Best Last Minute Option: Using/Withdrawing Cash in New Zealand

Heading to New Zealand next week for a month and I'll be needing to use cash to pay for various holiday houses.

I have a Coles card for normal fee free purchases. But it's too late to organise a Citibank card for fee free ATM withdrawals. Coles charges a $5 fee. What are my best options?

Possible ideas I can think of:

  • carry NZ cash before arrival
  • do the above and make the odd big withdrawal using one of my cards (Coles MasterCard, Nab debit card, Nab Qantas platinum visa, 28 degrees, Westpac Altitude Platinum - $5 ATM fees but unsure which is best of the bunch in other fees)
  • use an Nab travel card. No ATM fee but has a currency conversion fee? Possible to load NZ currency on to avoid this?
  • use a Qantas travel card. $2.50NZD ATM fee. Possibly no currency conversion fee?
  • Travelex travel card?



  • If you have a week, go to HSBC and open a global currency account. ATM Fee is zero on HSBC side. Doesn't prevent ATM operator fee though but that's like Citibank as well except ING.

    That is instant since HSBC has branches.

  • +1

    All travel cards (that I have come across) and the HSBC global currency account (For a selected set of currencies which includes NZD) have a percentage transaction fee hidden in the conversion, on top of visa/master conversion rate.
    At least the credit cards are quite open about what their transaction fee is.

    So I would not recommend any of them.

    Maybe check with 28Degrees if they still charge a cash advance fee if your account is in credit. If not you can withdraw a lot of money at once because we all know a flat $5 fee is better than sneaky percentage fees.

    You would pretty much only need to carry very little cash. You already have a 28 Degrees card which you can use for all your purchases without any fees. (provided you're in good standing with the card)

  • +1

    Since you're already with NAB you can try get a NAB Plat Debit, should arrive in a few days max. That has 10 monthly fee but no FX fees, not the most ideal and depends how much time you have. Otherwise just use the 28 degrees (credited) and cop the 2% fee or whatever they charge for cash withdraws now.

  • +3

    Wait, why would an Australian state not accept Australian currency?

  • If you don't have a card with a really good rate + no ATM fees (citibank, ing), usually you'll get better rates by selling your AUD cash when at an FX exchange booth after you arrive - don't use the one in the airport though.

    • A good point. So better to exchange after I arrive at a bank in NZ for example?

      Been a while but thought it was better to exchange before (at a non airport facility).

      • Banks and chains like travellex usually give pretty poor rates; check the little standalone places - for example there's a few on Queen St in Auckland that you can walk past and compare rates (don't forget any fees)

        • But definitely after you arrive is the go?

  • +1

    Kiwibank will convert AUD to NZD for free in New Zealand, no commission

  • I just signed up to 28 degrees and had an active card on my google pay in 10 mins.

    • +1

      What's the point of commenting on a thread from 2018?

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