Wise SGD Account Review
If you travel to Singapore frequently for business or leisure, you may be wondering if it’s worth getting an SGD account to make transacting in Singapore dollars easier and cheaper. Having an SGD denominated account can also be more convenient if you need to receive payments from others in Singapore dollars, or if you shop online with Singaporean retailers, too.
This guide walks through how the Wise SGD account works, how you can use it, the fees you’ll need to consider and the exchange rates available.
We’ll also touch on important factors such as account security, and how you can use your Wise multi-currency account to hold, spend and exchange SGD alongside 40+ other currencies.
Wise Singapore Dollar account: Key points
Register for Wise online or in the Wise app, and order a Wise card for home delivery
Top up your account in ringgit (for Malaysian residents only) and convert to SGD using the mid-market exchange rate
40+ currencies supported for holding and exchange
No foreign transaction fee to pay - currency conversion fees start from just 0.43%
Local bank details for SGD, MYR and 9 other currencies, to receive payments to Wise account
Send low cost international transfers to 160+ countries online and in the Wise app
Pros and cons of Wise SGD account
|Pros of the Wise SGD account||Cons of the Wise SGD account|
✅ No fee to open a personal Wise account
✅ Hold and exchange 40+ currencies including SGD
✅ Spend in 150+ countries with a Wise debit card
✅ Currency exchange uses the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees
✅ Some fee free ATM withdrawals every month
✅ Manage your money online and in an app
❌ One time card order fee of 13.7 MYR
❌ Some transaction fees apply
❌ 1.75% + 5 MYR per ATM withdrawal once fee free allowance is exhausted
What is a Wise SGD account?
Wise accounts have multi-currency functionality which means you can use your Wise account to hold and exchange SGD alongside ringgit and 40+ other currencies. If you travel to Singapore often you’ll be able to add a balance to Wise in MYR and convert over to SGD for no-fee spending when you’re there. Or, leave your balance in ringgit and let the card handle the conversion at the point of payment instead.
The autoconvert technology will make sure you pay the lowest available fee based on your currency balance - plus you’ll also be able to make some fee free international ATM withdrawals, so there’s no need to head to a money changer before you head down to Singapore for the weekend.
Wise accounts can be used for sending and receiving SGD payments, too. That’s convenient if you get paid by others in Singapore, or if you’re sending money across the border yourself. Simply use your local SGD account details to make convenient and cheap payments which always use the mid-market exchange rate and low fees.
Can I open a Wise SGD account in Malaysia?
Yes. You can open a Wise account in Malaysia, and activate SGD as a currency you can use to receive, hold, send and spend. We’ll walk through how you open your Wise SGD account in Malaysia in just a moment.
How to open a SGD account in Wise
Let’s start with how you open your Wise multi-currency account. You can get everything sorted out in just a few steps, without needing to visit a bank branch or office:
Download the Wise app or open the Wise desktop site
Click Register an account and enter your email address, FaceBook, Google or Apple ID
Upload your documents for verification - your MyKad or passport and visa
Once you’ve been verified, you’ll be able to order a Wise card in the app conveniently, and have it delivered to your door. You can also activate a balance in Singapore dollars instantly, to start transacting conveniently in SGD.
How can I activate a SGD account in Wise?
The easiest way to open a balance with Wise in Singapore dollars is to log into your account on the Wise app. Here’s how to activate an SGD currency balance in Wise:
Log in to your account on the Wise app
Tap Open in the app homepage
Select Currency Balance and then SGD
Tap Add - look out for the + symbol
Enter the amount you want to top up, and the currency you’ll pay with
Top up your balance using your preferred payment method
You may be prompted to complete a security step as part of opening your SGD account and adding a currency balance. You’ll be guided through what’s needed with on-screen prompts.
When is a Wise SGD account needed?
A Singapore dollar account can be handy for anyone transacting in SGD regularly. Perhaps you’re a frequent visitor to Singapore's famous malls, or maybe you work in Singapore from time to time. In either case, with an SGD account you’ll be able to hold a balance in Singapore dollars which makes it easier to transact while you’re there. You’ll even be able to order a Wise multi-currency debit card to make cash withdrawals in dollars, and spend any currency you hold for free.
