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Switzerland - Swiss Franc - Currency Guide

 

Foreign exchange guide to Switzerland and the Swiss Franc (CHF)

   

General Currency Info - Swiss Franc

Contributing to roughly 5% of the foreign exchange market daily turnover, the Swiss franc (ISO: CHF) is the world’s seventh most traded currency.

The Swiss franc is traditionally considered Europe’s safe haven currency due to factors including Switzerland’s traditional position as a politically neutral country, its reputation for stability, impressive financial system, historically low inflation and its ability to consistently run a trade surplus. For this reason, the franc is likely to increase in value during periods of economic uncertainty or when global geopolitical risk is elevated, or during bouts of high market volatility.

To prevent unwanted currency appreciation, between September 2011 and January 2015 the franc’s value was pegged to the euro at a rate of Fr. 1.2. When Switzerland’s central bank unexpectedly abandoned the peg in 2015 it caused significant market turmoil.

Since 1995, against the world’s reserve currency, the US dollar, the Swiss franc’s lowest valuation came in October 2000 when CHF/USD traded at just 0.5465. Its post-1995 high came in August 2011 at 1.4152.

   

CHF News, Forecasts and Trends

The Swiss National Bank continues to reaffirm its commitment to an ultra-loose monetary policy, which includes negative interest rates and a willingness to intervene in FX markets, as part of an effort to spark inflation in the economy.

The SNB will be unhappy, therefore, with the franc’s strength in May.

Between April-23 and May-24 (the day of this report), the franc was the best performing G10 currency; it gained 2.2 percent against the euro, taking EUR/CHF back towards Fr1.12 and close to long-term lows (franc highs).

May’s strength reflected worsening sentiment towards the global economy, driven by a significant escalation in US-China trade tensions. As a safe haven, the franc typically gains value during tough times and sinks when investors gain confidence.

The below interactive chart shows the USD to CHF exchange rate, trend and recent alerts for the last 90 days.

   
Recent USD to CHF 90-day trend
 
ALERTS:1-DAY0.5% | 14-DAY LOWS |
USD/CHF at 0.9632 was trading 0.5% below AVG:0.9676 with LO:0.9263 and HI:0.9877 (90 days). ALERTS: Today USD/CHF was DOWN 0.5% and also dropped to 14-DAY LOWS.

US Dollar to Swiss Franc - Historical Rates

USD/CHFPeriod to 28-MayDateRate
0.7% ▼1 Week21 May 20200.9707
1% ▼30 Days28 Apr 20200.9738
0.1% ▼90 Days28 Feb 20200.9649
4.4% ▼1 Year29 May 20191.0084
2.5% ▲5 Years30 May 20150.9410
16.5% ▼10 Years31 May 20101.1550
USD/CHF 10 year rates & changes to 28-May-2020 (0.9642)

US Dollar to Swiss Franc - Quick Conversions

USD CHF
U$ 1 Fr 0.9632
U$ 5 Fr 4.8160
U$ 10 Fr 9.6320
U$ 20 Fr 19.26
U$ 50 Fr 48.16
U$ 100 Fr 96.32
U$ 250 Fr 240.80
U$ 500 Fr 481.60
U$ 1,000 Fr 963.20
U$ 2,000 Fr 1,926
U$ 5,000 Fr 4,816
U$ 10,000 Fr 9,632
U$ 50,000 Fr 48,160
U$ 100,000 Fr 96,320
More amounts
USD CHF
U$ 1.0382 Fr 1
U$ 5.1910 Fr 5
U$ 10.38 Fr 10
U$ 20.76 Fr 20
U$ 51.91 Fr 50
U$ 103.82 Fr 100
U$ 259.55 Fr 250
U$ 519.10 Fr 500
U$ 1,038 Fr 1,000
U$ 2,076 Fr 2,000
U$ 5,191 Fr 5,000
U$ 10,382 Fr 10,000
U$ 51,910 Fr 50,000
U$ 103,820 Fr 100,000
More amounts

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What currency should I use in Switzerland?

The domestic currency in Switzerland is the Swiss Franc.

What is the Swiss Franc currency code and symbol?

The three letter currency code for the Swiss Franc is CHF — symbol is Fr.

Which countries use the Swiss Franc?

It is the domestic currency in    Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Is the Swiss Franc a closed currency?

No, the Swiss Franc is freely available and convertible. See guide: What is a closed currency?

