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Best place to change SGD to USD?

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zzm9980
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Best place to change SGD to USD?

Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 1:15 pm

(yes I used the search, no it wasn't conclusive)

Who is going to give the best rate overall (smallest spread, lowest fees) to change SGD to USD? Cash-money, about S$5000 or so.

I normally use my bank to xfer the money, but this isn't for me and they want the USD here in Singapore.

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Postby A little ball of fur » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 1:19 pm

There is a money changer near the DBS Bank at Suntec City. I think it's called "Fortune of Wealth Money Changer."

They have the best rates in Singapore.

The best time to go is after the lunch hour.

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Postby aster » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 3:48 pm

Raffles Place arcade, there are two money changers smack in the middle so you can choose whichever one gives you the best rate. Very tight spreads too.

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Postby carteki » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 4:34 pm

A little ball of fur wrote:There is a money changer near the DBS Bank at Suntec City. I think it's called "Fortune of Wealth Money Changer."

They have the best rates in Singapore.

The best time to go is after the lunch hour.


what? you could've fooled me

I agree with Aster - Change Alley / Raffles Place is pretty good and because they're all close together it is easy to compare rates. Depends really on how much time you want to put into chasing the best rate down as even is $5k it won't add to much. SMS uses Mustafa and I find them useful and convenient along with decent rates.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 5:04 pm

Hands down, The Arcade at Raffles Place.

Walk in from the street, note the rates at the two booths on the left and right of the entrance. Keep in mind that they will likely not be the best of the bunch.

Take the escalator up walk the length of the floor and note down the rates at the various booths. Be aware that one place quotes it's prices as as Offer-Bid (!) rather than the usual Bid-Offer so read the boards carefully. I'd then pick the two best from the list, and go back and ask them what the best rate they can do is for S$5k, if you're lucky they'll add a pip or two and that might be maybe another $10 :)

Only caveat with The Arcade is it is not open on the weekends (or it might be on Saturday morning). Plus try and avoid lunch hour if possible as the queues can get a bit long. The place I seem to keep going to is called Sheen Intnl Pte Ltd, 1st floor, about 2/3rds of the way down on the right.

I'd defy anyone to get better rates than can be found at The Arcade. As I've previously reported here, I once sold around S$5k for US$, and we got them at a price better than the live money market rate (I had a Reuters FX pager in my hand!). Now that guy obviously had a position he really wanted to unwind and so was willing to take a small loss, but the spreads there are miniscule anyway, and it shows what is possible.

Also, I have never had any of them charge me a commission, everything is in the spread.

p.s. On weekends or when getting to The Arcade is not convenient, I go to Mustaffa (you can check their live rates on their www). Still better than any of these one man and his dog change kiosks. When dealing with a wedge of notes the change windows on the street are a bit of a zoo, so I'd suggest entering the shop and using the windows facing internally.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 5:07 pm

Thanks! The Search did point me towards Raffles Place Arcade, but it was old and not for USD, so just wanted to confirm.

Thanks guys

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 5:34 pm

Or, Go to Mustafa's. Their rates are usually equal to the best that the Arcade can muster unless were are talking about 5 digit amounts. Even then they are probably competitive.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 6:15 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Or, Go to Mustafa's. Their rates are usually equal to the best that the Arcade can muster unless were are talking about 5 digit amounts. Even then they are probably competitive.



1.2450 1.2540
http://www.mustafa.com.sg/forex.asp

Forget the absolute rate for now, that is a spread of 0.90cents. I'd be interested to know what the average spread is at the Arcade right now, certainly less than that as as I recall it is under 0.5cents on Sterling.

Imagining that the spread for US$ was 0.5cents too, say 1.247 - 1.252, that means on selling S$5k you'd get US$3987.24 at Mustafa, and US$3993.61 at the Arcade. However I'm pretty sure the spread is as low at 0.1cent, and at 1.250 you'd be getting US$4,000. The anecdote of my trading outside the spread was the equivalent of currently paying 1.235, (on a quote of 1.24-1.25) to buy US$, so say US$4,048.

As SMS says not massive in the scheme of things, but if you work anywhere near there it's a no brainer. Plus if you are going to be doing 5 figure trades it can be worth the journey.

p.s. If anyone is at The Arcade in the near future, I'd be interested to hear what the typical US$ spread is upstairs.


Edit: typos
Edit, a couple of years later:
Sheen Intnl now publish their rates on the web
http://sheen.sg/Displayrate.aspx
Last edited by JR8 on Mon, 03 Feb 2014 7:56 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 23 Apr 2012 7:59 pm

I work a Yio Chu Kang so I'm not lookIng forward to going down to either :p At least at Raffles Place I can get a good (for Asia) cappuccino though.

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Postby BillyB » Tue, 24 Apr 2012 10:00 am

Suntec city, tower 2, ground floor newsagent near the Nike store.

Always bang on the XE/oanda spot rates and will shave a few $ off for anything over 2/3k.

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Postby the lynx » Tue, 24 Apr 2012 10:27 am

Just for you to know, these two money changers you are talking about in The Arcade (Raffles Place) are only open until 12pm on Saturdays (unless things have changed the last time I went there).

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Postby aster » Fri, 04 May 2012 5:04 pm

JR8 wrote:p.s. If anyone is at The Arcade in the near future, I'd be interested to hear what the typical US$ spread is upstairs.


I passed by there like 2-3 days ago, and although I didn't check the rates upstairs I did have a look at the ones on ground floor:

USD was the king of low spreads, for $50/$100 notes they were buying at 1.234 and selling at 1.24. Incredibly tight spreads...

EUR wasn't as tight, I believe they were buying at 1.63 and selling at 1.643.

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Postby aster » Fri, 04 May 2012 5:05 pm

Actually, you can see their rates online (not sure if this is 100% accurate compared to what shows up at their kiosk though...):

http://www.arcademoneychangers.com.sg/ratesbiglogo.asp

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 04 May 2012 7:37 pm

Thanks for relaying that, and interesting to see that AMC have half the spread on US$ that Mustafa quote...

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Postby AndyWillie » Wed, 20 Jun 2012 12:19 pm

Between Mustafa and the arcade, I would choose the arcade. It's more accessible and convenient for me. Anyway I had a look at posb's USD currency exchange rate, selling at 1.2744% & buying at 1.2584% for amts <$50k. That seems to be the spread for most of the banks' rates. Hmm I think if the amount you're changing is quite large then for maybe at bank is better?


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