About the New Zealand Dollar
Yes, you read that correctly: the currency in Niue is actually the New Zealand Dollar also known as “NZD” or “NZ$”. Niue is a self-governing state of about 1,500 people in association with New Zealand. As the cost for Niue to have its own currency would be astronomical, it uses New Zealand’s instead. But with a bit of Niuean fun thrown in with it of course…
That’s right, Niue does not take itself too seriously and its legal tender is also the subject of the local spirit from time to time. Such as the time in 2001 when Niue introduced a limited series of “Pokemon” $1 coins as legal tender sending the world into a frenzy over the highly collectable copper-nickel coins. In 2002, they were at it again when the $10 Mewtwo Pokemon coin was released!
In this guide to the currency of Niue, we will go over money tips, currency exchange, the tax system, the banking system and even the money culture in Niue so you know what to expect when it comes to your money in Niue.
Quick Money Tips for Niue
- Come prepared! There is only one bank and a handful of businesses that offer cash out, so we suggest getting enough New Zealand Dollars to last you the whole stay
- If you have a New Zealand bank account and a New Zealand EFTPOS card, it will be accepted in several businesses around the island. However, be aware that the system is sometimes down so having some backup cash with you is always a good idea
- Tell your bank that you are going overseas to avoid having your card blocked for “suspicious activity”. It happens!
- You will not be able to redeem traveller’s cheques in Niue
- There’s no need to panic about carrying lots of cash, as Niue is a very safe country where people are unlikely to steal from you
- Always check your change! It is very common to be given the wrong change back when paying Niuean businesses.
Get more information on these tips and more in the 11 Money Tips for Niue.
Niue Currency Values
Niue uses New Zealand Dollars so the New Zealand Dollar coin values are: 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, $1 and $2.
Niue Bank Notes
Sticking with the New Zealand Dollar, the New Zealand notes have a value of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.
The New Zealand Dollar has quite an advantageous exchange rate when compared to the US or Australian Dollar, so if exchanging from these currencies, your holiday just got a little cheaper.
Niue Currency Culture
In this section, we will cover a few aspects of the money culture in Niue as a couple of things may be different from back home.
Tipping in Niue
Although it is always appreciated, tipping is not mandatory in Niue. Tipping is mostly reserved for outstanding service and it is absolutely up to you to decide to tip and to choose the value of your tip.
Cash or Card?
If you have a New Zealand EFTPOS card (a debit/credit card from an NZ bank), you will be able to pay with it in most businesses. However, the nationwide system is famously unreliable. In terms of getting cash out, only a handful of businesses allow you to get cashback and Niue does not have an ATM. Our tip: bring enough cash for your whole holiday, as it will make your life a whole lot easier.
If you do not have a New Zealand card, we strongly recommend getting New Zealand cash before heading to Niue, as you will only be able to use your Visa or MasterCard at the one local bank to get cash out. Using an overseas credit card in Niue will incur a huge surcharge, usually around 5%, and will only be available at limited outlets such as the visitor centre.
Learn more about paying with card in Niue in Can You Use Your Credit Card in Niue.
Swedish Rounding/Cash Rounding
Because the smallest coin that the New Zealand Dollar offers is 10 cents, all prices will be rounded up or down to the nearest 10 cents. If you are lucky enough to be able to use EFTPOS or any other types of card, Swedish rounding does not happen, as you will pay the exact price.
Currency Exchange for Niue
You will not be able to exchange currency in Niue. You must bring New Zealand Dollars or use your credit card to withdraw cash from the one bank on the island. Again, there is no ATM in Niue, so this will be an over-the-counter transaction. Luckily, the only flight to Niue takes off from the Auckland International Airport which has multiple exchange facilities.
However, since exchanging money in airports usually yields the worst exchange rates, you can plan ahead and buy New Zealand Dollars ahead of time. Luckily, the New Zealand Dollar is a widely available currency all around the world.
Banking in Niue
It’s simple: one Bank, 0 ATMs, 32 teeth-filled smiles! Niue lives at a different pace and as such, the country does not have a complex banking system. The one bank is a branch of Kiwibank, one of the most popular banks in New Zealand. It is located in Alofi and opens from 8:30am to 4pm on weekdays. It only accepts transactions from Visa, MasterCard or New Zealand EFTPOS cards.
Kiwibank does not offer currency exchange and does not feature an ATM, so you will need to go to the counter to ask to withdraw cash. For these reasons, it is best to bring enough cash for your stay on the island.
Taxes on Goods and Services
All Niue purchases of goods and services are subject to the NCT. The Niue Consumption Tax is 12.5% and is usually included in the price. In most cases, the price that you see is the price that you will pay for your goods or services. In the unlikely event that the Niue Consumption Tax is not included in a price, you will see the mention “+NCT” next to the price which means that you need to add 12.5% to this price to know how much you will pay.
Note that Niue does not have an NCT refund scheme in place. Learn more about the tax system in Niue Tax System, How Much Does it Costs to Shop in Niue?
Typical Expenses in Niue
It’s always handy to know how much things cost when planning a trip to a new country. Here are a few ideas so you can plan your budget accordingly.
Typical Tourist Expenses
- Land tour – NZ$90
- Fishing tour – NZ$500
- Whale swimming tour – NZ$300
- Budget hotel – NZ$110
- Resort room – NZ$200
- Dinner for two – NZ$90
More About the Currency of Niue
- 10 Tips for Travelling Niue on a Budget
- How Much Spending Money Do You Need for Niue?
- What is The Best Payment Method in Niue?
That’s it for our guide to the currency of Niue. Now head to the Niue Travel Budget: How Much Does a Trip to Niue Cost? for its full budget overview or The Travel Guide to Niue on a Budget for more advice.