Your SGD account can also be used to send and receive SGD payments, which is useful for anyone receiving transfers from others - or if you have bills to pay in Singapore yourself.
How does the Wise SGD account compare?
Wise isn’t the only option for SGD accounts in Malaysia. Major banks also offer Singapore dollar accounts, although the features and fees involved can vary pretty dramatically. In some cases, SGD accounts from banks are aimed at people who need to save in dollars, or investors looking to diversify their portfolios with foreign currency holdings. Accounts which are focused more on saving can often have pretty high minimum balance requirements and don’t necessarily have a linked debit card, as they’re not really aimed at day to day use.
Let’s take a look at the features of the Wise SGD account compared to the SGD account options from RHB and Maybank.
|Wise SGD account||RHB SGD account||Maybank SGD account|
|Availability in Malaysia||Personal and business customers||Personal customers, non-profit organisations||Personal and business customers|
|Conversion fees||From 0.43%||RHB rates apply which may include a markup||Maybank rates apply which may include a markup|
|Exchange rate fees||No fees; mid-market exchange rate|
RHB rates apply which may include a markup
1% fee may apply when you spend with your card in a currency you don’t hold in your account
|Maybank rates apply which may include a markup|
13.7 MYR fee to get a card
Some ATM fees apply after you’ve used your free withdrawal allowance
20 MYR annual card fee
Up to 12 MYR to make an overseas withdrawal
|6 SGD transaction charge|
|Linked Debit Card||Y||Y||N|
|SGD Account Details||Y||N||N|
Hold and exchange 40+ currencies
Mid-market exchange rates, low fees
|Easy access or fixed term account options available|
Aimed to savers looking to diversify their portfolio
Information correct at time of writing, 20th November 2023
The Wise account is aimed at helping to cut the costs of transacting internationally, and offers easy access, a linked payment card and currency exchange which uses the mid-market exchange rate every time. You may find the Wise account more flexible compared to a bank SGD account, although bank SGD account products may pay interest, while Wise does not offer interest to Malaysian account holders. Doing a bit of research and looking into the different options from both banks and non-bank providers like Wise is the best way to get the right SGD account for your personal needs.
Wise SGD Account fees
Wise aims to be transparent about its pricing, showing all fees split out so you can check and compare. Here are the key Wise fees you should know about:
|Wise SGD account||Fee|
|Create account||No fee for personal customers|
|Account monthly fee||No fee|
|Fee to receive payments in SGD||No fee|
|Fee to spend a currency you hold||No fee|
|Exchange rate||Mid market rate, low conversion fees from 0.43%|
|Send payments||Transparent fees from 0.43%|
|Fee for card delivery||13.7 MYR for personal customers|
|ATM fees||2 withdrawals to the value of 1,000 MYR/month free, then 1.75% + 5 MYR per withdrawal|
|Virtual cards||No fee|
Information correct at time of writing, 20th November 2023
Wise SGD exchange rate
When you convert currencies in your Wise account, or if you’re spending a currency you don’t hold a balance in with your Wise card, your money will be converted using the mid-market exchange rate. That means you get the same exchange rate that you’d see on Google or with a currency conversion tool, with the Wise conversion fee split out so you can see exactly what your transaction is costing you.
This approach to exchange rates isn’t as common as you might expect. Most banks, and many specialist account services, add a markup to the exchange rates used for customer transactions. That’s a fee, but it can be very hard to spot - which may mean you’re paying more than you think to transact internationally.
How does Wise SGD account work?
Let’s walk through some of the ways the Wise Singapore dollar account works:
Account Creation: Open a Wise SGD Account online or in the Wise app - there’s no need to visit a bank branch, as you can get verified digitally
Fund Transfers: Add money to your SGD Account from your bank accounts or with a card
Sending and Receiving Payments: Send and receive SGD payments using the mid market exchange rate for conversion, plus a low fee from 0.43%
How to receive SGD in your Wise account
Your Wise account comes with SGD account details you can use to receive payments through FAST. You’ll simply need to give your Wise SGD details to the person that is sending you money, and they can use your Wise details to make a quick digital payment which is free to receive, and usually cheap or free for the sender too.
More information: How receive money into Wise account
Wise SGD account details
You’ll get SGD account details with your Wise account which can be used to receive payments through the FAST (Fast and Secure Transfer) network.
