Currency in Australia and New Zealand

Jul 14th, 2014, 10:08 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,058
To quote from the website Patty has given:

"Australia's 800,000 merchant payment terminals will no longer accept signatures as a way of authorising cards from August 1, 2014. The move will start at the big retailers and the full transition is expected to take a couple of weeks to come into effect nationwide".

I wouldn't count on our local shop staff being able to distinguish between an American and Australian card; we have come across this type of problem in other parts of the world, and the staff just flatly refuse to process the transaction if you can't comply with the local preferences.

You might find all works OK for you . . . I'd have thought it better to be prepared, though.
di2315 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2014, 03:42 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,939
di, what you call Swipe & Go, is that what you understand as PayPass (MasterCard) or Paywave (VISA)? If so, I use both regularly, but it's for small purchases, i.e. under $50 (or less...?). Works well, but I often wonder what happens when someone else finds your card and starts buying themselves gifts with it. You just hold the card in front of the card reader (or whatever that apparatus is called) and it reads the chip and you can go. Never had to swipe for this, though....


Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Jul 15th, 2014, 03:45 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,058
Yes, lavandula - works in exactly the same way, and I have the same misgivings as you! Di
di2315 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2014, 05:05 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 817
Re Pay Wave: I read somewhere that there is a possibility that your card can be 'read' from a distance, e.g. when you pass by a terminal with the card in your purse or pocket. No reports of this actually happening, just stating that this was technically possible. As a result I thought of cancelling that feature on my card, but I find it so convenient I've stuck with it. I do keep a very close check on my accounts online, so if anything was amiss I would be able to notify the bank promptly. I'm not sure if the bank is responsible for unauthorized use like it is with Visa--I should check.
eliztravels2 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2014, 09:49 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 81
If you are concerned you could get a RFID blocking wallet or bag. PAC safe have some good options
osteorach is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 10:44 AM
  #26  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
Thank you for all of your helpful tips and suggestions.
It looks like the Cash Passport card can only be used in Aust, not in NZ. So I need to explore this more to determine if its worth it just for Aust vs. using local cash and credit card. I always call my credit card company before going overseas.

Libretto2-When I was in SE Asia last year, they accepted American dollars wherever we went. They were used mostly for tips and small purchases. My friend had gotten more Bat than she needed for Thailand that I had to help her spend it down. I was planning on going to ATM's and using my credit card. She did not want to be bothered with looking for ATM machines because she was afraid we would not find them or have to go out of our way. We found them wherever we went in the major cities. We did get a small amount of Vietnamesse money to pay for dinner at a local restaurant. We did this at the hotel because we were told the rate of exchange was lower than at the bank or ATM. That was the only time that we needed to get local currency. Otherwise, used my credit card or US dollars.

I am going to check with my bank to see what the charge is to get some Aud dollars. I can wait until NZ to get some there. I have been in touch with someone that just came back from three weeks in NZ. She told me that she used her credit card for all purchases and meals. She never used any NZ currency at all. She did not have any problems and was aware of the DCC. She told me how it worked. But I think we will probably get a small amount or try to estimate how much we will need for the time that we are there.
Thanks again for all of your help.
Cathy
CathyKramer is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 02:49 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,018
It's true quite often developing countries will accept American dollars, but it would be very rare in the first world. I often take US dollars for transit in South American airports for that reason, but usually you don't get a very good exchange rate. You wouldn't want to use it as your main currency for a whole trip.
Susan7 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 06:16 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12,074
Perhaps Cathy knows something we don't.

Perhaps we are the "banana republic" that former PM Keating predicted.

Perhaps we've just been labouring under the illusion of being an urbanised, technologically advanced, first world country roughly the size of the USA.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 07:16 PM
  #29  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
dottyp: I have a few questions about the cash passport.

1) Do you put the full amount of the currency that you want to take prior to the trip? Do you find that you still need to go to an ATM to get local cash?

2) How do you reload the card when you are in another country? Do you do this online and charge to your credit card? I understand this is not tied into your bank account but can money be transferred from your account to the card? Or are all charges made to your credit card?

3) It seems that if you order the card online, they give you a better rate than if you go to a Travelx store to get the card. Have you found this to be true?

4) They show online several countries that you can load onto the card. I would be able to do Aust and NZ.

I am wondering if I should get a Cash Passport-to load the amount of money that I think I would need for both countries. I could always reload or just get local from the ATM as needed if I use up the amount on the card. But the card could save me from having to carry large amounts of currency at a time. It seems like it would be safer to carry a cash (credit card)passport than a lot of cash.

For the last few comments: I do not know anything more than what had been my experience in SE Asia. I did not make a lot of purchases in Cambodia or Vietnam. When I did, I used my credit card. Most of our meals and the hotel was included int the tour. We did give tips to the drivers and their assistants. I did use American money for this. And they wanted the American dollar. It had more value than their local currency.I find Bokhara's comments inappropriate.We were in Bangkok for four days on our own. We paid for sightseeing tours with American Dollars because they gave us a 10% discount if we paid in cash vs using the credit card. We used Bat for most of our time in Thailand because my friend had purchased them before leaving the states. I had explained this previously.
Thank you,
Cathy
CathyKramer is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 07:40 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,999
It seems like the Cash Passport card comes with fees to purchase, reload, withdraw and forex fees http://www.multicurrencycashpassport...s/fees-limits/
Patty is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 08:32 PM
  #31  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
It seems from my research that they do not charge a service fee to sign up or reload the card if you do it online. There is a delivery charge to have it sent to your home vs picking it up at a Travelex shop. The shop for my area is at the airport. They give a better rate of exchange online than they do in the store. It seems you do the same thing with your credit card. I need more information how others use the cash passport vs. using a credit card with no foreign conversion charge.
CathyKramer is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 09:00 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12,074
Cathy, you had the best advice early on - use your debit cards at ATMs to withdraw AUD.

