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Singapore - Currency

Singapore’s official local currency is the Singapore Dollar. The currency code is SGD. The dollar is loosely tied to the US dollar, although it isn’t pegged to it. You will normally find the Singapore Dollar abbreviated with the “$” sign although it is sometimes listed as “SG$” or “S$” so that it doesn’t get confused with other dollar-denominated currencies, such as the American Dollar. Although the Singapore Dollar is the official currency, the Brunei dollar (BND) is also considered legal tender in Singapore.

The dollar is divided into 100 cents. You will find both notes and coins. Notes come in 2, 5, 10, 40, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 denominations. There are also 10,000 denominations as well. The first coins were introduced in 1967. Coins include denominations of: 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents. There are also 1 dollar coins available.

The series that is being used now features the face of Yusof bin Ishak, Singapore’s first President. On the other side, there is a civic virtue. Polymer notes, which have a transparent window design and are a little slippery, are replacing the old paper notes. The $1 coin looks like a Ba Gua. This is a traditional Chinese symbol that is often used in Taoist ceremonies.

Credit cards are widely used around Singapore. Although some find it helpful to carry cash on them for certain situations, for the most part people tend to stick to their credit cards. These will do the currency exchange for you and some find this easier than drawing money out of the bank and trying to do the conversion. However, if you plan on visiting a food court or a hawker centre then you might want to ensure you have cash on you because these rarely take credit cards.

The central bank is the Monetary Authority of Singapore(MAS). All of the notes and coins that are issued by MAS are legal tender in Singapore. They are also fully backed by external assets in the Currency Fund. MAS issues numismatic notes and coins to commemorate significant national achievements in order to inspire Singaporeans to celebrate their political, cultural and social heritage and to cater to collectors’ interests. More information can be found on their website at

Coins and notes that have been mutilated do not have any value under the Currency Act. Mutilation can be defined as currency that has been scorched or burnt, attacked by insects, perforated, defaced by markings, or stained by ink or paint. Coins are considered mutilated if they are holed, chipped, cut, tarnished, scorched or burnt, stained by ink, or defaced by stamping or engraving. In a portrait series, there is no value for an intentionally scratched Kinegram or for a Kinegram that has been removed. In addition, there is no value for notes that contain a disfigurement of the portrait.

There are several different kinds of security features on currency designed to help individuals and businesses tell counterfeit currency apart from legitimate notes and coins.

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