Singapore is one of the most highly traded currencies in the world, giving you plenty of options when you’re looking to send money from Singapore. However, the wide selection means you should take extra time comparing the differences between banks and money transfer companies. Get the most out of your money by knowing exactly how to find the lowest fees and best exchange rates out there.
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Compare international money transfers to Singapore
Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.
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 banks will be able to make a money transfer to Singapore, but you’ll likely be faced with high fees and less favourable 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 specialise 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.
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 pick-ups. Also ask how your recipient can receive your funds: bank account, cash pick-up, mobile wallet and more.
Transfer speeds. If it needs to be there fast, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow for quick cash pick-ups, 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 explained
Exchange 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.
Options for sending money to Singapore from Singapore
Bank transfers. Many Singapore 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 pick-up. 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 cheque, it’s a slower option than using an electronic transfer. It also costs a little more — you’ll have to purchase the cheque, and your recipient may be charged a fee by their own bank to have it cashed.
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.
Adrienne Fuller is the head of publishing at Finder US. With a decade of experience creating guides in finance and education, she aims to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. For the past 3 years she has been the publisher of money transfers, helping readers save when they send money all over the globe. She has a BA from Colorado College and loves to hike with her two Catahoula dogs around her home in San Diego.
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