<<"have a client who handles problems like this in the US and travels
extensively outside of the US each year. She said that it's definitely a
merchant problem which can be fixed by the merchants with their credit
card systems. There's no reason why establishments in Zurich should have
this issue--we shopped, went to various restaurants in Zermatt and none
of them had this problem.">>
Hi Cam 223 - Valuable information.
Thanks for posting.
I'll be in Zürich in a few weeks. I've got my fingers crossed. Never had that trouble over 30 + years of visiting Switzerland. However, some of those years don't count, I guess. Only the last 3 or 4, probably.
Many of those years I kept a small "checking" account at the Post Office (PostFinanz) and use their card. No fees per transaction, only one exchange rate plus a fixed fee no matter how much I sent over when I wired the money over to refill the account.
Then, as a result of FATCA and the UBS problems in the USA, most Swiss banks stopped handling USA citizens accounts....unless you had a whole lot of money with them.
Then, for a few years, a friend set up an account in his name at a local bank and I carried a debit card from that account. I wired the money to him, and he put it into that account. Strictly speaking, it became his money, but he was trustworthy.
Historically, many Swiss merchants did not accept credit cards long after they were common elsewhere. Much more true in the countryside than in the major tourist and business destinations. I wonder if there could be a connection?
Since I now have credit cards that do not charge a transaction fee, and take "only" 2.7 to 3.0 % of the exchange rate as their price, I use those, and also take cash with them at ATMs. Cash is always welcome.
I hope those cards work. ;-)