SGD, the Singapore dollar, is the main national currency of the Republic of Singapore. It consists of 100 cents and is usually denoted by the dollar $ sign. The notes and coins are issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
According to 2022 surveys, the Singapore dollar was firmly in the top 10 most traded currencies in the world.
It should be known that SGD is also accepted as a means of payment in Brunei (this is in line with a special Currency Interchangeability Agreement). Similarly, the Brunei dollar is accepted in Singapore.
History of the Singapore Dollar (SGD)
In the 16th-19th centuries, the Spanish-American silver dollar was widely used in Asia.
Between 1845 and 1939, the Straits Settlements (of which Singapore used to be a part) issued its local equivalent, the Straits dollar. Later, it was replaced by the Malay dollar and since 1953 — the dollar of Malaya and British Borneo.
Initially, after unification with Malaysia in 1963 and subsequent independence in 1965, Singapore used the same currency, but in 1967, the formal currency union between the states of Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ended.
Singapore formed a Board of Currency Commissioners and created its money, including coins and banknotes. Initially, the Singapore dollar was pegged to the pound sterling, but as the economy expanded and trade links diversified, Singapore moved to peg the currency to a fixed basket of trading currencies.
Singapore dollars in cash — notes, coins
In 2013, the country issued another new series of coins in denominations of:
- 5 ¢
- 10 ¢
- 20 ¢
- 50 ¢
- 1 SGD
They depict various famous national symbols and landmarks. The coins are minted from multi-layer gold-plated steel.
The banknotes currently in use are in the "portrait series" — previously, the bird, orchid and ship series were used based on the images on the obverse.
The banknote denominations used are:
- 2 SGD
- 5 SGD
- 10 SGD
- 50 SGD
- 100 SGD
- 1,000 SGD
- SGD 10,000
Both paper and polymer banknotes circulate in the country, with the latter gradually replacing the former. The banknotes have Braille for the visually impaired in the upper right corner.
Bringing cash into and out of Singapore
If you cross the border into or out of Singapore carrying physical cash in excess of $20,000 (or foreign currency equivalent), you are required by law to make a full report to the Singapore Police Force.
Failure to report will be an offense under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Offences Act 1992. You may face the following penalties:
- A fine of up to SGD 50,000.
- Imprisonment for up to three years.
- Seizure or confiscation of currency.
This refers to coins and printed money. This does not apply to electronic currency, bills of exchange and cheques.
Report in writing immediately upon arrival in Singapore or immediately before departure from Singapore. A hard copy form is available at all checkpoints. It can also be downloaded from the Singapore Police website.