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Money Matters

Singapore is pretty unique. On one hand, we still prefer especially cash in the Hawker Centers to avoid paying the Credit Card companies' commissions but cashless systems are available for most places.

Read more on how to navigate your budget during your stay in Singapore.

Japanese Money

How is the exchange rate in Singapore?

For most first world countries I have visited, Singapore has one of the best exchange rates. If you are from the region (East Asia, Souther East Asia or South Asia), you can check this website to see if it makes sense to change your money at home before your trip.

How Much Do We Need to Bring to Singapore?

The cost of a visit to Singapore per person per day can vary widely depending on your travel style, preferences, and choices. Here is a rough breakdown of the typical expenses you might encounter:

1. Accommodation: Singapore offers a range of accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxury hotels. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from SGD 50 to SGD 400 or more per night.

2. Food: Food in Singapore is diverse and delicious. You can find affordable street food at hawker centers for around SGD 5-10 per meal. Dining at mid-range restaurants may cost you around SGD 20-50, while fine dining can be significantly more expensive.

3. Transportation: Singapore has an efficient public transportation system, including buses and the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit). A daily transportation pass can cost around SGD 10-20. If you take taxis or rideshare services, budget for additional costs.

4. Activities and Attractions: The cost of activities and attractions varies. Some, like visiting parks or certain museums, may be free or have a nominal entrance fee. Others, such as theme parks or guided tours, can cost anywhere from SGD 20 to SGD 100 or more.

5. Shopping and Souvenirs: Your spending on shopping and souvenirs is entirely discretionary and can vary greatly. Singapore is known for its shopping malls and markets.

6. Miscellaneous: Budget for other expenses like SIM cards, toiletries, and incidentals, which can add up to a few dollars per day. Key tip: Go to our local supermarkets called Fairprice, Giant, Cold Storage. There are also pharmacies such as Guardian and Watsons. Cheap toiletries can be found at Swanston (People's Park Chinatown) and Venus Beauty.

Overall, a budget traveler might spend around SGD 100-150 per day, while mid-range travelers could spend around SGD 200-300 per day. Luxury travelers can easily spend SGD 500 or more per day. Keep in mind that these are just rough estimates, and your actual expenses may differ based on your choices and preferences. Additionally, currency exchange rates and inflation can affect costs, so it's a good idea to check the most recent information before your trip.

What Credit/Debit Cards to Use in SG and where to change money?

Most Singapore are wired up (or wireless up) so payment using a credit card or debit card is pretty easy. However, there are places that either use ONLY Cards or Cash, then you will have an issue.


Here's a simple guide.

Cash only: Hawker Centers. We do have a local payment system using QR codes but that can only be used with local banks so cash for such places for visitors.

Card only: Certain retail shops and Universal.

So, the best advice I can give is to have a Debit Card and Cash. Why not Credit card? In case you lost it, the exposure is very limited with Debit Cards IF you make the conscious decision to put only a certain amount of money to limit exposure to scammers. Not so for credit if the stolen card get hacked and your bank/credit card company is not covering the loss.

Next is to find cards that have NO Foreign Exchange transaction fees. Best not to have any other fees attached including ATM withdrawal fees etc.


Here are some of the cards both credit and debit I have found.(please let me know of other cards and which country they original from).

1. Revolut

2. Chime

3. Wise (

4. Capital One

5. Starling Bank ( - UK

6. Schwab Bank Investor ( - US

7. Travelex Money Card - AU

8. Macquarie Transaction Debit Card - AU

9. Bankwest Breeze Platinum Credit Card - AU

10. Qantas Frequent Flyer card - AU

11. HSBC TravelOne Credit Card

12. Macquarie Credit Card has no international transaction fees. - AU

13. HSBC Global Everyday Account but only if you have SGD as a selected currency. - AU

14. HSBC Everyday Global Visa Debit Card - AU

15. Chase Visa (USA) has no foreign transaction fees.

16. - EU

18. Chase Card (UK) 
19. Halifax (UK and no fees beyond UK borders)

20.Barclays reward credit card (UK)

Where Are the Currency Exchange Desk (or Money Changers)?

1. Change Alley @ The Arcade Raffles Place. Raffles Place MRT Station. 10 min walk from Merlion. Opens weekday office hours and Saturday mornings. (North-South/East-West Line).

Click here for Google Map.

2. Mustafa @ Little India. Farrer Park MRT Station (North East Line)

Click here for Google Map.

3. People's Park. There are a few money changers at the atrium. Chinatown MRT Station (Northeast Line)

Click here for Google Map.

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