 

Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for Switzerland

Switzerland is a well organized and safe country, however it is not cheap. Switzerland is one of the most beautiful places on earth – and beauty has a price! As one of the most expensive countries in Europe, Switzerland is often skipped over by budget travelers. Not only does Switzerland have great rural beauty but also the cities urban edge: capital Bern with its medieval old town and world-class modern art, Germanic Basel and its bold architecture, chic Geneva aside Europe’s largest lake, party-loving Lausanne, tycoon magnet Zug and uber-cool Zürich with its riverside bars, reborn industrial west district and atypical street grit.

What currency should I use in Switzerland?

Businesses throughout Switzerland, including most hotels and some restaurants and souvenir shops, will accept payment in euros. Change will be given in Swiss francs at the rate of exchange calculated on the day.

ATMs,called Bancomats in banks and Postomats in post offices, are widespread and accessible 24 hours. They accept most international bank or credit cards and have multilingual instructions. Your bank or credit-card company will often charge a 1% to 2.5% fee, and there may also be a small charge at the ATM end. Credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, shops and restaurants. EuroCard/MasterCard and Visa are the most popular.

Tipping is not necessary, given that hotels, restaurants, bars and even some taxis are legally required to include a 15% service charge in bills.

Change money at banks, airports and nearly every train station until late into the evening. Banks tend to charge about 5% commission; some money-exchange bureaus don’t charge commission at all.

Car rental can be pricey when you include the cost of fuel. Booking a rail pass helps you plan what you will be spending, and children travel for free. If you intend to travel by train, boat, bus or cable cars, a rail pass will help you save money. Take advantage of the rail pass extras. For example, the Swiss Travel Pass includes free entrance to hundreds of museums and allows free traveling on the most beautiful scenic routes, and some cable cars and cogwheel trains are free instead of discounted.

Even without a rail pass, traveling is free in some cases if you stay at certain hotels. Booking seats is not required for most trains, so you can save money by not doing so. Budget hotels are available, however top tourist towns are generally quite expensive.

Do I need a Visa for Switzerland?

Formalities are minimal when arriving in Switzerland by air, rail or road thanks to the Schengen Agreement, which allows passengers coming from the EU to enter without showing a passport. When arriving from a non-EU country, you'll need your passport or EU identity card – and visa if required – to clear customs. All non-EU travellers must carry a passport valid for at least three months beyond the planned departure date from Switzerland.

Switzerland has no explicit entry restrictions based on nationality or previous passport stamps, but citizens of some countries may require a visa. Visas are not required if you hold a passport from the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, whether visiting as a tourist or on business. Citizens of the EU, Norwegians and Icelanders may also enter Switzerland without a visa. A maximum 90-day stay in a 180-day period applies, but passports are rarely stamped.

 

Travel money for Switzerland

Save money and time by Ordering your Swiss Franc online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the CHF cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.

Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.

For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Swiss Franc otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.

 
 

USD to CHF - Travel Money & Cards

Provider Amount CHF(Fr) Exchange RateFee USDDeal Links
Fr953.61
1%
Best Overall
0.9584U$5.00
U.S. Bank Foreign Cash
U.S. Bank logo
Fr901.60
6.4%
Fr52 less
0.90160
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo
Fr892.59
7.33%
Fr61 less
0.901615
Wells Fargo Bank logo
Fr883.57
8.27%
Fr70 less
0.9016U$20
Travelex Online logo
Fr873.30
9.33%
Fr80 less
0.87330^
 
loading
TransferWise: Travel Money USD→CHF
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:U$5.00 USD (0.5% + U$1)
Exchange Rate:0.9584 (-0.5% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CHF) Fr953.61
Total Cost:1%
Time:3:29 Local
Currency Services:Multi-currency debit card with linked foreign bank accounts
Delivery/Collect:5-7 days
Rating:
 
: 4.6/5.0
Reviews:
 
U.S. Bank logo
loading
U.S. Bank: Travel Money USD→CHF
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:0
Exchange Rate:0.9016 (-6.4% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CHF) Fr901.60
Total Cost:6.4%
Time:3:29 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Banks - Average Rate
loading
Travel Money USD→CHF
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:15
Exchange Rate:0.8428 (-12.5% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CHF) Fr892.59
Total Cost:7.33%
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
 
