Changing money in Singapore is a fascinating exercise, simply for the sheer number of tips, tricks, and secret locations that everyone seems to swear by.
Yet, as forex rates change in real-time, how can there be any one perfect formula for getting the best exchange rate for your buck?
Objectively speaking, there isn’t. But you can increase your chances of getting a good exchange rate with the following tips in this article.
But you also need to ask is it worth going through all the trouble? If you’re exchanging a couple hundred ringgit for a quick trip to JB (when travel restrictions lift), then simply head to your nearest money changer because the time and travel costs to head to the “best” money changer will eat up any savings you might have had. But, if you’re exchanging thousands of dollars for your year-end odyssey in far-flung Scandinavia, a bad exchange rate can set your budget back by hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
To cut through the confusion, we’ve put together a simple-to-follow guide on where to find Singapore’s best money changers, as well as 4 tips on how to get the best exchange rate.
Best money changers in Singapore
Here’s a list of where to find money changers in Singapore that offer the best foreign exchange rates:
- The Arcade
- Lucky Plaza
- People’s Park Complex
- Parkway Parade
Best Money Changers in The Arcade
(11 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049317)
|#02-03||Arcade Plaza Traders||EUR, GBP, JPY, MYR,
THB, TWD, USD
|#02-04||Sheen International Exchange|
|#02-05||Hassan & Sons Exchange|
|#02-07||People’s Corner Money Changers|
Best Money Changers in Lucky Plaza
(304 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238863)
|#B1-10||Rahiman Trading||PHP, THB, MYR|
|#B1-141||Europe Fancy Store|
|#01-14||True Blue Money Changer|
|#01-82||Fajar Money Changer|
Best Money Changers in People’s Park Complex, Chinatown
(1 Park Rd, Singapore 059108)
|#01-16A||Today’s Money Exchange||CNY, PHP, THB,
|#01-K95C||AK Money Changer|
|#01-61||Emerald Money Changer|
|#01-28||Crante Money Changer|
Best Money Changers in Parkway Parade
(80 Marine Parade Rd, Singapore 449269)
|#01-01||Sino Money Changer||THB, USD, MYR,
|#01-16||Everpeace Money Changer|
Tip 1: Go where the money changers are
There’s a reason why places like The Arcade and People’s Park Complex are known for having competitive rates: a large concentration of money changers in the same area makes it easy to comparison shop for the best exchange rate.
This causes money changers to provide better rates than their peers in order to capture a larger share of transactions (from which they earn). Which means better exchange rates for you.
Tip 2: Check real-time exchange rates before you buy
Check the following apps and websites that provide real-time foreign exchange rates to ensure you’re getting a good deal.
XE.com is perhaps one of the most well-known forex apps, letting you quickly and easily calculate conversions among the world’s currencies. This is useful if you don’t have the time nor patience to go currency shopping, but need a quick way to check if your neighbourhood money changer is any good.
If the quote from your local money changer is significantly lower than the rate displayed on xe.com, you’re probably better off with another changer. Do note that as xe.com displays market rates, money changers will never be able to match the rates you see. So a slight difference is to be expected (that’s the money changer’s commission for providing the service to you).
Cashchanger.co is another website that helps you find the best money changers. Simply input the amount of SGD you want to exchange, the currency you need, and you’ll be presented with a list of money changers with the best rates at the moment.
They also track currency rates across the last 180 days and tell you whether it’s a good time to buy the currency you want: green thumbs up for “Buy” and red thumbs down for “Don’t Buy”. There’s also a handy trends chart for each currency, which displays up to 60 days worth of data.
Get4x.com offers a similar service to Cashchanger.co, but with the added benefit of allowing you to lock in the currency rate you want with the money changer of your choice. You can then go down and exchange your money at the rate you booked.
Tip 3: Avoid exchanging money on weekends
Avoid exchanging your money on weekends because you’ll tend to be slapped with a markup rate.
You see, money changers get their exchange rates from the forex markets, which don’t trade on weekends. This means that money changers take reference from Friday’s rates.
This impacts you in two ways. Firstly, if the currency you want ends Friday on a high, you’re stuck with that rate. Secondly, to hedge against currency fluctuations which will affect the opening exchange rate on Monday, money changers apply a markup on the Friday rate.
So if you’re trying to squeeze out a few hundred more baht, it might be worthwhile to come back again on Monday or Tuesday.
Tip 4: Compare foreign currency mobile wallets
Foreign currency mobile wallets like YouTrip, UOB Mighty FX, Revolut and TransferWise are digital wallets that let you manage multiple currencies in a single app. These mobile apps are really simple and easy to use.
First, top up your account with Singapore Dollar (SGD). Next, choose which currency you want to exchange your SGD for. For example, you can exchange SGD for EUR. Using YouTrip, the app will then show you the exchange rate. If you agree with the exchange rate, all you need to do is to click “confirm” and you will get EUR in your wallet.
Read these next:
Mobile Wallets in Singapore: A Complete Guide
Best 6 Credit Cards For Overseas Spending
Should I Use my Credit Cards Overseas To Earn Miles?
Amex, Visa or MasterCard: Which Is Better for Travel?
Should You Buy Airline Or Hotel Travel Credits Amid COVID-19?
By Alevin Chan
An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.