Travel money: the cheapest way to spend overseas
What’s the best way to access your money while travelling?
When Consumer NZ employee Miranda returned from a trip to the US, UK and Ireland, she told anyone who would listen about her experiences with Wise, a foreign-exchange service with a debit card attached. Her son had recommended Wise and after four weeks away, Miranda was convinced of its benefits too.
Miranda spent a few days in the US, three weeks in the UK and a few days in Ireland. Her jet-set vacation – with three different countries requiring three foreign currencies – gave us the perfect opportunity to explore modern travel money services.
What we did
We were interested to know how Wise stacked up against the other options for managing money while you’re abroad.
So, we replicated Miranda’s holiday, exploring how much it would cost to:
buy 1000 US Dollars, 2500 Great British Pounds and 1000 Euros in cash
spend that money on a debit or credit card – taking a month’s worth of interest into account
spend that money on Wise’s currency card
use travel cards for the same amount.
Miranda found that cash was largely redundant on her trip. But you never know when a small amount might come in handy, so for our comparison we assumed that one cash withdrawal would be made in each country, incorporating fees where necessary.
We also assumed that most people already have a debit or credit card, so didn’t take introductory offers or start-up costs into account. Finally, we assumed people wouldn’t already have a travel card or Wise account, so included the cost of registering and operating one for a month.
The cheapest way to spend your money overseas
We've tested 11 travel insurance.
Find the right one for you.