take advantage of Westpac's Global Alliance and save on overseas ATM fees at over 50,000 locations worldwide with fee-free cash withdrawals.
HSBC Everyday Global Account
Earn 2% cashback on tap and pay purchases.

ING Orange Everyday Account
Receive a rebate on any international transaction fees and international ATM fees when you deposit at least $1,000 a month and make at least 5 card purchases.

Which option is right for your next trip?

Travelex Money Card

Travelex Money Card

  • Up to 10 currencies on 1 card
  • Lock in exchange rates
  • No overseas ATM fees

Travelex Money Card

Load and hold up to 10 foreign currencies at a time. Lock in exchange rates. Pay nothing for international ATM withdrawals.

  • No international ATM fees
  • 24/7 emergency assistance
  • Access wherever Mastercard is accepted
  • PIN security
  • Prepaid so you can manage your spending
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How many dollars do I need to bring to Singapore?

Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world. However, there are accommodation, food and activity options to suit all budgets.

$10–$25 per night
2-star hotel
$80–$120 per night
5-star hotel
$250–$500 per night
to-eatChicken and fish dumpling noodles (street stall)
Lunch or dinner at a mid-range restaurant
$30 - $60 per person
4-course dinner at the Singapore Flyer
$250 a head
cameraVisit the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Visit the Changi war museum
$50 per person
VIP tour of Universal Studios Singapore
$400 per person

*Prices are approximate and based on summer seasonality and are subject to change.

Exchange rate history

Singapore dollars (SGD) are the national currency of Singapore. The Australian dollar has weakened against the Singapore dollar since the Global Financial Crisis and has been around parity for the past few years.

YearAverage annual exchange Australian dollar (AUD) to Singaporean dollar (SGD)

*Exchange rates are accurate as of 5 September 2017.

Today's exchange rate AUD to SGD

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Which travel cards, debit cards and credit cards are best to use in Singapore?

Major card brands are widely accepted in Singapore. If a merchant insists on applying a credit card surcharge to your purchases, you should consider looking for alternatives. The majority of travel money cards support SGD, which makes these products a viable option for this destination, but they don't have your name on the front. This can be an issue if the merchant wants to see your ID when you make a purchase over the counter. ATMs in Singapore accept major brands (Visa, Mastercard and American Express). Compared to other countries, you're spoiled for travel money choice in Singapore.

Travel money options for Singapore at a glance

Travel money optionProsConsiderations
Debit cards for travel
  • Singapore bank ATMs do not charge an ATM operator fee
  • ATMs are located all over the city-state – every bank, MRT station or shopping center has its own
  • Most Australian debit cards will charge a currency conversion fee
  • An international ATM withdrawal fee applies
Prepaid travel money cards
  • Can be pre-loaded with foreign currency and cancelled at any time
  • Singapore dollars are a supported currency on almost all travel money cards
  • International ATM withdrawal fee, initial load fee, reload fee and inactivity fee applies
Credit cards for travel
  • Credit cards are widely accepted, especially Visa and Mastercard
  • Some cards have no annual fees, no foreign exchange fees and they perform currency exchanges at the best possible interchange rate
  • Credit cards usually charge currency conversion fee
  • Cash withdrawals using your credit card are considered cash advances which will incur a costly fee and high rate
Traveller's cheques
  • Security
  • Can be cashed at Changi Airport and major money changes throughout Singapore
  • Traveller's cheques are pretty much an old technology in Singapore and are hard to find for those who want to buy one
  • A commission may apply to transactions
  • Exchange rate is less favourable than the Visa, Mastercard and American Express
  • Greater payment flexibility
  • Convenience
  • There's no set limit as to how much money you can take into Singapore but you need to declare it if it is more the $30,000 for money laundering purposes
  • More difficult to manage expenses
  • Although SG is considered safer than the other countries, please note that there is a pickpocket syndicate operating in the country

This table is a general summary of the travel money products in the market. Features and benefits can vary between cards.

How different travel money options work in Singapore

Travel prepaid cards

Prepaid travel money cards allow you to load Australian dollars and exchange the money to a foreign currency via a convenient online portal. Singapore dollars are a supported currency on almost all travel money cards. The Suncorp, Australia Post and American Express prepaid travel cards don't support spending in Singapore dollars.

Compare these cards by the front- and back-end fees such as the international ATM withdrawal, initial load, reload and inactivity fees. The international ATM fee is the main one to avoid because you're going to need cash at various points throughout your trip. Singapore ATMs don't charge a local operator fee, so you can withdraw money for free using a prepaid travel card, which waives the international ATM fee loaded with Singapore dollars.

  • Tip: Prepaid travel cards are dual card accounts, meaning you'll receive an additional card. The second card acts as a backup for the first.

Using Australian debit cards in Singapore

Most Australian debit cards will charge a currency conversion fee when you carry out a transaction in a currency other than Australian dollars as well as an international ATM withdrawal fee when you use an ATM. The Citibank Plus Transaction Account doesn't charge any of these fees. It also comes with the benefit of fee-free international money transfers to a number of countries.

