1-year domestic Half Fare Card on SwissPass

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Posts: 11
Markm85268
Markm85268
3 posts
new member
Oct 9, 2019 - 5:22 PM

Hello,

I've searched many posts and people say that I can still buy the annual 185CHF half fare card even though I am a US citizen, BUT, when I read the SBB site it says to get the SwissPass you need a picture and a Passport or ID card issued in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, Italy or Liechtenstein?

Can someone else share their experience and success? I have an address of a relative in Geneva so I can get it mailed there, but of course I only have a US passport... Thanks , Mark

rockoyster
rockoyster
7366 posts
expert
Oct 9, 2019 - 6:08 PM in reply to Markm85268

Hi Mark and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

You should have no problem. Below is the advice I got from SBB when I posed the same question.

You are eligible to purchase the domestic 1-year half-fare card on Swiss Pass if you'd like, with whatever address you prefer, but before you do so, please read the information below.


Travelcard and Tickets
For most tourists and short time visitors the separate offers (www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/travel-in-switzerland/internatio nal-guests.html) are better suited to their needs and they are generally valid with your Passport directly.

The Half Fare travelcard (www.sbb.ch/en/travelca rds-and-tickets/railpasses/hal f-fare-travelcard.html) is mainly for residents of Switzerland, frequent or longer stay visitors.
However you are absolutely free to purchase one of those if, even if none of that applies to you.


Online, postal or direct purchase
If you’re a first time customer without an existing SBB customer number an online travelcard order is only possible, if during the automated process, the Webshop can verify your First and Last Name, as well as Date of Birth with a valid government issued photo ID and the respective countries have provided a verification process of some sorts.

Currently the following countries provide the technological means to do so: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Switzerland

If you have an ID or passport from a different country, the SwissPass Half Fare travelcard may be purchased only using these 2 options:

1) By post mail service: order form (including a copy of a valid government issued photo ID, as well a physical photo) and your handwritten original signature. It’s the same which is attached to this email.
2) Directly at any staffed SBB railway station ticket counter (payment in cash, Reka Checks or by credit card).

Notes:
For legal reasons we require your original handwritten signature, thus can’t accept email orders or the likes.
If during the purchase/order, the postal address of the contract partner is not in one of the above mentioned countries, the automatic renewal is deactivated by default and can’t be overridden and no SwissPass card is issued.


SwissPass System
If you purchase a half fare travelcard at a SBB train station ticket counter you do have the option afterwards to upload a digital photo at www.swisspass.ch/picture if you don’t have or want to use a physical photo.
Note: You’ll need to create free SwissPass-Login at https://www.swisspass.ch/auth/login?lang=en to do so.

With the same SwissPass-Login you can use:

www.swisspass.ch = to access your travelcards, contracts, personal data and services
www.sbb.ch/en Webshop = to buy tickets etc. online
www.sbb.ch/mobile SBB Mobile (iOS/Android/Windows) = to buy tickets etc. with your mobile device, check your schedule/connections etc.


Recommendation
My advice, if you'd like to have a Half Fare travelcard on the SwissPass, buy it directly at one of our train station ticket counters. All it takes is about 3 minutes.
That way there is no paper work, you just order, sign the contract, pay and are good to go right away.
It also allows you to upload the photo comfortably digitally, have any other questions you might have answered and also set up SBB Mobile for an easy to use, convenient travel experience.


Kind regards and already in advance I wish you a pleasant stay

Markm85268
Markm85268
3 posts
new member
Oct 9, 2019 - 7:06 PM

Thank You !!!

I want this half fare card to enjoy the day pass for two, which is excluded from the 1-month half fare card. This will be our ninth trip to Switzerland, and I saw this day pass last year but was not advised I could use it if we bought the 1 year half fare card :(. Usually the SBB agent at Zurich HB always gives the best way to buy tickets, but they have never offered the annual half fare card to me, so I wanted to make sure.

Kind Regards,

Mark

1960man
1960man
2159 posts
top member
Oct 9, 2019 - 11:15 PM in reply to Markm85268

There should be no restriction. I have had a Swiss Pass half fare card for years now and am resident in the UK with a British Passport. Perhaps the restriction is for online purchase, but you can get a Swiss Pass over the counter on arrival in Switzerland. You should be able to do that by showing an identity piece such as passport.

I've renewed mine in various diverse places all over Switzerland (as I sometimes arrive in Swizterland by car or plane) - including Buchs SG, Luzern, Disentis Muster and Zurich Flughafen.

In fact I realise that list includes one of each - a mega hub, a medium sized provincial Swiss town, a main regional capital, and a small mountain town! - same swift friendly service at all four places!

Last modified on Oct 9, 2019 - 11:20 PM by 1960man
Ildiko
Ildiko
340 posts
top member &
moderator
Oct 10, 2019 - 11:27 AM

Hi Markm85268,

you can read about the Half-fare travelcard for residents or frequent visitors at www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/details under "Alternatives if you stay longer than 15 days". This page is also useful, it explains in brief what is the SwissPass and what is the difference between it and the Swiss Travel Pass: www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/swisspass.

Last modified on Oct 10, 2019 - 11:28 AM by Ildiko
Markm85268
Markm85268
3 posts
new member
Oct 10, 2019 - 2:09 PM

Thank you everyone for your replies. I feel comfortable now that I can buy the annual half fare card.

My concern was with this statement from the SBB site:

Passport or ID card issued in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, Italy or Liechtenstein. Apparently, the meaning is ANY Passport, with only restrictions on ID cards from the aforementioned countries....

I am surprised that in 9 trips to Switzerland and many trips to Zurich HB that the agents never suggested it, as they are always very helpful.

This the current day pass for 2 offer, this is certainly the most economical way to purchase this year...

Kind Regards,

Mark

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6736 posts
expert
Oct 10, 2019 - 6:25 PM in reply to Markm85268

Hi Mark -

I used to buy the three year Halb-Tax when it was stand-alone card. I used a Swiss address, of a friend.

A couple of years ago, I learned that the Swiss address was no longer required. So, even though I use a US address, I get the Half Fare option on the Swiss Pass. You do need a photograph.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Oct 10, 2019 - 6:25 PM by Slowpoke
1960man
1960man
2159 posts
top member
Oct 10, 2019 - 10:59 PM in reply to Slowpoke

I also used to buy the (late lamented) blue stand alone 3 year Halbtax, and never used anything but my UK address and ID

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6736 posts
expert
Oct 10, 2019 - 11:04 PM in reply to 1960man

<<"I also used to buy the (late lamented) blue stand alone 3 year Halbtax, and never used anything but my UK address and ID">>

Interesting, and, of course, moot. I recall that I thought that they required a Swiss address.

It was cheaper, too. ;-

Slowpoke

1960man
1960man
2159 posts
top member
Oct 10, 2019 - 11:14 PM in reply to Slowpoke

My uncle resident just across the border also had one for many years. This is one reason why there were (and still are) no restrictions - ie to enable residents close to Switzerland (eg in France or Germany around Basel, the Geneva area etc) and within easy reach of the Swiss national network to use it

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6736 posts
expert
Oct 10, 2019 - 11:36 PM in reply to 1960man

<<"This is one reason why there were (and still are) no restrictions - ie

to enable residents close to Switzerland (eg in France or Germany around

Basel, the Geneva area etc) and within easy reach of the Swiss national

network to use it">>

Thanks.

Makes it easier to understand the system.

Slowpoke

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