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    Currency in the Cook Islands NZD - Things to know

    Foreign exchange guide to the Cook Islands and the New Zealand dollar

    Cook Islands

    What currency is used in the Cook Islands?

    The official currency of the Cook Islands (country code: CK) is the New Zealand dollar, with symbol NZ$ and currency code NZD.

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    Things to know about the New Zealand dollar

    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. Further to the other seven majors – the US dollar, euro, yen, pound, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar and Swiss franc – the New Zealand dollar also falls behind the Mexican peso, the Chinese yuan and the Swedish krona in its share of the foreign exchange market (around 2%). The currencies of China and Mexico are not considered majors due to their emerging market status, while the krona’s market share has only exceeded that of the New Zealand dollar fairly recently (in 2016, according to the Bank for International Settlements) and is therefore 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.

    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.

    The New Zealand dollar banknotes and coins

    The physical currency consists of coins and banknotes. The coins come in denominations of 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, $1, and $2. The banknotes come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.

    The banknotes feature images of famous New Zealand historical figures, such as Sir Edmond Hillary, Sir Apirana Ngata, and Kate Sheppard. The design of the currency is constantly being updated, so the physical appearance of the coins and banknotes may vary slightly over time.

    An example New Zealand dollar banknote


    Travel money for the Cook Islands

    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 Ideas and Money Tips for the Cook Islands

    The Cook Islands is a self-governing island country in the Pacific Ocean, with 15 islands that spread over an area of 2 million square kilometers. It's a territory associated with New Zealand and is located in Oceania, near to American Samoa and French Polynesia.

    For travelers, the Cook Islands offer a unique blend of Polynesian culture, stunning natural beauty and a laid back island lifestyle. Visitors can explore the white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush tropical vegetation, perfect for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. The main island of Rarotonga is known for its rugged interior and mountainous landscape, it also has a vibrant cultural scene, with traditional dance, music and art performances.

    The Cook Islands are also known for their rich history, as they were first settled by Polynesians around 1000 AD, and later by European explorers in the 18th century. Visitors can learn about this history by visiting ancient marae (sacred temples) and the cultural villages of the island.


    USD/NZD Market Data

    The below interactive chart displays the USD/NZD change and UP📈 DOWN📉 trends over the past 1 Year.

    1 USD =
    1.6347We compare provider deals to this wholesale mid-market rate. Read more
      1 NZD = 0.6117 USD   (Inverse rate)
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What currency should I use in the Cook Islands?

    The domestic currency in the Cook Islands is the New Zealand dollar.

    What is the New Zealand dollar currency code and symbol?

    The three letter currency code for the New Zealand dollar is NZD — symbol is NZ$.

    Which countries use the New Zealand dollar?

    It is the domestic currency in    New Zealand,   Cook Islands,   Niue,   Pitcairn and Tokelau.

    Is the New Zealand dollar a closed currency?

    No, the New Zealand dollar is freely available and convertible. See guide: What is a closed currency?

    What are equivalent amounts of USD and NZD?

    Here are some popular conversion amounts for USD to NZD (US dollar to New Zealand dollar)*.

    $ 1 NZ$ 1.6347
    $ 5 NZ$ 8.1735
    $ 10 NZ$ 16.35
    $ 20 NZ$ 32.69
    $ 50 NZ$ 81.74
    $ 100 NZ$ 163.47
    $ 250 NZ$ 408.68
    $ 500 NZ$ 817.35
    $ 1,000 NZ$ 1,635
    $ 2,000 NZ$ 3,269
    $ 5,000 NZ$ 8,174
    $ 10,000 NZ$ 16,347
    $ 20,000 NZ$ 32,694
    $ 50,000 NZ$ 81,735
    $ 100,000 NZ$ 163,470
    $ 0.6117 NZ$ 1
    $ 3.0585 NZ$ 5
    $ 6.1170 NZ$ 10
    $ 12.23 NZ$ 20
    $ 30.59 NZ$ 50
    $ 61.17 NZ$ 100
    $ 152.93 NZ$ 250
    $ 305.85 NZ$ 500
    $ 611.70 NZ$ 1,000
    $ 1,223 NZ$ 2,000
    $ 3,059 NZ$ 5,000
    $ 6,117 NZ$ 10,000
    $ 12,234 NZ$ 20,000
    $ 30,585 NZ$ 50,000
    $ 61,170 NZ$ 100,000

    More amounts

    *Converted at the current USDNZD interbank exchange rate. Calculate actual payout amounts for Send Money and Travel Money exchange rates.

    Send Money to the Cook Islands - Best Rates

    To get a good (and fair) exchange rate when sending money to the Cook Islands you need to find and compare exchange rates for International Money Transfers (IMTs).

    The available FX rates for sending money abroad can be very different to the mid-market (wholesale) rate which you see reported online and in the News.

    You should especially compare your own bank's exchange rates to those available from Money Transfer specialists to see how much you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.

    Get a better deal for foreign transfers to the Cook Islands

    When sending money to the Cook Islands 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 4 simple steps :

    1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
    2. You specify the local or New Zealand dollar amount you want to transfer
    3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
    4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted NZD amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in the Cook Islands.

    Use the above calculator to compare the exchange 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 and less margins and fees kept by the banks!


    Expat Money & Business Guide to the Cook Islands

    Managing your money effectively while living and working abroad can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that your finances are in order.

    By following these tips and managing your money effectively, you can reduce financial stress and enjoy your experience living or doing business in the Cook Islands.

    For expats, the Cook Islands offer a relaxed lifestyle and a strong sense of community. The population is relatively small and the economy is based on tourism and agriculture. The cost of living can be relatively low, but it can also be affected by a lack of good housing options in some areas, and the cost of imported goods. The official language is English and the local currency is the New Zealand dollar.

    It's worth noting that the Cook Islands is a small community, with a population of around 17,000 people, so it may take some time for expats to adjust and build a social network. It's also not a developed country and the healthcare system and infrastructure are not on par with those of developed countries, so expats should be prepared for some differences in the level of services and facilities.

    Managing your finances in the Cook Islands

    Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in the Cook Islands:

    1. Understand New Zealand dollar currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the NZD exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.

    2. Use a local New Zealand dollar bank account: A local NZD bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in the Cook Islands. It may also be more convenient to use a local NZD bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.

    3. Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in the Cook Islands. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.

    4. Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in the Cook Islands. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.

    5. Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in the Cook Islands, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.


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