Best Foreign Currency Accounts in Singapore

Hannes Ausmees

Having a multi-currency account can make it cheaper and more convenient to spend - and get paid - in foreign currencies in person or online. That’s handy for individuals, business owners, frequent travellers, freelancers, and more or less anyone living an international lifestyle.

Multi-currency accounts come in a variety of forms, from traditional bank accounts which you’ll need to visit a branch to open, through to digital alternatives which use apps and online support to get your money moving. Features and fees do vary widely, so you’ll need to shop around to pick the right one for you. Questions to consider include:

  • Is your account for personal or business use?
  • Is there a cost to open your multi-currency account, or a monthly service charge?
  • Will you receive a card to make payments and ATM withdrawals, or a chequebook for USD accounts?
  • What are the costs to make international payments, and change my money from one currency to another?

There will always be some transactions which come with fees when you’re managing your money across currencies - but some providers are more upfront about this than others. To get the best deal you’ll want to choose an account with simple, transparent fees that you see in advance.

Check out a few different account options, and remember to compare the exchange rates being used against the mid-market rate for your currency. If there’s a difference this is probably because a markup or margin has been added. This is an extra fee which is tricky to spot, and which may mean you’re spending more than you think on your overseas purchases and international payments.

Let’s move onto some of the best multi-currency accounts in Singapore to kickstart your research.

Non-bank alternativesAccount opening feeMinimum deposit requiredAnnual feeMinimum balanceTransaction chargeCurrencies available
Wise multi-currency account Free to open a personal account - debit card costs 10 SGD 54 SGD fee to open a business account - debit card costs 4 SGDNo minimum depositNo annual feeNo minimum balanceConvert currencies from 0.41% 2 ATM withdrawals/month up to 350 SGD value fee free - 1.5 SGD + 1.75% after thatHold and exchange 53 currencies, get local bank details for 9 currencies
YouTrip Free 10 SGD for replacement card deliveryNo minimum depositNo annual feeNo minimum balanceNo foreign transaction fee 1.5% fee to top up with credit cardHold and exchange 10 currencies, transact in 150 currencies
Revolut FreeNo minimum depositStandard plans are free - fee paid plans up to 19.99 SGD/montNo minimum balanceTransaction fees vary based on account planHold and exchange 28 currencies, transact in 150 currencies
SG banks
DBS multi-currency account FreeNo minimum depositNo annual feeNo minimum balanceFees may apply for international ATM withdrawals, depending on the linked card you select Up to 3.25% fee when spending on a linked card in a foreign currencyHold and exchange 13 currencies
UOB Mighty FX Requirements vary based on the linked UOB base accountRequirements vary based on the linked UOB base account18 SGD annual fee, which can be waived by meeting eligibility requirementsRequirements vary based on the linked UOB base accountFees may vary based on the linked UOB base account 5 SGD international ATM feeHold and exchange 11 currencies
Citibank Global Foreign Currency Account FreeNo minimum depositNo annual feeMinimum balance applies if you are a Citi Priority customerUp to 2.5% foreign transaction fee when spending with your card in a currency you don’t hold in your accountHold and exchange 14 currencies
HSBC Everyday Global Account Free100 SGDNo annual fee5 SGD fall below fee if you don’t maintain a minimum balance of 2,000 SGD or moreUp to 8 SGD international ATM fee 2.5% foreign transaction fee when spending with your card in a currency you don’t hold in your accountHold and exchange 11 currencies
OCBC multi-currency account FreeMinimum deposit is set by currency, 5,000 GBP or USD for example, or 50,000 HKDNo annual feeMinimum balance applies to be eligible to earn interest - 5,000 GBP or USD for example, or 50,000 HKDATM fees may apply when withdrawing currencies overseasHold and exchange 8 currencies

Digital multi-currency accounts

Digital multi-currency accounts are a good option which provides flexibility and convenience - with lower fees. With no branch network, digital providers can often pass on savings from their lower overheads to customers - and there’s also the benefit that you’ll never again have to take a ticket number and queue up for service in a branch office. Here are some options to consider.


