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Currency

Wichita,Kansas
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24 posts
7 reviews
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Currency

Are U.S. Dollars widely accepted on Aitutaki? We are staying at Etu Moana in a couple of weeks and I know they add 3% if you use your credit card.

Aitutaki, Cook...
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for Aitutaki
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1,920 posts
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1. Re: Currency

Kia orana Raptor, U.S. dollars will probably be accepted at most places but you will pay a very large premium when it comes to the exchange rate. It would be much better to use your credit card in one of the two ATMs on the island to get New Zealand currency. Not all places charge a fee for using your credit card. Is the 3% fee you refer to one being charged by your bank for international transactions? If so check around. I believe there are banks offering cards that don't charge fees for international transactions.

Wichita,Kansas
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24 posts
7 reviews
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2. Re: Currency

No, this is a charge the hotel charges when useing a credit card. I assume this is to offset the credit card charges to them. Thats not really my question though. I was just wondering if I needed to exchange travelers checks for New Zealand currency and use credit cards. Thank you for your insight.

Aitutaki, Cook...
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for Aitutaki
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3. Re: Currency

One other thing, If you do use the ATM's on Aitutaki to get NZ cash they have a NZ$1,000 daily limit. So if you are going to use the ATM to get cash to pay for your lodging, plan ahead.

Spokane, Washington
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4 posts
8 reviews
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4. Re: Currency

I got a pretty good rate through my bank in the US (traded at 1.17 that day, received 1.12). I ordered NZ currency on a Friday, and it was available for me to pickup by Monday.

If you have a rough estimate of how much you'll need, you may want to contact your bank for something similar.

International...
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246 posts
11 reviews
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5. Re: Currency

Etu moana charges the 3% for CC usage, pupaii-teacher. Even if you use a CC that charges no international transaction fees, you still pay 3% on top of your bill upon check out at etu moana.

nz
Destination Expert
for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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6,105 posts
274 reviews
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6. Re: Currency

It's a pity that resorts and restaurants are starting to impose a surcharge for using credit cards.

Westpac clearly stated some time ago that this is illegal in the Cooks Islands and that they hoped both banks would co-operate to try and stop the practice.

I'd like to think that the banks, tourism and the government would act to stop this as it's not a good look. But they seem to have been silent so far.

I have been stung in a restaurant in Raro and I won't be going back. And I have checked before going to other restaurants to ensure they aren't doing the same thing.

Hobart, Australia
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for Vanuatu
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3,637 posts
132 reviews
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7. Re: Currency

I think it is shameful that Etu Moana charges the 3% for credit card usage. Good for you Nzlilibet for not returning to that restaurant. It is just plain greedy. On principal I would not stay at Etu Moana or with any other accommodation providers who also do this.

Regards

Suzi

Edited: 11 June 2014, 06:34
International...
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246 posts
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8. Re: Currency

Is there something in writing that could be linked to in this thread (or a new thread) stating this practice is illegal? If I'd known ahead of time, I would have surely protested the charge, by having a print out or reference.

Possibly it's been discussed before. I probably missed it.

Edited: 11 June 2014, 06:53
nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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9. Re: Currency

Hi emmchelle

I did have a link to a article in the CI News on this very subject which I carefully bookmarked. Unfortunately CI News have changed their website and the link no longer works! Bummer.

However, Westpac did say they would take action if complaints were made about their customers. It might be a good idea if disgruntled tourists started to complain. Of course, we don't necessarily know which bank individual local suppliers use - so maybe a complaint to both banks could be in order?

Maybe locals could help with this. I know that Pakou has mentioned in the past that this practice is illegal. Hopefully some of them will comment or offer to assist to bring the practice to the attention of government/tourism to get things moving. I look forward to hearing from some of them.

International...
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10. Re: Currency

That's a bummer for sure! For me personally, I would not hesitate to say something if I had concrete evidence that the practice is actually ILLEGAL. There's a difference in just saying "this is a stupid practice", and "this is against the law". Unfortunately, I don't think I paid enough attention to the subject. We paid cash for 2 out of 3 of our accomodations so I think I zoned out for Etu Moana, as it was the last 2 nights of a 2 week trip. I'm afraid the details got a bit murky for me at that point. And by then it's just "whatever...we've spent a bloody good amount up to this point, what's $40 more?"

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