Best multi-currency account New Zealand 
Opening a multi-currency account can make it easier if you need to receive or send payments in a range of currencies. Individuals who have bills to pay abroad, freelancers getting paid by overseas clients, and businesses with customers paying in a foreign currency may all benefit.
The best multi-currency accounts let you hold and manage dozens of currencies, and see your balance at a glance. However, opening a multi-currency account with a traditional New Zealand bank can be cumbersome, slow, and, most of all, expensive. Specialist providers like Wise and OFX can be good alternatives.
In this article, we’ll cover what you need to know about opening a multi-currency account, including the best multi-currency accounts on offer in New Zealand, the costs involved, and how to open one.
Can a multi-currency account be opened in New Zealand?
New Zealand residents can open a multi-currency account with a traditional bank or a specialist online provider.
It’s important to look carefully at the products available to you before you get started. True multi-currency accounts let you hold and exchange a range of currencies in the same account. However, the international accounts available from many traditional banks may be more restricted, with maintenance fees or tricky eligibility requirements to take into consideration.
What are the advantages of a multi-currency account in New Zealand?
A multi-currency account can be useful for individuals who live an international lifestyle, freelancers and online sellers getting paid from abroad, and businesses who trade around the world.
Being able to get paid in foreign currencies, hold multi-currency balances, and send money overseas without needing to convert the currency can cut your costs.
As an individual you might want to buy a foreign currency when the exchange rates look good, to hold on to and use as travel money for a future holiday. As a business owner maybe you get paid by customers, marketplaces or PSPs in a foreign currency, and want to use these funds to cover your suppliers or taxes overseas.
Getting paid in a foreign currency means no immediate and unnecessary conversion costs and gives you a natural hedge. Make multi-currency payments from your balance instead of having to convert from dollars every time, even if the rate isn’t looking great.
Best multi-currency accounts
The best multi-currency account for you will depend on your specific needs and the sort of transactions you’ll want to make. Let’s start with an overview of the availability, features and fees of some of the most popular multi-currency accounts available in New Zealand.
|Provider||Availability||Fees||Debit card||Other features|
|Wise||Personal and business customers||
|Payoneer||Freelancers, online sellers, vacation rental hosts, business owners and more||
|Airwallex||Business and ecommerce customers||
|HSBC||Customers usually need HSBC savings of 100,000 NZD, or an annual income of 125,000 NZD
Maintenance fees apply if you don’t meet these criteria
|BNZ||Customers must have an eligible BNZ NZD account||
|ANZ||Eligibility criteria apply – if you’re new to ANZ you’ll need to complete an online form and wait for a call back to discuss your application||
Wise multi-currency accounts are opened and managed online or in-app and can hold and exchange 50+ currencies. You’ll get your own bank account details for 10 different currencies to receive global payments fee free to your account. Send payments overseas in just a few clicks, or spend and make ATM withdrawals at home and abroad with your linked Wise international debit card. All currency conversion uses the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees.
- Fees: No fee to open a personal account, 40 NZD one-off fee to open a business account. No monthly fee for either personal or business multi-currency accounts
- Currency conversion: Hold and convert 50+ currencies with the mid-market exchange rate and low fees from 0.41%
- Other notable features: Receive payments like a local from 30 countries, send money to 80+ countries, spend with your linked debit card in 170+ countries
Learn more about Wise
Multi-currency accounts from OFX are mainly aimed at international businesses and online sellers looking to get paid in a range of 7 major currencies. One benefit with OFX which is not available from many other multi-currency account providers is that you can also get currency risk management solutions. These include forward exchange contracts which let you lock in a future exchange rate to minimise the risk of losing out if the rates change before a big bill is due.
- Fees: No fees to open or operate account
- Currency conversion: 7 currencies offered
- Other notable features: OFX transfers and currency conversion has no upfront fees but there will be a markup on the exchange rate used. Currency risk management products also available, with support of personal brokers
Learn more about OFX
Payoneer multi-currency accounts are aimed at people getting paid online – freelancers, online sellers, digital marketers and vacation rental hosts for example. You’ll get local receiving account details to get paid in a range of currencies and can use your balance to pay contractors or taxes, or withdraw to your local New Zealand account. You can also manage your money between currencies within the account, with instant currency conversion options.
