Open Bank Account

For Travel Money or Moving to New Zealand

Reasons to open bank account at one of New Zealand banks are often to get a better deal for your travel money, a working holiday or plans of moving to New Zealand.

There are three fundamentally different reasons why a New Zealand Bank account could be advantageous.

  1. Travel plans to New Zealand are often made a lengthy period in advance. Some travellers are aware of the changing stock markets which can encourage to exchange your travel money at an earlier stage to get the better deal. While in the country it can also pay off using the established EFTPOS system to pay. EFTPOS stands for Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale. New Zealand’s EFTPOS card is a widely used form of cashless payment.

    Using a credit card might cost you twice once the foreign exchange fee that occurs. Secondly more and more shops ask a surcharge of credit card users to pass on the fees they have to pay.  
  2. You plan to go on an extended working holiday which may involve that your employer asks for a bank account to transfer your pay to. Long term travellers on a working holiday visa pave their way for wages and work related payments as well as enjoying the advantages of paying and carrying plastic money instead of cash.
  3. You fell in love with New Zealand and your plans of moving into the country take shape then certainly the first point could apply to get a better deal for your savings by buying kiwi dollars and opening a bank account before your actual arrival. Moving to and establishing your new home is smoother having already a bank account in place for your day to day banking needs.

Most New Zealand banks offer the service to open a bank account before your arrival. However there are some differences in services:

Differences to open bank account:

  • Online, by mail or fax
  • with or without translated and certified documents like passport or international driver’s licence and birth certificate
  • some require a work permit or visitor permit to open certain accounts
  • most ask for an IRD number

  • Time frame for account activation in person differ from 3 months to 6 months or open
  • Some limit the number of deposits to two before activation in New Zealand
  • Others have the threshold of 1 million NZD deposit
  • Choice of account diverge from basic to saving or term deposit
  • List of NZ banks to open bank account and IRD

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