Wise multi-currency account

The Wise multi-currency account is an online only account which lets you access currency conversion which can be up to 7x cheaper than banks¹. You can hold and convert 53 currencies, and spend using the Wise card in 174 countries.

If you’re expecting a payment, simply give your local bank details to the sender to get paid fee free in major world currencies. Then switch to the currency you need, using the mid-market exchange rate and low transparent fees, whenever the time is right.

  • Low-cost money transfers, using the mid-market rate plus a small fee²
  • Local bank details to get paid in 9 different currencies (including SGD, USD, EUR, AUD, etc)
  • Multi-currency direct debits
  • For a fee, order the Wise international debit card, for low-cost spending in 174 countries

    Wise-card

Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing: Only Pay for What You Use for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

Learn more about Wise

YouTrip

With a YouTrip account you can hold 10 supported currencies, including Singapore, US, Australian and New Zealand dollars, euros, British pounds, Japanese yen, Swiss francs and Swedish krona³. You can also transact in up to 150 different currencies.

If you’re converting one of the 10 supported currencies you’ll be able to see the exchange rate being used prior to your purchase. If you’re spending in another currency, you’ll receive the Mastercard exchange rate on the day the purchase is processed. This does have the downside that you don’t necessarily see the rate in advance⁴ - but there is no foreign transaction fee to pay which can still mean you save versus using your normal bank card. Learn more about the YouTrip card in this full review.

  • No overseas transaction fees or currency exchange fees⁵
  • YouTrip Smart Exchange system will automatically exchange the balance you hold in other currencies in a predefined order of preference
  • Get your first card for free, replacement card and delivery charge is 10 SGD
  • 1.5% service fee to top up with credit card

    youtrip-home-page


Revolut

Revolut is unusual in offering different pricing plans for customers with different usage requirements. You can get a standard plan which does not have a monthly fee, but which has limits which may make this more suited to an infrequent user. Or, choose to get the top tier plan for the fewest limitations and a big suite of perks - with a fee of SGD19.99/month.⁷

Revolut customers benefit from fee free currency conversion at the mid-market exchange rate - although limits to the amount of money you can convert may apply depending on your plan. There are accounts for children aged under 18, and a range of handy ways to save, invest, budget and manage your money. At the time of writing, revolut doesn’t offer business accounts in Singapore.

  • Spend in 150 currencies, exchange in 28 with the Singapore multi currency account from Revolut
  • Access investments, budgeting tools, rewards and more
  • Out of hours fees push up the costs of converting currencies outside of London business hours⁸

    revolut-home-page

Learn more about Revolut in Singapore from our review.


Multi-currency accounts offered by banks

If a digital multi-currency account doesn’t appeal, the next place to look will likely be your regular bank.

Many of the large multinational banks with a presence in Singapore offer a foreign currency account option, which may include checking and saving account products. If you’re not sure which account type will suit you best, take a look at this guide to current account types first.

Application processes, requirements and fees will vary widely between banks so do shop around before choosing the right account for you. Here’s a summary of some of the best options out there.


DBS multi-currency account

Another option is to turn to our major banks if you’re looking for a multi currency account in Singapore which lets you transact in person. One option with a relatively low barrier to entry, is the My Account and card⁹ from DBS. You can choose from over 150 different banking services to tailor make the account you need, and link your account to one of 4 different multi-currency debit cards based on your preferences.

Use your DBS account to hold and exchange up to 13 currencies including Singapore, US, Canadian, Hong Kong, Australian and New Zealand dollars, euros, British pounds, Japanese yen, Thai baht, Swedish krona, Norwegian kroner and Chinese renminbi offshore.¹⁰ Interested in learning more about the DBS multi-currency account? Get a full DBS multi-currency account review here.

  • Hold and exchange 13 major currencies
  • Customise your account by adding different banking tools to suit your needs
  • Branch service available when you need it
  • Some account currencies can earn interest¹¹
  • Up to 3.25% administrative fee applies when spending on a linked card in a foreign currency¹²

    dbs-home-page


UOB Mighty FX

UOB Mighty FX is a card and service designed to make spending in foreign currencies easier, making your eligible UOB account into a multi-currency wallet with a card aimed at overseas spending¹³.

