Best Money Transfer Options from Singapore to Malaysia [SGD to MYR - August 2019]

Best Money Transfer Options from Singapore to Malaysia [SGD to MYR - August 2019]

Disclaimer: This post contains referrals. In all cases, the referrals benefit both you and me. The benefit is typically that we will both get some rebates in the form of points or cash applied to our money transfer which typically incurs a fee.

Best Money Transfer Options from Singapore to Malaysia [SGD to MYR] as at August 2019

Here's my summary of your money transfer options between Singapore and Malaysia. This is not going to be an in-depth review of each of them individually - that will be done separately.

In summary, here are the common options, along with my referrals:

  1. M1 Remit (see1275)
  2. Transferwise
  3. Instarem
  4. DBS
  5. SingX
  6. SLIDE App
  7. Wire at a money changer
  8. Cash
  9. OFX

I've transferred money quite a few times in the direction of Malaysia, so I've now got some experience with how it works and what your best options are. Note that best here just means the best rate. In terms of speed, I find there isn't a substantial difference between the options, and all are equally electronic/convenient.

Based on my experience thus far, the best option is M1 Remit. The reason for nominating M1 Remit as the best option is as follows:

  • It tends to have the best exchange rate, along with cash. On several occasions, I've compared the rates of M1 Remit, Transferwise, Instarem, DBS, and cash - and the best has always been either M1 Remit or cash.
  • It can be 100% electronic. This means no need to go to money changers, carry cash across the border to then deposit. This also means no need to get someone to pick up the cash on the other side. You just need to nominate a bank account for it to be credited to on the other side.
  • There is a flat $2 fee per transfer. This favours larger transfers, but considering the rate tends to be the best, the $2 transfer fee is still acceptable, even for smaller transfers.

The rough process is as follows:

  1. Open M1 Remit account (Referral: see1275 - this makes your first transfer free)
    • I recommend you do this entirely on your phone, as opposed to computer. Doing it on your phone might save you an in-person trip to the M1 office in Orchard for ID verification. There's nowhere in the process where this is clearly communicated, but I kinda found out the hard way. I had to call up to tell them to cancel my application to allow me to re-open it because I wanted to save myself the trip.
  2. Add a recipient in the M1 Remit app
  3. Initiate a transfer (I believe there is a $10k SGD cap per transfer)
  4. Make the payment via M-AXS Station (the app)
  5. Money should be received within one working day

The app supports transfers to other countries as well, but I have only ever used it to Malaysia. So far, I've made 3 transfers, with all being completed within about 24 hours.


Let's actually do a practical example and compare the rates.

Let's pretend we'll be transferring $3000 SGD inclusive of fees (this is a super important point) to Malaysia. From best to worst..:

1. M1 Remit: 3.015 - RM9038.97

  1. Cash: 3.008 - RM9024
  2. Instarem: 3.0211 - RM9022.52
  3. SingX: 3.0216 - RM9010.74
  4. Transferwise: 3.0211 - RM8999.37
  5. SLIDE: 2.99 - RM8975.71
  6. DBS/POSB: 2.9833 - RM8949.88
  7. OFX: 2.98 - RM8940.11

And for reference, the "mid-market rate" as per xe.com is 3.03885.

These rates were all obtained within 5 minutes of each other.

The reason I bolded the part above is because what is really important is that you don't just look at who gives you the best rate, but also factor in the fees. Purely going by fees, DBS is the best, because it's free - but factor in the rate and you cop a bit of a loss. In fact, DBS is the second worst out of the lot, despite having the lowest fees of $0.

On the other hand, SingX has the highest rate, but they seem to charge a fee of $6 per $1000 (pro-rated) transferred. It can be a bit misleading, because if you type in $3000 to be transferred, it comes out as RM9064.80 because it adds the $18 fee on top, so I adjusted the amount based on the fee.

So, just to be clear, in all cases, this refers to an outlay of $3000 SGD including transfer fees - in which case M1 Remit is the winner. The modest $2 fee also means that even for smaller transfers, the fee is unlikely to be high enough such that one of the other transfer options will be better. As I always say though, do your own research - as my info may be out of date or inaccurate at the time you're reading this!

Do you want a review of each of these transfer options? Happy to - I'll do it next. I'll only write a review of the services I've actually used!

[Malaysians in Singapore] I'm going to shift my focus to writing for Malaysians living/working in Singapore

[Malaysians in Singapore] I'm going to shift my focus to writing for Malaysians living/working in Singapore