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Avoid Hidden Extras in New Zealand

11th February 2018

As you follow the smell of fush’n’chups over the Tasman Sea, you’ll come across Australia’s spectacular little cousin. With beautiful scenes at every turn and a remarkably rich culture, travelling through Kiwi country should be on every Aussie’s bucket list. But like with most travels, there’s the chance you’ll come across a couple of bad surprises – like hidden fees, or finding Marmite at your breakfast buffet instead of Vegemite (yes, they prefer Marmite). 

Cash and Tipping
New Zealand takes after us more than we thought, with similar currency and the same philosophy towards tipping (buy a burger, pay for a burger). Unless you’ve been provided with exceptional service or want to impress your date, don’t bother with a tip. It’s an extra cost you can do without.

Using a Card
A card is the best way to make those large purchases, but just be careful your money isn’t funnelling through a tight sieve. When exchanging your Australian dollars to New Zealand dollars, some banks charge a flat fee, commission, a bad exchange rate, or all of the above. These fees aren’t always so transparent either, so make sure you do your research and know exactly where your money’s going. Travel Money Oz Currency Pass allows you to lock in your exchange rate the day you load+,  load up to 10 currencies on the card and it's valid for 5 years.
So even if your trip to NZ is a short one to visit family quickly, or watch a sports game, it's still not worth racking up the bank card fees, grab yourself a Currency Pass and use that every time you leave the land of Oz. 

When it comes to transport, you’ll likely be renting a car. This is a great way to see the gorgeous landscapes and cities in your own time. However, if you’re hiring a car to pick up in Christchurch and drop off in Queenstown, for example, your transaction may include a hidden drop-off fee. This is an easy thing to miss, but in most cases you’ll find that a round trip works out to be a lot cheaper. That means starting at Point A and ending at Point Ayyy bro. (It’s the same location, but you’ll probably be Kiwi az by then, sorry bro).

Dynamic Currency Conversion
New Zealand is the activity capital of the southern hemisphere. So with hundreds of dare-devil adventures and journeys through The Shire, you’re going to be pre-booking a lot from home. Here’s when it’s important to understand the tricky fees in Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). DCC is a service for websites that allows you to pay for a foreign product in your own currency. After selecting to use it, the site will exchange your currency at the point-of-sale. However, this exchange rate is established by the merchant.

The bottom line is: you don’t know if your money is being treated as a fair value. But you can choose to avoid this uncertain fee by using a travel card to make the payment in the foreign currency, using an exchange rate you can rely on. (You may need to do this in a private browsing session, so the satellites above don’t locate you and set the price themselves.)

If you ever wonder where those sheep you count at night go, they’re jumping into the dreamland that is New Zealand. For all the advice you need to get the most out of your money on your journey, contact us today.


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