How to take money to Switzerland

Whilst the days of carrying travellers’ cheques on an overseas trip are well behind us, it can still be hard to decide the best way to take money to Switzerland.  Will a credit card be all you need? Should you get some Swiss currency before you leave? Or is there a better option?

swiss currency

Switzerland’s official currency is the Swiss franc. The Euro is accepted at some establishments, the exchange rate is likely to be unfavourable though. US dollars are generally not accepted.

Mastercard, Visa and American Express credit cards are widely accepted and it is advisable to take a credit card with a chip in it. It is recommended that when using a credit card to request that the transaction be processed in Swiss francs – not your home currency.

credit cards

debit cards

You can use your debit card but check that it has no fees, or very minimal fees. This applies to both international card transactions and ATM withdrawals. I use a Wise debit card and highly recommend it.

travel money card

I’m a big fan of travel money cards, however, some prepaid cards don't allow you to load Swiss francs. For this reason, I recommend the Wise debit card instead for Switzerland.

Where to exchange money

You’ll get the best exchange rates for foreign currency at any of the Swiss banks (they exchange bank notes only, not coins). You can also exchange foreign notes at currency exchange desks at the major airports, railway stations and some hotels.

Without a doubt my preferred method of payment in Switzerland is the Wise debit card. I always carry some cash, but 99% of the time I make all my payments with my card.

Planning a Trip to Switzerland

Planning on visiting Switzerland?

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