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Is US$ accepted in Singapore shops?

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gowrip
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Is US$ accepted in Singapore shops?

Postby gowrip » Fri, 30 May 2008 10:51 am

Folks,

I'll be landing in singapore in two days - my local bank convinced me to carry US$ (the local branch didn't have S$ - I didn't get the logic quite right as to why I couldn't just carry INR and convert it in Changi airport:???:) - is US$ accepted in most places or would I have to change it in the airport itself to S$? I would be bringing some S$1800 indian rupees which I'll be changing in the airport, either in India itself or in Singapore airport. I do remember being able to buy coffee (I think) in KL couple of years back in the airport with US$ but it was inside the airport.

Also, any indians have experience using their internation debit/credit card in Singapore - I want to know the kind of charges I'll incur if I use mine.

Thanks

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Re: Is US$ accepted in Singapore shops?

Postby Nailah » Fri, 30 May 2008 11:40 am

gowrip wrote:Folks,

I'll be landing in singapore in two days - my local bank convinced me to carry US$ (the local branch didn't have S$ - I didn't get the logic quite right as to why I couldn't just carry INR and convert it in Changi airport:???:) - is US$ accepted in most places or would I have to change it in the airport itself to S$? I would be bringing some S$1800 indian rupees which I'll be changing in the airport, either in India itself or in Singapore airport. I do remember being able to buy coffee (I think) in KL couple of years back in the airport with US$ but it was inside the airport.

Also, any indians have experience using their internation debit/credit card in Singapore - I want to know the kind of charges I'll incur if I use mine.

Thanks


Hi.

No, US$ is generally not accepted. Not in most places anyway. Go get S$. You can change your money at the airport.

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Postby one843 » Fri, 30 May 2008 12:18 pm

I have been back and forth from Singapore to India more time than I want to think.

I have never needed US$ for anything with the exception to Duty Free Cigerettes at the Mumbai airport.

If you change from INR to Sing be carefull where you do it. For example last time I was in India I exchanged Sing $ in Pune and got a rate of 1.28, I also had to change more at the airport in Mumbai. THere I got a rate of 1.38.

Rates at Changi shold be almost if not the same as the airport in Mumbai.

S$ 1800.00 is alot of INR. I would suggest changing about 100 S$ at teh airport.

Then after you leave airport and get to the hotel find a small money changer around Little India or around Bugis/Arab Street area. They may offer you a better rate.
"If you fear change, you fear success"

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Postby taxico » Fri, 30 May 2008 1:33 pm

green backs are accepted at most modern shopping malls in singapore and i've paid a few cabbies with them before too.

you can use them to pay for stuff at the singapore airport before changing and hopping into your ride.

since you're not familiar with the country, make sure you do just that and leave the airport with some singapore dollars.

as for incurring int'l card transaction fees - it's never wise to do so unless it's a corporate card or for only a small number of swipes.

why not get your bank to issue a demand draft and cash it in when you get to singapore or use it to open your singapore bank account?

you might get your atm card immediately as long as all your work documentation is in order and start spending!

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Postby gowrip » Fri, 30 May 2008 2:06 pm

Thanks for the input guys.

well, the deal is, as soon as I land there I have to pay for my pickup, temporary hostel accommadation (I am coming over there as a student), which by themselves come upto S$1000 (and i am getting a train card, a SIM card, medical checkup and all that is arranged by someone and i'll be paying for them on sunday night and monday morning).

I'll be opening an account definitely and then I'll transfer some money from India but I just need to survive (and start apartment hunting) the moment I get there. seems like my expenses are heavily front-loaded.

The problem with singapore dollars here was in my local branch, there is no exchange option for singapore dollars - and somehow to them all dollars look alike :-). so, i am carrying some US cash and indian cash.

and i'll be landing at something like 8 PM on a sunday.

so, one843, should I just do ~ $1500 in the airport and take care of the rest next day (i could pester the person who is going to pick me up to go via little india)? will the rates be very different between the airport guys and the little india guys?

taxico, what is "green backs"?

