Purchase of Swiss Travel Pass – choice of vendor

  • Removed user
    52345 posts
    21 July 2016 at 1:20:10 #809731


    I have been looking at various forum posts but haven’t seen an exact answer for my query.

    I am planning to purchase 8-day pass for 2-Adults and 2-kids (with Swiss Family Card). I am based in the U.S. and had checked prices for the passes. Here is what I have found:

    1) http://www.sbb.ch/ticketshop – offers it for 363+363 = 726 CHF. Unclear if there is any handling fee for e-tickets and e-Swiss Family Pass

    2) shop.swissrailways.com /customer.php – offers it for the same price, with some additional 15 CHF handling fee. It is not clear if this applies to e-tickets as well.

    3) http://www.raileurope.com – Offering the same for $770 and no extra fees. Given the current rates, this is roughly 5% extra. I called their number in NY and they gave me a story saying the other websites will reject your credit card, and that they will forward you to them and that they are the only official place you can purchase tickets in the US.

    Is this true ? Do I need to purchase them from raileurope only ? My credit card has no currency exchange fee, so I can pay in CHF and not incur an extra typical 3% charges.



  • Annika
    7001 posts
    21 July 2016 at 5:38:42 #854431

    Hi Vikram,

    There’s no need to look in the forum to find a vendor. You’ll find lots of posts but all about specific situations for those travelers. Instead, just check the page http://www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/price. It automatically lists all purchase options for the country you’re currently in.

    Now, for the options you’re considering:

    1) This is the domestic website of the SBB. You’d normally use that to check for timetables, train station information, etc. I’d don’t know much about their ticket shop when it comes to passes for tourists.

    2) This is the SBB web shop for tourists where they only sell the rail passes. This is the option I recommend at the moment. There is no handling fee, and no shipping fee either if you pick the print at home pass. Here’s how it works: please visit http://www.swissrailways.com/ en and click to the Swiss Travel Pass. After filling out the number of travelers and your address, they will show the delivery options. Pick “Online Ticket” from the bottom of the list. They will e-mail the pass within a few business days, so you can print it at home. You can pay in USD, but for better prices I’d recommend CHF as you already suggested.

    3) Rail Europe is one of the US vendors for passes, the biggest in fact. You can buy through them but you’re not forced to. Perhaps the domestic SBB site (option 1) indeed redirects to them, I don’t know, but option 2 is definitely available.

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