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    Currency in Switzerland CHF - Things to know

    Foreign exchange guide to Switzerland and the Swiss franc


    What currency is used in Switzerland?

    The official currency of Switzerland (country code: CH) is the Swiss franc, with symbol Fr. and currency code CHF.

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    Things to know about the Swiss franc

    The Swiss franc is the official currency of Switzerland and Liechtenstein. It is represented by the symbol "CHF" and is abbreviated as SFR.

    Contributing to roughly 5% of the foreign exchange market daily turnover, the Swiss franc 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.

    The Swiss franc banknotes and coins

    The physical Swiss franc currency consists of coins and banknotes. The coins come in denominations of 5 rappen (rapp), 10 rappen (rapp), 20 rappen (rapp), and 50 rappen (rapp). The banknotes come in denominations of 10 francs (CHF), 20 francs (CHF), 50 francs (CHF), 100 francs (CHF), 200 francs (CHF), and 1,000 francs (CHF).

    The banknotes feature images of Swiss cultural and historical figures, such as scientist Albert Einstein and composer Arthur Honegger. The design of the currency is constantly being updated, so the physical appearance of the coins and banknotes may vary slightly over time.

    An example Swiss franc banknote


    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.


    Travel Ideas and Money Tips for Switzerland

    Switzerland is a small, landlocked country located in Central Europe. It is known for its picturesque alpine landscapes, its renowned ski resorts, and its reputation as a global financial and banking center. Switzerland is also known for its high standard of living, its efficient public transport system, and its multicultural society.

    For expats, Switzerland is a good destination because of its high standard of living, stable economy, and excellent transportation and infrastructure. The country's healthcare system is also considered to be one of the best in the world. The country is multilingual with French, German, Italian and Romansh spoken depending on the location. This can be a challenge for expats who do not speak one of the official languages, but many expats find that learning the local language can be beneficial to improve job opportunities and integrating into Swiss society.

    Switzerland is a highly developed and affluent country, and cost of living can be quite high, particularly in larger cities such as Zurich and Geneva. However, this is balanced by high salaries and an excellent quality of life.

    For travelers, Switzerland is a popular destination because of its spectacular scenery, outdoor activities, and cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the snow-capped mountains and valleys of the Swiss Alps, hike or ski in the mountains, visit charming medieval villages, or take in the views from one of the many scenic mountain railway routes. Switzerland also has a rich history of art, music, and architecture, and is home to many museums, galleries, and historic sites.

    Switzerland is also known for its chocolate, watches, and banking sector, so travelers may want to indulge in some local chocolate and maybe purchase a watch while they're in the country.

    Overall Switzerland is an excellent destination for both expats and travelers looking for a high quality of life, beautiful landscapes, and a rich cultural heritage.


    USD/CHF Market Data

    The below interactive chart displays the USD/CHF change and UP📈 DOWN📉 trends over the past 1 Year.

    1 USD =
    0.8911We compare provider deals to this wholesale mid-market rate. Read more
      1 CHF = 1.1222 USD   (Inverse rate)
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    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?

    What are equivalent amounts of USD and CHF?

    Here are some popular conversion amounts for USD to CHF (US dollar to Swiss franc)*.

    $ 1 Fr. 0.8911
    $ 5 Fr. 4.4555
    $ 10 Fr. 8.9110
    $ 20 Fr. 17.82
    $ 50 Fr. 44.56
    $ 100 Fr. 89.11
    $ 250 Fr. 222.78
    $ 500 Fr. 445.55
    $ 1,000 Fr. 891.10
    $ 2,000 Fr. 1,782
    $ 5,000 Fr. 4,456
    $ 10,000 Fr. 8,911
    $ 20,000 Fr. 17,822
    $ 50,000 Fr. 44,555
    $ 100,000 Fr. 89,110
    $ 1.1222 Fr. 1
    $ 5.6110 Fr. 5
    $ 11.22 Fr. 10
    $ 22.44 Fr. 20
    $ 56.11 Fr. 50
    $ 112.22 Fr. 100
    $ 280.55 Fr. 250
    $ 561.10 Fr. 500
    $ 1,122 Fr. 1,000
    $ 2,244 Fr. 2,000
    $ 5,611 Fr. 5,000
    $ 11,222 Fr. 10,000
    $ 22,444 Fr. 20,000
    $ 56,110 Fr. 50,000
    $ 112,220 Fr. 100,000

    More amounts

    *Converted at the current USDCHF interbank exchange rate. Calculate actual payout amounts for Send Money and Travel Money exchange rates.

