Hate the pesky foreign exchange fees that traditional money changers charge?
With the advent of digital multi-currency wallets and the increase in acceptance of contactless payments in many countries, managing your foreign currencies can be cost-effective and fuss-free.
Before you say that you already have too many accounts and don’t need a multi-currency account, let me share with you how a multi-currency account can make your life easier.
Why should you create a multi-currency account?
Top of the list is that multi-currency accounts are excellent for travel use and will allow you to exchange currencies at the market rate and save on unnecessary fees. In fact, digital multi-currency wallets can even help you save on currency conversion fees when you are shopping on overseas e-commerce websites like ASOS, eBay or TaoBao and are not transacting in your local currency.
Next, it will allow you to manage the bulk of your foreign currencies in a fuss-free way. Run out of foreign currency mid trip? No need to frantically find the nearest money converter, just top up your multi-currency account and you are good to go! Have leftover foreign currency at the end of the trip? Simply keep the balance on your multi-currency wallet until you visit the country again or convert it to another currency with minimal fees.
An additional perk is that multi-currency accounts are also much safer than carrying cash on hand. If you misplace your wallet, the cash is gone, but you can cancel the multi-currency card and secure the rest of your foreign currencies immediately.
multi-currency account options in singapore
As far as multi-currency wallets go, there are a handful that are available in Singapore. The table below is a quick comparison of the five options.
My Choice + Review
Ultimately, I decided to go with Revolut because of its low fees, its ability to exchange and store a decent number of currencies and free cash withdrawal for the first S$350 per 30-day cycle.
I tried it out on my recent trip and I was thoroughly impressed with how simple and convenient it is to use Revolut. On top of that, I really love the control and security that Revolut offers to its users. For instance, there are three types of cards users can create on Revolut: Single-use virtual, Multi-use virtual and physical. The single-use virtual card is great when you are shopping online. Even if the card details are leaked, your account will remain safe. The multi-use virtual card will come in handy if you have misplaced your physical card mid trip. Simply create a new card and add it to your Apple/Google Pay and you are good to go. Additionally, Revolut also allows you to freeze and/or terminate your cards via the application. This will allow you to immediately secure your account in the event that you misplace your card.
Another function that Revolut supports is peer-to-peer transactions, which makes it easy to split the bill when travelling with your friends. This will be extremely useful for those studying overseas, especially in the UK where Revolut is widely used.
Revolut also allows you to set aside money in personal or shared vaults. Although I have not explored this option much, it may come in handy if you are saving up (for a holiday or a big expense) or if you need a common fund with your friends or family (to pay rent or bills).
As you can see, there are many things I like about Revolut but it has it’s limitations as well. Most noteworthy would be that Revolut charges 1% conversion fee on weekends (I learnt this the hard way). However, this is a minor inconvenience and can easily be avoided by exchanging sufficient currency heading into the weekend.
If you’d like to read detailed reviews of the other multi-currency accounts, check out this post on Seedly and for other options not mentioned here, check out this Dollars and Sense Article.