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Where is the best place to exchange money in New Zealand?

Where is the best place to exchange money in New Zealand? 

Although there are many places to exchange money in New Zeland we've narrowed it down to five.

We asked our readers where they do their currency exchange in New Zealand and here's what they told us:

  1. RNZ Reserve Bank 
  2. Scotia Bank
  3. Bank of New Zealand
  4. Chase
  5. ING

What do the following have in common? 

  1. A) They are all licensed and registered with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to sell NZ Dollars. 
  2. B) Their exchange rates are certified by the Reserve Bank. 
  3. C) Their exchange fees are competitive. 
  4. D) You'll get the best value when you do your research.

Other places to exchange money in New Zealand

If you're coming to New Zealand to visit someone, the first step is to exchange money. NZ Post has an online currency conversion service that helps you find the best exchange rate for buying NZ dollars. They also sell NZ dollars, but just make sure they've got the right amount in them. There's also a local bank here in Wellington called VR.

To find the best exchange rates, you have to look for the correct exchange rate - this is known as "Parity". The prices quoted to you by companies are the average rate across all of their NZ dollar rates. But in some instances, the market price might not be the best rate for exchanging money to Kiwi dollars. For example, it is possible to get better exchange rates if you go to the Reserve Bank or Scotia Bank website (#2) to find the best rate.

squeezing wallet

Be aware of taxes if you are exchanging a large amount

Exchanging too much money could lead to a large tax amount if you're not careful. The tax works like this:

First, if you have to pay tax in the country you're in, that money is not included in your exchange and the tax is taxed already. In the worst-case scenario, you have to pay tax on a total amount of money that isn't included in the currency you've exchanged.

Second, some places take a different rate of tax depending on the amount you have in your exchange.

For example, if you have 10,000 Aussie dollars, and you exchange those for 10,000 New Zealand dollars, you'll pay tax on 10,000 New Zealand dollars. That is important to remember when you are looking at the current tax rates for each company.

Every country will have its own rules for paying tax. Some places like the USA or Singapore will not tax you unless you exchange over NZ $100,000. In a lot of cases, the only real way to find out is to contact the tax department of the country you are visiting. Just don't do any extra spending or earn money while you are there if you want to avoid extra taxes!

How to change money without breaking any laws

The biggest risk to take is to change too much money before you have left.

You'll be surprised by how hard it is to change money these days. Sure, it's much easier now than before, but banks will often want their profit back before they will exchange more money for you.

A bank or currency exchange booth might make you pay a commission if they think you're going to exchange more than you can afford to, or they might refuse to exchange the money at all.

You can avoid these fees, but it takes a little thinking.

When you're traveling, it can be hard to know where to exchange money. The answer? Ask for change on the street, or the airport.

There's a good chance the ATMs will be out of coins or dollars, and every city will have one of these.

The trouble with this is the money you get isn't really a foreign currency, but instead, a plastic card that will be completely useless if you travel outside the country.

These cards are widely used in Europe but they are not widely used in the USA, except for special occasions and if you use the cash machine outside your bank.

Convenience may be the better choice

Another option that can save you money is to change money at a hotel or other accommodation.

But this is often quite expensive if you go over 10 dollars.

The answer is to find a change agent when you get to a country. These are usually agents of an airline or tour operator.

So, ask to change money at an airline's change room when you're getting off the plane or when you're checking into your accommodation. This isn't always easy because there's usually a service charge, but they are often quick about it.

Whatever your options, make sure you're aware of the exchange fees before you arrive.

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