Currency in Singapore - A Full Guide 2024

Claire Millard
Ileana Ionescu
Last updated
December 4, 2023

Planning a trip to Singapore? Whether you’re heading there for work or pleasure, you’ll need to know how to pay your way as you travel.

This guide covers all you’ll need to know about the official currency in Singapore, where to get it and how to keep your costs down during your trip.

What is the currency in Singapore?

The official currency in Singapore is the Singapore Dollar, which is issued and overseen by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. If you’re buying your travel money online you may also see the official code being shown - SGD. In stores and restaurants, Singapore Dollar prices are likely to use the currency symbol S$.

Once you’re in Singapore you’ll see costs of items shown in SGD and you’ll need to start paying for things in local coins and notes which are often found in the following denominations:

banknotes - 2, 5, 10, 50, 100, 1000 SGD and coins - 5, 10, 20, 50 cents; 1, 5 SGD.

Can you officially pay in CAD when you are in Singapore?

You’re unlikely to be able to officially transact in CAD in Singapore, which is why it’s time to start getting used to SGD and learning more about the currency exchange rates so you’ll know what you’re spending on your trip.

This guide will walk through all you need to know, including Canadian dollar/Singapore Dollar rates and where best to get your travel money from.

Singapore Dollar
Currency nameSingapore Dollar
ISO codeSGD
SymbolS$
SubunitCent
Central BankMonetary Authority of Singapore
Best travel cards to take to SingaporeWise

SGD coins and banknotes

Here’s a full rundown of the SGD coins and banknotes you’ll need to be familiar with when you’re in Singapore.

SGD banknotesSGD coins
banknotes - 2, 5, 10, 50, 100, 1000 SGDcoins - 5, 10, 20, 50 cents; 1, 5 SGD

History of Singapore Dollar currency

The Singapore Dollar (SGD) was introduced in 1967, two years after Singapore's independence from Malaysia in 1965. The currency issuance is overseen by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. It replaced the Malaysian dollar, which Singapore had continued to use after the formation of Malaysia in 1963. The Singapore dollar has been allowed to float since 1973, and its strength reflects Singapore's reputation as a stable, highly developed free-market economy. The SGD is also used in Brunei due to the Currency Interchangeability Agreement between the two countries.

Is CAD accepted in Singapore?

As we’ve seen, the official currency in Singapore is SGD. If you carry CAD with you on your trip, you’ll probably need to exchange it before you can spend.

Sometimes when you’re away on a trip abroad you’ll find that merchants will take payments in a selection of major foreign currencies. However, the chances are that where this is offered, you won’t get a good exchange rate for your CAD. Planning smart and convenient ways to spend in SGD when you’re away is likely to mean you save on costs in the end.

Usually, having a few different ways to pay and get cash is the best option for travelers and tourists. That’s because you’ll have a back up plan in case one payment method isn’t accepted for any reason, and you can pick the method that’s best suited to the specific transaction. Having a multi-currency card from a provider like Wise, plus your normal bank debit card, and some local cash in SGD should mean you’ve always got options. You can use your cash for small purchases and tipping, and make low cost payments and cash withdrawals with your multi-currency card, while keeping your bank card in reserve for emergencies.

Use a travel card on your next trip to Singapore

Using a travel debit card in Singapore is usually cheap, safe and convenient. A few providers in the UK offer multi-currency cards which come with a linked payment account that lets you convert, hold and spend in SGD. That allows you to add a balance in CAD and switch over to SGD to lock in the exchange rate and set your travel budget.

Once you have SGD in your account there are no extra fees to make payments, and you’ll not have foreign transaction charges to worry about, either.

Here’s a quick overview of a couple of handy travel debit cards you may want to order and use in Singapore.

Wise travel card

Order a Wise travel card online or in the Wise app, to hold and exchange 40+ currencies and manage your money from your phone. You’ll be able to spend conveniently in SGD - and all currency exchange uses the mid-market rate with no markup.

Card holders get some free ATM withdrawals available every month, and there’s no annual or monthly fees to pay, and no minimum balance requirement.

Read a full Wise review here

Go to Wise
Wise prosWise cons

✅ Currency exchange uses the mid-market rate

✅ No foreign transaction fees apply

✅ Free to hold and spend 40+ currencies

✅ Receive payments to your Wise account in a selection of global currencies

✅ No minimum balance or ongoing fees


❌ Card order fee applies

❌ ATM fees apply once you’ve exhausted your free monthly withdrawals 

What is the currency exchange rate for £ 1 CAD/SGD?

It’s helpful to get to know the live CAD/SGD rate so you can easily calculate how much things are costing you while you’re on your trip abroad. The rate you need to focus on is the mid market rate, which is the one banks and major currency services get when buying and selling currencies. This rate isn’t always passed on to customers. Instead you may find that the CAD/SGD rate you get when exchanging travel cash includes a markup - an extra fee.

Find the CAD/SGD mid-market rate from a currency conversion site or a website like this, so you can keep an eye on the market and compare the rates you’re offered as you travel against the mid-market rate easily.

Should I exchange CAD to SGD before traveling to Singapore?