You can receive transfers of up to 200,000 SGD using this method, so all you’ll need to do is to give the person sending you money your Wise SGD account details, including your account number and bank code.
There’s no fee from Wise to receive a payment in SGD, and it’s usually cheap or free for the person sending the payment, too.
The Wise SGD bank details you’ll get include:
Bank account number
How to use the SGD account abroad
You can access your Wise SGD account anywhere you happen to be through the Wise app, or by logging into your account online. You’ll be able to review your balance, add funds, convert money, check your account and card details - all from your phone. Plus you can order yourself a Wise international debit card that’s great for payments and withdrawals when you’re away from home.
What is the eligibility for a Wise SGD account?
To open a Wise account you’ll need to be 18 or over, with a smartphone or laptop, and a valid ID and proof of address. For Malaysian Wise accounts you can usually provide your MyKad, or your passport and visa if you’re not a Malaysian citizen.
Who is it good for?
The Wise SGD account is good for anyone transacting in Singapore dollars regularly. Wise SGD accounts can be used to hold and exchange Singapore dollars as well as a good selection of other currencies, and because currency exchange always uses the mid-market exchange rate, you may find it’s a cheaper way to send and spend in Singapore dollars compared to your bank.
Is a Wise SGD account safe to use?
Yes. Wise is regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia, as well as by various other financial authorities globally, ensuring compliance with stringent security measures and data protection standards.
Wise was built for use with smart devices and so the Wise app also comes with some neat security features, including 2 factor authentication, instant transaction notifications and ways to freeze or cancel your card if you need to.
Malaysian citizens and residents can open a Wise account conveniently and order a Wise card. The Wise card is supported for use in 150+ countries. There are a handful of places you can’t use your Wise card - usually because of global sanctions or because of practical barriers. This list of unavailable countries varies from time to time and can be found on the Wise website for reference.
Other available currencies
Wise accounts can be used to hold and exchange 40+ currencies, and to receive payments in 10 currencies conveniently.
Wise SGD account limits
Wise personal accounts opened in Malaysia are subject to holding limits, for security. That means that you can’t hold more than 20,000 MYR - or the currency equivalent - in your Wise account at any one time. If you have a balance that exceeds 20,000 MYR it will be transferred out of Wise and returned to your linked bank account, to comply with regulatory requirements. More info: Wise limits
Wise SGD account alternatives
Not sure about Wise? You can also pick an SGD account product from a Malaysian bank if you’d prefer. Here are a few you might want to consider:
Maybank Master Foreign Currency Account - aimed at people looking to save and invest, no debit card is available
RHB Multi-currency Account - 32 supported currencies, with a debit card you can order if you’d like one
PBE Multi Foreign Currency Current Account - hold up to 12 currencies, receive and send payments conveniently - no debit card
PBE Foreign Currency Current Account - hold and receive a single currency and earn interest as long as you hit a required minimum balance
The Wise SGD account offers multi-currency deposits, a linked debit card, and currency exchange which uses the mid-market exchange rate. It’s cheap and convenient to send SGD transfers from your Wise account, and you’ll also get local SGD account details you can give to others so they can pay you in Singapore dollars.
Unlike the SGD accounts from some Malaysian banks, Wise lets you transact in SGD on a day to day basis, with an app you can use from anywhere and a debit card for easy spending and withdrawals. Compare the Wise SGD account and card against a few alternatives to see which suits you best.
FAQs - Wise Singapore Dollars account
How do I open a SGD account with Wise?
Open a Wise account online or in the Wise app, by entering your personal details and uploading an image of your documents for verification. Once your account is set up you can activate a balance in SGD to add money and to see your local SGD account details for receiving payments.
What is the account limit for Wise in SGD?
Wise accounts opened in Malaysia have a maximum holding amount of 20,000 MYR or the equivalent. If you hold more than this at the end of any day, your excess funds are transferred back to your linked bank account.
How do I add SGD to Wise?
Open an SGD balance on Wise, and then simply tap Add in the app, to be shown your top-up options. You’ll need to enter the amount you want to add, the currency you want to pay with, and choose your preferred payment method. Then just follow the on screen prompts to get everything sorted. Learn more: How to add money to Wise account.