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Money exchanges South African Rand to Sing Dollar

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Money exchanges South African Rand to Sing Dollar

Can I bring Rands to exchange in Singapore or would it be better to bring in US dollars?

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1. Re: Money exchanges South African Rand to Sing Dollar

Generally, bring what ever you already have, little point in changing money twice and losing out. You can get an indication of the exchange rate you can get in Singapore here. http://www.mustafa.com.sg/frmForex.aspx

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2. Re: Money exchanges South African Rand to Sing Dollar

Singapore is one of the more efficient countries/cities for foreign exchange transactions you can find. Mustafa (linked to by Mankster in response #1) is one of the most efficient venues for exchanging small to moderate amounts of cash. Mustafa is open 24/7 including for foreign exchange (no misprint!) - and amounts of less than SGD5000 {~USD4000} are easy and quick to do (amounts over SGD5000 take a bit more paperwork and time, but have been doable for me).

That said, the spread between buying and selling prices (an indicator of the efficiency of the exchange) is quite large for ZAR, at about 11+%. For USD it's typically less than 1% at Mustafa. USD, CAD, Euro, and UKL tend to have the next lowest spreads (e.g. the least amount of funds lost during an exchange) after the USD. To compute this simplistically, divide the buying rate by the selling rate (or vice versa).

So if you can buy USD (or Euros, UKL, or CAD) for ZAR, at a place which has relatively low spreads between buying and selling rates, it may pay you to get one of those international currencies locally - and then exchange those for SGD at Mustafa or elsewhere. For USD, relatively clean $100 and $50 notes get better rates than smaller denominations.

When I check exchange rates posted at the Website of the Standard Bank South Africa, it looks like:

1. The spread between buying and selling rates for SGD is about 20%. So changing ZAR to SGD appears to be almost twice as efficient/good in Singapore as in South Africa.

2. The spread between buying and selling rates for USD seems to be about 4%. So a ZAR-to-USD exchange in South Africa and a USD-to-SGD exchange in Singapore, could save you about half the cost of a direct ZAR-SGD exchange in Singapore, and about 75% of the cost of a direct ZAR-SGD exchange in South Africa. Please don't fully trust those calculations. They were done quickly, and it's *your* money. Any stamp duty in South Africa would add to the cost there... And only you can decide if the double exchange (ZAR to USD in South Africa, USD to SGD in Singapore) is worth the extra effort.

An actual example:

1. 1000 ZAR => SGD 111 today at Mustafa Singapore.

2. 1000 ZAR => SGD 110.90 today at Standard Bank South Africa (so the higher spread must be on buying SGD, not on selling them)

3. 1000 ZAR => USD93.72 today at Standard Bank South Africa

Then USD93.72 => SGD 116.12 today at Mustafa Singapore

So:

1. If the rates posted are accurate and current.

2. If South African forex does not incur extra charges

You gain about 6% by buying USD in South Africa, then changing USD to SGD at Mustafa in Singapore. In my experience Mustafa might save you 1%-3% compared to other licensed money changers, or banks, at the airport or in town in Singapore.

Again, best to double-check those hasty computations. It's *your* money..

Hope this helps.

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3. Re: Money exchanges South African Rand to Sing Dollar

My experience shows that for major currencies like USD or Euro, money changers in The Arcade at Raffles Place offered most competitive rates than elsewhere.

thebestsingapore.com/best-place/…

The rates at some of the popular money changes at The Arcade, eg. Sheen, People's and Hassan & Sons are almost predictable at within 50 to 100 basis points above the rates posted on Yahoo Singapore Finance page:

https://sg.finance.yahoo.com

As there is no official rates on weekends the exchange rate can fluctuates widely at money changers, most of them are closed at The Arcade. One of them, coincidentally by the name Arcade, has a website that you can check the rates:

arcademoneychangers.com.sg/ratesbiglogo.asp

Certain currecies which are in lesser demand are not readily available or accepted at money changers, or the rates quoted are significantly less favourable compare to official rates, including the Turkish Lira.

