Banks and Backpackers in New Zealand


As we’ve already explained in the blog how to open a bank account, one question remained unanswered: which bank is the best for backpackers and working holiday makers travelling in New Zealand?*

Because you will have to pay fees every time you use an ATM that isn’t your bank, the best choice is to focus on the top four biggest banks in New Zealand:

  • ANZ
  • ASB
  • BNZ
  • Westpac

But which one? Let’s have a look at what they have to offer.


GO Account: this account enables you to pay (EFTPOS). There is no fee. However, it doesn’t enable you to pay online (bye, uber and uber eats).

  • Online Account: this account is free (no fee) and is the perfect complement to your GO account to make the most of your trip without being bothered by banking stuff.



  • Omni Account: this account isn’t free. $0.40 for an electronic transaction (ATM, EFTPOS, direct debits), and $0.80 for a manual one.
  • Streamline Account: You get unlimited electronic transactions, and there is no fee for this account.



  • MyMoney Account: for a $5 monthly fee, you will have unlimited transactions.
  • On All Account: this account is free and you will have to manage your account online to make sure you always have enough money on your card. If you don’t, a $5 cost will apply.
  • Smartmoney Account: There is no fee and you get 30 free transactions per month (ATM and EFTPOS). The is only one condition, you must be between 19 and 29 years old.



  • Electronic Account: this account has no fee attached and is fully electronic. You will have to pay a $10 fee for the card.


So far, the banks’ offerings are quite similar. ANZ and BNZ have more ATMs than ASB and Westpac, which could be a strong pro when it comes to your decision. When I arrived in New Zealand, I selected ANZ because I’d heard this bank was the easiest to get a card, asap. However, most of my friends told me this isn’t a big deal for any of the other three banks: they are used to dealing with working holiday makers and know that for pretty much everyone, you want to get your bank account and your card as soon as possible.

From your experience, which one would you suggest?


* DISCLAIMER: This blog is intended as a guide only and should not be relied upon as a recommendation of any bank in New Zealand.

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