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Postby taxico » Fri, 30 May 2008 2:43 pm

these are greenbacks.

Image

alright, some bills don't look green anymore, but you get the idea... :wink:

i don't think bringing $1,500 over is a problem if you can carry that amount safely and they don't come in giant bundles or anything (eg, chinese money)...

never been flying to/fro india, so i don't know what your currency is like, but i've carried a few grand in us bills before a few times and i know i can only feel a lil bit safer if it was a direct flight.

if you land during the day, why not get a draft/cheque that can be cashed in at a singapore bank (inquire at your local bank). the commission charge is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

otherwise, there isn't much you can do but just change your indian money in singapore - you might take a tiny loss if you convert it twice.

be sure to travel safe if you intend to carry cash and take all necessary precautions.

now that we've cleared that up, what did you say your flight number, departure day, time and departing airport was? and btw, what do you look like? do you carry any conspicuous luggage?

8-)

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Postby gowrip » Fri, 30 May 2008 3:20 pm

taxico wrote:these are greenbacks.
alright, some bills don't look green anymore, but you get the idea... :wink:


that's what i thought. just confirming.

taxico wrote:i don't think bringing $1,500 over is a problem if you can carry that amount safely and they don't come in giant bundles or anything (eg, chinese money)...


it isn't a big bundle really - the pink backs from here are worth S$30 each.

taxico wrote:if you land during the day, why not get a draft/cheque that can be cashed in at a singapore bank (inquire at your local bank). the commission charge is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

otherwise, there isn't much you can do but just change your indian money in singapore - you might take a tiny loss if you convert it twice.


well, my local bank guys just run for cover if mention any "I" phrases(international DD, internatinonal check, internation whatever - the only thing they like is - wire transfer as it doesn't have the "I" word in it - someday they're going to find out that too implicitly starts with the "I" word) - so, I-DD seemed pretty scary to them. so, now half my intial money comprises of pink backs and the other half green backs.

taxico wrote:now that we've cleared that up, what did you say your flight number, departure day, time and departing airport was? and btw, what do you look like? do you carry any conspicuous luggage?


arrival time is 8 PM, flight departs from Chennai at around 1:30 PM - haven't looked at the flight number yet (hoping that there is only one such flight at time). My luggage looks pretty normal. I am 5'6" tamil guy, dark skinned (the sun is roasting me here), thick moustache (coconut oil), thick indian accent (we prefer to say we speak british english and that's why other people can't understand us), a bit of a tummy (comes with age) and cool sunglasses (to impress the people in the immigration). haven't decided whether i am going wear blue jeans or gray cargo or black suit. but it could be any one of those. oh, i forgot to mention - i land on June 1st.

are you coming to pick me up? :-). i could save some money from the arrangements i have already made (boy, $100 for someone to just pick me up and tell me how to catch a cab and a train and make a phone call?)...

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Postby taxico » Fri, 30 May 2008 4:31 pm

i think you've paid $65 too much for such instructions and a ride. have you actually handed your money over yet?

if you told us where you're staying, people here can come up with how you get there. you may also get other tips and recommendations or nonsensical replies that i dish out regularly.

you can get a prepaid sim card at changi airport itself (ask around) - go for starhub (GSM1800) if you have no particular preference. i believe it's $18 with a $8 (or $10) value included.

otherwise it's M1 (am-one) or singtel - both on GSM900, if your phone's not dual-band and above. if you can't figure out where to get a prepaid sim, ask around.

i'm not sure what airline you're on, but since i've only been to terminal 3 on the day of the opening (i flew out the same day), i'm not sure how to get to the train station after arriving at t3 yet (in case you're flying SQ).

but i'm sure there's a monorail-type carriage that'll get you to to terminal 2 for free where the "MRT" train station's located in the basement. if you tell us where your hostel's at, someone'll tell you where to stop.

