For those of us living in Singapore, when we travel overseas most of us would prefer to use cards (or even our phones!) to pay for stuff.
With the end of 2023 coming up, many of us will be heading to Changi Airport to fly off for the holiday period.
When we do, carrying around too much cash isn’t ideal. However, there are occasions on holiday when we need to use cash but if we don't live near a money exchange service, it can be a pain to go out there and exchange the necessary foreign currency.
Inevitably, money exchange providers at Changi Airport – I’m looking at you Travelex! – will rip you off on FX rates as they know people are desperate to exchange before hopping on their flight.
With that in mind, if you do need to exchange money, here's one foreign currency exchange service which is fairly reasonable and also super convenient for those of us travelling from Singapore.
Changi FX – Exchange money before you fly
It’s called Changi FX and it's actually part of the Changi Recommends service, where you can pick up everything travel-related, from a Japan Rail (JR) pass to foreign SIM cards.
So, what’s the best thing about the Changi FX service? Well, you can buy up to 19 foreign currencies with your Singapore dollars and then pick it up at Changi Airport just before you depart for your trip.
The service allows pickups from any of the Changi Recommends booths at departure halls in Terminals 1, 2, 3 or 4.
For me, the only downside is that you have to exchange a minimum of 300 Singapore dollars.
I find the foreign exchange (FX) spreads reasonable given the convenience on offer. Take the US dollar, for example.
Changi FX is selling US dollars at a spread of 0.8% versus the spot rate that you can find on currency exchange site XE.com.
Convenient and (relatively) cheap
If you're about to go on overseas trip from Singapore and you need some cold, hard cash in foreign currency then I think Changi FX offers both convenience and a pretty reasonable spread to the spot rate.
I’m sure you could find a marginally better rate if you went to a money exchange hub (like The Arcade in Raffles Place) but the hassle of getting there and the time taken to change money might not be worth the marginal savings.