Send money to your friends and family in New Zealand and avoid being slugged with expensive bank fees.
Australia is something of a home away from home for many Kiwis, with our warmer climate and better job prospects making us quite an attractive destination to our neighbours from across the ditch. On the flipside, New Zealand is also a popular spot for hundreds of thousands of Australian travellers.
Of course, the close relationship between our two countries means that many people need to send money to New Zealand for a number of reasons. For example, they could be working in Australia and funnelling part of their income back to New Zealand, or they may need to transfer emergency funds to their Australian relatives who are travelling in the Shaky Isles.
Whatever your reason for transferring money may be, sending funds overseas has traditionally been an expensive affair plagued by hefty bank fees. However, it’s possible to send money to New Zealand without incurring too many fees and without suffering from poor exchange rates.
International money transfer services which allow you to send money to New Zealand
Use the table below to sort through money transfer services and accounts which you can use to send and receive money to/from New Zealand. Use the headings at the top of the table to sort through products based on minimum transfer amount, online transfer fees, transfer speed and transfer methods.
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Banks vs money transfer companies
Nearly every Australian bank will allow you to transfer money to New Zealand, and this sort of transaction is very easy to set up. However, many banks charge a high international money transfer fee, plus they will also not give you the best possible exchange rate.
In a large number of cases it will often be cheaper to use an online money transfer service. Such services offer better exchange rates and lower fees to customers, ensuring that more of your money will end up at your chosen destination. Some of the services who allow you to transfer money to New Zealand from Australia include Currency Online, HSBC, OFX, TorFX, Travelex, World First, CurrencyFair, HiFX, Citibank and TransferWise.
To give you a better example of the cost difference between using a bank and an online money transfer service, examine the case study below:
Hamish sends money from Australia to New Zealand
Hamish is spending two years in Australia on a working visa. He wants to regularly transfer money back home to his wife so that she can pay off their mortgage. Hamish has an account with one of Australia’s ‘big four’ banks, so he considers whether he should use his bank to transfer money overseas or use the services of an online money transfer company.
|Bank||Online money transfer service|
|Exchange rate||$1.07 NZD||$1.10 NZD|
|Amount received for $1,000 AUD (in $NZD)||$1048.60 NZD||$1,086.80 NZD|
|Transfer time||1 day||2 days|
|Transfer options||Internet, phone, in branch||Internet, phone|
|Difference of||+ $38.20 NZD|
How to compare transfer companies when transferring money to New Zealand
As Hamish’s example illustrates, it’s worthwhile comparing a number of options before sending money to New Zealand. Different money transfer companies offer different fees, exchange rates and pick-up methods, so you’ll need to compare the following features when weighing up your options:
- Exchange rates. What sort of exchange rate does each money transfer service offer? Remember that some companies will offer a better exchange rate but then charge you higher fees, so consider the exchange rate in relation to the other features listed below.
- Pick-up methods. Some services will simply offer the electronic transfer of funds, while others will allow cash to be picked up from a branch in New Zealand. The importance of this feature will depend on who you're sending funds to and the reason behind it. Emergency funds sent to a stranded relative who's lost their wallet for example might require a service with cash pickup facilities.
- Fees. You’ll have to pay a transfer fee when sending money overseas, so compare how these fees stack up between certain companies. Many providers will also waive this fee when you transfer more than a certain minimum amount.
- Turnaround time. How quickly can your money be accessed in New Zealand? If you need your money to arrive fast, look for a company that promises to expedite the transfer process. Turnaround times typically vary from 24 hours to five days.
- Transfer methods. Does the money transfer service allow you to send funds online, over the phone or by visiting a branch? Also, check whether different fees apply to the varying methods.
- Transfer options. Consider the transfer options each provider offers and any financial benefits they may have for you. Will your provider let you make regular scheduled payments, set up forward contracts or place a market order? Again, not all of these features will be important depending on your reason for transferring.
- Minimum transfer amounts. Many providers will put a minimum transfer amount in place. This minimum limit could even be as large as $1,000, which can be restricting if you’re not trying to transfer large amounts. As mentioned above, some services will set a minimum amount, above which you'll be able to transfer for free, so keep this in mind.
