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The new AirNZ Onesmart does allow 3 free ATM withdrawals a month – so with a couple that gives us slightly more than 1 a week which is not too bad. Their exchange rate is the usual rubbish Travelex one for cards.

We use a Bankdirect Visa Credit card  for ATMs which we put into credit ie we’re withdrawing our own funds.  They don’t charge a cash withdrawal fee – though they are somewhat ambiguous on the point in their documentation we’ve only ever been charged if the card wasn’t in high enough credit ie we used their funds – and their offshore conversion  surcharge is 1.8% – lower than most.

Maybe I’m old – but for many, many years I travelled with thousands of dollars on me – and recently I’ve returning to that approach. At least the NZ$ is fairly convertible in most of the  world these day.

Trying to explain to a millenial in a bank branch that a slight crease in a US$100 is unacceptable is a pain in the proverbial though!

It’s not hard to keep cash safe so long as you keep in next to your skin, under your clothes, and never flash it in public.