- Fees: No fee to open your account. Free to send to other Payoneer accounts, and to receive using your local account details. Fees apply when being paid directly by clients or from marketplaces, and when withdrawing funds to a bank account
- Currency conversion: Variable fees may apply to convert between currencies in your account, based on liquidity in the markets and Payoneer’s own exchange partners’ rates
- Other notable features: Receive payments like a local with your own bank details for GBP, USD, EUR and more
Business owners and ecommerce entrepreneurs might be interested in Airwallex global accounts which allow you to get paid in several foreign currencies and switch between them with a small markup on the mid-market rate. Get linked debit cards, and handy perks like batch payments to cut down business admin time, too.
- Fees: No opening or monthly fees. Transfers using the Airwallex network are free, 15 NZD – 25 NZD fee applies if payments use the SWIFT network
- Currency conversion: Get global account details for currencies including GBP, USD, EUR and HKD – 0.5% or 1% conversion fee when you switch between currencies
- Other notable features: Batch transfers available, linked debit cards offered
HSBC has foreign currency accounts in 10 currencies, which are marketed towards high wealth customers who have HSBC Premier status or above. If you don’t hit the eligibility requirements for this account tier you might still be able to open a foreign currency account, but monthly fees and transaction charges are likely to apply.
HSBC’s foreign currency accounts don’t come with a debit card, so are more aimed at holding and investing foreign currencies – with some interest opportunities available – rather than day to day spending.
- Fees: No account opening fee, no monthly fee if you meet eligibility criteria. Payment fees apply when you send and receive transfers
- Currency conversion: Hold and exchange 10 currencies
- Other notable features: Advertised for HSBC Premier clients, which means holding a high balance or having a large salary deposited to the account. If you don’t meet these eligibility criteria, the account may still be available but with additional fees
BNZ has foreign currency accounts in 13 different currencies, which can be used to hold, send and receive international payments. You won’t get a linked card so this account isn’t ideal for daily use or travel spending – but some currencies can qualify to earn interest which can be a good option if you’re looking to diversify your funds and invest in foreign currencies.
- Fees: Monthly fees apply which vary by currency – these may be waived or refunded if you hold a high enough balance. Fees apply on incoming and outgoing payments
- Currency conversion: Hold and exchange 13 currencies
- Other notable features: Some currency balances can earn a variable interest rate
There’s no ongoing fee for an ANZ foreign currency account, and accounts can be opened in all major currencies easily. If you’re looking for a more exotic currency, ANZ may still be able to help but you’ll need to give them a call to check availability. Aside from standard foreign currency accounts intended to make and receive foreign currency payments, ANZ also offers foreign currency time deposits for saving.
- Fees: No account maintenance fees. 9 ANZ fee for outgoing transfers, 15 ANZ fee for incoming payments
- Currency conversion: Most currencies available – you may need to ask for exotic currency coverage
- Other notable features: Different account products available depending on your needs
How to open a multi-currency account in New Zealand
Exactly what you need to do to open a multi-currency account in New Zealand will depend on whether you choose a traditional, digital or specialist provider. Many accounts can be opened online or through a provider app – but in some cases you’ll need to pop into a branch to get an account through a traditional bank.
The steps you’ll usually need to take to open a multi-currency account include:
- Choose the best provider for your needs
- Check you meet any eligibility criteria
- Register for your account online, through the provider app, or in a branch location
- Give your personal and contact information
- Complete the required verification steps
- Fund your account – and you’re ready to go
New Zealand legislation means that all banks and account providers must complete verification steps to make sure that customers don’t use their products fraudulently or illegally. That means you’ll usually have to provide some paperwork in person or by uploading an image when you choose a digital account provider. Usually you’ll be asked for:
- Government issued photo ID to prove your identity
- Proof of address – a utility bill or bank statement in your name for example
- Business registration documents if you’re opening a business account
As more people travel, work and trade internationally, multi-currency accounts are becoming more popular and more easily available in New Zealand. Holding a range of currency balances can mean you spend less on unnecessary currency conversion, and can pay and get paid more easily in foreign currencies.
While there’s plenty of choice of multi-currency accounts in New Zealand, the features, flexibility and fees do vary significantly. Make sure you do a bit of research before you get started to find the best match for your needs from the traditional, online and specialist providers out there.
Can I open a multi-currency account in New Zealand?
Open a New Zealand multi-currency account with a traditional bank, a digital bank or a specialist online service. Accounts can often be opened and managed online and via a provider app for convenience.
How much does it cost to open a multi-currency account?
The cost of using a multi-currency account will vary between providers and account types. Some can be opened for free, with no monthly or ongoing charges. Others have monthly fees, and almost all will have some transaction fees based on how you use your account. Find the best match for your needs by checking out a range of different options before you get started.