Kiwi travellers are losing millions of dollars every year in international transaction fees.

According to data from Stats NZ and Flight Centre, New Zealand residents took 2.9 million trips overseas last year, with those using a bank credit or debit card spending about $700 on average.

While fees vary between New Zealand banks, based on the average of 2.3 per cent, if all 2.9 million travellers used a credit or debit card, the fees charged would be nearing $50 million.

Essentially, if you used your card overseas to pay $3000 for a hotel, you've just lost $69 on currency conversion fees, and a $100 dinner would cost you an additional $2.30.


David Coombes, Flight Centre NZ managing director, said Kiwis should be able to have a reliable and secure way to spend money overseas without bank fees adding to their costs.

"We constantly get feedback from our customers that they struggle to understand their bank credit and debit card fees while abroad, and that they don't know what other options are available as it's not safe to travel with large amounts of cash," Coombes said.

But this is all about to change.

Flight Centre has teamed up with FlexiGroup to provide the only credit card available in New Zealand that doesn't charge international transaction fees.

Flight Centre Mastercard will also have a number of other benefits including: Flight Centre Rewards on all transactions made with the card, free Wi-Fi access to over one million hotspots around the world and in New Zealand, and breathing to be able to pay for your holiday over time.

Chris Lamers, FlexiGroup New Zealand chief executive, said it's exciting to be challenging the status quo by removing the international transaction fee.

"Across the FlexiGroup NZ portfolio of consumer products, travel accounts for one in five transactions, and we know our Flight Centre Mastercard customers love having a credit card that delivers real benefits both here in New Zealand and overseas," Lamers said.