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American Express® Gold Card
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Since the Lord of the Rings, the land of the long white cloud has been growing in popularity as a destination for tourists. But, whether you’re heading across the Tasman to see the Redwoods of Whakarewarewa Forest or to hit the slopes near Queenstown, you should know the best way to access New Zealand dollars — called the kiwi — when you’re there.
Our pick for travel credit card
American Express® Gold Card
Our pick for multi-currency debit card
Our pick for 0% transaction fee debit card
Visa and Mastercard are accepted almost everywhere — nearly 75% of all transactions in New Zealand are done with cards. Get cash over the counter with your debit cards or find a ATM.
Whether you’re doing a quick business trip or taking a long vacation, it’s smart to have a couple of ways to access your money. Travel friendly debit cards will let you spend in New Zealand dollars, however, most travel cards apply an international ATM withdrawal fee. A credit card gives you access to an emergency line of credit and can be used for interest free purchases, and some cards offer extras like insurance as well. Choose a mix that suits your needs.
Look for a card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee and has interest-free days when you pay your balance in full before the end of statement period. Some credit cards even also offer complimentary travel insurance, which could save you the time and money.
Don’t use your credit card to withdraw money from an ATM as it is considered a cash advance and will usually incur high interest and a fee.
A debit card is a great travel money choice for NewZealand. You’ll have access to cash each time you come across an ATM, without carrying lots of cash on you all at once. Because you’re spending your own money, you avoid interest charges. Find a card that waives the fee for international ATM withdrawals and doesn’t charge a monthly account keeping fee.
Unfortunately, there are currently no travel cards in the US that allow you to load NZY.
Travel cards can lock in conversion rates once you load USD. Use it for purchases without worrying about rates each time you spend — debit and credit cards often charge 3% for each transaction.
Currency exchange offices charge a commission to do the exchange, and they also make money off a margin applied to the exchange rate.
You can always send your money to New Zealand ahead of time with a money transfer service and have it waiting to be picked up when you arrive.
Traveler’s checks have been replaced by debit, credit and travel money cards. A cheaper way to get cash in New Zealand is to make an ATM withdrawal, especially if your card provider has a relationship with the bank of the ATM you use.
The main advantage of traveler’s checks is they can be replaced if lost or stolen.
If you want to get your money changed, have a look at these companies that can sell you foreign cash. Travelex has outlets at major airports and you can make an order online and collect the New Zealand cash before you get on the plane.
You can bring the US dollar equivalent of $10,000 New Zealand dollars with you. If you take any more than this, you have to declare your cash when you pass through customs. You’ll get a better deal if you wait to get your money changed in New Zealand, even better if you make a withdrawal from an ATM rather than use a money exchange service.
When you use your credit card, debit card or travel card to make a purchase in New Zealand, the exchange rate set in place by your card applies to the transaction. When you use your card for over the counter purchases, you’ll get a rate which is a touch above the market rate. The same when you make a withdrawal from an ATM.
Refreshing in: 60s | Thu, Jan 20, 08:55PM GMT
Here are what some of the banknotes look like:
The opportunities for exploration and adventure opens up the possibility of blowing your budget. If you want to get around the country, you’ll need to rent a car — and it can be pricey. If you rely on busses or staying in one place, you can budget less than $50 a day. But for a more adventurous vacation, a realistic budget ranges from $130 to $350 a day. All prices are in US dollars.
|Meals||Vegan and vegetarian dinner|
|Dinner at a mid-range restaurant|
$40 per person
$100 per person
|Activities||Escape room games|
$20 per person
16,500 ft. tour
|Waitomo Caves and|
Rotorua Day Trip
$20–$40 per night
$25–$100 per night
Prices are for example purposes only.
Mike says Queenstown has the best skiing experience in New Zealand. The snow, the nightlife, the food and atmosphere are all top notch.
What are your travel money tips?
Mike says if you’re traveling by shuttle bus to the peaks, purchase the tickets in bulk. A single ticket costs $15, but there’s discounts for purchasing packs of 10 or 15 tickets at a time.
New Zealand offers travelers a wondrous land to explore, from ski fields to volcanic hot springs, there are plenty of things for the family to enjoy.
But with every journey comes and element of risk, which is why there is travel insurance to protects against far more than just health issues. Travel insurance covers the following:
Don’t let your vacation turn into a nightmare, compare travel insurance policies today.Back to top
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