I have finally reached my 3-month mark here in New Zealand and it’s time I write about what I do best – sharing my tips on how you can score the best deals, promotions and also, what are the recommended mobile apps to download in your stay here.
This will be an ongoing post as I attempt to update the information to the best of my ability!
Join the Telegram Chat Group for NZ Working Holiday Visa 2019/2020: https://t.me/NZWHV2019
1. Purchasing a Sim Card + Data Plan
Use Skinny promo code to receive free 4gb data: JXHZV3H
Strategy for the data-hungry individual to get 6.7gb of data at only $24/month!
For your first month, purchase a $66 plan which gives you 30gb of rollover data and then downgrade to the $16 plan thereafter. If you’re using for 6 months, you will get to enjoy ~6.7gb of data (including the free 4gb) per month at only $24.33/month on average!
2. Use ‘BookMe’ or ‘GrabOne’ which kinds of function like Groupon
Do you remember the good old days of Groupon? Well, something like this exists over here and it is called ‘Book Me’. You can score really good deals for stuff like skydiving but you will be restricted by their dates and timings. Sometimes, they even show you a table where you can see which date/timing has the cheapest price. There’s an app for it but you can also do it on their website: www.bookme.com
3. Use ‘First Table’ which is somewhat similar to Eatigo/Entertainer
Pay $10 to reserve your booking and enjoy 50% off the menu (exclusion applies). Usually, these reservations are usually the first table(s) of the day e.g. first lunch, first dinner and to secure your booking, you need to pay up. There’s a $5 signup promo discount so your first booking will only cost $5. It doesn’t really make sense if it is just 2 people but in a group, the savings can be quite significant especially when you’re dining at the up market places.
4. Domino’s Pizza app
Domino Pizza is kind of my lazy friday dinner option as it is delicious and the pricing is super reasonable – $5.40 for a pizza that I can eat for dinner + next day lunch (if I don’t order the thin crust). To make the cherry sweeter, they often have a lot of even better deals like 60% off their premium pizza range or set promotions which gets very reasonable with bigger groups. The best part is that you can order and make payment on the app and then drop into the store for collection and reduce the waiting time. So, I usually order at home or in my car before stepping out to collect the pizza. The only sad thing is that the Domino’s here does not have my favourite classified chicken flavour (in SIngapore).
5. Christchurch Casino Players Club + app
If you’re a new member of the casino, you will get a chance to ‘earn’ up to $80.
First Visit: register for a membership using the iPad (in the casino beside the counter) and validate your membership with the counter staff. You will receive $10 credits worth 1,000 coins. Download ‘Players Club’ (accessible only with NZ app store) and you can receive additional $10 after you download the app and show them one page.
Second, Third, Fourth visit (each week): Your card will be loaded up with $20 worth of credits. The credits do not roll over and if you forget for one week, its kind of forfeited. There’s a way to cash out the credits to cash but I’ll leave it up to you to figure out.
All in all, being a casino member can earn you $80 worth of credits or cash (assuming you don’t take up the gamble). You can also get free drinks in the casino as well!
6. Save all your memberships to ‘StoCard’
Throughout your stay in New Zealand, you will somehow be forced to signup for many membership programmes in order to receive the best discounts and promotions. Instead of carrying 10+ membership cards in your wallet, I usually upload the card details to this app called StoCard. Most shops use QR or barcode reader for their membership (though rare cases use magnetic stripe). The best part of this is that you can even link your membership points/details and read e-newsletter/advertisement from brands like Countdown. Whenever I’m bored, I do browse their e-magazine and check out the latest promotions.
With this app, I no longer have to dig for my wallet while I shop. I just search for the membership e-Card on my phone and continue the payment using apple pay. seamless.
7. Grocery membership – Pak n Save, Countdown, New World
Staying in New Zealand simply means that you have to cook your meals 70% of the time. You’ll be too broke trying to eat out often. As a result, visiting the grocery store at least once a week is kind of a necessity. You will need to stock up on fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs and all the other staples. The annoying thing about most savings/promotions are only exclusively for members; which means that you have to sign up. Well, the good thing is that the memberships are free and I kind of enjoy receiving their eDM because it does influence me on what to buy and when to visit the stores.
Furthermore, New World allows you to earn FlyBuy or AirPoints with your purchase (but honestly, I don’t think I’ll get much out in my short stay) and Countdown lets you earn vouchers or fuel discount (current partner is BP) with the One Card.
8. Signup for FlyBuys or AirPoints membership
AirPoints will allow you to offset your air ticket purchases only with Air New Zealand while FlyBuys points will be able to exchange for products, gift cards and this Hello World Travel Voucher which you can use to book for flight tickets too. There’s more flexibility in FlyBuys but the min. points for redemption is higher than AirPoints which start from the first dollar. To be honest, I did a rough calculation and you kind of get to earn 0.5 to 4% ‘rebate’ and I can’t really receive anything significant in the next few months so if you happen to try this out, do share your experience with me!
9. Use TradeMe (FlatMates) /Facebook Marketplace to look for housing
Looking for housing is one of the most annoying thing here and I kind of got a shocked when this potential landlord asked me to introduce myself (before even sharing with me the housing details). Sometimes, you will even need to have references before you get the room/flat and they will need to do a bit of cross referencing before they lease the house to you. Furthermore, most landlords will require you to pay a bond (usually half month to one month rent). Anyway, people here uses TradeMe (somewhat similar to our Carousell) and FaceBook Groups so often. Whenever you’re in a new city, do try to look for the city’s facebook group and you’ll be kept up to trends/trades/jobs/property available.
10. Grabaseat for cheap air tickets
Looking for last minute flight tickets? No idea why this website exist as a ‘budget’ platform of AirNZ but you can score awesome deals if you’re very flexible with your schedule. I haven’t tried it yet but I’ve heard good reviews.
11. Download ‘Gaspy’ app to check fuel pricing
This is one of my favourite app in New Zealand as it makes use of the community to update the fuel prices all over the country. Believe or not, the fuel prices in New Zealand is so volatile and is there even a reason to its volatility? Prices within Christchurch can vary between 6 to 12 cents for the same brand (like Caltex, BP or Mobile) when the two stations are barely 5 mins drive away. While I was staying in Christchurch, the fuel pricing is usually cheaper at Belfast area, compared to CBD which was just a short drive away. In Wanaka, things are even worse as the two main stations at the central are (BP and Caltex) have crazy prices at $2.449/L. However, if you drive like 3km away, there is this brand called allied (a self service station) where prices are only $2.179/L.
12. Download apps for petrol discount
I have been a loyal supporter of the Caltex app whenever I’m in Christchurch. Usually, the normal promotion gives you 6 cents off per litre and sometimes (usually wednesday) they have bonus discounts. The highest discount I ever gotten to date was 21 cents off per litre. Sadly, Caltex is way too expensive here in Wanaka and I’m depending on Allied, a low price self-service petrol station.
These are all the tips I have for now. I’ll continue to update this post should I have more time or discover another gem.
Hope you find this useful and feel free to recommend me more tips as well!