    Send Money to Switzerland - Best Rates

    To get a good (and fair) exchange rate when sending money to Switzerland you need to find and compare exchange rates for International Money Transfers (IMTs).

    The available FX rates for sending money abroad can be very different to the mid-market (wholesale) rate which you see reported online and in the News.

    You should especially compare your own bank's exchange rates to those available from Money Transfer specialists to see how much you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.

    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 the above 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!


    Expat Money & Business Guide to Switzerland

    Managing your money effectively while living and working abroad can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to ensure that your finances are in order.

    By following these tips and managing your money effectively, you can reduce financial stress and enjoy your experience living or doing business in Switzerland.

    Swiss laws expats should be aware of

    There are a few laws and regulations in Switzerland that expats may need to be aware of:

    1. Check travel advisories: Before planning your trip, check the latest travel advisories and security information from your government's foreign affairs department or equivalent, to stay informed about the most current safety and security risks.

    2. Get vaccinated: Check with your healthcare provider or a travel medicine specialist to ensure that you are up to date on any required or recommended vaccinations for travel to the DRC.

    3. Plan your route carefully: Avoid traveling to areas that are considered to be dangerous or that have ongoing conflicts. Some parts of the country are completely off-limits to foreigners, so be sure to plan your route and accommodations accordingly.

    4. Be prepared for unexpected delays: The DRC has a poorly developed infrastructure and transport can be unreliable. Be prepared for flight delays, cancellations, or other transport-related issues.

    5. Be aware of the local laws: Be sure to familiarize yourself with the local laws and customs of the DRC to avoid any misunderstandings or legal issues.

    6. Have emergency contact: Make sure someone know your itinerary, and contact information for emergency and consular assistance.

    7. Have contact of good medical facilities and emergency medical evacuation services in case of any emergency situation.

    Expats should be aware of these laws and regulations, and should consult with the local authorities and/or a legal professional if they have any questions or concerns. It's always good to check with the local authorities if something is not clear.

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

    Switzerland has some restrictions and additional fees that may apply to property purchases by foreigners. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

    1. Restrictions on second homes: In some cantons (regions) and municipalities, there may be restrictions on the purchase of second homes by foreigners, particularly in popular ski and tourist areas. These restrictions are usually put in place to prevent the local housing market from becoming too expensive for residents.

    2. Additional fees: Foreigners may be subject to additional taxes and fees when purchasing property in Switzerland. These can include a federal withholding tax of 3% on the purchase price, as well as cantonal and municipal taxes.

    3. Permits: In some cases, foreigners may also be required to obtain a permit from the local authorities in order to purchase property in Switzerland, which can take some time to process and may involve additional fees.

    4. Rental properties: If you are planning to purchase a property as a rental, be aware that some cantons have restrictions on short-term rentals, and also have strict regulations that must be followed.

    5. Mortgages: Foreigners may also find it more difficult to obtain a mortgage from a Swiss bank, as the lending criteria may be different from what they are used to. They may also be required to provide a larger deposit, or to pay higher interest rates.

    6. Inheritance Tax: Switzerland does not have a federal inheritance tax but some cantons do have an inheritance tax, which can be significant in some cases.

    It's worth noting that these rules and regulations can vary depending on the location and the specific property being purchased, so it's important to do your research and consult with a local real estate professional, lawyer or a tax expert to ensure you understand the requirements and costs associated with purchasing property in Switzerland as a foreigner.

    Managing your finances in Switzerland

    Here we list some key points for expats and businesses to consider when managing financial dealings in Switzerland:

    1. Understand Swiss franc currency exchange rates: Exchange rates can have a big impact on your finances, so it is important to keep an eye on the CHF exchange rate and consider using a currency exchange service or a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees to get the best exchange rate.

    2. Use a local Swiss franc bank account: A local CHF bank account can make it easier for you to manage your finances and pay bills while you are in Switzerland. It may also be more convenient to use a local CHF bank account to make purchases and withdraw cash.

    3. Research local laws and regulations: It is important to understand the local laws and regulations that apply to financial transactions in Switzerland. This can help you avoid legal issues and ensure that you are complying with local requirements.

    4. Consider the tax implications: It is important to understand the tax implications of living or doing business in Switzerland. This can help you plan your finances and ensure that you are paying the correct amount of tax.

    5. Seek financial advice: If you are unsure of how to manage your finances in Switzerland, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a financial professional who is familiar with the local financial system. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls.


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