Foreign Exchange Guide to Samoa
In this guide we review :
- Samoan tala info - general info about the Samoan tala
- Travelling in Samoa - currency & money saving tips
- Buying Samoan tala cash online - travel money for Samoa
- Sending money to Samoa - save on Samoan tala bank transfers to Samoa
- Samoan tala exchange rates - latest info & charts.
Samoan tala (WST) general currency information
Samoa currency and money saving tips
The Samoa decimal currency is the Tala (dollar) and Sene (cent): 100 Sene = ST$1 (Tala). All major foreign currencies are exchangeable in Samoa.
The tropical cyclone season in Western Samoa normally runs from November to April. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. ATMs are located in and around Apia and on the island of Savai'i. Travellers can use credit cards in the machines but you are required to have a PIN number to withdraw cash. Eftpos machines are found throughout Upolu and Savai'i in major hotels, resorts and supermarkets and accept the following cards – Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, Amex, JCB & Plus Cards and Access International Debit Card.. ANZ and Bank South Pacific are the two international banks found in Samoa. Both have branches at the international airport, in Apia and at Salelologa on Savai'i. National Bank of Samoa and Samoa Commercial Bank provide services, currency exchange and ATMs.
Taxis are abundant around the islands and offer their services at very good value. Taxis are not metered so it’s good to have an idea of what the journey will cost and agree on a price with the driver before setting off. Another fun way to explore the islands – and get to know the locals – is to take a map and board a local bus. All buses are named with their destination, so ask the driver which bus you need to catch. Note that aside from the terminals, there are no designated bus stops, so you will need to wave down a bus. The Samoa Shipping Corporation runs the passenger/vehicle ferry between the mains islands of Upolu and Savai'i. The ferry departs from the Mulifanua Wharf on Upolu near the international airport, so if you are travelling from Apia, allow 45 minutes for the journey. It’s also recommended to purchase bottled water for drinking and if you going to drink the tap water in your hotel room (which is generally safe), boil it first and chill in the fridge. Major hotels and resorts also offer internet terminals for guests in their business centres. WiFi is also available at many locations.
Samoa Trip Checklist
Travel money for Samoa
Save money and time by Ordering your Samoan tala online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the WST cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Samoan tala otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Sending money to Samoa
When sending money to Samoa it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 3 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Samoan tala amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted WST amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Samoa.
By comparing the rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Samoan tala deposited into the recipient bank account in Samoa and less margins and fees kept by the banks!