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    Currency in Samoa WST - Things to know

    Foreign exchange guide to Samoa and the Samoan tala


    What currency is used in Samoa?

    The official currency of Samoa (country code: WS) is the Samoan tala, with symbol WS$ and currency code WST.

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    Things to know about the Samoan tala

    Here are some things you might want to know about the Samoan tālā:

    1. The Samoan tālā is the official currency of Samoa. It is represented by the symbol "T" and is abbreviated as WST.
    2. The tālā was introduced in 1967, replacing the Western Samoan pound. It is divided into 100 sene.
    3. The physical currency consists of coins and banknotes. The coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 sene, and 1 tālā. The banknotes come in denominations of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 tālā.
    4. The banknotes feature images of famous Samoan historical figures, such as Tupua Tamasese Tupuola and Tuimaleali'ifano. The design of the currency is constantly being updated, so the physical appearance of the coins and banknotes may vary slightly over time.
    5. The value of the tālā is not widely traded on international currency markets, as Samoa has a small and open economy. The value of the tālā is largely determined by the demand for goods and services within the country.

    An example Samoan tala banknote


    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.


    Travel Ideas and Money Tips for Samoa

    Geographically and culturally, this small nation is considered the heart of Polynesia. Though the missionaries of the 1800s were enormously influential, the country has nevertheless clung to Fa’a Samoa (the Samoan Way), making it one of the most authentic and traditional of all Pacific societies: in some parts of the islands you’re more likely to see someone juggling fire than a house with walls.

    Despite its isolation, Samoa offers accessible adventures. From the relative ruckus of Apia to the soul-stirring silence of Savai’i, you’ll find a paradise that is safe, sweet and easy to get around.

    Samoa's crystal beaches.

    What currency is used in Samoa?

    The Samoa decimal currency is the Tala (dollar) and Sene (cent): 100 Sene = ST$1 (Tala). All major foreign currencies are exchangeable in Samoa.

    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 Savaii 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.

    How to travel in Samoa?

    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.

    Salt water swimming hole.

    Travelling by public bus in Samoa is an experience in itself. The vibrantly painted, wooden-seated vehicles (more often than not blasting Samoan pop music at deafening volumes) each have their own character. Drivers are often as eccentric as the vehicles, and services operate completely at their whim: if a driver feels like knocking off at 1pm, he does, and passengers counting on the service are left stranded. Never rely on a bus after about 2pm.

    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. The ferry from Mulifanua Wharf regularly plies the waters between Upolu and Savai’i. Small boats leave from Cape Fatuosofia for Manono.

    Getting around by car in Samoa is quite straightforward. The coastal roads on Upolu and Savai'i are sealed; most of the other main roads are pretty good. A 4WD will make trips down rough, unsealed side roads more comfortable, but nearly all of these can be tackled in a high-clearance 2WD (unless there's been heavy rain). Petrol stations are few and far between on both islands.

    Travel tips for Samoa.

    Samoa is a classic tropical destination, with hot and very humid weather throughout the year. There are two seasons in Samoa: the dry season and the wet season, which also brings with it cyclone season. Always keep in mind though: you can’t have all this intense green without plenty of rain! The tropical cyclone season in Western Samoa normally runs from November to April. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

    Samoa at sunset.

    The official languages in Samoa are Samoan and English. Samoan is a strangely beautiful dialect that you’ll likely not be able to pick up during a short stay aside from talofa (hello) and faafetai (thank you). English is widely spoken in Upolu but in Savaii the story is a bit different, with a lot of villagers only speaking Samoan.

    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.


    USD/WST Market Data

    The below interactive chart displays the USD/WST change and UP📈 DOWN📉 trends over the past 1 Year.

    1 USD =
    2.8000We compare provider deals to this wholesale mid-market rate. Read more
      1 WST = 0.3571 USD   (Inverse rate)
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What currency should I use in Samoa?

    The domestic currency in Samoa is the Samoan tala.

    What is the Samoan tala currency code and symbol?

    The three letter currency code for the Samoan tala is WST — symbol is WS$.

    Which countries use the Samoan tala?

    It is the domestic currency in    Samoa.

    Is the Samoan tala a closed currency?

    No, the Samoan tala is freely available and convertible. See guide: What is a closed currency?

    What are equivalent amounts of USD and WST?

    Here are some popular conversion amounts for USD to WST (US dollar to Samoan tala)*.

    $ 1 WS$ 2.8000
    $ 5 WS$ 14.00
    $ 10 WS$ 28.00
    $ 20 WS$ 56.00
    $ 50 WS$ 140.00
    $ 100 WS$ 280.00
    $ 250 WS$ 700.00
    $ 500 WS$ 1,400
    $ 1,000 WS$ 2,800
    $ 2,000 WS$ 5,600
    $ 5,000 WS$ 14,000
    $ 10,000 WS$ 28,000
    $ 20,000 WS$ 56,000
    $ 50,000 WS$ 140,000
    $ 100,000 WS$ 280,000
    $ 0.3571 WS$ 1
    $ 1.7855 WS$ 5
    $ 3.5710 WS$ 10
    $ 7.1420 WS$ 20
    $ 17.86 WS$ 50
    $ 35.71 WS$ 100
    $ 89.28 WS$ 250
    $ 178.55 WS$ 500
    $ 357.10 WS$ 1,000
    $ 714.20 WS$ 2,000
    $ 1,786 WS$ 5,000
    $ 3,571 WS$ 10,000
    $ 7,142 WS$ 20,000
    $ 17,855 WS$ 50,000
    $ 35,710 WS$ 100,000

    More amounts

    *Converted at the current USDWST interbank exchange rate. Calculate actual payout amounts for Send Money and Travel Money exchange rates.

    Send Money to Samoa - Best Rates

    To get a good (and fair) exchange rate when sending money to Samoa you need to find and compare exchange rates for International Money Transfers (IMTs).

    The available FX rates for sending money abroad can be very different to the mid-market (wholesale) rate which you see reported online and in the News.

    You should especially compare your own bank's exchange rates to those available from Money Transfer specialists to see how much you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.

    Get a better deal for foreign transfers 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 4 simple steps :

    1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
    2. You specify the local or Samoan tala amount you want to transfer
    3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
    4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted WST amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Samoa.

    Use the above calculator to compare the exchange 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 and less margins and fees kept by the banks!


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