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Cash & ATMs in New Zealand: Fees, limits, forex, card types & more

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cash currency exchange atms in new zealand

New Zealand is a country blessed with stunning natural beauty that will leave you in awe. You can explore the subtropical beaches of the North Island or venture into the alpine landscapes of the South Island. And let’s not forget about the vibrant culture of Auckland and the thrill-seeking adventures that await in Queenstown. There’s something for everyone in this amazing country! Getting around this beautiful country is a breeze once you have a handle on the local cash, using ATMs in New Zealand, and the various payment methods available.

Do I need to have cash in New Zealand or can I get by with using my card?

New Zealand is super card-friendly! Credit and debit cards are widely accepted all over the country, even for small purchases. You usually don’t need cash unless you’re visiting small rural businesses, specific markets, or community events.

Which currency is accepted? Can you use US Dollars, Euros, or Pounds in New Zealand?

The local currency is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD). They have notes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. New Zealand mostly uses its local currency for all transactions. US Dollars, Euros, and Pounds are not widely accepted, except at certain major hotels that cater to international tourists.

How can I get the local currency in New Zealand?

You’ve got three main ways to get your hands on some cash: ATMs, currency exchange, and money transfer.

The New Zealand Dollar is a popular currency globally, so you have the option to buy it before you travel or once you arrive in New Zealand.

Where to find ATMs in New Zealand?

There are over 1,800 bank-owned ATMs in New Zealand, along with numerous others operated by independent networks. There are plenty of places to find cash in New Zealand, both in cities and smaller towns. But don’t get your hopes up if you’re planning to visit remote islands or far-off places.

ATMs are pretty common in various places:

Big airports
Market and town squares
Popular streets in any big city
Shopping malls
Food lanes
Branches of the bank
A few office buildings

ATMs are difficult to find at:

Little airports
Islands
Farms
Bus stops
Villages
In little towns, away from the main roads
Resorts and retreats

Currency exchanges in New Zealand

You can use these places to exchange money in New Zealand:

Authorised currency exchange centres: You will find them in all touristy destinations in Wellington, Auckland and Queenstown. Don’t expect to find much of them in smaller towns.
Banks: Bank branches can also easily convert your currency to the New Zealand Dollar, especially from currencies like US dollars, Euros, Pounds, Japanese Yen, Thai Baht, and Singapore dollars. Expect a pay a commission of 0.5% to 2% per transaction.
Hotels and airports: Airports have lots of currency exchanges and so do many large and small hotels. But the exchange rates are not great.

Pro-tips:

Don’t exchange at airports – Rates are poor
Don’t exchange at black market – You’re likely to be scammed
Bring new notes – Damaged, dirty notes will get you lesser rates or higher fees

Types of cards accepted

ATMs in New Zealand accept Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, Plus, UnionPay, and Amex cards. Most places won’t accept JCB, Diners, Discover or Rupay cards.

You can use most of these card types to swipe too.

Most currency exchanges prefer to deal with physical cash when it comes to exchanging currencies. You can use Visa or Mastercard but there are fees you’ll need to keep in mind if you use your card at a currency exchange.

Are ATMs in New Zealand like ATMs in other countries?

Yes. The ATMs are pretty modern and they look and work just like the ones you’d find in the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and India. Just a heads up, some ATMs keep your card inside while you’re doing your transaction. So, make sure you don’t forget to grab it back after you’ve withdrawn your cash.

ATMs also give you the option to choose currency conversion, either by accepting or declining it. It’s usually a good idea to choose ‘Without Conversion’ or ‘Decline Conversion’ to avoid any additional fees.

Popular bank ATMs in New Zealand

ANZ
ASB
Westpac
BNZ
TSB

There are plenty of other banks with ATMs that happily accept international debit and credit cards.

What do they call ATMs in New Zealand?

The term ‘ATM’ is commonly used or you will only see the bank name with no ‘ATM’ sign.

ATMs and PINs in New Zealand

Typically, 4-digit PINs are accepted for ATM transactions.

Merchant card requirements: Chip-and-PIN cards are the norm, but magnetic stripe cards are also accepted.

