12 Practical Solutions for Foreign Coins in Singapore

Traveling often leaves us with a pocket full of foreign coins that can be a hassle to exchange or use once back in our home country. Singapore, a bustling international hub, sees many travelers passing through its borders. For residents and frequent travelers, accumulating foreign coins can be a common issue. This guide explores various ways to manage and dispose of foreign coins in Singapore effectively.

Understanding the Challenge of Foreign Coins

The Inconvenience of Foreign Coins

Foreign coins pose a unique challenge because unlike banknotes, they are generally not accepted by foreign exchange services. Their small denomination and weight make them impractical for conversion or long-term storage. As a result, travelers often find themselves with piles of unused coins that they cannot easily spend or exchange.

Legal and Practical Limitations

In Singapore, financial institutions and currency exchange services typically do not accept foreign coins for exchange due to their low value and high handling costs. Understanding these limitations is the first step in finding practical solutions for dealing with foreign coins.

Practical Solutions for Foreign Coins

1. Donate to Charity

One of the most impactful ways to get rid of foreign coins is by donating them to charity. Many organizations in Singapore accept foreign coins and use them to support various causes.

Charitable Organizations

  • UNICEF Coin Donations: UNICEF runs a “Change for Good” program in collaboration with airlines, allowing travelers to donate foreign coins during flights or at specific drop-off points at airports.
  • Local Charities: Some local charities and non-profit organizations collect foreign coins for fundraising purposes. Research and contact these organizations to see if they accept foreign coins.

2. Airport Collection Points

Changi Airport has designated areas where travelers can donate their leftover foreign coins. These collection points are usually located near departure gates or currency exchange counters.

How It Works

Travelers can simply drop their coins into clearly marked donation boxes. The proceeds from these collections often go to supporting global humanitarian efforts or local charitable causes.

3. Use Coin Deposit Machines

Some banks and financial institutions provide coin deposit machines that accept foreign coins. While this service is not widespread, it can be a convenient option for those looking to dispose of a large amount of foreign coins.

Locations and Availability

  • DBS/POSB: These banks occasionally offer coin deposit services at specific branches. Check with your local branch for availability.
  • Changi Airport: Some coin deposit machines at the airport accept foreign coins and convert them into vouchers or store credits.

4. Exchange with Friends or Online Communities

Exchanging coins with friends or through online platforms can be a practical solution. Many collectors or frequent travelers might be interested in foreign coins.

Online Platforms

  • Carousell: A popular online marketplace in Singapore where you can post listings to sell or trade foreign coins.
  • Facebook Groups: Join travel or currency exchange groups where members might be interested in your foreign coins.

Creative Ways to Utilize Foreign Coins

5. Craft and DIY Projects

Foreign coins can be used in various craft and DIY projects. They can add a unique touch to home decor or be used in making jewelry and other creative items.

Ideas for Projects

  • Coin Art: Create mosaics or artworks using coins.
  • Jewelry: Design unique pieces like necklaces, bracelets, or keychains.
  • Home Decor: Use coins to decorate picture frames, mirrors, or furniture.

6. Educational Purposes

Foreign coins can be educational tools for teaching children about different countries, currencies, and the value of money.

Teaching Tools

  • Geography Lessons: Use coins to teach about different countries and their cultures.
  • Math Exercises: Help children understand currency conversion and basic arithmetic using coins.

7. Travel Keepsakes

Turning foreign coins into keepsakes can preserve travel memories in a tangible form.

Ideas for Keepsakes

  • Coin Albums: Create a collection album documenting the places you have visited.
  • Custom Souvenirs: Have coins embedded in resin to create paperweights or other custom souvenirs.

Recycling and Eco-Friendly Disposal

8. Metal Recycling Centers

Foreign coins can be recycled at metal recycling centers. While this is not the most common method, it is an eco-friendly way to dispose of unwanted coins.

How to Recycle

Contact local recycling centers to inquire if they accept foreign coins. Ensure that you separate coins by metal type if required.

Innovative Recycling Projects

Some innovative projects and companies focus on recycling metals from coins to create new products.


  • Artisan Projects: Look for artisans who use recycled metals to create new items.
  • Corporate Recycling Initiatives: Some companies might have programs for recycling small metal items, including coins.

Banking and Financial Options

9. Specialized Currency Exchange Services

While most currency exchange services do not accept coins, some specialized services might.

Research and Contact

  • Online Services: Some online currency exchange services might accept coins for a fee.
  • Niche Providers: Research niche providers that specialize in currency conversion.

10 Prepaid Card Conversion

Some services offer prepaid cards that can be loaded with foreign currency, including coins.

How It Works

  • Conversion Kiosks: Use kiosks that accept foreign coins and load their value onto a prepaid card.
  • Usage: These cards can then be used for purchases or withdrawn as cash.

Leveraging Technology

11. Coin Conversion Apps

Technology can provide innovative solutions for dealing with foreign coins.

Available Apps

  • CoinStar: Some apps and kiosks, like CoinStar, convert coins into vouchers or gift cards.
  • TravelEx: Apps that offer foreign currency exchange might have features for coin conversion.

12. Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Solutions

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are emerging as potential solutions for converting foreign coins.

How to Utilize

  • Crypto Conversion Services: Some services allow users to convert foreign coins into cryptocurrencies.
  • Digital Wallets: Use digital wallets to manage and store the converted value.

See Also: Dollar Note: Features, History & Significance” href=”https://www.fxcurrencyconverter.com/archives/53679″>$5 Singapore Dollar Note: Features, History & Significance


Getting rid of foreign coins in Singapore can be a manageable task with the right approach. Whether through donation, creative projects, recycling, or leveraging technology, there are numerous ways to ensure that these coins find a purposeful use. By exploring these options, you can effectively handle foreign coins while contributing positively to charitable causes, creative endeavors, or environmental sustainability.

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