Where to Get the Cheapest Currency Exchange in Samoa
A fiddly but compulsory aspect of planning a trip to Samoa is getting the local currency, Samoan Tala. Cash is king in Samoa and you’ll need it to pay your way for most expenses. Plus, in order to avoid using your credit/debit card and, in turn, paying unnecessary fees, it’s a good idea to just pay one (or two) currency exchange fees and pay your way with cash. But where are the best places to exchange money in Samoa? Find out with this Samoa currency exchange guide.
For more money advice, be sure to also check out What is the Best Way to Pay in Samoa?
Is it Better to Exchange Money in Samoa?
Better exchange rates therefore cheaper currency conversions to Samoan Tala can be found in Samoa compared to overseas. This is often due to overseas currency exchange bureaus and banks having to buy in Samoan Tala themselves before selling it to customers. Of course, there are exceptions, but if you’re unsure whether your local overseas currency exchange bureau offers a good deal, the general rule is that you’ll likely get cheaper exchange rates in Samoa.
Do Shops in Samoa Accept Foreign Currencies?
Yes, some shops in Samoa, especially in Apia, accept foreign currencies like NZD, AUD and USD when rates are favourable. If you want to use foreign currency, ask the store attendant if they accept it. Regardless, it’s a good idea to have some Samoan Tala as a backup.
Currency Exchange at Banks in Samoa
BSP Bank (Bank of the South Pacific) Currency Exchange
BSP not only offers some of the best currency exchange rates in Samoa, but the widest range of currencies. It is also one of the more transparent banks in Samoa, whose currency exchange rates are regularly published on its website.
BSP has branches in both Upolu (Faleolo Airport, Mulifanua Wharf, Vaitele and Mulinuu Road, Apia) and Savai’i (Salelologa commercial centre at the western end of town). Opening hours are from 9 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday and 8:30 am to 12 pm Saturday.
See the ATM section below to learn more about using BSP’s ATMs for withdrawing Samoan Tala.
ANZ (Australia and New Zealand Banking Group) Currency Exchange
Another bank that offers currency exchange in Samoa is ANZ. They offer reasonable exchange rates on NZD, AUD and USD to Samoan Tala.
ANZ has branches in both Upolu (Faleolo Airport, Vaitele and Beach Road, Apia) and Savai’i (Salelologa main road, north of the ferry terminal).
Opening hours are from 9 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday and 8:30 am to 12 pm Saturday.
Currency Exchange Bureaus in Samoa
There are limited currency exchange bureaus in Samoa, with just a couple available on Upolu and Savai’i. Pacific Ezy is one such currency exchange option but caters more to the local market than tourists. Therefore, we recommend that international visitors use No 1 Currency instead with some caveats.
With the exception of Faleolo Airport, No 1 Currency (Fexco) branches also mostly deal in sending and receiving international currency for Samoans, so don’t be surprised if you’re turned away for currency exchange (which was the case for the Samoa Pocket Guide team when they last visited a branch in central Apia).
No 1 Currency (Fexco)
No 1 Currency is the leading provider of foreign currency and travel money exchange in the South Pacific, boasting several branches across Samoa.
No 1 Currency has branches in the following locations:
- Vaea Street, Saleufi, Apia
- Development Bank of Samoa Building (DBS), Beach Road, Apia
- Motootua Hospital Road, Motootua, Apia
- Faleolo Airport (open for flights only)
- TATTE Government Building, Mulinuu Road, Apia
- Federal Pacific House, Salelologa Market, Savai’i
- Taunese Purvis Building, Salelologa, Savai’i
- Asau Samoa Post, Asau, Savai’i
Opening hours are from 9 am to 4 pm Monday to Saturday.
Withdrawing Samoan Tala from ATMs
More abundant across Samoa than currency exchange bureaus and banks, ATMs are another worthy way to get Samoan Tala in Samoa with an overseas debit or credit card. You cannot, however, exchange foreign currency at an ATM; only make a withdrawal.
What International Cards Do Samoa ATMs Accept?
Samoa ATMs accept overseas debit and credit cards issued by Visa and MasterCard, as long as there is a four-digit PIN encoded. BSP ATMs, which are the most common ATMs found in Samoa, accept Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, JCB, Union, Plus Card and BSP PacifiCard.
There is likely to be a withdrawal fee for withdrawing currency from an ATM from an overseas bank account, usually around an ST$5-$16 flat fee. Note that your bank is likely to charge a conversion surcharge of around 3-5%.
See Can You Use Your Credit or Debit Card in Samoa? for more details.
Where are the ATMs in Samoa?
There are more than 25 ATMs in Samoa, mostly found in Apia, Faleolo Airport and Mulifanua Wharf on Upolu and in various villages around Savai’i. Check out the ATM locations across both islands in our Information, Shops & Services in Samoa.
More About Money in Samoa
That’s it for our guide on the best places to exchange currency in Samoa. For more about paying your way through your holiday, check out the following guides:
- What is the Best Way to Pay in Samoa?
- Can You Use Your Credit or Debit Card in Samoa?
- How Much Spending Money Do You Need for Samoa?
For more essential tips for your Samoa getaway, check out the Samoa Travel Tips: 30 Tips for Travelling in Samoa.