banking circa 1957

5 major bank chains here in nz – westpac, bank of new zealand, national bank, anz and kiwi bank. surprisingly only kiwi bank is nz owned – the rest are australian. my bank is westpac and so far it has been a great experience. when you walk into a branch you have the following options:

  • tellers for the basics
  • inquires desk for questions and simple stuff like reseting a pin.
  • bankers at desks for opening accounts, changing an address, etc.
  • migrant bankers specializing in helping new migrants get settled.
  • personal bankers for an ongoing contact point at the bank.

my personal banker is ilana. earlier this week i walked in to ask about getting a credit card.

(at the inquires desk) “hello, is ilana available?”
“if you can wait just a moment i’ll see if she is available”
(ilana approaching) “hello antony, having a good day?” (i’ve only met ilana twice before and she knows my name. i know her’s only since i’ve put her card in my wallet)
“great. i’d like to apply for a credit card”
“i can help you with that. let’s step back to my office and i can get you setup. what did you have in mind for a credit line?”
“no strong desire – i need it to be enough to cover an occasional trip back to the states for me and my partner”
“a gold card would be best for that since it provides free travel cover. is 10,000 acceptable? we can increase it if you later find the need.”
“10,000 should be fine”
“great – then if i can just get a few details on this application we’ll be done.”
the application is an oddly empty form that asks for name, birth date, mother’s maiden name and signature.
“sorry to ask, but can i see your your driver’s license. i need to tick that i’ve sighted some id. thanks. that’s it. i’ll get your card out to you by the end of the week.”

out the door in under 10 minutes.

the travel insurance coverage is actually what was driving me to get a nz credit card. nz coverage only provides limited emergency care when out of nz. using the credit card for travel purchases will provide full coverage when we’re on holiday (vacation).

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