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Compare Travel Money & Foreign Transaction Fees

 




Consumer has done a survey comparing the cost of accessing NZ $3000 overseas.

With any way of spending abroad it is important to check all the charges to spend this money. See more on the table below:

 Exchange rate
Margin
 Cash
Withdrawals
Currency
Conversion
 TOTAL
FEES
 %
$
$
%
$
$
Cash      
Travelex1.9%57
n/a
1.5
45
102
National0.8%
 24n/a
 1.1%33
 57
ATM Cards
      
Westpac
n/a
 80
2.5%
75
155 (*75)
TSB
n/a
 50
1.1%
33
83
Credit Cards
      
Westpac
n/a
 80
2.5%
75
155 (*75)
TSB
  20
 1.75%53
 73
PrePaid Money Card
   Load Fee
Reload
fee
 
 ANZ/National Bank Travel Card
(Card fee $12)
2.5%
75
 Varies on
Currency
 $101.1% $33
$130 +
CASH WITHDRAWAL FEES!
Travelex Cash Passport
(Card Fee varies with retailer)
3%
90
Varies on
Currency
1% $30
1% $30
$150 +
CARD FEE + CASH
WITHDRAWL FEES!!
Travellers Cheques
      
Travelex
1.9%
57
n/a
1.0%
30
87
National
 0.8%24
n/a
1.1%
 33 57

* Westpac allow free withdrawals from Westpac AU, Deutsche Bank (German Bank), Bank of America, BNP Paribas (French Bank), Scotiabank or Barclays Bank (UK Bank) ATMs


Cash

Worst place to get cash is at the airport where you may have an exchange rate margin of up to 3%!
Otherwise you often get a 1% exchange rate margin & 1% currency conversion charge at banks.


ATM Cards

The easiest way to use a card abroad is with the new Visa Debit cards as can used in any ATM displaying Visa sign or pay for goods over the internet.
It works out a pricey way to spend abroad as you often have to pay for each withdrawal no mater how much you take out. This varies between $5-8.
Checking your balance can even cost 60 cents!

Eftpos cards can only be used in selected ATM machines:
eg ASB Eftpos in ATMs displaying PLUS sign (not as many as visa)
Kiwibank Eftpos in ATMs displaying CIRRUS sign

Credit Card


Best way to use credit cards is to pay for goods abroad at retailers or hotels rather than withdrawling money.
Here you can avoid the high cash withdrawal fees from the table above.
You also enjoy up to 55 days interest free period (with cash withdrawals from ATM you have to pay interest straight away as well, unless you have deposited money on the card!)

Prepaid Card


You load funds on the card so that you can withdraw when you want at atms or pay at retailers if they display the appropriate card sign eg Visa
Benefit is that you lock exchange rate

The charges for these cards are still extremely high!

Travellers Cheques

Being used less now due to reduced acceptance. Fees carry vary considerably between outlets cashing them.
You are charged approximately 1% to get these cheques.
They can be replaced if lost or stolen.
You often have to also pay when you "cash" the cheques, so you need to add this to the cost on top of the prices in the table.