At the beginning of my previous trip I asked a question looking for hawker stalls near Changi airport which attracted an amazing answer about staff canteens that anyone can eat at.

That info came in after I'd already flown out on my connection so I didn't get to try it out, but I'm about to fly the same route in a couple of days.

But I'd like to avoid changing money or using an airport ATM to get Singapore dollars when I'll only be in the country for a few hours.

Can I pay with a Visa card at these canteens, or are the prices too low for them to offer it as a payment option, etc?

1 Answer 1


No, you can't. As is generally the case in Singapore, most stalls are cash only or accept a limited set of local payment methods generally not including credit cards.

However, Singapore being Singapore (and because cash-only transactions make it all too easy to evade taxes), the government is strong-arming all hawkers into accepting electronic payments, so maybe someday soon you will be able to pay by credit card. Just beware that it's the hawker who has to pay the merchant fees and wait for their money to come through, so cash is likely to remain king for a good long time.

  • I thought this wechat pay is good there . Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 22:50
  • @NeanDerThal It may be, but that's not going to help if you want to pay by credit card. Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 0:15
  • it actually does help, you can add the credit card to your wechat wallet AFAIK Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 1:13
  • Just in case OP is deadset against drawing cash, they may have some luck with signing up for one of the mobile payment solutions and linking it to their credit cards. GrabPay seems to be the most wide-spread at the moment. You will however need a working mobile number to register for an OTP and it will limit the choices available (as only a few stalls will likely support it). Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 2:34
  • Actually I'm the other way around. My smartphone needs replacing but that will happen when I get to Taiwan. I also don't know if those payment apps work on the airport Wi-Fi. I don't buy SIM cards when I travel. But it looks like I'll have $10 AUD I can buy Singapore dollars with, which I assume will be plenty for hawker stall food. Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 4:57

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