LOGIN or JOIN
information for global expats



Money Transfers for Expats in Singapore

Submitted: April 2014

There are no legal restrictions on capital flows to and from Singapore. As is generally the case for cross-border transactions, fees may apply. You can of course withdraw cash from an ATM in Singapore with your foreign debit card, but this option is both unfriendly and expensive. It should be viewed as temporary and best avoided.

In practice, the best thing to do in order to save money is to:

  • Plan for the money transfer in advance – otherwise, fees quickly pile up
  • Compare the market and consider using a specialist money transfer company.

The easiest way to transfer money is to have an account in Singapore opened, and then to proceed with an international wire transfer. While this is the easiest way, this is not the cheapest option (see fees below).

If you’re not willing to make an international bank transfer, e.g. you’d rather go to a money transfer company or have a cheque cleared in Singapore, you would ideally need to have an account in Singapore before the money transfer, and possibly prior to coming to Singapore.

Money transfers and accounts in Singapore

Having a current account in Singapore opened can take some time, as you would need to provide proof of residence in Singapore. This is because such accounts are generally unavailable to non-residents, unlike savings accounts. Having an offshore savings account in Singapore before coming to Singapore will surely help in the money transfer process. However, you will likely need to open a current account as a resident when it comes to spending your Singapore dollars.

If you are wealthy enough, i.e. you’re ready to park at least SGD100,000 in Singapore, private banking would surely circumvent all the above described hassle. As in many countries, Singaporean private banks are happy to offer global currency accounts and checking accounts to non-residents. The problem is, this is still not necessarily the cheapest option.

Fees

You can generally transfer money free of charge and without restriction to another Singaporean account, but it’s worth checking with your bank. Further to this, ATM charges may (or may not) apply.

Your bank is likely to charge you for international transfers, although fees may vary. You might wish to check the applicable charges and restrictions at your Singaporean bank.

Alternatively, you can use the services of a money transfer company. To save money, you can also use a price comparison website specialised in money transfers.

Typically, your charges are largely passed on to the applicable foreign exchange rate. See Foreign Exchange for Expats in Singapore.

Cash control rules

There are no restrictions as to the amount of cash you can bring to, or take from, Singapore. However, you must make a declaration to the customs authority if you carry at least SGD30,000 (or currency equivalent) worth of cash when you cross the Singapore border.

Cash transfers include banknotes and coins, cheques, promissory notes, bearer securities, but not international wire transfers.

 

Contribute

We value input from our readers. If you spot an error on this page or have any suggestions, please let us know.

 

Moving to Singapore

If you are considering moving to Singapore or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Singapore section including; details of immigration and visas, Singaporean forums, Singaporean event listings and service providers in Singapore.

picture1 Read More

Living in Singapore

From your safety to shoppingliving in Singapore can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks.  Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Singapore with relevant news and up-to-date information.

picture1 Read More

Working in Singapore

Working in Singapore can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Singapore, and general Singaporean culture of the labour market.

picture1 Read More


 
 
 
 

Information

About | Useful Links | Global Media Partners | Media | Advertising And Sales | Banners And Widgets | Glossary | RSS | Privacy & Cookies | Terms And Conditions | Editorial Policy | Refer To A Friend | Newsletters | Contact | Site Map

Important Notice: Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited has taken reasonable care in sourcing and presenting the information contained on this site, but accepts no responsibility for any financial or other loss or damage that may result from its use. In particular, users of the site are advised to take appropriate professional advice before committing themselves to involvement in offshore jurisdictions, offshore trusts or offshore investments. © Wolters Kluwer TAA Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.

The Expat Briefing brand is owned and operated by Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited.