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  Reply # 1929284 4-Jan-2018 18:20
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Qantas Cash or a OneSmart / Travelex (they're the same product but Air NZ use the white label product which is an inferior offering) don't quite work the way you think. You take an instant hit when you load the money to the foreign currency, which in the case of the OneSmart card is worse than the 2.5% you'll get stung just using a credit card. The rates on the Travelex card are better than the OneSmart because Air NZ take their commission from the product and use it to fund the Airpoint earn.

 

I haven't paid a cent to buy cash from ANZ for years as they give it for free to Platinum card holders and also have pretty good rates. I'd assume most banks give their higher value customers fee free forex.

 

My strategy for my last ~15 years or travel has simply been to take some cash with me and use my NZ credit card for purchases. I have however loaded cash onto travel cards so I can get cash from an ATM at times, but overal I find the time and hassle of doing all of this simply isn't work it. I'm more than happy to pay ~ 0.5% more just for the convenience of using my NZ credit card.

 

There is also a comment above about buying things in NZ$ on websites and the exchange rate being very good. I've come across a number of such examples lately, and one major one was United Airlines. Buying at their advertised NZ$ price was pretty much a direct conversion at the midmarket rate. If I opted to buy in US$ I'd then have to pay the extra credit card conversion fees. Some sites seem to be pretty competitive these days, others like PayPay are still pretty uncompetitive.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1929407 4-Jan-2018 19:35
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sbiddle:

 

Qantas Cash or a OneSmart / Travelex (they're the same product but Air NZ use the white label product which is an inferior offering) don't quite work the way you think. You take an instant hit when you load the money to the foreign currency, which in the case of the OneSmart card is worse than the 2.5% you'll get stung just using a credit card. The rates on the Travelex card are better than the OneSmart because Air NZ take their commission from the product and use it to fund the Airpoint earn.

 

 

Yep both the Qantas/AirNZ OneSmart are Travelex products. Says so on the cards even (in fine print though!).

 

My understanding is firstly that there is no currency conversion fees for loading foreign currency the Qantas/OneSmart nor converting existing money. And secondly the currency conversion fee is only charged when both the following applies: (1) you make a purchase and/or make a cash advance and (2) there is not enough money available in the currency of the purchase or cash advance. I presume in that case the conversion is done by MasterCard (compared to the case where pre-loaded money is used then there is no conversion) at the time of the purchase/advance. Are you saying my understanding is incorrect? As this would contradict the info provided on their websites.

 

This's got me curious though so might experiment with some of the recurring subscriptions I have in USD to see what the differences is between the Qantas card and my usual BNZ Visa. A cheap way to figure out how it works excatly!

 

Haven't really looked too closely at the Travelex cards as the fees on these are pretty expensive for a product I'm not likely to use very often.


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  Reply # 1929555 5-Jan-2018 04:57
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KiwiSurfer:

 

Yep both the Qantas/AirNZ OneSmart are Travelex products. Says so on the cards even (in fine print though!).

 

My understanding is firstly that there is no currency conversion fees for loading foreign currency the Qantas/OneSmart nor converting existing money. And secondly the currency conversion fee is only charged when both the following applies: (1) you make a purchase and/or make a cash advance and (2) there is not enough money available in the currency of the purchase or cash advance. I presume in that case the conversion is done by MasterCard (compared to the case where pre-loaded money is used then there is no conversion) at the time of the purchase/advance. Are you saying my understanding is incorrect? As this would contradict the info provided on their websites.

 

This's got me curious though so might experiment with some of the recurring subscriptions I have in USD to see what the differences is between the Qantas card and my usual BNZ Visa. A cheap way to figure out how it works excatly!

 

Haven't really looked too closely at the Travelex cards as the fees on these are pretty expensive for a product I'm not likely to use very often.

 

 

I actually don't understand how you think the card works.

 

These travel cards allow you to buy foreign currency and have this stored on the card. The currency conversion fees occur at the time of loading - so for exmple now if you look at the OneSmart page you'll see NZ$1 right now buys AU$.8733 which compares to the mid market rate at present of .9094 and the current ANZ rate right now of .8936 for cash. There are no significant benefits in using a OneSmart for purchases vs using a regular credit card.

 

If you're buying currency and can benefit from drops in the currency (ie purchasing US$ when it was high) and then travel later on when it's dropped you can reap the benefits of locking in the currency.

 

I'm also unsure why you think the fees on the Travelex card are high. If you want a travel card (and it's worth pointing out I'm not a fan of Travelex) then you're far better off using a Travelex branded card rather than their white label offerings from Qantas and Air NZ because you'll pay lower fees. Travelex rates for topups are better as they're not paying commission to the reseller to fund their FF program earn, and they also don't have the ATM and monthy charges associated with these cards.

 

 


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  Reply # 1930986 5-Jan-2018 19:01
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I have a six week work trip coming up to the USA/Canada, followed by personal travel through both. In this instance I'll transfer the cash from my NZ accounts to my Oz account with Citibank (and if need be, then to my 28D' MasterCard) via XE just to save on continuous currency conversion fees over the course of ten weeks. Bit of a PITA, but easily doable.

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  Reply # 1935625 10-Jan-2018 14:53
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Torque: I still have my 28 Degrees Mastercard from Oz (was run by GE, as per previous poster it's now Latitude) as well as Citibank accounts which have no currency conversion fees and seem to run off the interbank rate (or very near to!) which is a damn site better than the standard banking arrangements.

 

Citibank AU uses the MasterCard rate, which you can see on MasterCard's site. That's assuming you've been swapped out for a MasterCard debit, otherwise for the old Visa Debit the Visa rates still apply.

 

Curiously, Citibank N.A. (US) still charges 3% on foreign transactions. But they have Apple Pay and some other niceties which Citi Australia doesn't have.

 

Macquarie Bank now offers an account with no fees, a MasterCard debit card that charges no foreign currency fees, and Apple Pay. 


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