International Currency Transfer for Emigrating New Zealanders

After living overseas for several months in Canada, and attempting to find the best deal on transferring money overseas, I quickly discovered a lot of online comparison services do not provide specific information to New Zealanders. As some transfer services don’t even allow you to send New Zealand Dollars, or charge you in a foreign currency anyway resulting in bank fees, it’s not immediately obvious which services are the best, or even which you can use.

After signing up to a number of services, I have found three of them seem to make sense when sending NZD$, each in slightly different circumstances.

Best for small transfers: Xendpay

Xendpay only allows New Zealanders to pay by credit card – no bank transfers available. This incurs a 2.5% payment fee. The good news is that this is the only compulsory fee – as Xendpay sets a pay-what-you-want model. Xendpay processes the payment as a standard purchase to your credit card, so there is no cash advance or international transaction fee – and you also earn reward points (which may redeem some of the 2.5% payment fee). Xendpay’s currency hedge is minimal – around 0.1-0.2% compared to mid-market rates.

Xendpay is also the fastest service I have found – payments to Canada can sometimes arrive in as little as 4 business hours (Xendpay quotes 1-2 business days).

You can try it and get $10 off your second transaction by using this Xendpay link.

Recommended where:

  • The transfer is urgent
  • Transfers under approx. NZ$500.00

Best for larger transfers from bank accounts: Transferwise

Transferwise is definitely one of the ‘big players’ in the online money transfer arena. Their fees are very transparent, and claim to use the mid-market rate (in reality I find this varies by a small amount). You can pay by bank transfer from New Zealand bank accounts, to transfer at no cost. They do, however, charge the highest service fee (around 0.7%, with a minimum of NZ$2.94).

Transfers are pretty quick – next business day. You can by credit card, but with a 2% fee, this now means Xendpay is cheaper as the total fee would be 2.7%.

You can try it and get a free transfer up to £500 (or equivalent in NZ$) by using this Transferwise link.

Recommended where:

  • You are paying by bank transfer
  • Transfers over approx. NZ$500.00

Best for larger transfers from credit cards: Worldremit

Worldremit uses a slightly different fee mechanism. They have a hidden hedge built in to the exchange rate of approximately 1%, and then charge a fixed fee of NZ$3.99. They do not charge a credit card payment fee, however they do warn some banks will charge this as a cash advance.

They do have the best joining bonus – get NZ$35 off your second transfer by using this WorldRemit link. Your first transfer must be at least NZ$175 to qualify.

Recommended where:

  • You are paying by credit card
  • Transfers over approx. NZ$500.00

Due to the fixed-fee portion of the cost, larger transfers are more cost-effective with Worldremit. Note, however, some New Zealand banks (e.g. Kiwibank, and likely others) put a NZ$4000 daily limit on credit card transfers – so you may need to keep the amount below that cap including the fee.

Other companies

I have previously tried other companies like NZForex (also known as OZForex and other brands), but found they are either not cost-effective for either small or large transfers, or are slower, or just don’t even allow local transfers from New Zealand despite allowing signups (like CurrencyFair – you then need to send by SWIFT/wire transfer, so you might as well just wire the whole way…)

Migrating between User logins in macOS Sierra

While discussing archiving limitations in macOS Sierra vs. the iOS equivalent (iOS allows you to automatically delete messages over 1 month or 1 year old), another IT friend of mine wrote up a guide on how to transfer messages between two accounts.

Messages are stored in ~/Library/Messages, but the step by step guide below helps with some of the oddities to ensure you can transfer the folder correctly.

This guide is for those who want to transfer their Messages history across to a fresh user account. The instructions here assume the new account is on the same Mac, but you can probably modify this easily enough for moving your Messages history to a different Mac. Tested under Sierra.

Before proceeding, keep in mind common sense: back up your data, and proceed at your own risk.

1. First, quit Messages on the new account.
2. Open Messages on the old account and make sure all the latest messages have been received.
3. Now quit Messages on the old account.
4. Delete the folder /Users/newAccount/Library/Messages .
5. Copy the folder /Users/oldAccount/Library/Messages to /Users/newAccount/Library/ . I recommend using sudo cp -r for this step to make sure everything copies properly.
6. In the new account, in Finder, open the Get Info panel for the newly-copied Messages folder. Unlock the permissions section with the padlock in the bottom corner.
7. Make sure that the new account has Read & Write permissions to the Messages folder.
8. Make the new account owner of the Messages folder (via the gear button).
9. Delete all other entities in the permissions section so all that’s left is the new account with Read & Write permissions and everyone with No Access.
10. Again, using the gear button, Apply changes to enclosed items. This step may take a few minutes, depending on how much history you’re keeping.
11. Reboot your Mac. This is important because otherwise Messages will NOT pick up the folder.
12. When you log back in, try opening Messages. The old conversation history should appear.