Labour Day is here and if you are one of the tens of thousands of Singaporeans who intend to take advantage of the currency difference and travel to Johor Bahru (JB) for a long weekend getaway, then, here are three tips. DollarsAndSense.sg gets the inside scoop on where you can get a greater bang for your Singaporean buck.
1. Where should I get my SGD exchanged?
You can exchange your Singaporean Dollars (SGD) to Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) at traditional banks (like DBS, OCBC or UOB), at hotels or through licensed money changers.
Money changers often offer a superior exchange rate than banks due to the small scale of their operations and they usually do not charge commissions. There are plenty of money changers in Singapore, the more commonly frequented ones, and popular due to their competitive exchange rates, are at Mustafa, Peninsular plaza, Lucky plaza and the Arcade at Raffles Place. Also, you will often find that the rates are better in Singapore as opposed to JB’s city square, so word of advice, change your dollars before you head across the causeway.
2. When should I exchange?
The daily exchange rate is set by MAS before noon time each day. Changing your dollars after that should give you the latest rate, for better or poorer.
Also, as the international markets are closed on weekends and public holidays, it would be more savvy to exchange your dollars during a working day as opposed to a non-working day. The rates on a non-working day will usually be a few basis points lower than the rates posted on the last working day. This difference allows the money changers to have a buffer to cater to fluctuations at the next open.
3. How much should I exchange?
The smallest denomination for exchange is $10. As for the highest limit, most of the money changers we spoke to, mentioned that they will try to meet your requirements. However, any transaction above SGD $5,000, will involve you to provide your particulars and the source of funds, as required by MAS.
As for rates, higher amounts are usually transacted at more favourable rates than the board rate. But by and large, the board rate will apply. As with any business, do consider building a rapport with the regular money exchanger your go to as regular customers often receive favourable treatment to walk-in customers.
We hope this article will aid you to make better decisions to get a greater bang for your buck in future. One thing to note is to avoid withdrawing money from the ATMs as they usually give inferior rates that are sometimes worse than exchanging money at the bank branch even. In the meantime, enjoy the long weekend and let us know if you have other money exchanging tips to share!
Listen to our podcast, where we have in-depth discussions on finance topics that matter to you.