All You Need to Know About Currency Exchange in New Zealand

New Zealand Dollar is the official currency of New Zealand along with other places like Niue, Tokelau, Cook Islands and the Pitcairn Islands. The New Zealand Dollar is also known as "Kiwi" after the country’s national bird. There are ten denominations of the currency in total which are used in the country. These include five coins of 10c, 20c, 50c, $1, and $2 and bills of $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. The central bank of New Zealand is the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. The currency consistently ranks among the top ten most exchanged monetary forms in the world. 

Currency Exchange in New Zealand

Currency exchange in New Zealand Dollar is relatively simple, both outside the country and especially within the country. Currency is exchangeable at banks, hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks which are found at international airports and city centres.
Major credit cards like MasterCard and Visa are accepted widely and can be conveniently used in New Zealand.

Rate of Currency Exchange in New Zealand

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The New Zealand Dollar (NZD or NZ$) originally had a fixed exchange rate, pegged to the US Dollar, but now it has a floating exchange rate. As a result, its value fluctuates depending on current supply and demand.

As of 20/12/2020, the currency exchange rates of the New Zealand Dollar are as follows:
  1. 1 USD = 1.40 NZD
  2. 1 GBP = 1.89 NZD
  3. 1 EURO = 1.72 NZD
  4. 1 AUD = 1.07 NZD
  5. 1 INR = 0.019 NZD

Banking in New Zealand

New Zealand banks are open from Monday to Friday, from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm. Some banks operate during weekends also. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are commonly available at banks, main shopping streets and in malls. International credit cards and ATM cards are operational under the condition that they must have a four-digit PIN encoded. Obtain all necessary information from the bank before you leave home.

Due to the country's proximity to Australia, its banking industry is dominated by Australian-owned banks. There are four large banks in New Zealand - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, ASB Bank, Westpac New Zealand and the Bank of New Zealand.

Places for Currency Exchange in New Zealand

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There is no best way or the best place to exchange currency in NZ. The fees for exchanging currency ranges from a small percentage to a fixed rate, so be aware of all the rates and providers. Also, if you want to get the best exchange rates, ordering the currency online and then picking it up in-store is a better option because the exchange rates online are much better than the in-store ones. Buying currency online takes two to four days so it might not be suitable in case you need it last minute.

Auckland

  1. Travel Money NZ: Travel Money NZ is extremely convenient due to their large network of more than ten stores across the city that are open late and on weekends. They have an amazing range of currencies available with them with a stock of over sixty different currencies! What makes it better is that they do not charge any commission or fee.
Address: 163 Queen Street, Auckland
Timing: Monday - Friday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday & Sunday 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM.
  2. Lotus Foreign Exchange: This exchange rate also has a wide range of currencies in stock, although the stock can vary depending on the day. It has more than 20 stores in New Zealand with 11 of them in Auckland. It is best if you want to exchange in-store, however, it is not that great in case of online services.
Address: 76 Quay St, Auckland and 228 Queen Street (inside Burger King), Auckland.
Timing: Monday - Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Saturday & Sunday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Wellington

  1. Travelex: It is the largest retail foreign exchange company in New Zealand, licensed to provide currency in cash, drafts, foreign currency bank cheques, telegraphic transfers, traveller's cheques and travel cards. It has a large number of stores and pick-up locations making it very easy to order online. The exchange rates here are also very good and are way better than any New Zealand bank. 
Address: 120 Lambton Quay, Wellington.
Timing: Monday-Friday 9 AM - 5 PM.

Currency Exchange in New Zealand Through Banks

Although New Zealand banks do not provide the cheapest exchange rates in case of most currencies, they are the best options if you want to buy currencies like the Chinese Yuan and the South African Rand. These banks also provide daily updates of exchanging rates on their websites, so you can easily check the rates before heading for currency exchange. 

Currency Exchange in New Zealand Through Post Offices

There are two ways of exchanging currency at a post office in NZ. Firstly, there are several New Zealand Post offices that have an American Express Currency Exchange centre in them. This method is very helpful if you need to buy or sell currency in a hurry.
If you are buying currency, it can be cheaper to order online and pick it up at a New Zealand Post office through Travelex.

Currency Conversion Tips

  • Watch out for Fees: It is unlikely you will be charged any fee when you are buying your holiday currency. However, it is possible, therefore, one should be alert. While you are buying currency online, make sure to check before confirming the transaction and read the Product Disclosure Statement. You are not required to pay for buying or exchanging currency as there are many exchange centres doing it without any charges, though credit card payments are an exception.

  • Negotiate for a Better Rate: You will only get the best exchange rates when you ask for it directly. If you are exchanging more than $1,000 New Zealand dollars worth of currency, it is a must. You can estimate the rate by comparing exchange rates or best, ask for professional help.

  • Call before Visiting: Once you have decided on the best exchange rate, give them a call before actually visiting them. This is suggested because often the stores have a limited stock of currencies, especially US Dollars and Euros. Make sure they have the amount of money in denominations that you require.

  • Do not put all your eggs in one basket: If you are visiting New Zealand for a vacation, you do not need to take all your money in cash. Check out the following tips used by many Kiwis while travelling:

  • Take some money in cash for cabs, tips, meals and outings.

  • Take some money on a prepaid travel card for hotels, transportation and in-store buys.

  • Take your New Zealand ATM, debit and credit cards as a back-up in case you run out of money.

This post was published by Vidushi Nigam

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