Where can I get a bank account in New Zealand? – Backpacking Tips

Your free bank account in New Zealand

Today, it's about something that concerns you and your work and holiday in New Zealand, the bank account. The bank account, you need urgently, if you want to work in New Zealand, without a bank account you can’t apply for a tax number (IRD number).
At the beginning of your trip, you should open a bank account to get your money, earned in New Zealand, paid out as well.
Now each bank has similar documents here that they want to have the opening. There are also three large banks in New Zealand that provide a free account. These three banks are, in alphabetical order, the ANZ, the Kiwibank and the Westpac.

Bank recommendations

Reliable banks have been proven by the following 3 banks, ANZ, Westpac and Kiwibank. All three offer a free basic account with free online banking. More details later in the article.


free bank account for backpacker

These banks offer free bank account in New Zealand



The ANZ currently offers two free account models. For students and people up to 21 years there is the so-called Jumpstart Account. Here you have no account maintenance fees; you can get a debit credit card on request for free. This you only need if you do not already have a German credit card with no fees.
The second variant is suitable for anyone who is already 21 or older. The variant with free bank account and online banking is called Go Account. Here you also have a checking account free of charge and can also request a debit credit card, but here the credit card costs 10NZD per year.
The offer of free accounts at ANZ can change at any time. The overview of all ANZ accounts can be conveniently found on the website of ANZ New Zealand.



The Kiwibank currently offers a free account model. The so-called Free Up account offers a free account and easy online banking. A credit card can be booked on request. The debit credit card fee of 10NZD per year will be waived in the first year. But it is important to terminate this at the end of the year, otherwise unnecessary charges apply.
Please also note that for prolonged non-use of 12 months and a balance of 200 NZD or less, a penalty of NZ $ 30 per annum will apply.
The free accounts offered by Kiwibank are subject to change at any time. The overview of all Kiwibank accounts can be conveniently found on the website of Kiwibank New Zealand.

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Westpac Bank also currently offers a free account model. The so-called Westpac Everyday Account offers a free account and online banking. A debit credit card can also be booked on request. The credit card costs NZD 10 per year, and these fees are also charged in the first year. Remember to cancel the credit card when you no longer need it, otherwise you will continue to pay unnecessary fees.
The free accounts offered by Westpac Bank are subject to change at any time. The overview of all Westpac accounts can easily be found on the website of Westpac New Zealand.


New Zealand EC Card (EFTPOS)

In New Zealand, you can pay for your goods almost everywhere by card, even at weekly markets; it is not uncommon to pay by debit or credit card. The New Zealand debit card is called EFTPOS. This EFTPOS card is available free of charge with every bank account.


New Zealand Credit Card

You can also get a credit card with your account, but it usually costs you money after a few months. If you already have a German credit card, you can take the New Zealand EFTPOS (comparable to the German EC card), so you do not need a New Zealand credit card. If you take a New Zealand credit card, remember to cancel it on your departure. Otherwise, unnecessary fees will apply. Most of the credit cards are debit credit cards, so you can't make any debt by using them. Everything else is like a normal credit card.


Required documents for a bank account

  1. Passport or International Driving License with photo
    2. Valid issued visa entitling to work
    3. Proof of address (mostly from the hostel or the place where you live at the beginning)
    4. German tax identification number (since 1.7.2017) and if you have previously worked in other countries also proof of tax numbers from these countries. The number should ideally be on an official letter, either the last tax stamp or the letter telling you the personal identification number! (This is the official letter from Germany)
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Make an appointment

With these documents you can open an account at the bank of your choice; if you want you can even make an appointment (Appointment) from Germany, to save you the waiting time on the spot.
At least here in Auckland, in the centre you always had to wait at least a week. As a trick I can recommend you, ask for a fil Maybe it's a bit outside the centre, but you can still walk there. Mostly it is a bit faster with applying for and opening an account. If you want to leave Auckland very quickly and do not work directly, then opening an account in another city is also worthwhile. Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, is very much used by backpackers as a starting point and is therefore always well utilized.


Activation of the bank account

To activate the bank account, normally a deposit of 500 NZD is required. Ideally, you should already have this amount with you, and then the bank consultant can also copy all the documents you need directly to apply for the IRD (New Zealand Tax Number). Just ask, is usually no problem. Preparation for the IRD application if you ask nicely you get the documents usually copy directly free of charge if they copy the documents for the bank account. What documents you need for the IRD you can easily find here in the blog.


Questions, comments or ideas

Do you have questions or do you need more information to make the preparation easier? Then we look forward to your comment here under the article.


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