Discount Cards for Travelling in New Zealand
As a backpacker, budget is the second-most important thing when travelling around New Zealand (the first most-important having the most epic trip of your life!) Discount cards are definitely a way to shave down some of the costs of travelling in New Zealand, whether it is saving money on activities, accommodation or even saving money on groceries!
Below, we list some discount cards well worth considering for your travels in New Zealand. Do bear in mind that some discount cards have to be purchased (rather than being free) so you need to have a rough plan of your travels in mind to consider whether purchasing a discount card would be worth it. You don’t want to buy a $30-$45 accommodation discount card to find that you rarely stay in those hostels therefore not making your money back!
Be aware that identity cards, such as the student card or youth travel card, are not accepted as proof of age in New Zealand. Take a look at What ID is Valid for Buying Alcohol in New Zealand? to see what types of ID are valid in New Zealand.
A Quick Note About Sales in New Zealand
Before you enter the wide world of commercialism in New Zealand, there is one thing you need to know. Everything is on sale!
It is highly unusual to walk into a store and pay full-price for a product. The retail industry in New Zealand thrives on sales. If there is something you want to buy that is not on sale, just ask when it will next be on sale! Chances are, it will be next week or even the next day. Better yet, just ask for a discount. You’ll be surprised how often that works!
International Student Identity Card
If you are a full-time student attending school, college or university, then it’s likely that you will be able to apply for an International Student Identity Card (ISIC). This card gives you access to discounts not just in New Zealand but all over the world – perfect if New Zealand is included in a country-hopping trip! There are literally hundreds of discounts and free-entry into heaps of activities, food, and even for a trip to the cinema.
How to Get an ISIC Card?
You can purchase your card online at the ISIC website for around NZ$30. The card is valid for 12 months and there is no upper age limit on the card. You will have to provide some evidence that you are a full-time student when you are applying.
International Youth Travel Card
If you are not a student but just a youngster under 31 years old, then you may be able to apply for an International Youth Travel Card (IYTC). It has many similar benefits as the ISIC (see the section above) with thousands of discounts all over the world and hundreds of discounts and free-entry into activities, eateries and more in New Zealand.
How to Get an IYTC Card?
You can purchase an IYTC card at the ISIC website for around NZ$30. The card is valid for 12 months.
YHA New Zealand Membership Card
The Youth Hostel Association of New Zealand (YHA New Zealand) offer heaps of discounts with their membership. Get 10% off bookings with all more than 40 YHA-member hostels across New Zealand and access to more than 100 activity discounts. Plus, you’ll also get discounts to Hostelling International (HI/YHA) which have member hostels all over the world.
There is also the option to couple your YHA membership with an IYTC card (see benefits in the section above) where you will get a discounted price on the IYTC card price when purchasing the card through YHA.
Check out BBH, YHA, BASE or NOMADS: What is the Best Hostel Network? for more information.
How to Get a YHA Card?
You can purchase your YHA membership (NZ$25) and/or an IYTC card (NZ$35) at the YHA New Zealand website. You can also purchase a global YHA membership card at the Hostelling International website.
BBH Membership Card
More than 200 independently-owned hostels across New Zealand are members of BBH. With a BBH membership card, you get a discount from NZ$4 per night off standard nightly prices with BBH hostels, as well as claiming a NZ$15 refund when booking through their website and discounts on selected activities around New Zealand. Check out BBH, YHA, BASE or NOMADS: What is the Best Hostel Network? for more information.
How to Get a BBH Membership Card?
You can order a BBH card from the BBH website or from a BBH hostel. A BBH membership costs NZ$45 + NZ$5 if ordering online.
Outdoor Stores Loyalty Cards
New Zealand is a country of enjoying the great outdoors, so if you plan on gearing up for outdoor activities in New Zealand, then it may be worth signing up to the following memberships:
- Kathmandu Summit Club -up to 20% off all full-priced gear, plus a membership reward scheme (NZ$20 voucher for every NZ$500 spent).
- Macpac Club -20% off all Macpac products, plus a membership reward scheme (NZ$25 for every NZ$250 spent).
- Torpedo7 Over & Above Club – a minimum of 10% off full-priced gear, plus reward membership scheme (NZ$2 for every NZ$100 spent).
How to Get an Outdoor Store Loyalty Card?
You can order all of the above membership cards in stores or online. The Kathmandu Summit Club is NZ$10 to join (or included with a YHA membership – see above); the Macpac Club and Torpedo7 Over & Above Club are free to join.
Supermarket Loyalty Cards
New Zealand’s three largest supermarket chains are New World, Countdown and Pakn’Save. Because it is likely that you will be shopping at these supermarkets regularly, it is worth getting a loyalty card for “club prices” on hundreds of products.
- Countdown Onecard – get club prices in-store, plus the option to earn Onecard reward vouchers or AA Smartfuel discounts.
- New World Clubcard – get club prices in-store, plus the option to earn Fly Buys points or Airpoints Dollars.
How to Get a Supermarket Loyalty Card?
You can either order your loyalty card online at the Countdown website and/or the New World website or pick up a form to fill out and send by post in stores. Note: if you cannot be bothered with the form-filling process, at least make sure that you pick up a tourist card in New World stores to give you access to club prices.
For more tips on saving money on food, see Food Shopping in New Zealand.
If you have your own vehicle or are renting a car in New Zealand, then saving money on fuel is pretty essential! There are heaps of fuel cards out there to choose from, such as:
- AA Smartfuel Card
For those travelling for less than a year in New Zealand, we recommend using supermarket fuel vouchers. Pakn’Save, Countdown and New World offer at least 6c per litre fuel vouchers with every transaction.
Find out more Ways to Save Money and Stretch Those Dollars Further