What to Pack in Your Wallet for That Overseas Trip
With the New Zealand dollar still doing well against the Australian dollar and the Pound, now is a pretty tempting time to book the tickets, zip up the backpack and head on that longed for OE. But what’s the best way to spend your hard earned cash once you’ve landed on foreign shores? Research and ratings company, Canstar, look at what you should consider to get the best bang from your buck.
In May 2017, Kiwis made 2.7 million trips abroad with the most popular destinations being Australia and the UK. In the same period, $526m worth of overseas transactions were made on NZ issued cards showing that Kiwis don’t mind splashing the cash on their travels.
“Many of us save up before our trip so we can enjoy ourselves when we’re away, but making the right choice about how and when you exchange and spend your holiday money can make a huge difference to your budget” explains Canstar general manager Jose George. “Exchange rates, charges and security are the three main things that usually top people’s list when it comes to holiday spending money, so to ensure the best possible value, we recommend travellers have a number of different options in their wallets.”
Travel money cards can be used in a similar way to a debit card, the difference is that it’s not linked to your bank accounts, you simply pre-load the card before you travel. Credit cards are also a good tool to have in your wallet when you’re abroad. They will often offer better rates of exchange then other methods of payment and some providers don’t charge conversion or foreign transaction fees. Debit cards are similar to credit cards but obviously you will be using funds from your bank account and cash is always good for emergencies or incidentals like taxis and tips.
George went on to say: “Multi-stop trips are now a common occurrence for Kiwis travelling abroad and this is where travel money cards really show their value. Being able to load them up with multiple currencies means you are ready to go as soon as you hit the tarmac. Credit cards are perfect for things like hotels or hire cars because you don’t want to tie up funds on your money card with pre-authorisation and obviously cash is a great fall back in emergencies or if you are visiting less popular areas.”
Loading your wallet with different payment options gives you flexibility but you also need to be aware of the pitfalls as using the wrong one could leave you seriously out of pocket.
“As at home, credit cards can attract hefty charges for ATM withdrawals and cash advances so avoid that if you can. Travel Money cards can offer good value but do have various fees and charges attached and there is obviously with cash, if you lose it, you’re pretty much stuck.
“Our advice is to do your research before you travel so you’ve got a good idea on what payment suits which situation and importantly, you never going to be in a situation where you have no money.”
Travel money cards – top rated card for 2017
Pre-loaded travel money cards offer a secure, simple way to spend money abroad. The ability to load up with multiple currencies - great if you’re touring – and lock in exchange rates before you leave New Zealand can give peace of mind and save a lot of time (and possibly money) further down the track.
Each year Canstar evaluates the travel money cards available in New Zealand taking into account pricing, exchange rates, currencies available and additional features such as loyalty programmes.
For 2017, we are delighted to announce Air New Zealand’s OneSmart as the Canstar Travel Money Card of the Year.
Accepting the award, Air New Zealand’s General Manager Loyalty Mark Street says travel money cards give customers confidence and control of their money abroad and Air New Zealand is delighted OneSmart has been recognised as Canstar’s Travel Money Card of the Year.
“OneSmart makes it easy to manage money overseas, with our app allowing customers to check their balances, lock in an exchange rate, and transfer between the nine currencies available to load on their card – from wherever they are.
“To top it off, OneSmart is the only prepaid card that earns Airpoints Dollars™ on spending – so customers can start earning their way toward their next holiday while travelling.”