Because Singapore sees many tourists from the UK every year you might find you’re better off if you exchange your currency when you get to Singapore rather than worrying about getting your cash sorted out before you leave.

Get familiar with the exchange rates offered locally to you, and online, so you can decide whether it’s worth switching some funds in advance of travel, using a card to pay while you’re away, or converting cash on arrival. Both in the UK and in Singapore, steer clear of exchanging currency at the airport. A captive market means that CAD/SGD rates are often worse in the airport than in city centers.

When you’re in Singapore you’re going to need SGD in cash for some of your spending - particularly when tipping or making smaller value purchases. Buying your SGD travel money in advance can get you better CAD/SGD exchange rates, and saves you wasting precious time shopping around for a good deal once you arrive in Singapore.

Tips for exchanging money in Singapore

There’s a good network of ATMs across Singapore, and card payments are also widely accepted. Always pay in CAD to avoid sneaky extra dynamic currency conversion costs and to make sure your money goes further.

2)Avoid using exchange providers at airports or hotels in Singapore as they usually offer pretty poor exchange rates because they have a captive market and little competition nearby

3)Today’s mid market exchange rate for CAD/SGD is 0.68019 - look for this or as close as possible to it when you exchange your travel money

4)Use a travel debit card like the Wise card while you’re in Singapore for fast and cheap conversion between currencies and easy ways to manage your money from your phone

Best place to exchange currency in Singapore

You can get your SGD in Singapore in a couple of ways.

You’ll be able to use a travel debit card from a provider like [wise-affiliate-name-links] to make convenient payments and cash withdrawals and to convert funds online.

Or if you prefer an offline solution you can carry some cash in CAD to exchange when you arrive. Currency exchange providers are often in airports and hotels, although the exchange shops in a city center are likely to be cheaper overall.

How to pay in Singapore?

You’ll need to have SGD to spend in Singapore. However, generally having a few different payment methods is a good plan. That means that if a merchant won't accept one, you’ve got a back up. It’s also reassuring to know you have a different way to pay if you were unlucky enough to have a card or some travel cash stolen. Here are your key payment options in Singapore.

1. Debit or credit card

Card payments can be helpful in shops, restaurants and hotels but there will be places where cash is also important. Order a travel card from a provider like Wise for cheap and fast transactions, including card payments and cash withdrawals as and when you need travel money in SGD.

2. SGD cash

  • Cash is widely used in Singapore, so it’s worth having some with you at all times. You may want to exchange money to SGD before you leave, but it’s also usually convenient to make ATM withdrawals locally once you arrive in Singapore.

  • You’ll usually find you can use a card to make payments in Singapore, but carrying some cash in SGD is also reassuring. It’s often easier for tipping and making smaller purchases, plus you’ve got a nice backup if your card is ever out of action for some reason.

  • It’s a smart idea to have both a card and some cash in SGD when you’re in Singapore. Some merchants will prefer cash, but having a card for higher value payments and in busier more tourist places is also convenient. Consider using a travel card from a provider like Wise alongside your cash for flexibility.

Paying for the trip in CAD

If you’re paying for things in Singapore with a CAD bank card you might find a foreign transaction fee is added. This pushes up your costs when you spend in a foreign currency, and can be tricky to calculate.

Travel debit cards don’t always work this way. When you make purchases in Singapore using the [wise-affiliate-name-links] card you can either choose to convert your account balance to SGD in advance in the Wise app, or just leave your balance in CAD and let the card handle the transaction when you pay. You’ll always get the lowest available fee and there are no extra foreign transaction charges.

Conclusion - Currency in Singapore

You won’t be able to pay in CAD when you visit Singapore - so learning about the currency you need is essential. Whether you decide to use a travel debit card from a service like [wise-affiliate-name-links], or stock up on SGD in cash in advance, knowing the mid-market exchange rate can help you get the best available deal. Use this guide to learn all you need to know about the options, rates and fees for exchanging CAD to SGD, and make your money go further while you’re away.

The official currency in Singapore is SGD. You can’t usually pay in CAD in Singapore, so you’ll need to plan in advance to get your travel money sorted. Consider ordering a travel debit card from a service like Wise, for low cost conversions to SGD and convenient spending and withdrawals - and remember that knowing the CAD to SGD mid-market exchange rate is essential to check you’re getting a fair deal on currency exchange.

FAQ - Currency in Singapore

What is the currency in Singapore called?

The official currency in Singapore is the Singapore Dollar. You may also see the code SGD and the currency symbol S$.

What's the currency in Singapore?

The official currency in Singapore is the Singapore Dollar. You’ll only be able to spend in SGD while you’re there.

What is the old Singapore currency?

Today the currency in Singapore is the Singapore Dollar. If you’re worried about currencies changing, why not get a travel debit card from a service like [wise-affiliate-name-links] which will automatically pick the currency needed in your destination when making a payment - with no penalties or inflated fees.

What is the best currency to take to Singapore?

You’ll only be able to spend in SGD while you’re in Singapore. Carrying some money in cash and using a travel debit card from a service like [wise-affiliate-name-links] is usually the best way to spend while you’re away from home.