If you buy into the UOB service, you can use an app to manage up to 11 different currency accounts, and switch between currencies when you want to. Currencies supported include US, Hong Kong, Australian and New Zealand dollars, euros, British pounds, Japanese yen, Swiss francs and Chinese renminbi offshore. This means you can buy currencies when you want to, hold the foreign currency balance, and then spend with your card when you travel or shop online with a foreign retailer.

  • Link to a range of UOB accounts to hold 11 different currency balances
  • Branch service available when needed
  • 18 SGD annual fee, which can be waived by meeting eligibility requirements¹⁴
  • 5 SGD international ATM fee

    uob-home-page

Get more information about the UOB Mighty FX card here.


Citibank Global Foreign Currency Account

You can get a Citibank multi-currency account to hold a variety of currencies and then withdraw them at Citi ATMs around the world for no additional fee¹⁵. You’ll also be able to spend currencies you hold with no foreign transaction fee.
Manage 14 currencies in the same account, including US, Canadian, Hong Kong, Australian and New Zealand dollars, euros, British pounds, Japanese yen, Swiss francs, South African rand and UAE dirham.

  • 14 supported currencies
  • Account offers full online and digital banking service
  • Use Citi ATMs worldwide for no processing fee
  • Up to 2.5% foreign transaction fee when spending with your card in a currency you don’t hold in your account¹⁶

    citibank-home-page


HSBC Everyday Global Account

The HSBC Everyday Global account comes with a linked card, and lets you convert foreign currencies at your preferred rate, and then spend and withdraw around the world. There are no overseas ATM fees with HSBC and partner banks, which can also cut your costs when travelling¹⁷.

Currencies available are US, Canadian, Hong Kong, Australian and New Zealand dollars, euros, British pounds, Japanese yen, Swiss francs and Chinese renminbi. Learn more in this full review of HSBC foreign currency accounts.

  • Low minimum deposit of 100 SGD or the currency equivalent
  • Hold 11 different currencies, with fee free spending and withdrawals in 10 currencies
  • 5 SGD fall below fee if you don’t maintain a minimum balance of 2,000 SGD or more¹⁸

    hsbc-home-page


Is your account for personal or business use?

Most of the account options listed out above are primarily available to personal customers. There are also multi-currency account options which are designed for businesses and corporate clients - and some, such as the Wise business account which may suit freelancers, ecommerce entrepreneurs and business owners alike.

Check out the features and fees of the accounts you review to make sure you’re looking at products which suit your needs.

Our team of experts can help your business grow and scale globally. Get in touch to hear how Wise Business can work for you.

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Summary

The good news is that there’s plenty of choice if you’re interested in opening a multi-currency account in Singapore. From accounts offered by traditional banks through to specific travel cards, and online and digital account products, you’ll be sure to spot one that suits your specific needs. Use this guide as a starting point, to find the best multi currency wallet Singapore has to offer - and help you save money when you transact all around the world.


Sources:

  1. Multi Currency Account | Foreign Currency Account by
  2. Wise account pricing: What are the fees?
  3. Which currencies are supported? – Support Center – YouTrip
  4. Why does my exchange rate change after my transaction?
  5. What are the fees involved in using a YouTrip account?
  6. Can I withdraw cash from local and overseas ATMs with my YouTrip card?
  7. Revolut - Pricing plans
  8. Revolut - Fees
  9. My Account - Multi-currency account | DBS Singapore
  10. Multi Currency Accounts Interest Rates | DBS Singapore
  11. Foreign Currencies, Foreign Exchange Rates | DBS Singapore
  12. Important Notes for DBS/POSB Debit Cards
  13. UOB Mighty FX - Singapore
  14. UOB Mighty FX - FAQ
  15. Citibank - Global Foreign Currency Account
  16. Citibank pricing
  17. Everyday Global Account | Multi-currency Account - HSBC SG
  18. HSBC - General services - All accounts
  19. OCBC Global Savings Account
  20. OCBC Personal Banking fees

Sources checked on 09.09.2022


Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

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.

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