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Foreign Exchange Guide to Switzerland

Read this currency guide to Switzerland with money transfer and travel tips.   [USD/CHF=0.9988]

 
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

9-February-19: 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 to weaken the “highly valued” franc.

Since the second quarter of last year, the franc has been the European currency of choice for traders, which makes sense given the euro and sterling-negative effects of Brexit, the Italian recession and Italian budgetary problems. In early 2019, the franc has generally depreciated, however. Like the yen, euro, krona and other low-yielding currencies, the franc has been sold to fund carry trades.

EUR/CHF has traded between Fr1.12 and Fr1.15 since last August and it traded near to the centre of that range at the time of this report, at Fr1.132. The franc had been as weak as Fr1.2 ten months ago.

Against a strong US dollar, the franc has weakened over the past twelve months from Fr0.92 to parity (Fr1.0).

Recent forecasts from Citibank have USD/CHF falling marginally to 0.98 over 6-12 months. In January, UBS predicted EUR/CHF at Fr1.15 by mid-year.

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 Providers
Ratings & Reviews
Amount CHF(Fr)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostCurrency ServicesDelivery/CollectDeal Links
Wells Fargo Bank Foreign Currency
Wells Fargo Bank logo
937.37 CHF
Compare
0.9565$206.38%Branch-
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo
937.29 CHF
Fr0.08 less
0.9469$106.38%Branch-
U.S. Bank Foreign Currency
U.S. Bank logo
937.20 CHF
Fr0.17 less
0.937206.39%Branch-
 
Travelex Online US logo
925.20 CHF
Fr12 less
0.92520^7.59%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:0.9565 (4.46% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:937.37 CHF
Total Cost:6.38%
Time:12:07 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
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:0.8761 (12.5% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:937.29 CHF
Total Cost:6.38%
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
U.S. Bank: Travel Money USD→CHF
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:0
Exchange Rate:0.9372 (6.39% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:937.20 CHF
Total Cost:6.39%
Time:12:07 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
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:0.9252 (7.59% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:925.20 CHF
Total Cost:7.59%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Wed Feb 20 2019 10:00:04 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Currency Services:Online order, Branch pickup, Home delivery
Delivery/Collect:2-3 days
Rating:
 
: 4.3/5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Shop-around with multiple providers: Get Quotes
Note we do not compare every single provider in the market, we compare a selection of established, reputable foreign exchange providers & banks who are regulated in the US as licensed money transmitters. We may receive referral fees if you choose one of these providers however this will not affect the exchange rates or fees you are charged.
Rate snapshot: 02/20/2019
 

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 Transfer Providers
Ratings & Reviews
Receive CHF(Fr)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostTransfer ServicesTransfer SpeedDeal Links
 
OFX logo
9,888 CHF
Best Overall
0.98880^1.24%Bank Transfers - Online & Phone1-2 days
 
TransferWise logo
9,911.19 CHF
Fr23 more
0.9962$511.01%Bank Transfers - Online1-2 days
Wells Fargo Bank International Money Transfers
Wells Fargo Bank logo
9,682.54 CHF
Fr205 less
0.97183.29%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
HSBC International Money Transfers
HSBC logo
9,675.47 CHF
Fr213 less
0.969$153.36%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo
9,617 CHF
Fr271 less
0.9673153.95%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Bank of America International Money Transfers
Bank of America logo
9,554.49 CHF
Fr334 less
0.9651$1004.57%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
U.S. Bank International Money Transfers
U.S. Bank logo
9,554.49 CHF
Fr334 less
0.9651$1004.57%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
 
OFX: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:0^ - No fees for BestExchangeRates users (normally $12 for smaller transfers)
Exchange Rate:0.9888 (1.24% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,888 CHF
Total Cost:1.24%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Wed Feb 20 2019 10:02:44 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone
Rating:
 
: 4.8/5.0
Reviews:
TransferWise: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$51 USD (0.5% + $1)
Exchange Rate:0.9962 (0.5% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,911.19 CHF
Total Cost:1.01%
Difference:
Fr23 more than using OFX
Time:12:07 Local
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online
Rating:
 
: 4.6/5.0
Reviews:
Wells Fargo Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→CHF
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:18
Exchange Rate:0.9700 (3.12% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,682.54 CHF
Total Cost:3.29%
Difference:
Fr205 less than using OFX
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:0.9690 (3.22% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,675.47 CHF
Total Cost:3.36%
Difference:
Fr213 less than using OFX
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:0.9631 (3.81% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,617 CHF
Total Cost:3.95%
Difference:
Fr271 less than using OFX
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:0.9651 (3.61% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,554.49 CHF
Total Cost:4.57%
Difference:
Fr334 less than using OFX
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:0.9651 (3.61% from mid-rate)
CHF amount:9,554.49 CHF
Total Cost:4.57%
Difference:
Fr334 less than using OFX
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
Note we do not compare every single provider in the market, we compare a selection of established, reputable foreign exchange providers & banks who are regulated in the US as licensed money transmitters. We may receive referral fees if you choose one of these providers however this will not affect the exchange rates or fees you are charged.
Rate snapshot: 02/20/2019
 

Popular CHF cross rates


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

DateExchange RatePeriod
10 Feb 20191.00061 Week
18 Jan 20191.00441 Month
21 Aug 20181.01586 Months
17 Feb 20181.07801 Year
17 Feb 20170.99752 Years
18 Feb 20141.12525 Years
19 Feb 20090.851810 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
10 Feb 20190.88361 Week
18 Jan 20190.88351 Month
21 Aug 20180.87756 Months
17 Feb 20180.86881 Year
17 Feb 20170.93972 Years
18 Feb 20140.81785 Years
19 Feb 20090.671510 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
10 Feb 20190.77351 Week
18 Jan 20190.78001 Month
21 Aug 20180.78716 Months
17 Feb 20180.76841 Year
17 Feb 20170.80372 Years
18 Feb 20140.67465 Years
19 Feb 20090.594010 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
10 Feb 2019109.88091 Week
18 Jan 2019110.25401 Month
21 Aug 2018111.85966 Months
17 Feb 2018114.60231 Year
17 Feb 2017112.56862 Years
18 Feb 2014115.08605 Years
19 Feb 200980.112710 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
10 Feb 20191.40891 Week
18 Jan 20191.40121 Month
21 Aug 20181.37996 Months
17 Feb 20181.36351 Year
17 Feb 20171.30092 Years
18 Feb 20141.24725 Years
19 Feb 20091.317810 Years

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

DateExchange RatePeriod
10 Feb 20191.32851 Week
18 Jan 20191.33191 Month
21 Aug 20181.32416 Months
17 Feb 20181.35371 Year
17 Feb 20171.30612 Years
18 Feb 20141.23275 Years
19 Feb 20091.068110 Years

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