Currency and Exchange

Singapore's currency is the Singapore dollar. Coins come in denominations of 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, and one dollar. Bills come in notes of $2, $5, $10, $50, $100, $1,000, and $10,000.


Everyone leaving Singapore pays a departure tax, known as a Passenger Service Charge, of S$21. If it's not already included with the price of your ticket, it's payable at the airport. To save time and avoid standing in line, buy a tax voucher at your hotel or any airline office. Passengers who are in Singapore for less than 24 hours may leave the airport without paying this tax.

Value-Added Tax

There's a 7% sales tax, called the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the equivalent of Value-Added Tax. You can get the tax refunded at Global Refund Singapore counters in the airport as you leave the country for purchases of more than S$300 made at a store or retail chain displaying the Tax Free Shopping sticker (you can pool individual receipts for S$100 or more). When making a purchase, ask for a Tax Free Shopping Cheque, and find out whether the merchant gives refunds—not all stores do, nor are they required to. Have the form stamped like any customs form by customs officials when you leave Singapore. Be ready to show customs officials what you've bought. If you want to pack your purchases in your check-in luggage, head for the GST Refund Inspection Counter after you're through passport control. You can either take the form to a refund-service counter for an on-the-spot refund, mail it to the address on the form (or the envelope with it) after you arrive home, or ask for a refund to your credit card, though a surcharge may be levied for this option. Visit for more information.


Tipping isn't common in Singapore. High-end hotels and restaurants automatically levy a 10% service charge. Taxi drivers don't receive tips from Singaporeans

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