Pay with Swiss francs or Euros in Switzerland?

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kedarbarde
kedarbarde
7 posts
new member
Mar 12, 2018 - 9:08 AM

Hello Everyone

Do we need to carry Swiss Franks to spend in local shops or Euros are also accepted

Thank You

rockoyster
rockoyster
4028 posts
expert
Mar 12, 2018 - 9:13 AM in reply to kedarbarde

Carry CHF.

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Mar 12, 2018 - 12:10 PM in reply to kedarbarde

Hi kedarbarde,

Read the information on this page as well: www.myswissalps.com/sw issfranc

To rockoyster's point, yes, you should carry CHF.

Peterli
Peterli
642 posts
top member
Mar 12, 2018 - 5:37 PM

Hello,

The franc is the official currency of Switzerland, so you should always (as Rockoyster has already stated) carry CHF. When you are in smaller shops and stands, it is nicer if you pay in cash rather than with a credit card. The owner will appreciate this, because if you use a credit card, he or she will have to pay a fee to the credit card issuer, thus reducing his or her profits.

Another word about credit cards. If you are paying with a foreign credit card, you may be presented with the option of choosing to pay the amount owing in CHF or in the home currency of your credit card. If you have a credit card where the issuing bank does not charge an extra fee for conversion (usually about 2%) it is better for you to select the CHF option.

Last modified on Mar 12, 2018 - 5:42 PM by Peterli
Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 12, 2018 - 11:08 PM in reply to rockoyster

G'day Rockoyster

Since Switzerland is the last leg of our holiday, I am wondering where do I buy Swiss Francs (i.e at a good exchange rate) as we will be using Euros elsewhere in Europe (UK/France/Germany). We are flying from Salzburg to Zurich.

OR

Am I better off taking some Swiss francs from Oz itself?

Peterli
Peterli
642 posts
top member
Mar 12, 2018 - 11:16 PM

Well, I'm not from Oz, but I can tell you that they don't use Euros in the UK. Better get yourself some Sterling ! If I were you I'd check online to see where the best conversion rates are, and the graphics may indicate a swing in favour of one currency or another.

Last modified on Mar 12, 2018 - 11:16 PM by Peterli
rockoyster
rockoyster
4028 posts
expert
Mar 12, 2018 - 11:18 PM in reply to Meeraoz

Hi Meera,

I took a Commonwealth Bank Travel Card loaded with Euros and AU$. Got cash from ATMs in Switzerland. Unfortunately loading with CHF is not possible.

I also got a modest amount Euros (for Germany) and CHF in cash before departing Oz.

I didn't do any money changing in Switzerland so can't say where you get the best deal. Exchange rates are a minefield.

Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 13, 2018 - 12:19 AM in reply to Peterli

Yes with Brexit we have to have pounds on us

Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 13, 2018 - 12:23 AM in reply to rockoyster

Hi Rockoyster

I do the same generally - carry a small amount of cash to see me through day expenses. After doing a lot of research and with varied experience with cards such as cash passport etc, i have found Citibank debit card to be useful. We can load Aussie dollars on the card and use it in any Citibank ATMs or their partner banks to get local currency. From memory, I don't think they impose foreign conversion fees.

As usual I will try to take a modest amount of cash in pounds & swiss francs to see me through.

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

rockoyster
rockoyster
4028 posts
expert
Mar 13, 2018 - 2:09 AM in reply to Meeraoz

Nothing to do with Brexit. The Poms never embraced the Euro. 🏏

See if you can make sense of this www.choice.com.au/trav el/money/travel-money/articles/travel-money-cards

Last modified on Mar 13, 2018 - 2:10 AM by rockoyster
Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 13, 2018 - 2:26 AM in reply to rockoyster

Ok thanks will have a look at that link. This is my first trip to UK - haven't had much dealings with UK in terms of currency. Interesting to note that Poms never embraced the Euro. But then the pound has always been a strong currency for ages now

Peterli
Peterli
642 posts
top member
Mar 13, 2018 - 3:53 AM

It's probably best to not load up on too many UK pounds. The way its value is changing in relation to the Euro (and probably your Aussie $), you might want to only buy a minimal amount ahead of time if you find you need more, change some Euros into Sterling while you are there. The attached graph shows how the value of the GBP has changed since the Brexit vote. I put a black dot on that day, June 23, 2016. Funny how it was rising during the last few days prior to the vote. That's because the pollsters were predicting a NO (stay) vote.

