April 18, 2017 at 3:05 pm NZST #1832
So since we are not resident in Europe we can’t get a revolute card to do nice foreign exchange. (That card looks to have very good rates.) What are our best options for a NZ citizen world traveler?
Ie we were looking for a card we could load with money and then spend where ever. Say we are heading off to Europe and we would like to load say 5000 Euro onto the card and then spend it as we travel around. The important point being we could load money via wire transfer or direct bank transfer in the currency we are loading.
Eg for an example of a not great card in NZ the ANZ is providing a “cash passport” but you have to load the currency in NZD and so they sting you with a conversion fee and also a bad spread on the conversion at the time of loading. In the end it appears that for the ANZ cash passport you end up paying something like a 3% overhead, once you get through rates and all. That is only I guess NZD$220 something overhead on that Euro 5000 transaction, but if you travel frequently (and we are pretty much constantly traveling) then it would be good to avoid such fees (for us they might amount to a couple thousand a year we could avoid if we could find the right card…)
So any suggestions on good foreign exchange bank cards? It doesn’t even matter if it has to be through some international bank as long as we can get the card while being a non-resident of that other country?April 18, 2017 at 3:45 pm NZST #1838
I’m not aware of any travel cards in New Zealand that allow you to load foreign currency directly. All the major cards only allow you to load NZD and then “buy” the foreign currency at their rate.
ANZ used to have a great card of their own (I believe it used the ANZ Australia back end) but they ditched this a few years ago in favour of reselling a white label Travelex offering. A number of other banks also just resell the Travelex offering, and Air New Zealand are now using this as well for their OneSmart card.
I personally just use my credit card overseas for the vast majority of purchases and take some cash with me. Since I don’t tend to use a lot of cash I find this system works well for me.April 18, 2017 at 4:06 pm NZST #1843Adam JobbinsKeymaster
I pretty much just use my credit card too now. It works out about the same in terms of fees in the end, but I don’t end up with too much (or too little) cash that I then need to deal with.April 18, 2017 at 6:09 pm NZST #1851Brownie112Participant
How would you compare using your own credit card vs something like “Loaded” or similar where you can load particular currency and withdraw it whenever and whereeverApril 18, 2017 at 8:21 pm NZST #1860
If you’re using a credit card overseas you’ll find the conversion occurs at your bank forex rate at the time of the transaction, plus typically in NZ a 2.25% – 2.5% conversion fee on top of this. Most travel cards have commission of around this when you load them, so you don’t actually benefit.
The big advantage of a travel card is being able to withdraw money from an ATM, however this is something I simply don’t do any longer. As I go to the US 2-3 times per year I always take a few hundred USD with me and find this normally lasts me for all my expenses for a couple of weeks as I just use my credit card for everything.
Most banks now charge around NZD$5 for a foreign ATM withdrawal so unless you’re planning on lots of withdrawals I find it just as easy to get money out from my own account if I need to.
Many people see the big advantage of travel cards being that you can lock in a currency, however unless you’re going to load significant amount of money when the currency is high (such as when the USD was at over 80c to the NZD) you’re only taking about very modest savings even if a currency drops by a few cents.
Each person is going to be different, so it really just depends where you’re going and what you plan to buy.April 18, 2017 at 8:28 pm NZST #1861
Yeah, I am using my normal credit card and have been for a number of years… It is just I can see the rates on revolute and it seems very appealing. Ohh well… Guess I will stick with that unless anyone else knows of anything better…April 18, 2017 at 9:21 pm NZST #1867
There are plenty of credit cards overseas that don’t have foreign exchange fees, and in Australia there are at least a couple of offerings. It’s a shame that there is nothing in the NZ market.. I guess the banks are happy just keeping the profits for themselves.April 18, 2017 at 11:51 pm NZST #1888
Can you name some of the better Australian offerings?April 18, 2017 at 11:55 pm NZST #1889Adam JobbinsKeymaster
Can you name some of the better Australian offerings?
I think the 28degrees card is the most commonApril 19, 2017 at 9:08 am NZST #1899Brownie112Participant
I was wondering how a generic bank credit card compares to something like “Cash Passport”.
I’m planning to go away 5 weeks where 3-4 weeks will be Europe. Majority of the trip will be backpacking, using flights, trains, buses etc. What would you recommend is a good way to manage funds? I was always a bit skeptical about carrying cash but few people seem to do just that. I’d like to know what method will be convenient and would not incur a ton of fees 🙂
Thanks!April 21, 2017 at 8:24 am NZST #1935ThecatsgooliesParticipant
I use the Qantas rewards card. I know people will always discuss rates and what is important to them but for me, I get the benefit of Qantas dollars on my own cash and although I lock in at NZD from my own bank account, I can purchase any currency available at that days rates.
The advantage over withdrawing cash from an overseas ATM is the charge of $2.50 Way cheaper than the banks rate of $7.50
I loaded euro on last year and used it easily in most of the countries I visited. I still used cash but not wanting to scream ‘I’m a tourist come mug me’, I found it preferable over cash in all honesty.
It really pays to look around as so many places are offering extra benefits in joining, find what suits you:-)April 28, 2017 at 8:25 am NZST #2024lazza58Participant
Hey Brownie. Thanks very much for asking my question for me.
Catsgoolies (story behind the name would be good :)) – we’re off to eastern Europe inc Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania etc. Any idea of how easy it is use a credit card in those countries? We’ve heard from one source that there aren’t a lot of ATM’s around and it’s better to get local cash. Thanks.April 30, 2017 at 11:18 pm NZST #2046LissieParticipant
The new AirNZ Onesmart does allow 3 free ATM withdrawals a month – so with a couple that gives us slightly more than 1 a week which is not too bad. Their exchange rate is the usual rubbish Travelex one for cards.
We use a Bankdirect Visa Credit card for ATMs which we put into credit ie we’re withdrawing our own funds. They don’t charge a cash withdrawal fee – though they are somewhat ambiguous on the point in their documentation we’ve only ever been charged if the card wasn’t in high enough credit ie we used their funds – and their offshore conversion surcharge is 1.8% – lower than most.
Maybe I’m old – but for many, many years I travelled with thousands of dollars on me – and recently I’ve returning to that approach. At least the NZ$ 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.May 2, 2017 at 8:03 am NZST #2075
The exchange rate on the Air NZ OneSmart is actually a lot worse than the Travelex card despite it simply being a white label offering. The rates for all the white label offerings (a number of banks offer this as their travel card) are worse than the Travelex rates, and this difference is essentially the margin they make on the product.
In the case of the OneSmart card Air NZ giving Airpoints Dollars on spend, so they’re needing to make margin to offer this back to you… You’re really just paying extra for those Airpoints Dollars that they give back to you!May 3, 2017 at 11:24 am NZST #2114KiwiwingsParticipant
I like the Qantas Cash card also for its ease of use and gaining QF points. Pity the app sends you back to the website if you’re an NZ cardholder vs Oz. The NZ One Smart card seemed painful to look at. I have to admit I haven’t checked out all the fees etc on it though. Tend to mainly use credit card overseas and withdraw some cash at an ATM. Feel nervous carrying too much.
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