Currency in Samoa

A Travel Money Guide to Samoa

Samoa, also known as the 'Treasured Islands', boasts warm, beach friendly weather all year round, making it a popular holiday destination for couples and families. Located in the South Pacific, Samoa boasts stunning natural riches ready for you to discover.

With its incredible landscape comprising of thick tropical rainforests and crystal-clear coral reefs, this archipelago offers travellers a dreamy holiday experience. Learn about the about the currency in Samoa and the appropriate travel money options for your trip.

Our guide will help you figure out the best way to take your money to Samoa. Read on to find out:

What Is the Best Currency to Use in Samoa?

Samoan currency WST banknotes and coins

The best currency to use in Samoa is the Samoan Tālā. It’s represented by the international code WST and the symbol $.

As with the Aussie dollar, the Samoan Tālā is made up of 100 cents (also known as 100 sene) and comprises a mixture of banknotes and coins.

Samoa’s colourful banknotes come as $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. Coins are available in 1 cents, 2 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, and 50 cents.

Can I Use Australian Dollars in Samoa?

It is important to note that Australian dollars are not accepted across the islands. The Aussie dollar has no value to locals and will need to be converted into Samoan Tālā before you kick off your holiday activities.

What Currency Do They Accept in Samoa?

You cannot use foreign currencies in Samoa but given its heavy tourist trade, Samoan money changers are happy to exchange all major foreign currencies including Australia, US or New Zealand dollars, for the local Samoan Tālā.

Using Your Bank Card in Samoa

Some of the best travel money cards include debit, credit and prepaid cards. Some, but not all, Samoan merchants have EFTPOS terminals so you can pay by card in Samoa.

Whether you decide to pay with a debit or credit card is your choice, as long as you’re aware of the fees and charges incurred by the different cards.

Debit Cards

Debit cards are most useful for ATM withdrawals but some businesses will allow you to pay by card too.

Depending on which card you use, you could possibly end up with excessive bank fees for each transaction, including foreign ATM withdrawal fees and conversion fees.

To get around these fees, look for a bank card that’s designed for frequent travellers. Some travel-friendly debit cards that waive a portion of the charges include Wise, ING, Citibank and Revolut.

Credit cards are accepted as currency in Fiji

Credit Cards

Most major hotels and resorts accept credit cards, but for shopping at a market, having a meal at the local restaurant, or taking public transport – cash is still required.

You can use credit cards in ATMs but be mindful that you must have a PIN to withdraw cash. There are plenty of ATMs throughout Samoa but only in urban areas. So, ensure that you top up with cash when you get to the airport or when you pass a bank or ATM.

Some credit cards come with attractive features for frequent travellers, including complimentary travel insurance, rewards points, and additional security measures.

But the perks are countered by some exorbitant charges if you use your card overseas, including:

  • International transaction fees
  • High exchange rate margins
  • ATM fees
  • Potential ‘cash advance fees’ if you use an ATM

As with debit cards, there are some exceptions. Bankwest Platinum and 28 Degrees cards are designed for travellers and waive the currency conversion fees.

Prepaid Travel Cards

Currently, no Aussie travel cards allow you to load up on Samoan Tālā so it won’t be much use bringing one for a trip to Samoa.

One may use a prepaid travel card in Samoa as it will waive foreign currency conversion fees on unsupported currencies. But you’ll still have to pay to load and reload your card, so we recommend avoiding travel cards if Samoa is your only destination on this trip.

Currency Converter for the Samoa Tālā

The Samoa Tālā is relatively stable to the Australian dollar (AUD) and the New Zealand dollar. Converting AUD to SBT is easy with our currency conversion tool.

Simply enter in the value and currencies to figure out how much it would cost you to buy Samoa Tālā with S Money today. We use the same mid-market rate you’d find on Google or


*Wholesale exchange rate updated

How to Exchange Currency in Samoa

Most small businesses like restaurants or even taxis in Samoa will prefer it if you pay with cash - in fact, many won't even have facilities to pay by card. So it's important to stock your wallet with the right bills before you go exploring the beautiful spots Samoa has to offer.

You can get currency in Fiji through the available ATMs

ATMs in Samoa

ATMs are common at the airport and throughout Samoa but generally in urban areas. They’re virtually non-existent in rural areas or on outlying islands so it’s important to plan ahead if you’re travelling to Samoa.

There’s no doubt ATM withdrawals are handy but bear in mind you could end up paying an expensive fee for the privilege. Samoan ATMs typically charge about 16 – 20 Tālā per withdrawal. And that’s on top of any foreign ATM withdrawal or currency conversion fee your bank might impose per transaction.

ANZ operates in Samoa. So if you have a card from ANZ, you can avoid the ATM withdrawal fee by using the ATM that corresponds to your bank card.

Important note: Make sure you notify your bank about your travels. If you don’t, they could consider any Samoan purchases as suspicious activity and freeze your card.

Currency Exchange in Samoa

There are various ways to change your AUD into WST in Samoa. Choose between money changers at Apia International Airport or at major hotels or resorts. It would be wise to top up with cash when you pass an ATM as they become less frequent the further you travel from urban areas.

Alternatively, you can head to ANZ Bank as they also provide reliable exchange services.

For currency exchange in Fiji you can use a money exchange
Traveller's cheques are still accepted as currency in Fiji

Travellers Cheques

Some banks and hotels in Samoa still cash traveller’s cheques. But that doesn’t mean you should invest in them. You’ll get just as much value (if not more) out of alternatives such as ATM withdrawals and direct cash exchanges.

Buying Samoan Tālā Before You Go

There’s always a comfort in having the local cash on you as soon as you leave the airport. Luckily, buying Samoa Tālā before you leave home can be a seamless process, with three main options to suit your needs:

  • Buy WST online and have it delivered or collect it in-store.
  • Buy from a bureau de change.
  • Buy at your home airport.

Since bureau de change desks at Australian airports are renowned for their poor rates, we recommend avoiding them and picking up your currency ahead of time.

A fuss-free way to secure your travel money is to order it online. It can be delivered to your door or made available for pick-up at a convenient location.
Online currency providers offer competitive deals you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. For example, S Money offers the same rate listed on Google and

If you’re in the city, an alternative is to visit a CBD bureau de change. Suburban outlets don’t have the competition to keep prices low and banks often supply high fees and poor rates.

How Much Cash Should I Bring to Samoa?

Having to convert leftover foreign cash back into AUD at the end of a trip can be a chore. To avoid the unnecessary fees that come with this, simply calculate your budget before you leave.

What would your budget be, you might ask? Well, it depends on your travel itinerary and whether you prefer backpacking or luxury. We recommend putting aside roughly $120 per day for Samoa, depending on your own needs.

Here are some of the average Samoan costs to help you calculate your own budget (all quoted in the Samoan Tālā):


A private room for two


A standard dinner


A beer


A short taxi ride


A full day island tour

Track the best time to buy currency

We match the currency exchange rate with the rate shown on Google or Xe. In real time.

This means you never pay over-inflated rates and can be 100% positive you are getting the most competitive rate for currency exchange.

  • Check out the daily rates:

Not ready to buy yet?
You can get a free rate tracker!

Updated: Posted on