Last modified on Mar 13, 2018 - 3:57 AM by Peterli
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Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 13, 2018 - 6:01 AM in reply to Peterli

Thank you Petereli - that information is most useful

cam223
cam223
75 posts
active member
Mar 13, 2018 - 6:28 PM

We carried Euros for Paris and Swiss francs for Switzerland. We got them before we left in the US but we paid a significant fee. I think it's always important to have some local money just in cash you can't charge something.

We had no problems in Zermatt and we charged lunch, dinners, train tickets, etc. However we had significant problems in Zurich at a very expensive restaurant where their credit card machine did not work for anyone using a credit card issued outside of Switzerland. At 11 PM there were several tables, including our table with significant bills and we were all told that our cards were declined. The manager actually suggested that some of our party go out and find an ATM--we quickly dismissed that idea. We called our credit card company, Chase and they informed her that our card was good, the charge was not declined, in fact it had never been put through from her end and that she should get her credit card people working on the issue. She still wasn't able to get anyone else's card to work. Keep in mind, most tables had 3 or 4 credit cards which we gave her and all were declined. We gave her all of our information and she finally said that she wanted us to wire the money once we returned home. Next day we found that she actually ran the charge later that night. .Our hotel the next morning had the same issue and we had to delay our trip to the airport until the desk clerk was able to put through the charge, same problem the merchant's machine was not working properly--we had to confirm this with Chase Bank, etc. That being said, it was the end of our trip and we didn't have enough cash to cover the dinner or the hotel--but we knew enough to call our credit card company and have them speak with the restaurant and the hotel. The restaurant was lovely and we had a great set of rooms at the hotel but this certainly added a lot of frustration to a lovely vacation.

Arno
Arno
11365 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 13, 2018 - 6:45 PM in reply to cam223

That's frustrating indeed! I've heard of credit card issues before and it's always the non-Swiss cards that have issues. I'm not Swiss either and mostly use a Maestro debit card. Never had a problem with it in Switzerland. I use it in shops and to withdraw cash.

Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 13, 2018 - 10:52 PM in reply to cam223

Cam223

Thank you for sharing your credit card experiences. Like Arno shared, I too tend to stick to a debit card.

Peterli
Peterli
642 posts
top member
Mar 13, 2018 - 11:37 PM in reply to Meeraoz

For what it's worth, I never use a debit card. I prefer a no-fee credit card and I always pay the full amount due. There are even some that do not charge the extra foreign exchange transaction fee.

Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 14, 2018 - 1:37 AM in reply to Peterli

I too have a no fee credit card. However most credit cards, they do charge a foreign conversion fee. With Citibank debit card, I guess it won't be so difficult to use them in most western countries as citibank ATMs are most likely to be around. A family member recently found that they could use the citibank debit card in 7/11 stores in Japan!

Peterli
Peterli
642 posts
top member
Mar 14, 2018 - 6:29 AM

Another way of looking at this foreign exchange transaction fee business is the fact that even if you go to your bank and buy your foreign currency before leaving home, they will nick you for a fee as well. I used to teach my students that if they went into a bank with say 100 Euros and converted it all to say CHF, and then walked across the street to another bank with their newly acquired CHF and converted them all to EUR, and then repeated this a good number of times, pretty soon they would be down to a fraction of their original 100 EUR. This is what banks do, and part of the reason they are so profitable. So buy some shares in banks and you'll get more than your money back in capital gains !

Last modified on Mar 14, 2018 - 6:31 AM by Peterli
Meeraoz
Meeraoz
46 posts
active member
Mar 14, 2018 - 9:05 AM in reply to Peterli

Very true!!!!! In Oz an oligarchy of 4 big banks dominate the economy - WESTPAC/ ANZ/NAB and Commonwealth Bank. A lot of super funds invest in their shares

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