Sending/spending money overseas? Save up to 6x with your TransferWise Platinum debit Mastercard®.

Chee-Xuan Tang
10.01.20
5 minute read

An independent researcher compared TransferWise to five other New Zealand bank accounts. They found that we’re up to 4x cheaper for spending abroad. And our fees to withdraw $1,000 from an ATM are up to 2x cheaper. There are no set up fees, monthly fees or minimum balance with the TransferWise account. It’s also up to 6x cheaper to send money abroad.

What we researched

The research was carried out in Dec 2019 by market research agency, Alderson Consulting (Bristol) Ltd, in conjunction with TransferWise. The data was gathered through publicly available pricing information and mid-market rate comparison data provided by Refinitiv, formerly known as Reuters.

The different fees recorded for this price comparison include:

  • Cost^ of $250 and $1,000 NZD point of sale (POS) transaction (this is when your card is swiped at a register or machine at a store or restaurant)

  • Cost^ to withdraw $250 NZD from an ATM abroad in another currency every month

  • Cost# to send $250 and $1,000 NZD abroad

  • Monthly account fees

^There may be additional costs to the consumer where the bank applies a retail margin to the rate provided by Visa or Mastercard. In the interest of fairness as it is not possible to accurately determine these costs, we only compare the charges declared by the banks in their online documentation or confirmed via Social Media.

#The costs collected are made up of both the foreign transaction fee and any exchange rate mark up.

Research took place on transfers from NZD to AUD, EUR, GBP, and USD routes. The companies compared were ANZ, ASB, BNZ, KiwiBank and WestPac.

How we did it

When comparing TransferWise to the propositions of the specified banks, we remove the consumer initiated advantages i.e use of currency balances or currency auto-detection. In brief, we assume that the conversion takes place at the point of transaction. This is consistently applied across all propositions, including TransferWise.

When comparing the cost to “Send” funds, we log in to live consumer accounts and capture the rate and fees associated with sending both NZD 250 and NZD 1000 to the specified destinations of Germany, Australia, the UK and the USA. Where the fees are not included within the customer journey, we obtain via Social Media, confirmation of the fees directly from the bank in question before applying the fees reported. When calculating the total cost of sending funds overseas, the rate provided by the bank is compared to a “to the minute” accurate mid-market rate provided by Refinitiv, formerly Reuters. The difference between the two rates provides the % taken by the bank, also known as the retail margin. The retail margin value is then added to the fees to provide the total cost to the consumer.

For the remaining areas of comparison, “Spend”, “Withdraw”, “Create” and “Maintain”, we use information taken directly from the relevant bank’s website relating to the product in question or as guided by the bank i.e general fee documents. Where there is any question of interpretation, we obtain further clarification via Social Media before applying the fees reported.

Research is undertaken over 5 consecutive working days (Monday to Friday) during standard trading hours and is currently updated every three months. It is acknowledged that banks may change their propositions during that period and therefore, the published results should be considered indicative and individual experiences may differ.

What we found out

Fees to make a $250 POS transaction using a debit card

NZD → AUD: TransferWise debit card is 4x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $1.23

  • ANZ Freedom: $4.50

  • ASB Streamline: $5.25

  • BNZ Personal OnCall: $5.63

  • KiwiBank Freeup: $6.25

  • WestPac Every Day: $3.50

NZD → EUR: TransferWise debit card is 4x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $1.23

  • ANZ Freedom: $4.50

  • ASB Streamline: $5.25

  • BNZ Personal OnCall: $5.63

  • KiwiBank Freeup: $6.25

  • WestPac Every Day: $3.50

NZD → GBP: TransferWise debit card is 4x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $1.23

  • ANZ Freedom: $4.50

  • ASB Streamline: $5.25

  • BNZ Personal OnCall: $5.63

  • KiwiBank Freeup: $6.25

  • WestPac Every Day: $3.50

NZD → USD: TransferWise debit card is 4x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $1.23

  • ANZ Freedom: $4.50

  • ASB Streamline: $5.25

  • BNZ Personal OnCall: $5.63

  • KiwiBank Freeup: $6.25

  • WestPac Every Day: $3.50

Fees to make a $1,000 POS transaction using a debit card

NZD → AUD: TransferWise debit card is 4x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $4.90

