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converting foreign currency

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Joined: Tue, 20 Jun 2006 2:14 am

converting foreign currency

Post by movingsoon » Sat, 29 Jul 2006 12:08 am

I tried to check all the archives but I could not find anything related to this question.Here it goes:

I'm currently ending my first international assignement and Singapore will be my next one. I'll be in Singapore in two weeks. I want to close out everything from this country including my local bank account.
Throughout my first assignment I have accumulated plenty of local currency because of reimbursement for local costs. Since I want to close my account, I have to take all the money out. It's fairly substantial.

So I have two questions.
1.) Is there a limit to the amount of foreign currency (cash) you can bring to Singapore? I am American, and I know we have to declare if we are taking anything beyond $10K into the US. I honestly don't know what declaring means in terms of what is so bad about it? So what if I have to declare it? What happens?

2.) Can I just simply plop all this foreign cash in one of those changing booths at the changi airport and they will simply convert it? BTW the currency I am bringing is a currency recognized and changed at the airport, but I didn't know if there was a limit of the amount you can change.

I could just leave it in the account and start withdrawing slowly via ATM but that means I have to worry about closing the account sometime down the line. I'm afraid it will take as much hassle to close the account as it did to open it. That is why I just want to close it before I leave.

Any assistance will be appreciated.

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Post by jpatokal » Sat, 29 Jul 2006 4:34 pm

The answer's going to depend on what currency you have, how large the amount is and what currency you want to convert it into, or if it makes sense to convert it at all. For example, if you have (say) yen, you could open a yen account in Singapore and wire it over with no exchange fees (but some handling fees).

I don't think Singapore cares about importing or exporting foreign currency, it's not their problem. Don't use the exchange booths at the airport though, their rates aren't as good as what you can get in the city. Mustafa gives pretty good rates, and for sufficiently large amounts you can negotiate anywhere.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

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