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Travel money tips to make the most of the current Aussie dollar on your trip to New Zealand

Rates and fees last updated on

Aside from the breathtaking scenery and stellar snow seasons, what has made New Zealand Australia’s number one tourist destination? Discover how to get bang for your buck on a New Zealand holiday.

With the Australian dollar gaining 4% on the Kiwi dollar in the last year, more Australians than ever are taking holidays to New Zealand. Want to know how to take advantage of the Aussie dollar on your next holiday to NZ? Discover how with our travel money guide below.

Why New Zealand?

If you’re debating where to take your next holiday, look no further than across the ditch. Expedia’s Foreign Exchange Index has revealed that New Zealand is one of the only travel destinations where the Australian dollar can go further than it did a year ago, making it the ideal time for Aussies to travel NZ.

Travel-tips-and-tricks-for-your-New-Zealand-holiday-banner

According to Expedia, trans-Tasman flights have also decreased an average of 5% to $463 between 2014 and 2015. Looking at these figures it’s no surprise that New Zealand remains the top destination for Australian travellers heading overseas, with 1.2 million trips made in the 2014-2015 financial year according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

If you haven’t already, it may be time to jump on the bandwagon and begin packing your bags for Middle Earth.

Travel tips and tricks for your New Zealand holiday

There are many travel money options available to you when you’re venturing across the Tasman. The best one will always depend on your specific financial situation, so you’ll need to compare your options to find the best travel money strategy for you.

Dust off your skis and Hobbit costume and discover how you can get the most bang for your buck in NZ by comparing your travel money alternatives below.

Travel money cards

A number of Australian prepaid travel money cards are designed for convenient spending in New Zealand. Most travel money cards allow cardholders to load their own Australian Dollars directly onto the card, transfer it to New Zealand Dollars and then lock in the exchange rate. This is particularly useful with the current exchange rate.

To give you an idea of the current state of the exchange rates, using the ANZ Travel Card you could get NZD$108.03 for AUD$100.00. On the other hand, the Westpac Global Currency card gives you NZD$105.25 for AUD$100.00.

*Rates are current as of 14 August 2015.

Travel money cards do come with costs, usually in the form of ATM and currency conversion fees, so you should keep that in mind when comparing your options.

You can consider the travel money cards available using the tables below.

Card typeATM fees
(per withdrawal)
Currency conversion feeReload fee
ANZ Travel CardNZD$4.50$3 of value of transaction1.1% of the value purchased
Qantas Card with Qantas CashNZD$2.50$0$0
Westpac Global Currency CardNZD$3.00$3 of value of transactionTransferring through another financial institution (BPAY) may attract a transaction fee.
Cash Passport MastercardNZD$3.50$0$0
Travelex Travel Card $0 for international Mastercard ATM withdrawals5.95%The greater of 1.1% of the initial load / reload amount or AU$15.00
NAB Traveller Card$0 NAB international ATM fees4% of the total transaction value$0
Commonwealth Bank Travel Money CardNZD$3.004.5% (including the Mastercard/Visa exchange rate at the time of the conversion)$0
Suncorp Cash Passport Travel CardNZD$4.005.95%The greater of 1.1% of the initial load/reload amount or AUD$15 or 1% of the reload amount via BPAY
Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
ANZ Travel Card
ANZ Travel Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD AUD 3.50, USD 2.50, GBP 2.00, EUR 2.20, NZD 4.50, CAD 3.00, HKD 20.00, SGD 4.00, THB 95, JPY 260 1.1% of the value purchased $0 Go to site More
Qantas Cash
Qantas Cash
AUD, AED, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD AUD 1.95, CAD 2.00, EUR 1.50, GBP 1.25, HKD 15.00, JPY 160, NZD 2.50, SGD 2.50, USD 1.95, THB 70.00, AED 6.50 $0 $0 Go to site More
Velocity Global Wallet® Card
Velocity Global Wallet® Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD, ZAR AUD 0.00, CAD 2.00, EUR 1.50, GBP 1.25, HKD 15.00, JPY 160, NZD 2.50, SGD 2.50, THB 60, USD 1.95, ZAR 20, Other than above: AUD 1.95 $0 $0 Go to site More
NAB Traveller Card
NAB Traveller Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD

Overseas: $0 per withdrawal via international ATMs

Domestic: $3.75 fee applies

$0 $0 Go to site More
St.George Global Currency Card
St.George Global Currency Card
AUD, HKD, USD, SGD, GBP, JPY, EUR, THB, NZD, ZAR, CAD AUD 2.00 USD 2.00 GBP 1.50 EUR 2.00 NZD 3.00 CAD 2.50 HKD 15.00 SGD 3.00 JPY 200 THB 75.00 ZAR 20.00 $0 $0 Go to site More

Credit cards

Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted internationally, and you should have no difficulty using most credit cards in New Zealand.

