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LawDog61

local currency in AU and NZ

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Flying into Sydney from the US for Sydney to LA cruise.  Is the best bet for local currency to hit the ATM?  Are there lots of them around?  Wondering how much cash needed  (as opposed to using a credit card) to do the usual tourist things.   Would appreciate your experience.  Thanks.

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Tons of ATMs. You need a PIN.

 

MOST places take card, hard to say how much you’ll need, how long are you here  what are you likely to spend on, grab a hundred or two first up then play it by ear, near the end of your stay use and leftover rather than your card.

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I also use left over local currency for any additional tips.

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1 hour ago, LawDog61 said:

Is the best bet for local currency to hit the ATM?  Are there lots of them around?

 

1 hour ago, GUT2407 said:

Tons of ATMs. You need a PIN.

 

Starting with the arrivals concourse at the airport, as you exit from customs.

 

You'll find that the contactless revolution is well under way in AU and NZ. There's no difficulty in increasing numbers of places in using a contactless credit or debit card even for the smallest transactions. This may well limit the amount of cash you need. I recently spent three weeks in Australia and didn't get through AUD 100 in cash.

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21 hours ago, LawDog61 said:

Flying into Sydney from the US for Sydney to LA cruise.  Is the best bet for local currency to hit the ATM?  Are there lots of them around?  Wondering how much cash needed  (as opposed to using a credit card) to do the usual tourist things.   Would appreciate your experience.  Thanks.

Check with your bank and see which international machines you can use without paying an extra fee.  When we visit NZ and want to withdraw cash our bank card doesn't charge an extra fee if we use certain machines but does charge for others.  We also have a no foreign transaction fee credit card for paying in restaurants and for larger purchases.  Enjoy your cruise!!

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As mentioned the machines are readily available.


We were in  both countries  very recently and used the  ATM machines.

 

Keith

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And make sure that you are using an actual BANK'S ATM and not a machine from some other company. The latter are usually found in convenience stores such as 7Elevens.

Usually they charge a night fee!

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Posted (edited)

We were charged $3 AUD for an ATM transaction at Commonwealth Bank.   

 

We just returned from a month in Australia.   As in Canada, cash is becoming a thing of the past.  Chip cards.....either tap or PIN depending on the amount.

 

We withdrew $500 AUD.  Four weeks later we still had $200.  Used most of it on the last few days to get rid of it.

Edited by iancal

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Very rarely use cash. All ‘tap & go’ or paying with phone. Most places accept cards and phone payments for even tiny purchases. 

Enjoy your trip! 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/1/2019 at 12:59 PM, Barwick Cruiser said:

Check with your bank and see which international machines you can use without paying an extra fee.  When we visit NZ and want to withdraw cash our bank card doesn't charge an extra fee if we use certain machines but does charge for others.  We also have a no foreign transaction fee credit card for paying in restaurants and for larger purchases.  Enjoy your cruise!!

We're with Scotiabank and Westpac is the Global ATM Alliance bank in AUS & NZ. No fees for debits at their ATM (we're also seniors).  What credit card available in Canada provides 'no foreign transaction fee'?

Edited by Adventures ahead

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2 hours ago, Adventures ahead said:

We're with Scotiabank and Westpac is the Global ATM Alliance bank in AUS & NZ. No fees for debits at their ATM (we're also seniors).  What credit card available in Canada provides 'no foreign transaction fee'?

Yes, we use Westpac in NZ, never a problem with them and seems to be the best rates.  As far as credit cards go, there are very few but we got a Home Trust Visa which has no Foreign Tx fee and is accepted everywhere we've tried so far!  

Cathy

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We use the no fee Home Trust Preferred Visa card in Canada.   

 

NO fx fee, one percent rebate on purchases, rental car coverage, and auto club.

 

We saved about $300 in charges on our last trip (Thailand, Australia, USA) simply by using this card instead of our bank cards.

 

 

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21 hours ago, Barwick Cruiser said:

Yes, we use Westpac in NZ, never a problem with them and seems to be the best rates.  As far as credit cards go, there are very few but we got a Home Trust Visa which has no Foreign Tx fee and is accepted everywhere we've tried so far!  

Cathy

 

Thanks, I checked out a no international transaction fee credit card at my bank yesterday. We have a great cash back card that works better for us, all things considered.  

 

At least we have zero fees on cash withdrawals at an ATM using our debit card. The exchange rate at the ATM (in the country we're in) is less than what we'd pay if we purchased currency in advance before leaving home. Because we're not charged an ATM international withdrawal fee, we make off like bandits in that regard, lol.

 

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3 hours ago, Adventures ahead said:

 

Thanks, I checked out a no international transaction fee credit card at my bank yesterday. We have a great cash back card that works better for us, all things considered.  

