Here’s how to send a quick, affordable and secure money transfer to Singapore.
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Compare international money transfers to Singapore
How do international money transfers work?
International money transfers allow you to send money to someone in a different country. This can be done in-person, online or over the phone, and your recipient may be able to have their cash deposited directly into a bank account or choose to pick it up from an agent location.
Banks vs. transfer services
Most major US banks will be able to make a money transfer between the US and Singapore, but you’ll likely be faced with high fees and less favorable exchange rates. While it might be your first instinct to just go through your bank, it may save you money to choose another option.
Money transfer companies specialize in international money transfers. Often, you’ll receive a better exchange rate and pay less fees. And if you’re under a time crunch, don’t worry — you may even be able to have your transfer sent to Singapore on the same day.
Yi Ling sends money to Singapore
Yi Ling lives and works in the United States but provides financial support for her grandparents in Singapore. She wants to send them a transfer of $1,000 but doesn’t want to pay the $40 transfer fee imposed by her bank. Instead, she decides to compare two money transfer companies to see which one can offer her a better deal.
|Money transfer company 1||Money transfer company 2|
|Exchange rate||1 USD = 1.35 SGD||1 USD = 1.33 SGD|
|Transfer method||Bank account deposit||Cash pickup|
|Transfer speed||1 to 3 business days||10 minutes|
|Total SGD received||1,350 SGD||1,330 SGD|
As you can see, while the first transfer option is much slower, it allows Yi Ling to save $12 in fees and transfer an extra S$20.
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to Singapore
- Exchange rates. Nearly all providers skew exchange rates for a profit. Compare the rate you’re offered to the mid-market rate — the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves — and look for the smallest margin between them.
- Transfer fees. Find out whether the provider charges a flat fee or a percentage of your transfer. If you’re sending a large amount, ask whether you qualify for a fee-free transfer.
- Payment and delivery options. Some transfer companies allow you to pay with a credit card online, by phone or through an app. Others offer agent locations for cash payments and pickups. Also ask how your recipient can receive your funds: bank account, cash pickup, mobile wallet and more.
- Transfer speeds. If it needs to be there fast, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow for quick cash pickups, often in minutes. If you have more time, you’ll get better rates and fees with an independent provider.
- Transfer limits. Your best option might depend on how much you want to send. For large transfers, weigh the best exchange rate —especially since providers encourage large transfers by offering low fees. For smaller amounts, consider the fees you’ll pay on top of the exchange rate.
- Flexible transfer options. Ask whether you can schedule payments ahead of time or protect your transfer against market fluctuations with a limit order or forward contract.
Foreign exchange rates explainedExchange rate is what banks and other companies use to determine how much one currency is worth when converted to another currency. A strong currency will yield more when exchanged with a weak currency. Although the US dollar is stronger than the Singapore dollar, there isn’t much of a difference with the Singapore dollar trading for about S$1.37 for every $1 US. This means your recipient will only receive a little extra money when you mak a transfer to Singapore.
Options for sending money to Singapore from the US
- Bank transfers. Many major US banks can safely wire your funds to countries around the world. However, many charge frustratingly high fees and offer weaker exchange rates than some other transfer options.
- Online money transfer services. These specialists offer more affordable transfers than banks do, allowing you to quickly and easily manage your transactions from home. With competitive exchange rates and lower fees, you can send funds from your bank account. Many also allow you to pay with a credit or debit card.
- Providers with cash pickup. Trusted providers like Western Union and MoneyGram offer the key advantage of giving your recipient fast access to the cash you send — sometimes within minutes. You can often pay online or at one of thousands of agent locations worldwide. However, services typically cost more than an online transfer specialist.
- PayPal transfers. Not just for online purchases, PayPal offers transfers to more than 100 countries and supports multiple currencies. Its exchange rates are often better than those you’ll get from a bank but not quite as strong as rates from money transfer companies. PayPal calculates its transfer fee as a percentage of the amount you’re sending — meaning it’s often better for sending smaller amounts of money.
- International money order. You can get this type of money order from your bank and send it overseas to your recipient, who then cashes it in with their own bank. While more secure than a personal check, it’s a slower option than using an electronic transfer. It also costs a little more — you’ll have to purchase the check, and your recipient may be charged a fee by their own bank cashed.
How to send money to Singapore
- Choose a money transfer provider from the table above.
- Click Go to site to register with the provider.
- Enter your recipient’s information and pay for your transfer.
- Save your tracking number to follow up on the progress of your transfer.
Same-day transfers to Singapore
It’s completely possible to send same-day transfers to Singapore, but you might pay extra for it. Usually, you won’t receive the best exchange rate. You may also be on the hook for higher fees. But for many people the convenience outweighs the extra cost, especially if you’re facing an emergency. Take the time to compare your same-day transfer options to find one that offers an exchange rate close to the market rate and doesn’t have exorbitant fees.
Tips for picking up cash in Singapore
Although Singapore is a stable and safe travel destination, picking up cash can still be dangerous. If possible, you should avoid any areas that have high crime rates, travel during the day and bring a friend. Once you pick up your cash, avoid taking it out in public. Instead, stay aware of your surroundings and quickly deposit your money into a safe or bank account.
You have multiple options to choose from when sending money to Singapore from the United States. To get the best value for money for your international money transfer, compare the benefits and features of competing services before selecting a provider.