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

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.


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 type ATM fees
(per withdrawal)
Currency conversion fee Reload fee
ANZ Travel Card NZD$4.50 $4 of value of transaction $0
Qantas Card with Qantas Cash NZD$2.50 $0 1%
Westpac Global Currency Card NZD$3 $3 of value of transaction $0
Cash Passport Platinum Mastercard NZD$3.50 $0 $0
Travelex Travel Card $0 for international Mastercard ATM withdrawals
NAB Traveller Card $0 NAB international ATM fees 4% of the total transaction value $0
Commonwealth Bank Travel Money Card NZD$3.50 5.25% $0
Suncorp Cash Passport Platinum Mastercard Travel Money Card NZD$3.50 $0 $0 via online) or $15 (via branch) or $1 of the reload amount via BPAY

You can take these travel cards to New Zealand

Updated March 27th, 2019
Name Product Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
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
Hold up to 10 currencies and lock in your exchange rate. No load, reload or transaction fees on purchases and part of a worldwide ATM alliance.
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
Earn up to 12,000 Qantas points when you sign up for a Qantas Travel Money card and preload funds by March 29. You must load at least $2,500 to qualify for the deal. T&C's apply.
AUD $3.50, USD $2.50, EUR €2.50, GBP £2.00, NZD $3.50, THB ฿80.00, CAD $3.50, HKD $18.00, JPY ¥260.00, SGD $3.50
Special offer: Save up to $40 when loading a new card or topping up an existing one (T&Cs apply).
Offers $0 reload options and locked in exchange rates. Use the Currency Pass to spend in up to 10 currencies everywhere Mastercard is accepted.

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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 March 27th, 2019
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
No foreign transaction fees on international purchases including international purchases online, together with a no annual fee.
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
2% of transaction amount or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
Offers a $0 annual fee, 0% foreign transaction fees, complimentary international travel insurance and a balance transfer offer.
ING Orange One Platinum
of transaction value
$149 p.a.
Enjoy up to $30 cashback per month and complimentary insurance covers. Available when you hold or open an Orange Everyday account.
Bankwest Qantas Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
2% or $4 (whichever is greater)
$160 p.a.
Enjoy 0% foreign transaction fees, complimentary travel insurances and earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
Bankwest More Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
2% of transaction amount or $4 (whichever is greater)
$160 p.a.
Earn 2 More Rewards Points per $1 spent, 75,000 bonus points when you meet the spend requirement and save with 0% foreign transaction fees.

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 March 27th, 2019
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 Life
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.30% p.a. each month you deposit money, and make sure your balance is higher at the end of the month than it was at the beginning. No monthly account-keeping fee.
Westpac eSaver
$0 / $0
Total introductory rate of 2.51% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 0.50% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
Westpac eSaver Account - for migrants
$0 / $0
Introductory rate of 2.51% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 0.50% 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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5 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    ShelleySeptember 5, 2018

    Hi, should I pay accommodation for New Zealand before leaving Australia? Is it cheaper to do it that way or pay by debit card when arriving. All accommodation is booked. Thanks Shelley

  2. 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.

    • finder Customer Care
      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,


    • 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.

    • finder Customer Care
      SallyAugust 19, 2015Staff

      Hi Mick,

      No worries and thanks again for your feedback.



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