We've all been there. We travel somewhere, deal with unfamiliar currencies, and our inner finance-savvy persona snaps out and nags at how much something is actually in SGD, always curious at whether we're getting ripped off as tourists or we’re actually getting a great deal we won't be able to get elsewhere.
So we whip out our smartphones and ask Google to do the maths for us, but sometimes we catch ourselves from doing that as we haven't gotten a local SIM card, or simply because we refuse to be one of those vulnerable, mindless tourists flashing a new iPhone in the middle of a buzz-crowd to attract unwanted attentions.
Let's take a look at a few simple tricks and formulas to remember so that the next time you're dealing with these currencies, you can quickly convert them back into SGD, all in your head. Note that these tricks and formulas are for quick, simplified, approximate conversions only.
Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
One of the few things that catches the attention of Singapore visitors to Indonesia is the number of zeroes the Indonesian currency has. You can exchange SGD 100 into IDR, and you're instantly a millionaire in Indonesia. It can be confusing dealing with so many zeroes when traveling, especially when you spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of rupiahs every day, but just remember this key tip:
- To convert IDR to SGD, divide by 10,000.
- To convert SGD to IDR, multiply by 10,000.
- Example: IDR 120,000 ÷ 10,000 ≈ SGD 12.
In other words, to quickly convert IDR to SGD, simply drop the last 4 digits.
That's it. At the moment SGD 1 is equivalent to approximately IDR 10,500. It means to become a millionnaire in Singapore with SGD 1 million, you'd need to have at least IDR 10 billion. Say what!
The Indonesian Rupiah is a legal tender in Indonesia.
Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
This is old news, but with SGD 1, you used to be able to buy around MYR 2.5 a few years ago. Now SGD 1 buys around MYR 3.
- To convert MYR to SGD, divide by 3.
- To convert SGD to MYR, multiply by 3.
- Example: MYR 120 ÷ 3 ≈ SGD 40.
The Malaysian Ringgit is a legal tender in Malaysia. It is also used in some areas of Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam that borders Malaysia.
Chinese Renminbi (RMB)
What's the difference between Renminbi and Yuan, you ask?
- Renminbi is the official name of China's currency.
- Yuan is the unit name of China's currency.
- You'd say something costs 10 yuan, but not 10 renminbi.
A same scenario to illustrate the difference between Renminbi and Yuan is United Kingdom's Pound sterling and pound. Pound sterling is the official name of U.K.'s currency, whereas Pound is the unit name of U.K.'s currency. You'd say something costs 10 pounds, but not 10 pound sterling.
- To convert RMB into SGD, divide by 5.
- To convert SGD into RMB, multiply by 5.
- Example: RMB 120 ÷ 5 ≈ SGD 24.
Fun Fact: Did you know RMB has been a legal currency in Zimbabwe since 1st January 2016?
The Chinese Renminbi is a legal tender in China, Zimbabwe, and is used in some areas of Hongkong, Macau, Mongolia, Myanmar, North Korea, and some areas of Vietnam that borders China.
Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
- To convert HKD into SGD, divide by 6.
- To convert SGD into HKD, multiply by 6.
- Example: HKD 120 ÷ 6 ≈ SGD 20.
The Hong Kong Dollar is a legal tender in Hongkong, and it is also used in Macau.
New Taiwan Dollar (TWD)
- To convert TWD into SGD, divide by 20.
- To convert SGD into TWD, multiply by 20.
- Example: TWD or 120 ÷ 20 ≈ SGD 6.
The New Taiwan Dollar is a legal tender in Taiwan.
South Korean Won (KRW)
- To convert KRW into SGD, divide by 900.
- To convert SGD into KRW, multiply by 900.
- Example: KRW 1,800 ÷ 900 ≈ SGD 2.
The South Korean Won is a legal tender in South Korea.
Australian Dollar (AUD), New Zealand Dollar (NZD), and Canadian Dollar (CAD)
The three of these currencies are more or less on par with Singapore Dollars, so if you'd like to do a quick conversion, there's no need to calculate anything. Conversions between SGD and these three currencies are pretty much negligible, unless you are exchanging a large amount of money.
SGD 1 is equivalent to approximately AUD 1.00, NZD 1.10, and CAD 0.95.
The Australian Dollar is a legal tender in Australia, and it is also used in Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu alongside their main currencies.
The New Zealand Dollar is a legal tender in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue, the Ross Dependency, Tokelau, and Pitcairn Islands.
The Canadian Dollar is a legal tender in Canada, and it is also unofficially used in Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France).
- To convert EUR to SGD, divide by 2 and multiply by 3.
- To convert SGD to EUR, multiply by 2 and divide by 3.
- Example: EUR 1,200 ÷ 2 x 3 ≈ SGD 1,800.
The Euro is a legal tender in 19 Eurozone countries, namely: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.
It is also officially used in Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City, Akrotiri and Dhekelia (U.K.), Clipperton Island (France), Saint Barthélemy (France), French Southern and Antartic Lands (France), Saint Pierre and Miquelon (France).
Unofficial users of Euro include Kosovo, Montenegro, Northern Cyprus, and Zimbabwe.
United States Dollars (USD)
- To convert USD to SGD, divide by 3 and multiply by 4.
- To convert SGD to USD, multiply by 3 and divide by 4.
- Example: USD 1,200 ÷ 3 x 4 ≈ SGD 1,600.
The United States Dollars is a legal tender in United States, British Virgin Islands, Carribean Netherlands, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Panama, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Zimbabwe.