The Citibank Plus is as good at home as it is overseas. You can withdraw free of charge from any Citibank, Westpac, St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne ATM in Australia. Citibank operates more than 250 ATMs in Singapore. These ATMs are evenly distributed throughout the city-state, so you shouldn't have to look too far to find a Citibank ATM. Withdrawing from one of these ATMs will mean you can access cash for the same price as Australia — even cheaper in some cases.

  • Tip: Singapore bank ATMs do not charge an ATM operator fee.

Travelling to Singapore with an Australian credit card

Credit cards can be a good way to access a line of credit overseas, which could come in handy for large or emergency purchases. However, using a credit card comes with many fees to consider. Look out for a card that waives the currency conversion fee (of usually 3%) that you'll have to pay when you spend in Singapore dollars.

Also, keep an eye out for cards with 0% purchase offer or interest-free days that won't charge you interest when you pay your account in full by the statement due date. Unlike a debit or prepaid card, you shouldn't use your credit card for ATM withdrawals in Singapore. Withdrawals are considered cash advances, and you're likely to incur a costly fee and high rate.

For example, the Bankwest platinum credit cards and the Latitude 28° Global Platinum Mastercard waive the international ATM fee and the currency conversion fee. You can avoid the cash advance interest rate and cash advance fee too by transferring money onto your credit card. Watch out though as the card scheme zero liability guarantees do not apply if you're using a credit card with a positive balance.

  • Tip: Some financial institutions give you free travel insurance when you pay for your return travel ticket to your credit card.

Using traveller's cheques in Singapore

Traveller's cheques have been replaced by modern forms of travel money such as debit, credit and prepaid travel cards. You can cash traveller's cheques at Changi Airport and major money changes throughout Singapore. A commission may apply to the transaction and the rate is less favourable than the Visa, Mastercard and American Express foreign exchange rate applied to ATM withdrawals and over-the-counter purchases.

Getting a refund if you're the victim of a fraudulent transaction

Paying with cash in Singapore

You'll need cash if you want to shop in the market areas of Haji Lane, Sim Lim and Bugis. Otherwise, you can use your card for majority of purchases in Singapore.

SGD banknotes

Exchanging cash

Licensed money changers are easy to spot and are located at Changi International and Seletar airports as well as in shopping centers.

ATM withdrawals

Singapore bank ATMs do not charge a local operator fee for ATM withdrawals. Provided that your card doesn't charge for currency conversion and international ATM fees, you can make free ATM withdrawals in Singapore.

Finding cash and ATMs

The exchange rate

The card scheme (for example, Visa and Mastercard) foreign exchange rate is applied to over-the-counter purchases and ATM withdrawals when you use your card. This rate is a touch above the market rate and is better than what you'll get at exchange offices and banks.

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Buying Singapore dollars in Australia

It's better to wait till you arrive in Singapore and make an ATM withdrawal or get your Australian dollars changed at an exchange office rather than get money exchanged in Australia: the rates will be better. You can bring the Aussie dollar equivalent of SGD20,000 into the country without making a customs declaration. If you do want to change money in Australia before you go, consider the following institutions:

  • American Express
  • ANZ
  • Commonwealth Bank

Travelex and Australia Post have outlets at major Australian airports. You can order your cash online and collect it from the airport before you leave.

Why you'll need a combination of travel money products

Always have more than one way to access your money. It's a golden rule that applies in Australia as much as it does overseas. A combination of a travel card or travel debit and credit card gives you options to save on fees for over-the-counter purchases and ATM withdrawals.

The products you use are up to you. If you have any questions about travel money for Singapore, get in touch with us using the form at the bottom of the page and a member of the Finder team will be in touch.

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Written by

Jacob Joseph

Jacob Joseph was a writer and video journalist for Finder. See full profile

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6 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    AshJanuary 10, 2019

    Do you sign for Credit card purchases in Singapore? Or will the pin be used?

      JohnJanuary 11, 2019Finder

      Hi Ash,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      If you card has a chip (Chip&Pin) the terminal will automatically ask for PIN. If it is the old style card without the chip, you can usually either sign or use a PIN. You may confirm this with your bank first to ensure you are safe in your travel. Hope this helps!


    Default Gravatar
    SkpOctober 4, 2016

    Can I use debit card instead of credit card at hotel check in

      Default Gravatar
      ChesterOctober 5, 2016

      Hello Skp,

      Thanks for your question.

      Absolutely! as long as there is enough funds on your debit card to cover the amount and if the hotel accepts VISA,MasterCard as well as American Express payments then they may be able to accept and process your payment.


    Default Gravatar
    MRDecember 24, 2015

    How many Singapore dollar a tourist can carry for 5 days. Whether any dollar purchased receipt is mandatory.Other easy option ?

      SallyDecember 29, 2015Finder

      Hello MR,

      Thanks for your question.

      How much money you can carry will depend on the travel money option you choose. For example, some prepaid travel money cards and debit cards have different restrictions on how much you can carry. You can use our travel money guide to compare your options and find one that’s best for you.

      For more travel money tips, please see our Singapore Travel Money guide. Please ensure to read through the relevant product disclosure statement and terms and conditions of the card to ensure that you got everything covered before you travel.

      I hope that helps.


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