Languages at currency exchanges and ATMs in New Zealand

ATMs in New Zealand come with English as the default language. If you’re not familiar with English, you can try using the camera function on Google Translate to translate the options on your phone in real time! Just a heads up – these translations might not always be spot-on, so don’t hurry. Take your time with the transaction.

You can easily communicate in English at currency exchange places to get your cash in New Zealand.

Withdrawal limits and ATM fees in New Zealand

ATMs in New Zealand usually have a withdrawal limit per transaction ranging from NZ$ 200 to NZ$ 2000, with NZ$ 2000 being the most common limit.

In New Zealand, ATM fees range from NZ$ 0 to NZ$ 3. So, there are some ATM brands out there don’t charge any fees!

Find fee-free ATMs in New Zealand, as well as currency exchange and money transfer options, by using the ATM Fee Saver app on your mobile or web. The app provides information about the fees and withdrawal limits for foreign cardholders using ATMs in New Zealand. Figure out the exact charges for withdrawals in New Zealand with the app’s easy-to-use calculator. After you’ve picked an ATM, the app’s navigation system will help you find your way there. It has details on about 50 countries, including New Zealand.

Tips to avoid paying high fees in New Zealand

When it comes to ATMs:

Find ATMs that don’t charge any fees while you’re in the country.
Check out the ATM Fee Saver app for locating ATMs that don’t charge fees or have low fees.
Choose “Decline Conversion” or “Without Conversion” when using an ATM.
Get fee-free cards from your home country.

If you need to exchange currency:

Avoid exchange offices that claim to have no fees when exchanging money in New Zealand. These offices often include their fees in the exchange rate, so you end up paying more than you should. You never get anything for free when it comes to currency exchanges.
It’s probably best to steer clear of using credit and debit cards for currency exchange transactions, given extra fees.

Are currency exchanges and ATMs in New Zealand safe?

Yes usually. The crime rates near ATMs are pretty low.

Try using ATMs located inside bank branches instead of standalone machines. These are usually more secure and less likely to be affected by skimming devices.
Make sure to keep an eye on your credit card transactions using your bank’s mobile app or online banking platform. If you notice any transactions that you didn’t authorise, please report them right away.
Be cautious when using public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to enhance your security.
Just make sure to keep an eye on your credit card while you’re making transactions. It’s best to be cautious when giving your card to merchants who handle it out of your sight.
It’s always a good idea to have two credit cards with you when you’re travelling. Having a backup option is great because if one card has a problem, you’re covered.
Make sure to only use authorised and registered exchange places for currency exchanges.

Is it okay to carry cash while travelling in New Zealand?

Yes. When you’re exploring New Zealand, it’s usually pretty safe to have some cash on you. Here are a few pointers to help you keep your money secure while travelling in New Zealand:

Divide your money among multiple pockets or wallets rather than keeping it all in one spot.
Keep cash in a safety belt or a fanny pack.
Avoid flaunting large amounts of money in public.
Try not to show off all your cash when paying for things.
Consider keeping your wallet in your front pockets for added safety.
When you’re in busy places, such as streets, trains, and buses, make sure to keep your purses, wallets, and bags securely fastened and close to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to withdraw cash in New Zealand without any fees?

Yes, there are over three bank ATMs that won’t charge fees to foreign cardholders.

Can I use cards from the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and other countries in New Zealand?

Yes, cards from the US, UK, Europe, Australia, and other countries can typically be used at ATMs in New Zealand.

Any Bitcoin ATMs in New Zealand?

There are a bunch of Bitcoin ATMs in cities like Auckland and Wellington.

Any Bank of America ATMs in New Zealand?

There aren’t any Bank of America ATMs in New Zealand.

Are there any Barclays Bank ATMs in New Zealand?

There aren’t any Barclays ATMs in New Zealand.

Are there any HSBC ATMs in New Zealand?

You can find HSBC ATMs in New Zealand.

Are there any Standard Chartered ATMs in New Zealand?

There aren’t any Standard Chartered ATMs in New Zealand.

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