The difference in rates, however, won't make you a lot poorer unless you are changing a large amount. Note that anyone carrying more than S$30000 or in equivalent foreign currency must declare when arriving or departing from Changi Airport, although there is no currency control in Singapore.

changiairport.com/passenger-guide/arrival/cu…

Johannesburg, South...
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4. Re: Money exchanges South African Rand to Sing Dollar

Thanks for all the info

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5. Re: Money exchanges South African Rand to Sing Dollar

In my personal research, Mustafa has had better rates than The Arcade for the several currencies that I checked. Some claim that the "upgrade" from the historic Change Alley to the present development has impacted the competitiveness of exchange rates at those places. Both of those did better than the two moneychangers in heartland malls (Tampines Mall and White Sands in Pasir Ris) that I also checked. It might not hurt to try a bit of haggling if one has enough currency to exchange - to see if the others might improve their rates if you clarify that you know Mustafa's rates (always available on their Website).

I suspect that Mustafa's late night and weekend buy/sell spreads might increase a bit over its spreads, perhaps to increase safety margins when official rates are not quoted - but haven't done enough checking to be able to confirm this hypothesis.

A relative, after retirement from a Singapore forex firm, tends to agree with those findings.

I was a bit surprised that the test exchange (shown at the bottom of response #2 above) came out as it did. It suggests that significant gain or loss may be obtained in some exchanges - perhaps between 2nd tier currencies like the ZAR, SGD (and maybe THB). Perhaps, especially, in countries with generally highly efficient forex facilities (such as Singapore and Thailand), yet potentially significant differences between local forex options (airport vs city, banks vs private money changers, at different days and times). Maybe not worth the bother for $100 - but perhaps worthwhile for $3000.

Anyway, another advantage of making the exchange at Mustafa is being able to do so in the cool of the evening, then taking one's savings from that exchange and having a great snack at Gokul, followed by coffee in the lobby of Wanderlust (or your own selection from the many options available).

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6. Re: Money exchanges South African Rand to Sing Dollar

Just checked the online rates posted by Arcade Money Changer and Mustafa as follow:

Currency --- Arcade --- Mustafa --- Yahoo Finance

======= ===== ====== ===========

USD --- 1.242/1.248 --- 1.24/1.25 --- 1.2452

Euro --- 1.664/1.674 --- 1.653/1.679 --- 1.6681

GBP --- 2.082/2.094 --- 2.072/2.097 --- 2.0829

rates on Arcade was posted on Monday at 942am, time not stated on Mustafa.

the spread at Mustafa is obviously wider than Arcade.

If you need to change over the weekend or at night when The Arcade is closed, you have little choice but to pay a little more at other money changers, or at Mustafa if you don't mind joining the crowd!

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7. Re: Money exchanges South African Rand to Sing Dollar

When U go Arcade - Change Alley to change Dollar, U can also go market Street food centre for Yummy Food........Plus also a short walk (5min) to lau Pa Sat from there too.

My recent experienced with Mustafa is - When their rate are better then Arcade, 99% of the time is they do NOT have stock for that currency.....However, this is when I tried changing SG$ to some other currency.......

IMO, I rather go somewhere in 1 Central location - i know I can "Shop" & ask around & be sure I get the currency i want :D

Singapore, Singapore
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8. Re: Money exchanges South African Rand to Sing Dollar

As long as you are happy with the rates and not having to run about to find what you need, get it wherever is convenient to you especially for small amount. Sometime even the money changers in Marina Square offer decent rates.

One other thing I like about The Arcade is "what you see is what you get"! No matter what amount you change the rates are as posted. Unlike some neighbourhood money changers, even those in Parkway Parade, they will call you back when you walk away after enquiring about the rate, or ask you how much you want to change? If you are a foreigner chances are the initial quote will be higher. Can't blame them if their turnover is low, just like any other businesses. But places like The Arcade have high volume of transaction daily and with so many money changers there the rates quoted have to be competitive (except for those on the ground floor near the entrance).

Use the online rates as a guide so you know whether you are getting a reasonable rate when shopping around. The rates on Yahoo Singapore Finance is almost the same as the tickers on CNBC channel, a good reference point.

Edited: 18 August 2014, 04:44
9. Re: Money exchanges South African Rand to Sing Dollar

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