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Foreign Exchange Guide to Switzerland

Read this currency guide to Switzerland with money transfer and travel tips.   [USD/CHF=0.9928]

Switzerland
Country Code:
CH
Domestic Currency:
Swiss Franc
Symbol - Code:
Fr CHF
Telephone Prefix:
+41

This is a foreign exchange guide to Switzerland, the Swiss Franc currency plus CHF transfers and travel tips.


In this Switzerland currency guide we take a look at :

  1. Swiss Franc info - general info about the Swiss Franc
  2. Swiss Franc in the markets - recent CHF moves and predictions from the FX markets
  3. Travelling in Switzerland - currency & money saving tips
  4. Buying Swiss Franc cash online - travel money for Switzerland
  5. Sending money to Switzerland - save on Swiss Franc bank transfers to Switzerland
  6. Swiss Franc exchange rates - latest & historic exchange rates.

Swiss Franc (CHF) general currency information


What is the Swiss Franc currency code and symbol?

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


Which countries use the Swiss Franc?

It is the domestic currency in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

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.


Swiss Franc (CHF) in the markets

12-December-18: The Swiss franc strengthened in the first half of December, shrugging off poor third-quarter GDP data.

The Swiss National Bank said in November that “monetary policy with negative interest rates and the willingness to intervene [in FX markets] remains necessary.” The SNB’s continued dovishness accounts for the franc’s 7 percent year-to-date decline relative to the dollar, against which it was valued at the time of writing at Fr0.993.

Since bouncing off the symbolic level of 1.2 in April, the franc has strengthened by 6.4 percent against the euro — a euro that is under intense pressure from Brexit-related uncertainties. The euro bought only 1.128 francs at the time of writing, which will undoubtedly concern the SNB.

Scotiabank sees the franc much stronger against the dollar by the end of 2019, at Fr0.88, and marginally weaker against the euro, at Fr1.15.

The interactive chart below shows the USD to CHF exchange rate for the previous 3 months with rate alerts for days when the exchange rate moved up or down significantly or for 30 day highs and lows.


USD-CHF 3 Month chart
USD-CHF 3 Month chart
USDCHF currency converter

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.

 

Travel Money - Exchange Rate Comparison

Travel Money Providers
Ratings & Reviews
Amount CHF(Fr)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostCurrency ServicesDelivery SpeedDeal Links
Wells Fargo Bank logo
930.51 CHF
Value & Rating
0.9495$206.38%Branch-
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo
930.41 CHF
Fr0.1 less
0.9399$106.39%Branch-
U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank logo
930.30 CHF
Fr0.21 less
0.930306.4%Branch-
 
Travelex Online US logo
917.50 CHF
Fr13 less
0.91750^7.69%Online order, Branch pickup, Home delivery2-3 days
Wells Fargo Bank: Travel Money USD→CHF
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$20 USD (Minimum fee)
Exchange Rate:0.9495 (4.47% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:930.51 CHF
Total Cost:6.38%
Time:12:07 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery Speed:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo

Travel Money USD→CHF
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$10 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.8697 (12.5% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:930.41 CHF
Total Cost:6.39%
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery Speed:-
U.S. Bank: Travel Money USD→CHF
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:0
Exchange Rate:0.9303 (6.4% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:930.30 CHF
Total Cost:6.4%
Time:12:07 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery Speed:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
Travelex Online US: Travel Money USD→CHF
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$0 - No fees for Debit & Credit Cards
Exchange Rate:0.9175 (7.69% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:917.50 CHF
Total Cost:7.69%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Mon Dec 17 2018 10:00:04 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Currency Services:Online order, Branch pickup, Home delivery
Delivery Speed:2-3 days
Rating:
 
: 4.3/5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Shop-around with multiple providers: Get Quotes
Rates @ 12/17/2018.
Total Cost = Fee + exchange rate margin vs USD/CHF mid-rate: 0.9939
 

Switzerland Trip Checklist    

 
  1. Compare CHF travel cash rates - probably why you are here!
  2. Search Hotel deals - Save on your accomodation in Switzerland
  3. Lonely Planet - world's best travel guide (coupon and deals)

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 CHF 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!

