What cards should every student have in their wallet?

These three cards will make Auckland living so much easier.

There are a few items you wouldn't leave your home without. Your set of keys is likely to be the first thing, whether for your car, flat or locker. Phone probably comes second, if not first. And the third? Your wallet.

Arguably, your wallet or purse may be the most important item you have. After all, it holds identification, cash, and if a little lacking in the monetary department, cards that allow you access to cash. In New Zealand, you're unlikely to never need to use a single card from your wallet. Here are some cards that we highly advise every student in Auckland add to their wallet.

Bank cards

It's safer to carry bank cards than large sums of cash.It's safer to carry bank cards than large sums of cash.

Cards probably pass hands more often than cash in New Zealand, and even though it isn't uncommon to have cash on-hand, a bank card can offer more peace of mind. It's not only more efficient, but also means you don't have to carry or hoard a large stash of cash. It'll be easier to send and receive money between family and friends globally, and at the very least, it's a lot smaller and lighter in your wallet too.

In New Zealand, the more common banks you'd find are Kiwibank, BNZ, ANZ and ASB. Of course, there are a few others, but it's best to choose one that has ATMs that can be found easily in case you need to make any cash withdrawals. Research and find the best type of account for you – many offer tertiary accounts to students, meaning little to no bank fees!

AT HOP card

Even if you live on campus, it's a good idea to have an AT Hop card on hand. It's much more efficient than paying by cash, because in cases such as trains or ferries, you'll need to obtain a cash ticket before boarding. 

An AT HOP card gives you a discount over a cash fare, and if you use public transport daily, you can get a tertiary concession loaded which provides even cheaper fares. Make sure you can show valid student I.D. with a tertiary I.D. sticker (obtained from AIS offices) and either apply online or visit the nearest AT customer service centre to load a tertiary concession. 

To make things simpler for yourself, load an auto top-up onto your card, so when you have a low balance, it'll automatically load onto your card and save you from having to hunt for spare cash.

Auckland Libraries card

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Even if you're not a big fan of reading, an Auckland Libraries card will be very useful. It's free for those 18 and over and living in Auckland. All you need is I.D. and a letter showing proof of address (bank statement or bills). You'll have access to a wide range of books, magazines, audiobooks, CDs, DVDs and much more, borrowing up to 35 items at a time!

During your studies, the AIS Library should suffice, but you can also search the database for Auckland Library journals and textbooks that could help your studies immensely. Additionally, it's a good place to spend a quiet afternoon, studying, catching up on the latest popular manga or book series, or using one of the free computers. You can also photocopy, scan and print almost anything you'd like.

Collect the cards!

Of course, you'll fill your wallet up with other things such as cafe loyalty cards, receipts, identification and perhaps even a photo of your loved ones. These three cards here are highly recommended, and either free or require a small fee. 

For more information about living in Auckland, the team at AIS can help you out.