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Debit card: Air New Zealand OneSmart Card

Dunedin, New Zealand
7 posts
1 review
Debit card: Air New Zealand OneSmart Card

“ Air New Zealand OneSmart Card ”

Apr 11, 2012, 12:50 AM

I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has used this card - the good and the bad - as a debit card or cash card. thanks

26 replies to this topic
Whangarei, New...
Level Contributor
684 posts
18 reviews
1. Re: Debit card: Air New Zealand OneSmart Card

The card is relatively new,and to date i have had only the one trip when using. However as yet i have no issues at all . ( unlike my Travelex card, but thats another story.) Firstly, the exchange rates are very competitive,- just a few points below the quoted rate on the banks on any given day. An insignificant difference. There are few fees, and no 1% transaction fee as is the norm for foreign exchange. The only fee levied is a $1 upload fee for bank transfer into the card. - regardless of the amount. You then have the option of transfering to any of 4 nominated currencies, ( from a list of 8 in total). - Again no fee, just the exchange rate on the day. When withdrawing there is no fee levied by Air New Zealand, although the local bank may. Use of the card when making overseas purchases attracts airpoints, a nice little extra. To my Knowledge the card is presently only available to New Zealand residents. The card operates as any other debit card you may use locally, issued by your trading bank, no different.

Hope this helps . Any other Q's please PM me .


Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
22 posts
38 reviews
2. Re: Debit card: Air New Zealand OneSmart Card

I used a Onesmart card in Hong Kong $$ Euros and Japanese YEN. I got much better rate buying all 3 currencies than the figures quoted by Travelex at Auckland airport.

This card avoids the NZ$7.50 transaction fee each time you use it to withdraw cash from ATMs and there are no currency exchange commissions which can be pernicious, especially from European banks. (all good), but on my return I had nearly $3K left unspent and I was told it would cost me $9.995 to transfer this to another account or I could withdraw $1,000 per day in cash ( not good).

They have had the use of my funds for over 30 days. I should not have to pay a fee to get my funds out.

Dunedin, New Zealand
7 posts
1 review
3. Re: Debit card: Air New Zealand OneSmart Card

I can identify to many of the points from Mihalku. I returned form Europe with $7000 left and wished to transfer this to another account. The only way this could be done was to close off the account completely - it was not possible to do an internet banking transaction out of the SmartCard though it is possible to transfer money onto the Smart card via internet. To close off the account I had to contact Air New Zealand and ask them to send the documents. As I live in a rural area, cash withdrawals and physically depositing money into another account is not an option for me. I felt as if this Card lacks the flexibility I need in an account - in fact, I feel its advantages are loaded towards Air New Zealand having use of customers' money.

Level Contributor
3 posts
15 reviews
4. Re: Debit card: Air New Zealand OneSmart Card

I used onesmart while in USA. I found the exchange rate was very customer unfriendly. 1.5 cents per dollar lower then using my MasterCard and Visa credit card. As long as you don' t use the ATM machine I would use my Visa or Matercard. Better exchange rates incl. fee when using credit cards. Even getting cash US dollars in NZ would have been at a better exchange rate. I will not use it again.

Florida - Alaska...
Destination Expert
for Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Province, Outdoors / Adventure Travel
Level Contributor
4,032 posts
1 review
5. Re: Debit card: Air New Zealand OneSmart Card

777lyn - Air New Zealand doesn't have your money, BNZ has it. All of these prepaid cards are run by a bank. Air New Zealand likely gets a percentage of the fees generated by you using the card in exchange for marketing the card to their flyers. ANZ then uses a portion of their share of the fees to cover the cost of issuing your Airpoints.

BNZ wants to make money off of you. If you spend the money through the card, they get their share of the generated fees. If you withdraw the money yourself, they get nothing, so they add a fee for the "service".

No matter how generous they talk in marketing, the banks issue cards solely to generate revenue and the affiliates (like ANZ) market the cards to get their share.

Dunedin, New Zealand
7 posts
1 review
6. Re: Debit card: Air New Zealand OneSmart Card


Auckland Region...
Level Contributor
1,301 posts
252 reviews
7. Re: Debit card: Air New Zealand OneSmart Card

Hi 777Lyn,

I've used it for ATM cash withdrawls in Japan, Europe and USA and have had no problems.

As previously mentioned it can be loaded with 4 different currencies (out of 8) plus NZ Dollars.

You can also withdraw in a different currency to those loaded. This incurs a few more fees but it is great for the convenience. For example I was able to withdraw Hungarian Forints when in Budapest and Czech Koruna in Prague this year.

In those two cases the currency conversion was made against my NZ Dollars as I had programmed my card so that the NZ$ was first to be used for a different currency to that which had been loaded.


