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Foreign Exchange Guide to Switzerland

Read this currency guide to Switzerland with money transfer and travel tips.   [USD/CHF=0.9746]

Country Code:
Domestic Currency:
Swiss Franc
Symbol - Code:
Telephone Prefix:

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

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 interactive chart below shows the USD to CHF exchange rate and trend for the previous 3 months:

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 ProvidersAmount CHF(Fr)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostDeal Links
U.S. Bank Foreign Currency
U.S. Bank logo
914.30 CHF
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo
905.16 CHF
9.14 CHF
Wells Fargo Bank logo
896.01 CHF
18 CHF
Travelex Online US logo
877.70 CHF
37 CHF

U.S. Bank logoU.S. Bank

U.S. Bank: Travel Money USD→CHF
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Exchange Rate:0.9143 (6.4% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:914.30 CHF
Total Cost:6.4%
Time:12:04 Local
Currency Services:Branch
: /5.0

Banks - Average Rate

Travel Money USD→CHF
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$10 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.8547 (12.5% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:905.16 CHF
Total Cost:7.33%
Currency Services:Branch

Wells Fargo Bank logoWells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo Bank: Travel Money USD→CHF
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$20 USD (Minimum fee)
Exchange Rate:0.9143 (6.4% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:896.01 CHF
Total Cost:8.27%
Time:12:04 Local
Currency Services:Branch
: /5.0
Travelex Online US: Travel Money USD→CHF
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$0 - No fees for Debit & Credit Cards
Exchange Rate:0.8777 (10.15% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:877.70 CHF
Total Cost:10.15%
Rate Fetched: Tue Jun 25 2019 10:00:04 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Currency Services:Online order, Branch pickup, Home delivery
Delivery/Collect:2-3 days
: 4.3/5.0
Snapshot 06/25/2019 - See full table

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!


USD to CHF International Money Transfers


ProvidersReceive CHF(Fr)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostDeal Links
OFX logo
9,729 CHF
Best Overall
Wells Fargo Bank logo
9,439.98 CHF
289 CHF
HSBC logo
9,432.83 CHF
296 CHF
Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo
9,376 CHF
353 CHF
Bank of America International Money Transfers
Bank of America logo
9,314.91 CHF
414 CHF
U.S. Bank International Money Transfers
U.S. Bank logo
9,314.91 CHF
414 CHF
OFX: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:0^ - No fees for BestExchangeRates users (normally $12 for smaller transfers)
Exchange Rate:0.9729 (-0.4% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,729 CHF
Total Cost:0.4%
Rate Fetched: 12:04 Local
: 4.8/5.0

Wells Fargo Bank logoWells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Exchange Rate:0.9457 (-3.18% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,439.98 CHF
Total Cost:3.36%
Time:12:04 Local
: /5.0


HSBC: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$15 USD (.15%)
Exchange Rate:0.9447 (-3.29% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,432.83 CHF
Total Cost:3.43%
Time:12:04 Local
: /5.0

Banks - Average Rate

Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Exchange Rate:0.9389 (-3.88% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,376 CHF
Total Cost:4.02%

Bank of America logoBank of America

Bank of America: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.9409 (-3.68% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,314.91 CHF
Total Cost:4.64%
Time:12:04 Local
: /5.0

U.S. Bank logoU.S. Bank

U.S. Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.9409 (-3.68% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,314.91 CHF
Total Cost:4.64%
Time:12:04 Local
: /5.0
Snapshot 06/25/2019 - See full table

CHF/USD - Swiss Franc to United States Dollar - Historical Rates

1 Day1.025123 Jun 2019
1 Week1.001317 Jun 2019
1 Month0.998325 May 2019
6 Months1.005526 Dec 2018
1 Year1.012124 Jun 2018
5 Years1.119725 Jun 2014
10 Years0.923026 Jun 2009

CHF/EUR - Swiss Franc to Euro - Historical Rates

1 Day0.900323 Jun 2019
1 Week0.892117 Jun 2019
1 Month0.890825 May 2019
6 Months0.885126 Dec 2018
1 Year0.868024 Jun 2018
5 Years0.821525 Jun 2014
10 Years0.655926 Jun 2009

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

1 Day0.803923 Jun 2019
1 Week0.798417 Jun 2019
1 Month0.785325 May 2019
6 Months0.795026 Dec 2018
1 Year0.763224 Jun 2018
5 Years0.659325 Jun 2014
10 Years0.559026 Jun 2009

CHF/AUD - Swiss Franc to Australian Dollar - Historical Rates

1 Day1.475623 Jun 2019
1 Week1.461417 Jun 2019
1 Month1.441025 May 2019
6 Months1.421426 Dec 2018
1 Year1.360724 Jun 2018
5 Years1.191125 Jun 2014
10 Years1.143926 Jun 2009

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