 

Foreign Transfers - Exchange Rate Comparison

Foreign Transfer Providers
Ratings & Reviews
Amount CHF(Fr)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostTransfer ServicesTransfer SpeedDeal Links
 
WorldFirst logo
9,899 CHF
Value & Rating
0.989900.4%Bank Transfers - Online & Phone1-2 days
 
OFX logo
9,841 CHF
Fr58 less
0.98410^0.99%Bank Transfers - Online & Phone1-2 days
Wells Fargo Bank logo
9,636.62 CHF
Fr262 less
0.9654183.04%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
HSBC logo
9,629.53 CHF
Fr269 less
0.9644$153.11%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo
9,571 CHF
Fr328 less
0.9627153.7%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Bank of America
Bank of America logo
9,508.95 CHF
Fr390 less
0.9605$1004.33%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank logo
9,508.95 CHF
Fr390 less
0.9605$1004.33%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
WorldFirst: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:
Exchange Rate:0.9899 (0.4% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,899 CHF
Total Cost:0.4%
Time:12:07 Local
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone
Rating:
 
: 4.6/5.0
Reviews:
 
OFX: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:0^ - No fees for BestExchangeRates users (normally $12 for smaller transfers)
Exchange Rate:0.9841 (0.99% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,841 CHF
Total Cost:0.99%
Difference:
Fr58 less than using WorldFirst
Time:
Rate Fetched: Mon Dec 17 2018 10:02:40 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone
Rating:
 
: 4.8/5.0
Reviews:
Wells Fargo Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:18
Exchange Rate:0.9654 (2.87% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,636.62 CHF
Total Cost:3.04%
Difference:
Fr262 less than using WorldFirst
Time:12:07 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
HSBC: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$15 USD (.15%)
Exchange Rate:0.9644 (2.97% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,629.53 CHF
Total Cost:3.11%
Difference:
Fr269 less than using WorldFirst
Time:12:07 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo

Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:15
Exchange Rate:0.9585 (3.56% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,571 CHF
Total Cost:3.7%
Difference:
Fr328 less than using WorldFirst
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Bank of America: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.9605 (3.36% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,508.95 CHF
Total Cost:4.33%
Difference:
Fr390 less than using WorldFirst
Time:12:07 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
U.S. Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.9605 (3.36% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,508.95 CHF
Total Cost:4.33%
Difference:
Fr390 less than using WorldFirst
Time:12:07 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Shop-around with multiple providers: Get Quotes
Rates @ 12/17/2018.
Total Cost = Fee + exchange rate margin vs USD/CHF mid-rate: 0.9939
 

Popular CHF cross rates


CHF/USD - Swiss Franc to United States Dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
09 Dec 20181.01021 Week
16 Nov 20181.00011 Month
19 Jun 20181.00576 Months
16 Dec 20171.00931 Year
16 Dec 20160.97352 Years
17 Dec 20131.12945 Years
18 Dec 20080.935810 Years

CHF/EUR - Swiss Franc to Euro - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
09 Dec 20180.88611 Week
16 Nov 20180.87571 Month
19 Jun 20180.86796 Months
16 Dec 20170.85851 Year
16 Dec 20160.93312 Years
17 Dec 20130.82025 Years
18 Dec 20080.652510 Years

CHF/GBP - Swiss Franc to British Pound Sterling - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
09 Dec 20180.79421 Week
16 Nov 20180.77891 Month
19 Jun 20180.76356 Months
16 Dec 20170.75751 Year
16 Dec 20160.78042 Years
17 Dec 20130.69425 Years
18 Dec 20080.616610 Years

CHF/JPY - Swiss Franc to Japanese Yen - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
09 Dec 2018113.66081 Week
16 Nov 2018112.84121 Month
19 Jun 2018110.71986 Months
16 Dec 2017113.62981 Year
16 Dec 2016114.81342 Years
17 Dec 2013115.97635 Years
18 Dec 200883.401410 Years

CHF/AUD - Swiss Franc to Australian Dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
09 Dec 20181.40681 Week
16 Nov 20181.36361 Month
19 Jun 20181.36106 Months
16 Dec 20171.31991 Year
16 Dec 20161.33142 Years
17 Dec 20131.26855 Years
18 Dec 20081.346810 Years

CHF/CAD - Swiss Franc to Canadian Dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriod
09 Dec 20181.34651 Week
16 Nov 20181.31491 Month
19 Jun 20181.33556 Months
16 Dec 20171.29861 Year
16 Dec 20161.29882 Years
17 Dec 20131.19725 Years
18 Dec 20081.119310 Years

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