Some credit cards are better geared towards overseas spending and factors such as the cash advance fee for using ATMs and exchange rates should come into play when you’re comparing your options.

You can weigh up some of your travel-friendly credit card options below.

Credit Cards with 0% foreign currency conversion fees

Rates last updated July 27th, 2017
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
The greater of 2% or $4.00
$0 p.a.
An introductory offer on balance transfers, plus complimentary travel insurance & access to a 24/7 Concierge service.
Bankwest Qantas Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
2% or $4.00, whichever is greater
$160 p.a.
Enjoy a high credit limit with complimentary travel insurances and earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
Bankwest Qantas World Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$270 p.a.
Earn uncapped Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and receive complimentary travel insurance.

Compare up to 4 providers

Debit cards

There are a few upsides to using a debit card for purchases in New Zealand. First of all, you’ll be using your own funds. This can make it easier to manage your holiday budget.

There’s only currently one card in the market, the Citibank Plus Transaction Account, that doesn’t charge currency conversion fees, so you’ll need to keep track of those costs if you choose to use a debit card in New Zealand. ATM fees may also apply, though many Australian banks, such as ANZ, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank, have alliances in New Zealand that you can use to reduce those costs.

Debit cards suitable for New Zealand

Rates last updated July 27th, 2017
$
$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned Product Description
Westpac eSaver Account - for migrants
2.51%
1.00%
1.51%
$0
$0 / $0
Introductory rate of 2.51% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 1.00% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
Westpac Reward Saver
1.75%
0.01%
1.74%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 1.75% p.a. when you deposit at least $50 and make no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.
Westpac eSaver
2.51%
1.00%
1.51%
$0
$0 / $0
Introductory rate of 2.51% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 1.00% p.a. Available on the entire balance.

Compare up to 4 providers

Can’t decide on one? Use a mixture

Whether you’re visiting New Zealand for short trip or an extended stay, make sure you always have access to your funds by organising a few travel money options.. You’ll get the most value by selecting a mix that suits your needs and spending habits – for example, you may want to use a mixture of cash and a prepaid travel money card for everyday spending while reserving your credit card for larger purchases or emergencies.

The best combination will depend on the trip you’re taking and how you spend your money.

Learn more about taking Travel Money to New Zealand with tips from the experts here

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Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is a journalist at finder.com.au who is a credit cards, frequent flyer and travel money expert by day and music maven by night.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    August 19, 2015

    Your article is suspect.
    First the AUD has dropped from NZ$1.35 a few years ago to the current NZ$1.11. Not real good value at all!
    Second you omit perhaps the best card of all: the Citibank travel card which has no fees at most ATMs and which does NOT charge a currency conversion rate.
    As I said the article is poor and appears to be more of a spiel by vested interests than a sincere information page. Sad.

    • Staff
      SallyAugust 19, 2015Staff

      Hi Mick,

      Thank you for your feedback.

      The purpose of the page is to notify Australian travellers of a travel opportunity that offers the best value for their money at this current time. Although the exchange rate may not be as beneficial as it has been in the past, NZD still remains one of the only currencies in which Aussies can get better value for their AUD at the moment.

      Also, if you scroll down the page, you will see that we do include the Citibank Travel Card under the “Debit Card” heading, making sure to point out the benefit of no currency conversion fees to our users.

      I hope this has helped address some of your concerns.

      Thanks again and all the best,

      Sally

    • Default Gravatar
      August 19, 2015

      Thanks Sally. Did not see the card mentioned. Apologies for that one.
      FYI the last time the $AU was as low as it currently is was February 2006. ALMOST A DECADE AGO!

      It is a nonsense to look at the numbers alone as every currency has a different ration to the $AU. You need to look at a historical graph. This gives the true picture.

    • Staff
      SallyAugust 19, 2015Staff

      Hi Mick,

      No worries and thanks again for your feedback.

      Best,

      Sally

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