Navigating Singapore’s Currency and Banking: An Expert Guide for Travelers

Welcome to the bustling city-state of Singapore, a global financial hub renowned for its vibrant culture, stunning skyline, and unique currency system. As a seasoned travel consultant with over a decade of experience, I’m here to guide you through everything you need to know about Singapore’s currency, banking, and spending. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning traveler, this guide will ensure you navigate the monetary aspects of your trip with ease.

Understanding Singapore’s Currency

Singapore’s official currency is the Singapore dollar (SGD), divided into 100 cents. As you explore this dynamic city, you’ll encounter a variety of notes and coins. Notes are available in denominations of $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1,000, and the uncommon $10,000. For smaller transactions, coins come in 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents, as well as $1. Having a mix of notes and coins for everyday purchases like local street food or souvenirs is useful.

Currency Exchange Rates

When writing, the exchange rate hovered around $1.33 to US$1 and $1.69 to £1. Remember that exchange rates fluctuate, so checking the current rates before your trip or when you plan to exchange money is always a good idea.

Banking Hours and Services

Singapore’s banking hours are typically Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 3 pm, with some branches staying open until 6 pm. On Saturdays, banks operate from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. For added convenience, major branches along the famous Orchard Road also open on Sundays from 9:30 am to 3 pm.

If you find yourself needing banking services outside these hours, don’t worry. Moneychangers are readily available and offer rates comparable to those of banks. These can be found in various locations, including shopping centers and tourist spots.

Currency Exchange at Hotels

While major hotels in Singapore offer currency exchange services, their rates might not be as competitive as those of banks or dedicated moneychangers. Shopping for the best rate is always worth shopping, especially if you’re exchanging significant money.

ATMs: Your Convenient Cash Companion

ATMs are abundant throughout Singapore and accept most types of debit and credit cards. However, be mindful that there’s usually a fee for each withdrawal, which can vary depending on your bank and the ATM’s network. It’s always wise to inform your bank about travel plans to avoid unexpected card blocks due to foreign transactions.

Cashless Payments: A Trend in Singapore

Singapore is rapidly moving towards being a cashless society. Larger retailers, dining establishments, and companies widely accept all major credit and debit cards. You’ll often find enticing discounts and offers in the local press for card payments, including reductions on shopping and dining.

Pro Tip: Using Your Card Wisely

While cards are widely accepted, carrying some cash for smaller purchases is prudent, especially in local markets or hawker centers. Also, always choose to be charged in SGD when using your card to avoid additional conversion fees.

In conclusion, understanding Singapore’s monetary system is key to a hassle-free and enjoyable trip. With its user-friendly banking services, widespread ATM network, and evolving cashless payment options, managing your finances while exploring this magnificent city is simpler than ever.

For more information on currency exchange and banking services, you can visit the websites of major banks in Singapore like DBS (, OCBC (, and UOB ( Also, check out the Monetary Authority of Singapore at or for the latest financial news.

Embark on your Singapore adventure confidently, knowing you’re well-prepared to handle all your monetary needs in this spectacular city-state. Safe travels and happy spending in Singapore!