Foreign Exchange Guide to New Zealand
In this guide we review :
- New Zealand dollar info - general info about the New Zealand dollar
- New Zealand dollar in the markets - recent NZD moves and predictions from the FX markets
- Travelling in New Zealand - currency & money saving tips
- Buying New Zealand dollar cash online - travel money for New Zealand
- Sending money to New Zealand - save on New Zealand dollar bank transfers to New Zealand
- New Zealand dollar exchange rates - latest info & charts.
New Zealand dollar (NZD) general currency information
The New Zealand dollar is informally called the ‘kiwi’ by foreign exchange traders and analysts due to the kiwi bird, which is native to New Zealand, being something of a national symbol for the country. The kiwi bird is also depicted on New Zealand’s one-dollar coin.
Although the New Zealand dollar is considered one of the eight FX ‘majors’, it is actually only the world’s eleventh most traded currency. Apart from the other seven majors – the US dollar, euro, yen, pound, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar and Swiss franc – the New Zealand dollar’s share of the foreign exchange market (around 2%) also falls behind that of the Mexican peso, the Chinese yuan and the Swedish krona. The currencies of China and Mexico are not considered majors due to their emerging market status, while the krona’s share of the market has only exceeded that of the New Zealand dollar fairly recently (in 2016, according to the Bank for International Settlements) and so is not yet considered ahead of New Zealand’s currency.
In the past two decades, the New Zealand dollar’s lowest value against the US dollar occurred in October 2000 when the NZD/USD exchange rate traded at just 0.3901. The currency’s two-decade high occurred in August 2011 when NZD/USD reached 0.8842, although it could be said that this high valuation was achieved twice, because in July 2014 the exchange rate reached 0.8836, just several pips shy of that achieved in 2011.
Among the majors, the New Zealand dollar is considered a riskier currency, which means that its value will fall against the larger majors (especially JPY, USD, CHF, GBP and EUR) during periods of economic uncertainty or when global geopolitical risk is elevated, or during bouts of high market volatility.
New Zealand dollar (NZD) in the markets
In mid-February, against the US dollar, the New Zealand dollar has once again met significant resistance at 0.744. The kiwi rallied strongly throughout late 2017 and again in January but has now failed at this level for the third time in five months. When last seen, NZD/USD had been pushed back to the high 0.73s.
In recent months, the New Zealand dollar has been stronger than the Australian dollar, with NZD/AUD climbing 5.5% between late October and mid-February to a six-month high of 0.935.
Monetary policy expectations and commodities prices will be important drivers of the New Zealand dollar this year. In February, New Zealand's interest rate was left on hold and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand once again signalled that no increase was forthcoming (none before the middle of 2019). Commodities prices greatly effect the Australian dollar, which in turns pulls on the kiwi.
Forecasts: At the turn of the year, ABN Amro predicted that the New Zealand dollar would end 2018 buying 0.675 US Dollars and 0.9 Australian dollars.
The chart below shows the NZD to USD exchange rate for the previous 3 months with rate alerts for days when the exchange rate moved up or down significantly or for 30 day highs and lows.
Currency and money saving tips for New Zealand
New Zealand is a popular destination and is inexpensive and offers a lot of ways to save money. The locals are friendly and helpful. Getting around by bus is also fairly cheap, however eating out can be expensive so budget travelers may want to learn to cook. Getting around with flights is also fairly expensive as there is not much competition among airlines. Credit cards are accepted across the country and ATM's are frequently available in cities and towns, though some of New Zealand's highlights are in its beautiful countryside. If you prefer not to carry your main credit card on you at all times a Prepaid Travel Card can be useful to purchase before arrival.
New Zealand Trip Checklist
Travel money for New Zealand
Save money and time by Ordering your New Zealand dollar online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the NZD cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in New Zealand dollar otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Travel Money for New Zealand
Sending money to New Zealand
When sending money to New Zealand it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 3 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or New Zealand dollar amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted NZD amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in New Zealand.
Bank Transfers to New Zealand
By comparing the rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more New Zealand dollar deposited into the recipient bank account in New Zealand and less margins and fees kept by the banks!