Are Credit Cards Used Everywhere in Singapore or Malaysia?

About to go to Malaysia and Singapore. I have the 28 degrees card and I'm getting Citibank Debit card sent to me.

I'm trying to decide how much cash to load up on the debit card. Are credit cards used widely in Singapore and Malaysia? With Paywave, I find that I use my credit card everywhere even for tiny transactions and there are never really fees. I might stick a $20 in mywallet, and it might take me a month or two before I have to withdraw again.

Is that the same in Singapore and Malaysia? Can I basically just assume most of my costs will be on credit card?



    At big department stores it's fine. At smaller shops and restaurants use cash.

  • +3 votes

    Citibank Debit is just a bank account. Put as much money in there as you need then withdraw the rest when you're back. You could even pay the 28 degrees bill using your Citibank account so it doesn't really matter.

    As for payment infrastructure Singapore is pretty much the same as Australia, Malaysia a little behind. In both country's you'll need some cash for markets, streetfood and small businesses.


    At the hawker centres (their version of a food court) you have to pay cash. Taxi's charge a hefty surcharge - I've been told 10% - if you decide to pay by card. So keep cash for taxi fares as well.

    I would recommend taking at least $500 in cash with you. The money changers at Changi airport there don't give you ripoff rates like the ones here, so you're probably best off taking AUD with you and changing it when you get to Singapore. Then when you're returning home, just change what you don't use back to AUD.


      Taking MRTs over there is a good way to avoid high taxi rates. Very good system and costs are maximum $2.5-3 but often around $2 for a trip, it really depends how far you are going.


      You've got the perfect overseas money kit. Just load up your Citibank account with AUD and withdraw local cash from an ATM at the airport or main railway station on arrival.


    I found the cash/tap/credit card process in SG very similar to MEL. Maybe easier, even little transactions were ok to tap. Taking AUD cash and exchanging it there will get you good rates.

    We used a little cash in the food courts but for transport we used their MYKI/OPAL equivalent and loaded that from CBA travel money cards, it worked well.

    We had no reason to use taxis so unless your flights is rather early or late, the MRT station at Singapore airport will get you anywhere. Even Marina Bay!

    Make sure you get to Newton Food centre, its mostly cash there.


    Take large denomination banknotes ($A50 or $A100) and you will get the interbank fx rate when you change at money changers


    Singapore - credit cards accepted pretty much everywhere. Most taxis accept credit cards, but not all, so best to check before you get in. As above hawker stores accept cash, so good idea to have some local currency. Can withdraw from ATM at the airport or convert AUD to SGD.
    Malaysia - not as good as Singapore. Taxis do not have cc facilities. Most stores in the city will take credit card. But as above, get some cash - withdraw from ATM or convert AUD to MYR.


    All store accept cards but I like to eat at the hawker center where the food is better and cheaper but they only accept cash
    Change you money out side of the airport you get way better rates