Choosing a bank that’s right for you is about more than finding the cheapest products – customer service and digital banking services, for example, can also improve your experience.
When it comes to financial advice, banks can lend a helping hand – minimizing the confusion money matters can sometimes bring.
Regardless of what you’re looking for in a bank, you should always do your research before signing up. Canstar has compiled a list of the seven banks that qualified for Canstar’s Most Satisfied Customers Award, to save you trawling the web!
Main Banks in New Zealand
Canstar surveyed 2465 New Zealanders and asked them to rate their bank on a number of factors, including customer service, digital banking and problem resolution. The banks that received at least 30 responses qualified for Canstar’s 2019 Most Satisfied Customers Award for banking satisfaction. Here’s a brief outline of the products and services that these banks offer customers for their daily banking needs!
ANZ was established in 1951 and following its merger with the National Bank of New Zealand in 2012, is now the largest bank in New Zealand. This bank is also the largest rural bank in the country, providing financial products to a substantial 39% of the rural banking market.
ANZ offers a number of everyday transaction accounts. Its Go Account allows you to save on monthly account fees. However, you get charged for manual transactions, such as cashing cheques and staff-assisted transactions. The ANZ Freedom Account doesn’t charge for such transactions, but has a monthly fee, which may be waived if you deposit a certain amount each month. Both accounts offer Visa Debit Cards as well.
For savers, ANZ offers savings and term deposit accounts. Its online account means you can easily access your money but you earn a lower interest. If you’re disciplined with your savings, you can earn “premium interest” with its Serious Saver account, provided you make a monthly specified minimum deposit to the account and don’t make any withdrawals. ANZ also offers PIE funds and term deposit options.
There is also a large range of credit cards at ANZ, with five options to choose from, depending on your spending profile. ANZ’s Low Rate Visa caters for those who don’t tend to spend too much on their credit card. Bigger spenders interested in travel rewards may prefer the ANZ Airpoints Visa or the ANZ Airpoints Visa Platinum. Or, if you want cash rewards, there is the ANZ CashBack Visa or the ANZ CashBack Visa Platinum.
ANZ offers unsecured personal loans that can be used for anything from a car, to a holiday, to a renovation. The bank provides flexible repayment options, where you can apply online, and choose between weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments, suited to your financial situation. If you do choose to make lump sum payments, or pay off the loan early, you won’t be charged any extra fees.
For home loans, ANZ offers a large range of rate options. As well as this, you can get an ANZ Home Loan Coach, a free first home buyer handbook and a free property profile report. Keep in mind, special interest rates do require a 20% equity and if you don’t make repayments, you will be charged extra interest on the late repayments.
ANZ offers six types of funds through its KiwiSaver scheme – Growth, Balanced Growth, Balanced, Conservative Balanced, Conservative and Cash. You can track and manage your KiwiSaver fund through internet banking and the ANZ app, goMoney.
ANZ customers can also make transactions digitally, with both Apply Pay and Google Pay.
ASB opened in 1847 as New Zealand’s first savings bank. The bank now has more than 1.3 million customers nationwide.
ASB offers a range of everyday transaction accounts. Its streamline bank account doesn’t have any monthly fee or charges for electronic transactions, provided you don’t get paper statements. ASB also offers specialized account packages for students, job starters and graduates. All transaction accounts can be accessed with a Visa Debit card as well.
For savers, ASB offers the FastSaver account, Savings On Call account and Savings Plus account. The FastSaver is a good option for those starting with a smaller savings amount, while the On Call gives 24/7 access and higher interest if you have a higher balance. For the long-term savers, the Savings Plus account rewards you with bonus interest if you don’t make any withdrawals.
ASB offers one low rate credit card – Visa Light, and three reward credit card options – ASB Visa, ASB Visa Platinum Rewards and ASB Visa Business Rewards. With ASB’s reward credit cards, you can either earn True Rewards dollars or AA Smartfuel discounts when using the card.
ASB offers both unsecured and secured personal loans, with different interest rates. With ASB, the personal loan rate is determined by your financial circumstances. The length of the loan terms varies between six months and seven years, and you can make lump sum repayments at any time throughout the term, with no extra charge.
Eligible customers who take out a home loan with ASB may only need to pay a 5% deposit on a KiwiBuild home. ASB also has a Kiwibuild support package, which will contribute $2500 towards move-in costs if you purchase a KiwiBuild property with an ASB home loan.
ASB’s KiwiSaver schemes are split into five different fund types – the NZ Cash Fund, the Conservative Fund, the Moderate Fund, the Balanced Fund and the Growth Fund. Contributing to your KiwiSaver is made easy, as you can make extra contributions through your ASB Mobile App or FastNet Classic, as often as you like.
