The need to send money to Singapore has become essential, considering the high rate of Singaporeans and Americans visiting and moving in and out of the two countries.
There is therefore a desire for a good exchange rate, since nobody likes having to pay ridiculously high prices and burning a hole in their pockets.
With these tips, you’ll learn how to reduce transfer costs and prevent losses. The guide will give you alternatives you can explore so that you can get the best value out of exchange and circumvent the exorbitant bank charges and levies.
The Best Ways to Send Money to Singapore
Moving from Singapore to USA
All US banks allow you to transfer money to and from Singapore in US dollars, but not every banks allow transfers in Singapore Dollars (SGD).
Finding the best possible exchange rate from banks is often not possible. Even with that, you will still be charged exorbitant fees for international money transfer.
To prevent these excessive fees, it is preferable to use an online transfer provider to get competitive rates.
Our Verdict: HiFX for great exchange rates on US dollar and SGD transfers to Singapore. Particularly for payments under $10,000
Sending Money for Business
If you’re transferring money for your business, you can get the best options with these points:
- The exchange rate margin – this is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on xe.com and the rate you get
- The business products they offer – like forward exchange contracts, foreign currency accounts and limit orders
Our Verdict: HIFX. With good exchange rates and $0 fee structure, you’ll maximise your overseas receipts or payments. Their Foreign Currency Accounts lets you keep the funds in foreign currency and convert when you wish to.
Buying a Property
If you are seeking to buy a property in Singapore, get a money transfer provider with establishment and highly rated in both US and Singapore. This will make closing the deal easy and flexibility. American citizens who wish to buy lands or houses need to obtain permission from Singapore Land Authority (SLA). More information on requirements for buying real estate or for submitting application letter for approval can be found on the SLA website.
Our Verdict: OFX is an ideal choice for property settlement transfers because each customer has a local account manager who can guide them through each step. They are fully licensed and regulated in both USA and Singapore.
Sending Money Home
Transfer services like Western Union will offer you the best exchange rate on lower amounts (probably when sending an anniversary gift back home to your parents). If you’re dealing with higher amounts, some transfer services might be willing to waive the transaction charges.
To ensure you get the best deal, you will have to find or talk to a reputable money transfer agent.
Depending on your course, normal full time tuition fees range from $15,000 to $50,000 yearly. Living expenses, accommodation, and other bill add up to that as well. When you have to pay large amounts like this, it necessitates finding a favorable exchange rate.
If you’re in Singapore as an exchange student or for a part time, and need to send only small amounts, ensure you make comparisons so you can get the lowest transfer fees.
Our Verdict: Transferwise. They a rapidly growing company based in the UK. It is perfect for students and their parents paying the bills.
Tools to Help You to Send Money to Singapore
Costs of Sending Money to or from Singapore
Determining the amount incurred for transferring can be a little difficult. Depending on the method of transfer, the fees, charges and margins aren’t always obvious. Here are the most common charges to transfer money from one bank account to another
- A Transfer Fee – Also known as a TT, Telegraphic Transfer, Wire or Remittance fee
- Exchange Rate Margin – this is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on xe.com and the rate you get.
- Correspondent Bank Fees – The fee your banks bank will take out for getting the money to the right account. It’s deducted from the amount that finally arrives in the account and is almost impossible to estimate or reverse
- Receiving Bank Fee– If you are paying foreign currency into an account, the receiving bank will charge you for it. For instance, if you send US dollars to your US bank account, your US bank will charge you to convert it.
What are your options?
When compared to Singaporean Bank, Banks in USA charge higher fees and offer uncompetitive exchange rates. However, this doesn’t mean you should not use US banks. They are still the fastest means of transferring between bank accounts.
This is a great option for anyone sending smaller amounts under $1000. The exchange rate you’ll get are comparable to a bank but the fees are significantly lower. It is particularly handy when the person you are paying has a PayPal account.
A Money Transfer Company
Money transfer companies like OFX and HiFX are often the cheapest option when you are sending between $1000 and $1,000,000 at a time. This is because they offer better exchange rates and lower (and sometimes no) fees. The downside to using a transfer company outside of a bank is that you’ll have to set up an account with them first. This can take between 10 minutes and 2 days depending on how much information they need from you. Also, the transfer itself will usually take 1 day longer than using a bank.
How to use a money transfer company (instead of a bank)
Sending money using a money transfer company is similar to using a bank but there are some important differences. Here are the main steps to do it online
Setting things up (only has to be done once)
- Log on to their website and register your details. You’ll need to have some I.D handy
- Once your account has been approved, you’ll get a login and password
- Enter the banking details of where you are sending the money. They are usually called the “Beneficiary” or “Recipient”
- Get a quote for the amount you want to send
- Confirm the details including the rate and how much it is in US dollars
- You’ll get a deal confirmation. Finally you’ll need to pay them the US dollars before the money is sent to Singapore
Information you’ll need before you make your transfer
To send money overseas, you’ll need the following information of the bank account you are sending the money too. These are commonly know as Beneficiary or Recipient Details
- The Account Name of your Recipient (person/business you are paying)
- Their address
- The SWIFT Code of their bank
A note about sending money to Singapore
It is particularly important to make sure ALL the bank details you use are correct. Singapore banks are notoriously picky and will reject a payment even if a single digit is wrong or a single letter is out of place.
Here is a list of SWIFT codes for the biggest banks in Singapore:
How long does it take to send money to Singapore?
PayPal, HSBC and Western Union (cash pick-up) are the fastest options. The transfer can be done in minutes. If you are sending the money to a bank account, it will take 1-2 days if you are using a bank or 2-3 days if you are using a money transfer company.
Is there a minimum transfer amount?
The banks and PayPal don’t have a minimum transfer amount but most money transfer companies do. If you are sending less than $500 to Singapore and intend to use a money transfer company, make sure you check their minimum transfer amount.