Banks are open Monday-Friday (except public holidays), 9.30 am to 4.30 pm and some banks are open Saturday morning. Automatic teller machines operate on a card/PIN number system and cash can be withdrawn 24 hours a day. Use of EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale) is common.
All major international credit cards can be used in New Zealand. If your credit card is encoded with a PIN number you will be able to withdraw cash from automatic teller machines (ATMs) situated at banks and shopping centres throughout the country. If possible only withdraw small amounts of cash at a time and always shield your PIN number.
Credit cards with “Smart Card” technology
Smart cards are payment cards that carry an embedded microchip allowing them to store encrypted, confidential information, and carry multiple applications from different industries alongside debit, credit, or prepaid payment applications. Please note these cards, which often have no magnetic strip, are not accepted everywhere in New Zealand. You may experience problems using these cards, and we therefore recommend you contact you card provider for further information before arriving in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). Coins have values of 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2. Notes have values of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.
There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought in or taken out of New Zealand. However, every person who carries more than NZ$10,000 in cash in or out of New Zealand is required to complete a Border Cash Report.
Click here for a link to currency conversion.
Goods & Services Tax (GST)
All goods and services in New Zealand are subject to a 15 percent (15%) Goods and Services Tax (GST) and this is included in the displayed price. Visitors cannot claim this tax back, however when a supplier ships a major purchase to a visitor’s home address the GST will not be charged.
All of the prices displayed on the Cost Saver website include GST.
Due to the discontinuation of 1c, 2c and 5c pieces, purchases made in New Zealand are subject to “rounding” of amounts either up or down. The Reserve Bank believes most retailers are adopting the Swedish Rounding System. Under this system prices, ending in 1 to 4 cents will be rounded down and prices ending in 6 to 9 cents will be rounded up.
For example, a purchase of $15.14 would be rounded down to $15.10, and a purchase of $15.16 would be rounded up to $15.20. It is at the retailer’s discretion how they handle prices ending in 5 cents. There has been concern that this will inflate prices, but the Reserve Bank believes competition will restrain price increases and the overall impact on inflation will be minor. Judging from a survey undertaken by The Consumers Institute, when 1 and 2 cent coins were removed, the bank is right, as the survey found prices actually fell slightly.
Tipping and Service Charges
Tipping in New Zealand is not obligatory – even in restaurants and bars. However, tipping for good service or kindness is at the discretion of the visitor. Hotels and restaurants in New Zealand do not add service charges to their bills.
NZ$ travellers cheques are not available for purchase. International visitors who wish to travel to New Zealand with travellers cheques should bring a major currency type of travellers cheque with them in the future. For travel to our region AUS$ travellers cheques can be purchased. Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are found at international airports and most cities.