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Avoiding high charges for changing U.S. to N.Z. dollars

Virginia
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Avoiding high charges for changing U.S. to N.Z. dollars

How much U.S. cash should we bring to change in New Zealand? Do the money exchange places impose high charges the way credit card companies are now doing?

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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1. Re: Avoiding high charges for changing U.S. to N.Z. dollars

Debit cards are generally the cheapest way to go for cash. Find out how much your bank will charge & if there is a flat rate PER transaction, withdraw the max allowed each time. Also inquire about the new "travel money" cards.

Wellington, New...
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for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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2. Re: Avoiding high charges for changing U.S. to N.Z. dollars

Some money changers dont charge a commission when changing foreign currency into NZ dollars but one must then look at the exchange rate for the transaction. Somewhere along the line you are going to have to pay someone.

When I travel overseas I takea limited amount of local currency and use my credit card for most purchases. I have found that using CC is the nest rate of exchange even taking into account international currency transaction fees imposed by banks/credit card companies

Queenstown, New...
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3. Re: Avoiding high charges for changing U.S. to N.Z. dollars

I agree with Bean, but using the cc can sometimes cost you the chargers the bank loads on to small busnesses. Often 3%

Yesterday I was charged a 1 % fee for paying cash.

Virginia
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4. Re: Avoiding high charges for changing U.S. to N.Z. dollars

Many thanks for your suggestion.

Virginia
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5. Re: Avoiding high charges for changing U.S. to N.Z. dollars

Thanks for your reply. It seems like the credit card approach will work the best for us as well. A 3% added charge seems to be pretty much the norm.

t

Virginia
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6. Re: Avoiding high charges for changing U.S. to N.Z. dollars

Thank you. I learned that I can use my Bank of America ATM card to withdraw cash, but will be charged 1% on the transaction, plus a $5.00 fee for each withdrawal.

BERKELEY
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7. Re: Avoiding high charges for changing U.S. to N.Z. dollars

I recently got a Capital One credit card just for foreign travel as they do not charge a transaction fee and the one I got doesn't have an annual fee. See creditcards.com/credit-card-news/foreign-exc… for more information regarding foreign exchange fees.

I use a Schwab debit card for ATMs. They reimburse ATM fees that other banks may charge and don't charge a foreign transaction fee.

atlanta
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231 posts
11 reviews
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8. Re: Avoiding high charges for changing U.S. to N.Z. dollars

Most credit unions charge a 1% exchange fee so if you have the option of joining a credit union and getting a card through them, it would be less than a regular bank account. And there is not a transaction fee. I always move cash to the credit unions -- my husband and I belong to 2 different ones -- and we have a credit union credit card as well. These are what we use for overseas traveling. As much as I love AMEX back home for the miles I will not pay their higher fees.

Chase also has a cc that has no transaction fee.

If you apply for a Capital One card make sure that, if you have a credit freeze with any of the bureaus that you have lifted it first or they will reject you. They don't send a letter telling you which bureau they want -- they look at all of them and if they can't they reject you.

atlanta
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9. Re: Avoiding high charges for changing U.S. to N.Z. dollars

One more thing -- Don't let them charge you in your home currency. Sometimes when you give a credit card they will convert it for you at high fees. People often fall for that because they know exactly what the cost will be but it is always higher than paying the regular 1% -- although if you are stuck with 3% you may want to calculate it out -- seems to me that it was just under 3% fee when I saw it

Dunedin, New Zealand
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10. Re: Avoiding high charges for changing U.S. to N.Z. dollars

You'll be able to use your Bank of America card in Westpac ATM's and avoid any charge at this end (can't speak for what Bank of America will sock you for) - BoA and Westpac are part of a consortium which allow their customers to use each other's ATM's. There will still be the commission, but 1% is pretty good.