Wells Fargo Bank logo
loading
Wells Fargo Bank: Travel Money USD→CHF
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:U$20 USD (Minimum fee)
Exchange Rate:0.9016 (-6.4% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CHF) Fr883.57
Total Cost:8.27%
Time:3:29 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
loading
Travelex Online: Travel Money USD→CHF
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:$0 - No fees for Debit & Credit Cards
Exchange Rate:0.8733 (-9.33% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CHF) Fr873.30
Total Cost:9.33%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Fri May 29 2020 03:15:03 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Currency Services:FREE Home delivery & Branch pickup
Delivery/Collect:2-3 days
Rating:
 
: 4.3/5.0
Reviews:
 
loading
Snapshot 05/29/2020 - View live rates

Sending money to Switzerland

When searching around for information on how to get a good exchange rate when sending money to Switzerland you need to start with finding out the latest Swiss Franc foreign-transfer exchange rate.

Then compare your bank's exchange rates to several licensed FX providers exchange rate and fees to see how much you can save (we make that calculation easy here).

What are the property purchase restrictions and fees for foreigners in Switzerland?

Switzerland's "Lex Koller Law" (The Swiss Federal Act on Acquisition of Real Estate by Persons Abroad) imposes tough restrictions on house purchases by foreigners not living in the country. The main exception is for holiday homes in some cantons - not including Zurich. Foreigners with residency permits can buy a main residence.

Notary, land register and title transfer fees vary between cantons, but typically are less than 1 percent of the sale price.


Get a better deal for foreign transfers to Switzerland

When sending money to Switzerland it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :

  1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
  2. You specify the local or Swiss Franc amount you want to transfer
  3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
  4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted CHF amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Switzerland.

Use our Send to Swiss Franc calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Swiss Franc deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!

 

USD to CHF International Money Transfers

Foreign Transfer Provider Receive CHF(Fr) Exchange RateFee USDDeal Links
OFX logo
Fr943.50
2.05%
Best Overall
0.94350^
XE logo
Fr948.80
1.5%
Fr5.3 more
0.94880
HSBC logo
Fr925.01
3.96%
Fr18 less
0.9264U$1.50
U.S. Bank International Money Transfers
U.S. Bank logo
Fr922.60
4.22%
Fr21 less
0.92260
Wells Fargo Bank logo
Fr908.85
5.64%
Fr35 less
0.9274U$20
Bank of America International Money Transfers
Bank of America logo
Fr908.76
5.65%
Fr35 less
0.9226U$15
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Bank of America logo HSBC logo Wells Fargo Bank logo
Fr916.31
4.87%
Fr27 less
0.924815
 
loading
OFX: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:0^ - No fees for BestExchangeRates users (normally $12 for smaller transfers)
Exchange Rate:0.9435 (2.05% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CHF) Fr943.50
Total Cost:2.05%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Fri May 29 2020 03:02:38 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone, Foreign Currency Accounts
Rating:
 
: 4.8/5.0
Reviews:
 
loading
XE: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:
Exchange Rate:0.9488 (1.5% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CHF) Fr948.80
Total Cost:1.5%
Difference:
Fr5.3 CHF more than using OFX
Time:3:29 Local
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone
Rating:
 
: 3.5/5.0
Reviews:
 
HSBC logo
loading
HSBC: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:U$1.50 USD (.15%)
Exchange Rate:0.9264 (3.82% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CHF) Fr925.01
Total Cost:3.96%
Difference:
Fr18 CHF less than using OFX
Time:3:29 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
U.S. Bank logo
loading
U.S. Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:0
Exchange Rate:0.9226 (4.22% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CHF) Fr922.60
Total Cost:4.22%
Difference:
Fr21 CHF less than using OFX
Time:3:29 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Wells Fargo Bank logo
loading
Wells Fargo Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:U$20 USD (Minimum fee)
Exchange Rate:0.9274 (3.72% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CHF) Fr908.85
Total Cost:5.64%
Difference:
Fr35 CHF less than using OFX
Time:3:29 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Bank of America logo
loading
Bank of America: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:U$15 USD (Minimum fee)
Exchange Rate:0.9226 (4.22% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CHF) Fr908.76
Total Cost:5.65%
Difference:
Fr35 CHF less than using OFX
Time:3:29 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Banks - Average Rate
loading
Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
From Amount (USD)U$1,000
Fee:15
Exchange Rate:0.9207 (4.41% from mid-rate)
To Amount (CHF) Fr916.31
Total Cost:4.87%
Difference:
Fr27 CHF less than using OFX
Transfer Speed:
Services:
 
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Snapshot 05/29/2020 - View live rates

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