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Avoid transaction/conversion fee...?

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MimiSan
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Avoid transaction/conversion fee...?

Post by MimiSan » Thu, 10 Jun 2010 1:52 pm

It's my first time to post a question on this forum. My husband and I will be in Singapore next month for his short assignment (half year or so). His salary will be paid to his US banking account w/ USD.

We are thinking to bring traveler's check with us to Singapore and deposite it in a local banking account to avoid much transaction/conversion fee between US and Singapore accounts. I am not sure if this is the best way to go so would love to hear people's perspective...

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Re: Avoid transaction/conversion fee...?

Post by Mad Scientist » Thu, 10 Jun 2010 4:54 pm

MimiSan wrote:It's my first time to post a question on this forum. My husband and I will be in Singapore next month for his short assignment (half year or so). His salary will be paid to his US banking account w/ USD.

We are thinking to bring traveler's check with us to Singapore and deposite it in a local banking account to avoid much transaction/conversion fee between US and Singapore accounts. I am not sure if this is the best way to go so would love to hear people's perspective...
Travelers cheque will command a 1% fee on transaction in SG.
I would suggest that he opens a Citibank account in US that links with Citibank SG. As such he will not have to worry about accessing to his account in US and Citibank SG. Hence his pay can be paid in Citibank US and access in here. Citibank SG do provide USD and many other major currencies in one's account. However I would stress that if you are going to withdraw US currency in SG , it will attract a 1% fee of the amount withdrawn in US currency.Or you can get a rate of conversion of the day to be withdrawn in SG currency from the bank
Does this solve your concern ?
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Post by durain » Thu, 10 Jun 2010 8:10 pm

to avoid any fees, then cash is king. bring a whole suitcase of USD and exchange it with a local money changer for SGD. open an account with a local bank and dump the SGD in.

note: local money changer rate in singapore are pretty good to the currency spot rate, and if you are exchanging a lot, you can haggle for a better rate by a few cents.

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Post by MimiSan » Thu, 10 Jun 2010 9:33 pm

Thank you for taking time to share your insights!

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Post by Mad Scientist » Fri, 11 Jun 2010 4:47 am

durain wrote:to avoid any fees, then cash is king. bring a whole suitcase of USD and exchange it with a local money changer for SGD. open an account with a local bank and dump the SGD in.

note: local money changer rate in singapore are pretty good to the currency spot rate, and if you are exchanging a lot, you can haggle for a better rate by a few cents.
Durain, there is a currency declaration if you are bringing in or taking out from SG. Though it is perceived as NOT A CURRENCY CONTROL Measure as stated by MHA but it is wise to declare. Read this
http://www.getforme.com/previous2007/30 ... d30000.htm

Mimisan; local bank will give a better percentage point on the spread of the day. Citibank SG in practise will be about 150 to 200 points away. Local bank is about 100 to 150 points. Money Changer about 100 points.
However if you can get to be Wealth Management Customer in Citibank or Private Banking Customer, the spread can be as low as 10 point .

Hope this info is useful

MS
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Post by Girl_Next_Door » Fri, 11 Jun 2010 9:44 am

Many many years ago... I used to work in a bank branch (in the middle of nowhere). We actually go to a money changer, to convert out foreign currency... I think going to a money changer is probably the way to go. There are a brunch of money changers in Raffles Place, Arcade. Walk around there and see which one have the longest quene, and that is probably the one with the best rate. :P

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Post by snowqueen » Sat, 12 Jun 2010 11:41 am

That Fountain Money changer at Suntec always has massive queues (the one opposite the Duck Tour thing). I think we changed a bit of money there when we first moved here 2 years ago.

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Post by carteki » Mon, 14 Jun 2010 10:34 am

snowqueen wrote:That Fountain Money changer at Suntec always has massive queues (the one opposite the Duck Tour thing). I think we changed a bit of money there when we first moved here 2 years ago.
Don't know why they have a massive queue (only person around?) I took a look at their rates for MYR which were not worth the wait - better to catch a bus to Change Alley...

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Post by durain » Mon, 14 Jun 2010 5:40 pm

carteki wrote:
snowqueen wrote:That Fountain Money changer at Suntec always has massive queues (the one opposite the Duck Tour thing). I think we changed a bit of money there when we first moved here 2 years ago.
Don't know why they have a massive queue (only person around?) I took a look at their rates for MYR which were not worth the wait - better to catch a bus to Change Alley...
i concur with carteki. one would imagine they are doing excellent rates for people to queue up (la singapore style) but eveytime i check their rates, they are rubbish! i usually shop around in far east plaza or lucky plaza.

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Re: Avoid transaction/conversion fee...?

Post by ottawan » Tue, 15 Jun 2010 7:41 pm

MimiSan wrote: We are thinking to bring traveler's check with us to Singapore and deposite it in a local banking account to avoid much transaction/conversion fee between US and Singapore accounts. I am not sure if this is the best way to go so would love to hear people's perspective...
I think your best solution would be the HSBC Premier service, which will link your US and Singapore accounts together and will enable you to get a SGD credit card based on your US credit. However, this is available only if you have $100k of liquid assets that you can bring over to HSBC (does not need to be cash in your account, can be investments to be managed through their investment account).

Citibank may also have a solution - also a bank with both US and SGD presence.

Failing that, I'm not sure your method will have great advantages. You will generally have to pay a fee to buy the traveller's cheques, as well as a foreign currency conversion fee to transfer from USD to SGD. I'm not sure what you're proposing will be any more cost effective than wiring the money - but depends on exactly what fees your bank will charge.

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Post by ancientmariner » Wed, 21 Jul 2010 3:34 pm

1. In my opinion, the better option is to open a local account in your bank of choice and Wire the money from US. Check the rates online before wiring as
it changes a lot each day in singapore.

2. Guess, best rate for cash conversion is provided by Money exchange located in Mustafa centre. If you bring cash, better rate will be for 100s and
50s notes.
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Post by JR8 » Wed, 21 Jul 2010 5:34 pm

ancientmariner wrote: 2. Guess, best rate for cash conversion is provided by Money exchange located in Mustafa centre. If you bring cash, better rate will be for 100s and 50s notes.
Mustafa are ok, that said you'll never find better rates (anywhere) than upstairs in The Arcade, Raffles Place.

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