ASB gives its customer the option of making digital payments via Apple Pay and Android Pay
Bank of New Zealand (BNZ)
BNZ started operations in 1861. It was the first bank in New Zealand to become carbon neutral, as well as being New Zealand’s largest Fairtrade workplace, since 2010.
BNZ offers three customizable everyday banking and savings accounts – YouMoney, Personal OnCall and Rapid Save. YouMoney allows you to open and operate up to 24 accounts simultaneously, quickly transfer money between accounts, online, and to transfer money to people in your “quick pay list”. The YouMoney account doesn’t have any transaction fees and BNZ waives the monthly charge for students, apprentices and graduates. The Personal OnCall account gives you full access to your account and offers you a low interest rate. BNZ’s Rapid Save account gives you the option to earn a bonus rate, as long as you make at least one monthly deposit.
BNZ splits its credit card options into two categories – low rate and rewards. BNZ’s Low Rate MasterCard is suited to those who don’t often pay their credit card repayments in full each month, and are after a lower interest rate. For the bigger spenders, BNZ’s rewards credit cards – the BNZ Advantage Classic and Advantage Visa Platinum – gives customers the option of earning either rewards dollars or Fly Buys points.
With BNZ’s Advanced Personal Loan, you can borrow anywhere between $1000 and $30,000. This loan allows you to choose the length of the loan’s term. As well as this, you can easily make extra repayments through your internet banking and top up your personal loan by completing a new application.
BNZ offers both fixed rate and floating home loans for both owner-occupiers and investors. This bank provides a range of tools to help you customise a home loan suited to your home buyer profile. Mobile mortgage managers are also available, helping with anything from choosing your first home loan, to switching your home loan to BNZ.
BNZ KiwiSaver offerings include the Cash Fund, the First Home Buyer Fund, the Conservative Fund, the Moderate Fund, the Balanced Fund and the Growth Fund. Each type has a different level of risk in the investment, and are all designed for different customer profiles. You can view your KiwiSaver and make any changes through your BNZ internet banking.
BNZ customers can make purchases with either Google Pay or Apply Pay.
Kiwibank is New Zealand’s biggest locally owned bank, jointly owned by New Zealand Post – 51% – and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund – 49%.
Kiwibank’s standard everyday account – Free Up – has no monthly account or electronic transaction fees. Free Up comes with the option of the Bill Blaster – automatic payments to pay bills. You can also set it up so you receive alerts from Kiwibank when your balance gets below a certain amount. Kiwibank’s Now account is a customizable everyday account, with either a flat monthly fee or pay-as-you-go transaction fees. Its Front-Runner account offers a high interest option across four Front-Runner accounts with a combined balance of $4000. All Kiwibank everyday accounts come with a Visa Debit Card option.
Kiwibank has four savings account options. The Back-up Saver has the lowest interest rate but you have easy access to your funds. The Notice Saver account has a higher interest rate but you have to give either 32 days’ or 90 days’ notice before you withdraw funds. The Fast Forward Saver account means you can earn bonus interest, as long as you make a minimum monthly deposit. And, with the Online Call account, you can access it as often as you like, but there is a base interest rate and a bonus interest rate. This means you can only earn bonus interest if you don’t make any withdrawals.
Kiwibank has a range of credit cards on offer – the Low rate Mastercard, the Mastercard Zero and the Mastercard Gold. There is also the option of the Visa Debit Card. And, if you have the travel bug, there are three Airpoints credit cards that could help you build up Airpoints – the Airpoints Low Fee, the Airpoints Standard and the Airpoints Platinum.
Kiwibank’s personal loans start at $2000 and customers can make repayments weekly, fortnightly or monthly. With the correct documents, you can receive the loan amount as early as the next business day. Kiwibank also offers special personal loan rates for graduates and home loan customers.
Kiwibank offers fixed and floating home loans. The provider also offers a range of helpful options, tips and guides for home buyers.
Kiwibank offers KiwiSaver through the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme. The Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme has the following fund type options: Cash fund, the Cash Plus fund, the Default fund, the Conservative fund, the Balanced fund and the Growth fund.
The Co-operative Bank
The Co-operative Bank was founded in 1928 as the Public Service Investment Society, but its banking services are now open to all New Zealanders.
The Co-operative Bank’s Electronic Account gives you easy access to your account on a flat monthly fee, with the option to add an overdraft. Its Current Account is similar to its Electronic Account, except with pay-as-you-go transaction fees. And the Smile On Call account is an everyday account allowing easy access, as well as the ability to earn interest on your balance if it’s above $4000. Transaction fees on this account are also waived if you keep your balance above a certain amount.