Auckland Region...
Level Contributor
1 post
11 reviews
8. Re: Debit card: Air New Zealand OneSmart Card


Hi all, I just wanted to vent my frustration with OneSmart. First things first, the card is ok to use in the countries that you have loaded currency i.e. if you hold USD, when using a machine in the states, it worked really well. Same in Aussie etc.

HOWEVER, do not use the card in atms that you do not hold currency in. I recently had an issue in Mexico, where I went to an HSBC atm that gave USD (we needed USD for our trip to Belize). The atm gave me my requested USD ($600USD), however when I checked my OneCard account $648 USD had been taken from my account. The issue was that the ATM requested Mexican Pesos from OneSmart (of which I obviously didnt have preloaded). Here is the expensie problem. What I believe OneSmart does is that when you use the card with unsupported currency is takes money from your USD account and converts it back to NZD, then accepts the transaction in Pesos and converts the Pesos using your NZD (which used to be USD). e.g. for examples sake, say you loaded $1000NZD onto your card and transfered it to your USD wallet at the current rate of approx $0.79, therefore getting $790 USD. If you were to use an unsupported currency, i.e. Pesos, it will transfer the $790USD back to NZD at a much higher rate of approx $0.84, so your $1000NZD is now $929, therefore you have lost $79 NZD. They then use the NZD to convert into the unsupported currency and then OneSmart hit you with currency conversion fees. Pretty much defeats the cards purpose of saving you money on transaction costs huh. Please note that the higher rate to convert back to NZD is typical of what banks do anyway when you sell them foriegn currency, I just wanted to highlight to you that if you use your card in unsupported currency you will get stung. OneSmart doesnt really do a great job of highlighting this.

I contacted OneSmart, who were extremly unhelpful, noting that this is all in the terms and conditions etc etc, no goodwill shown at all. Also when I emailed the customer services team asking for a list of 'friendly' atms they said they couldnt help.

My girlfriend and myself have been travelling through USA, Mexico and Central America for the last three months (we have 3 months to go). We did use the OneSmart in the USA and it worked fine. However throughout Mexico and other Central American countries we have used our ANZ and ASB Visa cards in ATMS, and these have worked fine. Since the issue I had with one Smart I have done some investigation and most of the time when I drew USD out on my ANZ card or spent USD on my Visa the conversion rates are almost 2 points better than OneSmarts rates. ie. OneSmart may give yo USD at 0.79, while ANZ will be around 0.81. So your losing from the start. Your bank does charge you an ATM fee (which OneSmart does not), and there is a currency conversion fee. However I believe that using your normal bank card such as a eftpos card or credit card (even with the additonal fees) is much more cost effective than using OneSmart, expecially when using it in unsupported currencies.


I hope this provides fellow travellers with some useful advice.

Auckland Region...
Level Contributor
1,301 posts
252 reviews
9. Re: Debit card: Air New Zealand OneSmart Card

On OneSmart, your currencies should be loaded in the order that you wish them to be used for conversion to a different currency (i.e. one that you do not hold). Sounds like you did not have your NZ Dollar selected as the first option. For example, when we travelled in Switzerland, Hungary and Czech Republic this year, those currencies were converted directly from our NZ$ as that was the first currency selected to be used in event of not having local currency.

This advice is also given in the T & C on the OneSmart site.

<<< Your bank does charge you an ATM fee (which OneSmart does not), and there is a currency conversion fee. >>>

The bank certainly does charge you and that will most likely be substantially more than you would have lost on the differences in exchange rate. Also if using a credit card such as visa, the foreign cash withdrawl is treated as a cash loan and incurrs interest immediately until the credit card bill is paid.


1 post
10. Re: Debit card: Air New Zealand OneSmart Card

From my personal experience I would recommend staying well clear of Onesmart. I had a problem with the Pin not working in the UK. To start this wasn't a huge problem as we could still use signature where accepted and we had some cash. I emailed Onesmart on their "24 hr" support address everyday for a week which they only replied to during the early morning hours. Their suggestions proved that they didn't understand the UK card payment services or the point of a travel card. I used their call back request three times, got two promises but not a single call. I finally found AirNZ's free UK number and got them to put me through to Onesmart and spoke to someone. The next day they phoned to confirm a replacement card was on the way and to expect it 5 to 10 working days.

10 working days later I emailed to report that the new card had failed to arrive. They apologised and offered another card in 5 to 10 working days. I informed them that would be pointless as my 4 week holiday was coming to an end before it would arrive but if they could track my replacement card and let me know when I could expect it as I need it to withdraw cash to reimburse the friends who lent us money after our cash ran out. No card had been sent... But if I wanted they would send another free of charge...

Edited: 1:14 pm, July 27, 2014
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