 

At least we have zero fees on cash withdrawals at an ATM using our debit card. The exchange rate at the ATM (in the country we're in) is less than what we'd pay if we purchased currency in advance before leaving home. Because we're not charged an ATM international withdrawal fee, we make off like bandits in that regard, lol.

 

Same here, I've long since stopped buying currency ahead of a trip now, just hit up a bank atm once we arrive and use my credit card for the major purchases.  We don't try to use up our local cash on holiday either..save it for future trips so we have some small stuff for airport snacks and tips on arrival.    Helps that we have family in NZ so we visit as often as we can.  

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On ‎4‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 5:24 AM, Adventures ahead said:

We're with Scotiabank and Westpac is the Global ATM Alliance bank in AUS & NZ. No fees for debits at their ATM (we're also seniors).  What credit card available in Canada provides 'no foreign transaction fee'?

https://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/personal/credit-cards/visa/passport-infinite-card.html

 

New card from Scotia. 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Cruise Junky said:

Thanks, I found it after I posted : )

We get a significant amount of cash back on the card we have now, 4% on groceries and gas alone and 2% on other purchases. Not sure if it would be worth it to switch and be restricted to using points for travel only, and I don't want an extra card with an annual fee of $139. Will think about it some more. 

Edited by Adventures ahead

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33 minutes ago, Adventures ahead said:

Thanks, I found it after I posted : )

We get a significant amount of cash back on the card we have now, 4% on groceries and gas alone and 2% on other purchases. Not sure if it would be worth it to switch and be restricted to using points for travel only, and I don't want an extra card with an annual fee of $139. Will think about it some more. 

Adding... at home, I haven't experienced vendors that openly pass along credit card transaction fees to the customer, probably 'buried' in the price. On a couple of Australian tour websites I visited (don't recall which ones), I noticed that the company charges an extra percentage if you use your credit card. 

 

We haven't used our Debit card with vendors for expenses in other countries... just used it to get cash at ATMs when we wanted to pay cash.  In Europe, most private tours wanted Euros on the day of the tour. Many of the private tours for AU and NZ appear to be expensive so the credit card charges could add up quickly!  But think of the experiences we'll have! : )

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1 hour ago, Adventures ahead said:

Thanks, I found it after I posted : )

We get a significant amount of cash back on the card we have now, 4% on groceries and gas alone and 2% on other purchases. Not sure if it would be worth it to switch and be restricted to using points for travel only, and I don't want an extra card with an annual fee of $139. Will think about it some more. 

The Home Trust visa has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.  We only use this card for travel.  We do have a Tangerine debit card that we use for ATM withdrawals abroad and don't pay extra fees unless we use a random machine.  We also have a credit card that we use at home that gets us the cash back on groceries, gas etc.  Wish there was one card that did it all but so far I'm just dreaming lol!

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3 hours ago, Adventures ahead said:

Adding... at home, I haven't experienced vendors that openly pass along credit card transaction fees to the customer, probably 'buried' in the price. On a couple of Australian tour websites I visited (don't recall which ones), I noticed that the company charges an extra percentage if you use your credit card. 

 

Some countries allow this and some don't. Australia does, and the practice is pretty widespread.

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On 2/28/2019 at 2:23 PM, Globaliser said:

 

 

Starting with the arrivals concourse at the airport, as you exit from customs.

 

You'll find that the contactless revolution is well under way in AU and NZ. There's no difficulty in increasing numbers of places in using a contactless credit or debit card even for the smallest transactions. This may well limit the amount of cash you need. I recently spent three weeks in Australia and didn't get through AUD 100 in cash.

What is a "contactless credit card"?   In Canada we use a pin, insert or can do a "swipe" - is that "contactless"?

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1 hour ago, squadron said:

What is a "contactless credit card"?   In Canada we use a pin, insert or can do a "swipe" - is that "contactless"?

No contactless is different, but yours will work fine.

 

contactless is a system where you just need to put your card on, or in VERY close  proximity to the EFTPOS machine

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10 hours ago, GUT2407 said:

No contactless is different, but yours will work fine.

 

contactless is a system where you just need to put your card on, or in VERY close  proximity to the EFTPOS machine

We do have that in Canada, our credit cards have a "tap" feature which is what you're describing.  Most cards do have a $ limit to use the tap feature tho.  Usually $100 or so.

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On 6/15/2019 at 10:32 PM, Barwick Cruiser said:

We do have that in Canada, our credit cards have a "tap" feature which is what you're describing.  Most cards do have a $ limit to use the tap feature tho.  Usually $100 or so.

In Australia the limit is $100 too. Over that you can still tap but you have to enter a pin as well.

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