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NZ Savings Accounts for Foreigners

NZ Savings Accounts for Foreigners

Old Apr 9th 2008, 6:17 pm
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Default NZ Savings Accounts for Foreigners

Does anyone know if it is possible for someone in the US to open a savings account in NZ to take advantage of the 8% return?
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 10:01 am
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Default Re: NZ Savings Accounts for Foreigners

It will be possible, with a few provisos. You can open an account but you won't be able to withdraw from it until you get to NZ, you'll also need to get to NZ and activate it within a set period of time.
Also to get the NZ interest rates your money will need to be in NZ dollars, a US$ or £ account will earn interest rates little different from the US/UK. With the exchange rates I wouldn't bother transferring a great deal in advance of arriving.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 10:25 am
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Default Re: NZ Savings Accounts for Foreigners

Originally Posted by chocolate cake View Post
It will be possible, with a few provisos. You can open an account but you won't be able to withdraw from it until you get to NZ, you'll also need to get to NZ and activate it within a set period of time.
Also to get the NZ interest rates your money will need to be in NZ dollars, a US$ or £ account will earn interest rates little different from the US/UK. With the exchange rates I wouldn't bother transferring a great deal in advance of arriving.


Also bear in mind that without an IRD number (tax number) you will probably be stung for something like 38% tax on the interest. Unless anyone knows any different. The tax man here in NZ even gets 19.5% of my tiny UK interest that I earn on a few quid I have over there!!
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 11:42 am
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Default Re: NZ Savings Accounts for Foreigners

If you're a non resident you can arrange to have your interest paid with only Non Resident's Witholding Tax deducted - it is currently 10%.

We opened our account before we left but I've heard of Japanese housewives buying NZ dollars and opening up savings accounts in NZ so it must be possible for you to do the same.

Email/phone a few of the major banks and ask what they can do for you. I'm sure they'd love to encourage a bit of saving given the current conditions.

Last edited by Nerine; Apr 10th 2008 at 11:46 am.
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Old Apr 10th 2008, 11:47 am
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Default Re: NZ Savings Accounts for Foreigners

Originally Posted by Biscuits View Post
Does anyone know if it is possible for someone in the US to open a savings account in NZ to take advantage of the 8% return?
Dude, you wish!

We moved here from the US. Even once we were tax residents here, the interest on our US$ account was in line with US interest rates.

If you switch the money over to the NZ$ at the moment, what you would gain in interest rates, you lose in the exchange rate...

Not as wonderful as it seems.
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Old Apr 13th 2008, 3:11 am
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Default Re: NZ Savings Accounts for Foreigners

Thank you all for your helpful replies.

It seems that many of you feel the NZ$ is going to weaken against the US$. Can you share why you feel this to be true? I personally think the US$ is about as "strong" as it is going to be for quite a while.
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Old Apr 13th 2008, 3:39 am
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Default Re: NZ Savings Accounts for Foreigners

Yes I think the same too. I can't see much that is going to strengthen the value of the greenback in the short term. Inflation is still quite high in NZ
so there's every chance the interest rates could be raised again, this usually causes the NZ$ to strenghten and it will be interesting to see if the reserve bank has the wherewithall to step in and control the rates as it has tried to in the recent past.

Speaking of short term you can get some really good short term deposit rates on 100 day accounts.

Last edited by Nerine; Apr 13th 2008 at 3:42 am.
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