- Customer service. Compare each provider’s reputation for customer service, especially if you’re planning on regularly using its services. Look for a company that offers ongoing phone, email and live chat support.
How to send money to New Zealand from Australia
As Australia and New Zealand are neighbours and share a close relationship, you have a large number of options to choose from when looking to send money to New Zealand.
- Online transfer services. A large number of companies allow you to quickly and easily transfer money online. These include Citibank, TransferWise, Travelex, OFX and Currency Online. This option is generally quick and easy to use.
- PayPal. PayPal is a simple and affordable option to transfer funds electronically, though remember that both the sender and the recipient will need to have PayPal accounts. However, accounts are free to sign up for and recipients can then withdraw the funds via their local bank account or through a cheque.
- Banks. Banks allow you to make a Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) transfer. However, this can be more costly than other transfer options available.
- Emergency transfer. Certain transfer companies, including MoneyGram and Western Union, allow the recipient to pick up cash from certain locations. This can be very handy if you need to send money in a hurry or your recipient doesn't have a bank account.
- International money order. This involves giving your money to a bank or post office in return for an international guaranteed cheque. You can then post this cheque to the recipient overseas. This traditional way of doing things typically is the slowest of the options available.
Emergency cash transfers in New Zealand
Sometimes it may be necessary to make an emergency transfer of cash to New Zealand. For example, a relative could be travelling in New Zealand and have their wallet stolen.
When using a bank for emergency money transfers, make sure to double check the exchange rate they will use so that you don’t lose out by the time your funds arrive at their destination. Rates and fees differ between banks, so compare your options to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal.
Some Australian banks have branches in New Zealand where it’s possible to pick up funds. Other money transfer companies, for example Western Union, also have physical locations where it’s possible to pick up cash.
If your wallet is stolen while in New Zealand, you’ll obviously need to report the matter to police. Keep in mind that if you have a credit card stolen, it may also be possible to access a small amount of emergency funds from your credit card provider.Back to top
Cash pickup locations in New Zealand
If you’re planning on transferring funds to New Zealand via either Western Union, MoneyGram, or other similar services, below you’ll find the details of some of each company’s most popular cash pick-up locations. For big transfers, it’s often a good idea to phone ahead to ensure the branch in question will have enough cash on hand to complete the transaction. In order to get a hold of your cash, you’ll typically need to provide a reference number, transfer details and some identification.
- Dongping Money Exchange 49 Victoria Street WestCBDAucklandOpen 10am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, and 11am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday+64-0800005253
- Shortland Street Post Shop Level 2, Shortland Street CarparkAucklandOpen 8:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 1pm Saturday+64-0800005253
- Travelex Visitors Information CentreOld Post Office BuildingChristchurchOpen 7 days, 9am to 5pm+64-0800005253
- Travelex Cnr Armagh And Colombo StreetsChristchurchOpen Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm+64-0800005253
- Travel Money - NZ Mid City Mid City CentreUnit G - 3-239 Queen StAUCKLAND, 1010Open 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday093691758
- Lotus Foreign Exchange Inside Count DownSHOP C - 76 Quay StAUCKLAND, 1010Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm93544471
- Travel Money - NZ The Palms Shop 60 The PalmsShirleyCHRISTCHURCHOpen 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday33850023
- Blue Star Finance UNIT 5 - 243 Blenheim RoadRiccartonCHRISTCHURCH, 8011Open 9am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday33542554
Tips for picking up cash in New Zealand
Although New Zealand is a safe country to travel and live in, you should always exercise caution when picking up large amounts of cash. Take a friend with you if possible, and avoid waving money around and attracting attention. Avoid dangerous areas and head straight to a bank to deposit any money you don’t need immediately in a safe place.
Always check the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for most up-to-date safety information about New Zealand.Back to top
How to send money to New Zealand
There are several options listed above to help you transfer money to New Zealand. The exact application and transfer process will vary between services, though you’ll generally need to supply your contact details, address, date of birth, driver’s licence number and possibly other forms of identification.
Once you’ve completed a transfer, you’ll generally receive some sort of receipt or notification so that you can track the progress of your funds.
Transferring money to New Zealand is easier and cheaper than ever before, and you have plenty of options to choose from to ensure that your money arrives on time. Compare the services offered by different money transfer services to find the one that best suits your needs.Back to top