When you have to send money to New Zealand from the United States, there are smart methods to use that will save you from unnecessarily high bank charges and levies.
There are different exchange rates, fees and charges when you need to transfer money in or out of New Zealand. When deciding the method of transfer, you need to consider the reason for transfer and the amount involved.
Going through the methods of payment can be tiring and cumbersome. Therefore, we have made some picks based on different scenarios. For a quick comparison table of exchange rates and fees, click here.
The Best Ways to Transfer New Zealand Dollars
Moving to or from USA
If you’re moving out of the country, you may have to move your money when you’ve settled down. It is important that you search for a trustworthy bank or money transfer company with branches in the USA and New Zealand. If the amount involved is higher than $10,000, go for the option that offers the best exchange rate with no hidden charges.
Our Verdict: OFX for their track record, particularly with people moving to USA. They have exceptional exchange rates for New Zealand Dollars (NZD), making them a cheaper alternative to using a bank.
To find out more about OFX, click here
Honorable mention: HiFX. They are one of the world’s largest money transfer companies and are based in New Zealand but also have offices across USA.
Sending Money Home
Transferring money doesn’t have to be a herculean task. Equipped with the right information and a professional currency conversion guru, you can maximize benefits and reduce possible risks. Search for a bank or company with a working online payment platform and excellent customer support services in case you need help.
Our Verdict: With the right foreign exchange specialist, such as TorFX it is possible to achieve a spread of 1% – and even lower, reduce or remove fees, create a strategy for purchasing currency and also access hedging tools.
To know more about TorFX, click here.
Honorable mention: Western Union for the ease and convenience of their cash pick up service and the substantial network of agents.
Buying a Property
Transferring money realized from selling a property, or to purchase a property can be dreadful. There are many factors to consider, including the receiving account, settlement date, and ensuring that risks are minimized.
Our Verdict: OFX for their useful online guides to buying or selling a property overseas. It’s backed up well by a customer service team that are familiar with transfers for international property transactions.
Honorable mention: World First is an ideal choice for these transactions because each customer has an account manager who can guide them through each step. They are fully licensed and regulated in USA and also have successfully built a global network to gain confidence.
To find out more about World First, click here
Business FX between USA and New Zealand
If your business deals with moving money between USA and New Zealand, two factors contribute to getting the best alternatives:
- The exchange rate margin: This is the difference between the conventional or wholesale exchange rate found on xe.com and the rate they offer.
- Additional business services they render like foreign currency accounts, limit orders, and exchange contracts.
Our Verdict: Using HIFX is a great alternative for receiving money into your US dollar bank account. Their exchange rates and $0 fee structure will allow you to maximize your overseas receipts. They also offer Foreign Currency Accounts which allow you to keep the funds in foreign currency and convert them when you feel the time is right.
If you’re moving out of the country, you may have to move your money when you’ve settled down. It is important that you search for a trustworthy bank or money transfer company with branches in USA and New Zealand. If the amount involved is higher than $10,000, go for the option that offers the best exchange rate with no hidden charges.
Our Verdict: HIFX. They are one of the world’s largest money transfer companies and are based in New Zealand but also have offices across USA. They have exceptional exchange rates for New Zealand Dollars (NZD), making them a cheaper alternative to using a bank.
To find out more about HiFX, click here
What You Should Know Before Sending Money to New Zealand
The Costs of Sending Money to or from New Zealand
Calculating the cost of your transfer can be tricky. Depending on how you send the money, the fees, charges and margins aren’t always obvious. Here are the most common charges to transfer money from one bank account to another:
- A Transfer Fee – Also known as a TT, Telegraphic Transfer, Wire or Remittance fee
- Exchange Rate Margin – this is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on xe.com and the rate you get
- Correspondent Bank Fees – The fee your banks bank will take out for getting the money to the right account. It’s deducted from the amount that finally arrives in the account and is almost impossible to estimate or reverse
- Receiving Bank Fee- If you are paying foreign currency into an account, the receiving bank will charge you for it. For instance, if you send New Zealand dollars to your US bank account, your US bank will charge you to convert it.
Exchange Rates Matter
Although the levies and charges are significant, it is the exchange rate that carries more weight in terms of transfer cost. This is true for amounts above $2000. For lower amounts, it is the transfer charges that carry the highest cost.
While the various fees and charges are important, it’s the exchange rate that will be the biggest cost. This is for most payments above $2000. For smaller payments, it is the fees that add up to be the biggest cost.
When you should use …..
Banks both in USA and New Zealand have higher charges and uncompetitive exchange rates but this doesn’t make them entirely useless. Using banks can be a great alternative if you are skeptical about using PayPal or other money transfer companies. It is also faster if you are transferring from a bank account to another.
This is a great option for anyone sending less than $1000 between USA and New Zealand. The exchange rates you’ll get are similar to a bank but the fees are considerably cheaper. It is particularly convenient when the recipient has a PayPal account.
A Money Transfer Company
As a general rule, money transfer companies like OFX and HiFX are the cheapest options when you are sending between $1000 and $1,000,000 at a time. This is because they offer better exchange rates and lower (and sometimes no) fees. The downside to using a transfer company outside of a bank is that you’ll have to set up an account with them first. This can take between 10 minutes to 2 days depending on how much information they need from you. Also, the transfer itself will usually take 1 day longer than using a bank.
How to transfer money without using a bank
Sending money using a money transfer company is similar to using a bank but there are some important differences. Here are the main steps to do it online
Setting things up (only has to be done once)
- Log on to their website and register your details. An ID may be required.
- Once your account has been approved, you’ll get a login and password
- Enter the banking details of where you are sending the money. They are usually called the “Beneficiary” or “Recipient” details.
- Get a quote for the amount you want to send
- Confirm the details including the rate and the amount in US dollars
- You’ll get a deal confirmation. Finally you’ll need to pay them the US dollars before the money is sent to New Zealand
Information you’ll need before you make your transfer
To send money overseas, you’ll need the following information of the bank account you are sending the money too. These are commonly known as Beneficiary or Recipient Details.
- The Account Name of your Recipient (person/business you are paying)
- Their BSB and Account Number
- The SWIFT Code of their bank
If you aren’t sure, here are some useful online tools:
Search My Bank can help you find the right BSB and bank address.
Here is a list of SWIFT codes for the biggest banks in New Zealand:
ANZ and NBNZ: ANZBNZ22
ASB : ASBBNZ2A
Bank of New Zealand: BKNZNZ22
HSBC New Zealand : HSBCNZ2A
Westpac New Zealand : WPACNZ2W
How long does it take to send money to New Zealand?
PayPal and Western Union (cash pick-up) are the fastest options. The transfer can be done in minutes. If you are sending the money to a bank account, it will take 1-2 days if you are using a bank or 2-3 days if you are using a money transfer company. Transfers done using the same bank is usually a day faster. Alternatively, you can click here to find out more on how long it takes to send money overseas.
Is there a minimum transfer amount?
Although Banks and PayPal don’t have minimum transfer amounts, most money transfer companies do. If the amount you’re sending is lower than $500 and you plan using a money transfer company, ensure you check for their minimum transfer requirements.