limousine rides to anywhere in the city are a flat $35 i think (???). normal cabs charge by the meter, but it's unlikely you'll pay more than $35 on standard cabs to your hostel. get a receipt.

there're free internet booths and courtesy phones for complimentary singapore local calls at the area where connections desks are at (before passport control). ask if you can't find it.

pull your shades off at passport control and help yourself to the tasty fox candy in the jar by the counter. look at a map if it helps you navigate better (dial up the www) and look at signs.

have you asked if your hostel provides a timed shuttle? if you're taking the train, you can get change for ticketmachines at the control booth where the station master will be at. you can also get directions there.

as long as you have the station names and location of your hostel, you can stop anyone in the airport that doesn't look like an out of towner to get friendly directions. they don't bite but may be hard to comprehend.

better yet, dial up your www and point to mapping websites to grab and print a copy of your hostel's location just so you feel more secure and so others will know where you're trying to get to.

it's not a terribly complicated or messy airport you may be accustomed to elsewhere and you'll love passing through changi airport as long as you've not broken any laws.

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Postby gowrip » Fri, 30 May 2008 5:54 pm

taxico, thanks! that was one detailed reply.

anyway... the person who was arranged simply is going to take care of me getting started up - his fees include co-ordinating much more than my pickup - my medical checkup, immigration etc. - i was just joking (somewhat) about the $100 in a way as I divided the money i was going to pay him based on some wierd criteria. i was simply responding to your (i assumed you were being funny after all that talk about carrying a lot of money and now i am actually confused):

<<
now that we've cleared that up, what did you say your flight number, departure day, time and departing airport was? and btw, what do you look like? do you carry any conspicuous luggage?
>>

i actually have an idea where my hostel is (only kinda) and where the university is too. seems like they're 30 minutes apart at worst. i didn't need him to carry me around like a baby for my medical and immigration stuff, but then again, hey, new country, lot of new places and i was going to just enjoy the ride. i am too spoiled by my last two employers - they had always taken care of every little thing i needed to do whenever i travelled.

that said, thank for the patient response. i hope i'll bump into you in FNDC someday if you are going to be there. i'll pick your (and this others' in this forum) brain once i get there.

but, now that you got me confused a bit, i am going to ask him to pick me up in a nice shiny black limousine - otherwise i am just going to sit there in the airport until he gets me one :-).

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Postby taxico » Fri, 30 May 2008 6:04 pm

ahhh. awesome... i'm glad you have someone taking care of you. you needn't worry about anything then!

i was kidding at a certain point in one of my former posts. so worry not! it's all good.

i probably won't show my face at any event organized here because i prefer remaining anonymous within this message board.

i hope you'll enjoy your time in singapore and you have plenty of fun! take it easy now.

demand the guy hire the stretch chrysler 350. vroom vroom... it's shiny, it's black, it's long... it's a limo!

be sure to head on back here whenever!

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Postby jpatokal » Fri, 30 May 2008 9:13 pm

Best place in Singapore to exchange your rupees is Mustafa in Little India. Whether the difference in the rate is worth the haul out there and standing around in queues while the businessmen exchange US$50,000 is another question...
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Postby one843 » Sat, 31 May 2008 1:39 pm

HELLO!!!! Is it just me or what the hell to going on with the advise this guy is getting.

Someone correct me if I am wrong.

I will go item by item.

Taxico says:

"i'm not sure what airline you're on, but since i've only been to terminal 3 on the day of the opening (i flew out the same day), i'm not sure how to get to the train station after arriving at t3 yet (in case you're flying SQ)."

This is all wrong. SQ flights from India gate a T2.


" i'm sure there's a monorail-type carriage that'll get you to to terminal 2 for free where the "MRT" train station's located in the basement. if you tell us where your hostel's at, someone'll tell you where to stop."

Wrong again. MRT station is at T1.