The Co-operative Bank offers three further savings options: The Prize Draw Saver, Online Account and the Step Saver. The Prize Draw Saver and Online Account allows easier access to your funds but has a lower interest rate than the Step Saver account, where you can earn bonus interest if you deposit a certain amount and don’t withdraw funds.
As well as the Debit Mastercard for its everyday accounts, The Co-operative Bank offers the Fair Rate Credit Card. The Fair Rate Credit Card is aimed to “lighten the interest load on your credit card”, with a low interest rate.
This provider also offers unsecured personal loans, starting at $3000. The entire application can be done online and there’s no early repayment fees or monthly fees. The interest rate is floating – so can change throughout the term. The rate you are offered will also depend on your credit score and financial situation.
It also offers fixed rate, floating and revolving home loans. Its home loan specialists can sit down with you and tailor a home loan and repayment plan to help you reach your goal.
On KiwiSaver, The Co-operative Bank works with Fisher Funds to provide two different types of KiwiSaver fund options – a Conservative Fund and a Growth Fund. If you want a mixture of the two funds, you can opt for the Balanced Strategy. You can also monitor your KiwiSaver’s performance by logging into your online banking account.
TSB is a New Zealand bank, established in 1850. There are now 25 TSB branches nationwide.
TSB’S everyday account, Connect Plus, does not have a monthly fee, but you may have to make a minimum deposit to be eligible. TSB’s Personal account is unique compared to others on the market because you receive an annual interest payment, provided you maintain a specified minimum balance throughout the year. Account access is offered via EFTPOS and Visa Debit cards.
For savers, TSB has two savings account options – the WebSaver and the Horizon Savings.
TSB offers a Visa Classic Credit Card, but only to its account holders.
TSB’s personal loans range between $1000 and $30,000 and the loan term ranges between one and five years. Customers can make weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments. Customers can also make lump sum payments at no extra charge.
Similar to other main banks, TSB also offers fixed rate home loans (starting from six months, all the way up to five years) and floating loans.
TSB provides its KiwiSaver options through Fisher Funds, which offers the Conservative Fund and the Growth Fund, as well as a combination of the two – the Business Strategy. You can either view your KiwiSaver details through your internet banking, or through Fisher Fund’s monthly e-newsletters and online reports.
Westpac New Zealand was established in 1861 when the Bank of NSW bought the New Zealand branch off the Oriental Bank.
Westpac also offers a wide range of accounts and services. The Westpac Everyday account does not have any monthly account fees or charges for ATM, EFTPOS or online transactions. Westpac also has three different everyday accounts for youth, school leavers and graduates. Westpac offers a Debit Mastercard and Airpoints Debit Mastercard to provide access to your everyday account.
Westpac’s Simple Saver account does not have a monthly account fee, you can make one free weekly withdrawal and there is no minimum balance required to earn interest. Westpac’s Bonus Saver account rewards customers with bonus interest when you make one deposit and no withdrawals each month. The Notice Saver has a higher interest rate but you have to give 32 days’ notice before making a withdrawal.
Westpac offers a large range of credit cards, including the Low Rate Mastercard, the lowest rate Mastercard Westpac offers. Westpac also has multiple options for Airpoints credit cards, hotpoints credit cards and business credit cards. Hotpoints are Westpac’s version of reward points and the earn rate differs between hotpoints credit cards.
Westpac offers unsecured personal loans and determines your interest rate based on your financial situation and credit history. You also won’t get charged for making extra repayments.
Westpac splits its home loans into a range of types – Choices Everyday Floating, Choices Floating, Choices Offset, Choices Fixed, Choices Home Loan with Airpoints, Split Home Loan, Family Springboard and the Welcome Home Loan. Westpac also provides checklists, videos, property investment resources and useful contacts.
Westpac’s KiwiSaver Scheme is managed by BT Funds Management Limited – the investment arm of Westpac in New Zealand. The KiwiSaver Scheme has six different fund types on offer: Cash Fund, the Default Fund, the Conservative Fund, the Moderate Fund, the Balanced Fund and the Growth Fund. You can check on your KiwiSaver’s progress through Westpac online banking.
Westpac offers both Apple Pay and Google Pay. And, if you have an android phone, you can pay digitally through Westpac Pay.
Which bank in New Zealand should you go with?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to banking. Think about which factors are the most important to you and choose a bank that excels in those areas. Keep in mind, rates can change frequently, so compare current rates on the market before you enquire with a bank. Check out Canstar’s 2019 Most Satisfied Customers Award results to see how these banks performed in the areas that matter the most to you!
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