How do I get my european money for cheap to New Zealand – Backpacking Tips

How to transfer your money cheaply to the other side of the world

There are many ways to transfer your money around the world, but there are significant differences in price and time. Here we show you the two most favourite ways for us with which we get good results since years.


Use your travel savings

You saved money in Germany and would like to spend it on your Work & Holiday trip in New Zealand?

Now there are two expensive problems that you usually do not have to think about in your home country. International bank transfer cost expensive fees and is only possible if you have a New Zealand account, but you can avoid these expensive fees in two ways if you prepare a little before your trip.


Free credit cards

A free credit card is a handy way to get your money anytime. Important for a trip abroad is, that the credit card charges no fees for the conversion or withdrawal at the ATM worldwide. Then you can simply withdraw money at any time with appropriate credit on the card or pay conveniently with your credit card.


Important with a credit card

So with the credit card for a trip, the following is important to me:

  • no basic fee/annual fee
  • no withdrawal costs at ATMs (except vending machine agreed)
  • Worldwide use without restrictions or costs

These are the three points that are important to me, I can withdraw money anywhere and having a little cash is no problem. I am already satisfied with that. Bonus points or other bonus systems I find currently uninteresting. The cards with nice bonus systems always finance themselves over any fees for less users and this in turn definitely applies to me.

On my Work & Travel trip through New Zealand, I used the credit card and the free bank account of the DKB. There you get an account and credit card for free. Taking off worldwide costs no bank fees if you are an active customer. Meanwhile, I also use the free credit card of Revolut. So I have a Visa and a Master Card and can therefore always use an alternative card even in case of problems.


View on a supermarket shelf

Photo by Damla Özkan on Unsplash


How does it work with the credit card in New Zealand and what do I have to do before my trip

You apply for one or more free credit cards before your trip. Ideally, so 2-3 months before your trip so you do not have unnecessary stress. After you get your cards, you should set up everything you need for online banking, and sometimes pay with the card and deposit money so that you get a feel for it. Once you have done all this, you're ready for your journey. Personally, I NEVER exchange money before traveling. I usually pick up a small sum at the first ATM at the airport. That's enough and New Zealand is credit card-friendly in many ways. In many shops you can pay by credit card for free, smaller shops sometimes charge a credit card fee, but then you can easily pay with cash.

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More about credit cards and which current credit cards are available free of charge, you will find here in the following article about credit cards.


Alternative cheap international money transfers

Each bank is able to carry out an international transfer, but usually the fees are very high. Some fees are disclosed openly, some are hidden, for example, in the exchange rate. But there are service providers who have understood the problem and offer a cheaper alternative. Two of these service providers make sense for the route from Europe to New Zealand, and one of them I have used myself several times a year for several years. What services we like can you find here:


Wise, former TransferWise

The service we use for years now is Wise, former TransferWise. Wise offers cheap exchange rates from Europe to New Zealand and back and low fees of approximately 0.7%. For comparison, some non-free credit cards take between 1-2% fees. Sounds a little at first, but pays off if you spend more money over the year.

Registration with Wise is free and possible at any time. If you use our Wise, former TransferWise link here*, you support our work here on the blog and on Facebook. Fees are only incurred on a bank transfer and are clearly displayed before the transaction, no hidden costs. No registration fee.


An example for use

Let's take the example of wanting to transfer your German money to New Zealand.


How does Wise work?

Wise* has an account in Germany and one in New Zealand. You transfer an amount in Euro from your European bank account to the European bank account of Wise*. After receiving the money, Wise, former TransferWise,* looks for the current exchange rate, and will pay you from their New Zealand Wise* bank account the corresponding equivalent (after deducting a small fee of approximately 0.7% that is already shown to you before the transfer) in New Zealand dollars to your New Zealand account.

The only requirements for the use of Wise, former TransferWise, are therefore a European and a New Zealand account.

To try it, you are welcome to use the following link to register with Wise*. The fees from Germany to New Zealand for example are about 0.7% and are therefore at least 50% lower than if you have a normal credit card with fees. Most banks charge even more for international payments. In addition, Wise will show you the exact fees BEFORE transferring. So you can decide if it's worth it.

Wise, former TransferWise, is the service we use ourselves since years and which we can recommend above all for New Zealand. German banks take for international transfers, in my experience, fees in the order of 10-20€ for an international transfer and then they earn again on the exchange rate in addition on top. Money that we think, you can spend better on your journey through New Zealand.

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Questions about Wise

If you have questions about Wise, former TransferWise, we are happy that you leave a comment below. The easiest way is probably if you just try it out and register for free.

For easier understanding, we also have a short video on YouTube that shows the process once*.


The alternative Currencyfair

The basic principle is the same as Wise, but there are not that many bank accounts spread around the world. As a result, you must be careful that there is an account in the country you want to transfer to, so that you do not have to do an international bank transfer and have the high fees again.

Currencyfair* is especially interesting if you transfer between countries where Currencyfair* has an account. Check this beforehand in the FAQ as the countries change again and again.

Also with Currencyfair there is the possibility to register and to test. However, you have to transfer at least 2000 € for a credit (currently 30 € welcome bonus) and a complete free transfer. You can use the following link to sign up -> Currencyfair*

If you have any questions about Currencyfair, feel free to leave a comment under this article as well.

Currencyfair is worth it if you want to transfer a large sum at the beginning (at least 2000€ or more in one transaction) to New Zealand. For the way back from New Zealand to Europe, Currencyfair is not worth it, as Currencyfair has no New Zealand bank account. In that case, the expensive international fees would be incurred and therefore we do not recommend Currencyfair for the way back from New Zealand to Europe.


Our favourite for New Zealand

This is currently Wise or the free credit card. Wise* is totally transparent with fees and has brilliant exchange rates. A nice feature we also find is the exchange rate alert. If you are not in a hurry, you can just wait until the exchange rate is right for you and then transfer the money in a relaxed way. Register now for free with Wise*.


Questions or suggestions

Have fun trying it out and if you have any questions, we look forward to hearing from you here. Did you find another cheap service? Leave a comment below this article and we'll be happy to answer your question.



* Affiliate links to Wise, Currencyfair and the credit cards. I get a small commission for the mediation, nothing changes for you. You support our blog and help us to continue the offer here.


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