I travel a reasonable amount internationally and am
yet to find a pre-load card that was cheaper or less hassle. If your bank has an affiliation with one of the Australian banks, you may avoid the fee when using their ATMs & some of rhe foreign exchange fees. At most, I've found the fx fee to be about 3% which in the scheme of things is not a deal-breaker for me.

Generally speaking, the charge per withdrawal at non-affiliated ATMs is about $A 2-3 per withdrawal. There are an increasing number of these "multi card" ATMs but, while the $2-3 is a nuisance, it can be less so than traipsing around looking for an affiliated ATM. My solution is to draw a few days' cash each time.

Btw Thai currency is Baht.

Australia is not in south east Asia.

It is in Australasia, part of the Oceania region.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oceania
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia

Hope this helps
Bokhara2 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2014, 09:04 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 12,074
New Zealand is also in Australasia & Oceania.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2014, 06:07 AM
  #34  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
I may not have travel as much internationally as you have but I do know that SE Asia is not Australia. Every country or continent is different. I went on this forum to learn what is acceptable in Australia and New Zealand. I appreciate your advice but can do without the sarcastic comments.
Cathy
CathyKramer is offline  
Jul 21st, 2014, 10:44 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,800
I am wondering if I should get a Cash Passport-to load the amount of money that I think I would need for both countries. I could always reload or just get local from the ATM as needed if I use up the amount on the card. But the card could save me from having to carry large amounts of currency at a time. It seems like it would be safer to carry a cash (credit card)passport than a lot of cash.>>

Cathy - I do not know why you would want to use one of these pre-loaded cards rather than just use ATMs. I can tell you that we spent 5 weeks in Aus and NZ last year including being in some quite small places in NZ and we never ran out of money or failed to find a cash point when we needed one. it's just like being at home - if you need cash, you go to the cash-point.

Why pay money to someone to use your own cash?

BTW, apart from the disadvantages of the cards mentioned above, in the UK some of the companies offering these cards suddenly decided that if you had money left on them at the end of a trip and didn't use the card again within a few months, they would not give the money back at all or would only do so with a very hefty fee. This caused a big row and i think that they had to back-track. but they are not philanthropists.
annhig is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 08:41 AM
  #36  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
annhig-Thank you for sharing your experiences. I had talked to a banker at my bank. He had advised me to use the ATM and my credit card. I would not get a very good rate of exchange to take a small amount of local currency from the bank. As someone had already mentioned, he told me to take a large amount the first time to avoid several ATM fees. It is $5.00 every time I withdraw from the ATM.
I had already decided that I did not want to bother with the hassles of the CASH PASSPORT. There are several fees when using and not using them.
I will probably get some local cash in Cairns at the airport or in town.Our hotel is supposed to be centrally located within their business district where there are a lot of shops and restaurants. I am sure there must be a local bank in the area. I will keep enough funds in my checking account to cover all of my ATM transactions.
Cathy
CathyKramer is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 01:41 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,800
Cathy - that sounds like a good plan. it is a pain that you have to pay $5 every time you use the ATM so it would be worth finding out what the max you will be able to draw will be so that you minimise its effect. you could probably find out where the nearest bank will be by using google maps or even e-mailing your hotel in Cairns.

As I said, we had no problems finding ATMs but I can't help you with Cairns as we didn't stay there, just transited through the airport twice. Beware that Australia is expensive, and you might end up spending more than you are expecting. NZ was rather cheaper, which was a relief.

But the main thing is that both countries are lovely and you should have a wonderful time.

have a great trip!
annhig is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2014, 05:20 PM
  #38  
Hez
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 506
I think Cathy that it seemed like you made the assumption that Australia and New Zealand, like SE Asia, are third world economies. It's just a bit offensive to the locals, intended or not.

Here's a link to a search for ATM's in Cairns on Google Maps, hope it helps. http://goo.gl/maps/hp5zE

Have a great time!
Hez is offline  
Jul 24th, 2014, 04:17 PM
  #39  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
Hez: I have never implied that Australia and New Zealand were third world countries. I had asked about American dollars because there are places that accept them whereas others don't. Since people are traveling more internationally, there are some countries that prefer that you use their local currency and some that don't mind taking foreign currency and converting it. Isn't that what we are basically doing when we use a debit card at an ATM machine? The have to convert the currency on the card to the local currency to give us the right amount.

I am aware that Australia is very expensive for some of the excursions and restaurants that I may add in addition to the tour that I am on. But I budgeted for this trip. I have been wanting to do this for almost 30 years. It just gets more expensive each year that I wait. So figure its better to do now than later. I am getting older and have some health issues. I want to do this before my health gets worse.
CathyKramer is offline  
Jul 24th, 2014, 04:18 PM
  #40  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 24
And it used to be so much simpler to travel with traveler's checks. It's a shame that we can't use them because of fraud or counterfeiting.
Cathy
CathyKramer is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:46 AM.