Wondering which card is better for overseas use - Trust card vs YouTrip? We compared the fees and exchange rates and also included an alternative option Wise
With so many money changer options in Singapore, how do you know which of the many money changers is best for you? It isn’t so easy to tell, but there are a few points that can help you compare. First is the ease of doing the exchange, second is currency availability and the third are fees. And not always in that order. Read on to learn about the more popular money changers in Singapore and if they can be a good fit for you.
If, however, you’re ready to take your global money transfers and currency exchange online, look no further than Wise. And if you want to hold multiple currencies at once, you can with the free multi-currency account. Wise’s online account lets you hold, shop, and send money in 40 different currencies.
Thin Margin lets you buy currencies online that are then delivered to your door, so there is no going to a counter. However, the exchange rate you get and the time needed to get the funds may feel high.
Instead of having to physically go to a currency exchange, Thin Margin brings the currency exchange to you. With a website that lets you purchase from 24 currencies any day and at any time, you can order online and Thin Margin will deliver to your house. Now the time it takes to deliver is around 2 days, so this may not be the fastest option. Thin Margin also does not purchase currencies or send remittances. Thin Margin does set their own exchange rate so you may find this an expensive option versus others, especially in terms of how much you get in hand.¹
Arcade Money Changers, or AMC, focuses completely on currency exchanges and even has an option to book a rate online. That being said, more transparency as far as currencies available, rates and fees would improve the customer experience.
If you’re in Coller Quay, you can head over to Arcade Money Changer to buy or sell foreign currencies. Arcade Money Changer also now provides a way to book a currency exchange rate online when you see they are favorable, and then you can take your confirmation down to the counter for the exchange. The only catch is that it requires you to register with them and the validity of the booked rate is for only 24 hours. As for fees, the charges will be typically built into the exchange rate that you get.²
Raffles Money Change is in two convenient locations that can make stopping and exchanging currency easy. And while they offer a diverse group of currencies, their customer service is noted in reviews to be lacking.
Raffles Money Change has two branches, one at the Arcade and the other at Jurong Point. The Raffles website unfortunately is not up to date so you will have to either go down to the Raffles counter or give them a call at 6538-0080 or 6536-6800 to know the day’s rates. The fees for using Raffles are also not listed and will depend on the type of transaction you are doing and the currency involved. And if you are doing a currency exchange above S$ 5,000 or sending any remittances, be sure to bring your government-issued ID with you.³
Located in Mustafa Centre, Mustafa money changer has been a popular choice for currency exchange and remittances, particularly to South Asia.
Mustafa Money Changer has particular offerings that are of interest to the South Asian community, such as additional access to currencies like Bangladeshi Taka and Sri Lankan Rupees. Mustafa operates completely in person, so if you want to make a transfer or send a remittance you will have to go down to Mustafa Center. Mustafa does list some of their currencies on their website so you can check the daily rates there. But their fees aren’t as clearly listed, so you will only know how much a transaction will cost you once are at the counter.⁴
Dollar Exchange is a popular option at the Jurong Point Shopping Center, but without a digital presence it can be hard to know the exchange rate you can get or the fees beforehand.
Dollar Exchange has a convenient location by the Boon Lay MRT Station and caters specifically in currency exchange and transfers through SWIFT, digital transfer, or transfers as an agent. However, their services are not available online and you will have to visit the counter. They have 20+ currencies on offer, and you will have to physically go to Dollar Exchange to find out the day’s rates. They don’t disclose their fees beforehand but there is a flat handling fee on every transaction, on top of any hidden exchange rate fees there might be. But you can only know how much a transfer will cost you when you are at the counter.⁵
Want a smart way to send and hold multiple global currencies? Look no further than Wise. Wise is not a physical money changer so you don’t need to leave your home to sign up or use it. Instead, Wise lets you send, shop, and hold 40+ currencies from a single free online account, with one low transaction fee and the real exchange rate.
Figuring out how much a money changer may cost you is not always easy. Most of the money changers don’t have a digital presence through social media or a website. Let alone online calculators to know how much a transaction may cost you. Because of this, you are primarily left in the dark about rates, charges, and fees.
That being said, there are typically two charges that you can expect as a customer. The first is a service or handling charge. That is a company fee for executing your exchange or transfer. This can vary depending on the type of currency you need, the amount, and the popularity of that currency route exchange. This fee will typically be told to you once the money changer has received all the information they need and are ready to process the transaction. It is often added to your overall bill.
The second charge may not be so clear. This is normally the fee that is hidden in the exchange rate you get. Most money changers don’t give you the mid-market exchange rate but instead set their own exchange rate. Now, the mid-market exchange rate is the rate that the banks use and the one that you find on Google. By setting a rate that is weaker than the mid-market exchange rate, money changers are able to take the difference as a hidden fee to you. Or in other words, a nice profit on every dollar you exchange. And this goes for the buy and sell rates as well, which gives the money changers a spread on each currency exchange rate.
This hidden fee in the exchange rate may seem not that important or very much, depending on the money changer, but it can actually add up to quite a bit. Whether you are exchanging large amounts or exchanging often, or both, the hidden exchange rate fee can make a dent in your wallet.
With the award-winning app and easy-to-use website, Wise lets you know exactly how much a transaction will cost you. Even before you start. With an easy online calculator, you will see the exact transfer fee and the real mid-market exchange rate you are getting. It is what transparency is all about. So, instead of being confused over unknown fees or paying more because of weaker exchange rates, try Wise.
Money changers have been a great option in Singapore for a long time, but now there is an easier way to send and buy currencies. Wise is a completely online platform that lets you transfer money to local bank accounts around the world in over 60 currencies.
And if you want to hold multiple currencies at once, you can with the Wise multi-currency account. One free online account that lets you hold, shop, and send money in 40 different currencies. It just takes a few clicks and you can save money every time. Wise only has one low fee for every transaction, and you will always get the mid-market rate. No mark-ups or unclear fees here. Just complete transparency on your global money transfers.
With over 7 million customers, Wise makes it easy to send money directly to local bank accounts in 60+ currencies around the world. With one low fee and the real exchange rate, you can exchange into currencies or send money, right from your phone.Sources used for this article:
- Thin Margin Exchange
- Arcade Money Changers
- Raffles Money Change
- Mustafa Money Exchange
- Dollar Exchange
All sources checked as of 3 June, 2020
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
Wondering which is better when travelling, YouTrip vs credit cards? We compared the key differences and fees between the two options.
HSBC® is a very popular bank locally and globally, with a great range of services for any Singapore resident. If you’re considering getting a HSBC credit card...
Discover the best OCBC® credit cards in Singapore for 2023! Compare features, benefits, and how to apply.
Explore the bes UOB credit cards in Singapore, categorized by rewards, annual fees, and more. Discover which card suits you the best!
We compared Amaze vs YouTrip vs Wise (formerly TransferWise) to help you find the right multi-currency card in Singapore!