  • ANZ Freedom: $18

  • ASB Streamline: $21

  • BNZ Personal OnCall: $22.50

  • KiwiBank Freeup: $25

  • WestPac Every Day: $14

NZD → EUR: TransferWise debit card is 4x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $4.90

  • ANZ Freedom: $18

  • ASB Streamline: $21

  • BNZ Personal OnCall: $22.50

  • KiwiBank Freeup: $25

  • WestPac Every Day: $14

NZD → GBP: TransferWise debit card is 4x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $4.90

  • ANZ Freedom: $18

  • ASB Streamline: $21

  • BNZ Personal OnCall: $22.50

  • KiwiBank Freeup: $25

  • WestPac Every Day: $14

NZD → USD: TransferWise debit card is 4x cheaper

  • TransferWise debit card: $4.90

  • ANZ Freedom: $18

  • ASB Streamline: $21

  • BNZ Personal OnCall: $22.50

  • KiwiBank Freeup: $25

  • WestPac Every Day: $14

Fees to withdraw $250 using a debit card every month

NZD → AUD: Free withdrawal with TransferWise

  • TransferWise debit card: $0

  • ANZ Freedom: $4.50

  • ASB Streamline: $5.25

  • BNZ Personal OnCall: $5.63

  • KiwiBank Freeup: $12.25

  • WestPac Every Day: $6.50

NZD → EUR: Free withdrawal with TransferWise

  • TransferWise debit card: $0

  • ANZ Freedom: $4.50

  • ASB Streamline: $5.25

  • BNZ Personal OnCall: $5.63

  • KiwiBank Freeup: $12.25

  • WestPac Every Day: $6.50

NZD → GBP: Free withdrawal with TransferWise

  • TransferWise debit card: $0

  • ANZ Freedom: $4.50

  • ASB Streamline: $5.25

  • BNZ Personal OnCall: $5.63

  • KiwiBank Freeup: $12.25

  • WestPac Every Day: $6.50

NZD → USD: Free withdrawal with TransferWise

  • TransferWise debit card: $0

  • ANZ Freedom: $4.50

  • ASB Streamline: $5.25

  • BNZ Personal OnCall: $5.63

  • KiwiBank Freeup: $12.25

  • WestPac Every Day: $6.50

Fees to send $250 using TransferWise

On average, it’s 5x cheaper to send money internationally with TransferWise compared to the 5 banks in New Zealand — ANZ, ASB, BNZ, KiwiBank, WestPac.

NZD → AUD: TransferWise is on average 6x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $3.22

  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: $0

  • Average bank upfront fee: $13.80

  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $4.13

NZD → EUR: TransferWise is on average 6x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $3.21

  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: $0

  • Average bank upfront fee: $13.80

  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $4.58

NZD → GBP: TransferWise is on average 6x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $3.24

  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: $0

  • Average bank upfront fee: $13.80

  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $4.19

NZD → USD: TransferWise is on average 4x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $4.15

  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: $0

  • Average bank upfront fee: $13.80

  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $4.22

Fees to send $1,000 using TransferWise

On average, it’s 4x cheaper to send money internationally with TransferWise compared to the 5 banks in New Zealand — ANZ, ASB, BNZ, KiwiBank, WestPac.

NZD → AUD: TransferWise is on average 4x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $6.90

  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: $0

  • Average bank upfront fee: $13.80

  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $16.52

NZD → EUR: TransferWise is on average 5x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $6.89

  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: $0.03

  • Average bank upfront fee: $13.80

  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $18.34

NZD → GBP: TransferWise is on average 4x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $6.92

  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: $0.02

  • Average bank upfront fee: $13.80

  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $16.76

NZD → USD: TransferWise is on average 4x cheaper

  • TransferWise upfront fee: $7.83

  • TransferWise exchange rate mark up: $0

  • Average bank upfront fee: $13.80

  • Average bank exchange rate mark up: $16.26

Monthly account fees

  • TransferWise debit card: $0

  • ANZ Freedom: $5

  • ASB Streamline: $3.50

  • BNZ Personal OnCall: $0

  • KiwiBank Freeup: $0

  • WestPac Every Day: $0

TransferWise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

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