US$ are not excpet at most malls.

Why are you giving this guy the advsie you are giving? I sound like you landed in Singapore 2 hours ago. :mad:

I can see why you wish to remain secret. I can not figure out why you wnat to know all the details of this guy. Like, flight #, luggaeg description, phisycal description, ect...

Almost everything you have told this guy will gaurantee his arrival and experince here to be horrid.

To tell you the truth I questons you are asking would make me think you are gonna rob me.



GOWRIP.

Do no tlisten to anything this guy is saying. If you do there is no telling how thing will work out for you.

I am assuming you are flying into Singapore from India. That means you are most likely flying India Air. You will arrive Terminla 1. The MRT is right there at T1.

It sounds like you have engaged a soul sucking agant and arranged to pay him a hefty fee to arrange your trip into Singapore.

If you are bringing 1500 dollars. 1000 goes to the agent straight away then you will not save that much money exchanging the 500 dollars in Little India.

Follow these steps and you will be ok.

Change you money at the airport.
Pay your agent.
Get to you hostile.
As soon as possible get out of the hostile and get to Little India and meet a fellow Indian as soon as possible. There are many othe Indians here what paid an agent to bring them in.

Indians here tend to stick together and help each other out. Make some friends and they will be able to give you more advice than any of us.

Some advise to heed. :mad:

Dont tell the whole world how much money you are bringing with you. Or tell someone on the internet what you look like or what you will be wearing when you arrive in SIngapore wqith 1500 dollars cash on you.

Singapore is a safe country but as everywhere there are people looking to rob you.
"If you fear change, you fear success"

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Postby jpatokal » Sun, 01 Jun 2008 1:34 am

one843 wrote:" i'm sure there's a monorail-type carriage that'll get you to to terminal 2 for free where the "MRT" train station's located in the basement. if you tell us where your hostel's at, someone'll tell you where to stop."

Wrong again. MRT station is at T1.

Uh, no, the original poster was correct. The Changi Airport MRT station is connected to T2 and T3, you need to take the Skytrain to get there from T1. However, there's so much signage and so many help counters in Changi that you really can't get lost, at least not for very long...

Change you money at the airport.
Pay your agent.
Get to you hostile.


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hostile :P
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Postby maneo » Sun, 01 Jun 2008 3:01 am

Contradictory replies, eh?

Hotels may accept US dollars and some shops, too.
In both cases, there should a signboard with their currency exchange rates shown.
However, if you're coming over as a student, I wouldn't expect you to be frequenting those shops or hotels, so get your money changed.

Money changers in town do give much better rates than what you'll get at the airport.
Normally, it would be best to change at the airport only what you need immediately and change the rest later when convenient.
However, as mentioned above, your total amount to be changed is not that big.
You need to decide for yourself if the several percent you would save is worth the extra effort.
There may be money changers near your hostel, so you may not need to make a special trip to Little India.
You will be getting in to SG too late to enjoy the normal Sunday evening scene in Little India.

Paying $1000 for various arrangements does seem high.
Hope you get the details itemised.
I'd assume that the bulk of this would be for the temporary housing.
This better be for a long time if you're just being put up in a hostel.
Use Google to see what typical Singapore hostel rates are.

If you don't already have one, here's a link to an online Singapore map:
http://www.map.gov.sg/StreetMap/

If you enter "mustafa" in the search box, you'll see that it is near the Farrer Park MRT station, but nowhere near any of the universities.

There's also an interactive map of Changi (for your arrival) at:
http://www.changiairport.com/changi/en/index.html
http://202.56.134.170/entertainment/int ... /main_.htm


By the way, I thought you knew taxico's questions about flight number, departure day, time and departing airport, what you look like and conspicuous luggage were a joke. I don't think he'll be there to relieve you of your burden. :wink:

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 01 Jun 2008 5:41 pm

Matter of fact, taxico is in Australia and not even in Singapore at all.


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