New Zealand Currency

Currency

The New Zealand currency unit is the New Zealand dollar / NZ$. The $1 is made up of 100 cents.

The values of coins and notes are:

Coins: $2, $1, 50c, 20c, and 10c. (Note: The old 5c coin has been phased out)

Notes: $100, $50, $20, $10, and $5

Cash

New Zealand Currency

You are permitted to bring any amount of foreign money into NZ but if the amount of cash you are carrying is more than NZ$10,000 it will be necessary to fill out a Border Cash Report.

Exchanging your foreign money into NZ$ is easily done at any bank, Bureau de Change kiosk at airports and within city centres. Some larger hotels will also provide an exchange service but may apply a handling fee.

Credit and Debit Cards

Major credit and debit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, and American Express, are widely accepted and can be used all over NZ to pay for goods and services during your holiday. You can pay for just about anything with a card such as bus tickets, bungy jumps, meals in restaurants, hostel beds, campsites, and NZ tours.

Check with your credit card provider when you are planning your vacation to NZ as you may have to inform them where you are going and the dates you plan to be away.

Fraud

Credit card fraud is always something that banks will be watching for so if you tell the card provider where you are going they will not think you card has been stolen with the result of putting a hold on it's use. It is a major inconvenience if this happens and best to inform your bank before leaving so they know it is you who is using your card.

Charges

Be aware that you will likely be charged by your own credit card provider for using your card abroad. It is usually a percentage of the amount you have spent, such as 3%. You should also ask what the exchange rate is based on when using your cards as you can sometimes end up getting a lower rate that the base rate. However, if you shop around you could get a new card that does not charge anything for using it abroad.

From the UK, I got a credit card and a debit card from the Nationwide before travelling and took them both with me. The Nationwide does not charge for any use while abroad and the exchange rate is based on the base rate from VISA. It therefore did not cost me anything extra for using either card to use as New Zealand Currency while abroad.

Insurance

It is advised to ensure your credit or debit card is covered by insurance prior to travelling. You may already have an insurance cover specifically for your cards but if not, check with your travel insurance to make sure the cards are covered. In my case I had a dedicated card insurance that I was also able to use to provide cover for our passports and my drivers license, so it is well worth enquiring about that.

Travellers Cheque's

New Zealand Dollar

The widely used credit and debit cards make travelers cheque's less popular these days but if you prefer to use travelers cheque's to get your New Zealand currency they are accepted at banks, hotels, and some of the shops. If exchanging at trading banks or large hotels, the official rate will apply. Sometimes additional exchange rate charges are charged. To try to avoid this it is recommended to take travelers cheque's in GBP sterling, Australian dollars, or US dollars.

Banking Hours

Banks are open week days from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 4.30pm.

Exchange Rate

Please visit the Exchange Rate and Money pages.