Destinations > Europe > Switzerland

Currency, Exchange, Credit Cards, ATMs in Switzerland

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Currency

Swiss currency is the Swiss franc (CHF), divided into 100 cents (centimes in French, rappen in German and centesimi in Italian). Notes are available in 1,000, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10 franc. Coins are in 5, 2 and 1 franc and 50, 20, 10 and 5 centimes.

Cash

Paying by cash is very common in Switzerland - even high denomination notes are normally used. Many establishments, including hotels, some restaurants and souvenir shops, will accept payments in euros, but the change may be given in Swiss francs. Visitors will most likely need to exchange some foreign currency. Money can be exchanged at banks, airports and all train stations. Banks usually charge higher (up to 5%) commission than exchange offices.

ATMs

ATMs are common and accessible 24/7. Most of them are located at banks ('bancomats') and post offices ('postomats'). Most of international debit and credit cards can be used to withdraw cash in Swiss franc.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are widely acceptable, although less than in some other parts of western Europe; some hotels, restaurants or shops may only take cash. All major cards are common, including Visa, EuroCard/MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club (the latter two a little less).

Travelers Checks

All major travelers checks are accepted, especially American Express, Visa or Thomas Cook. They can be used at banks, airports or railway stations. It's recommended that checks are in US dollars, euros or British pounds.

Banking Hours

Banking hours are normally from Mon to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.

Taxes

7.6% value added tax (VAT) is charged with every purchase (for hotels the rate is 3.6%). The tax can be claimed by nonresidents at the departure time provided that the total purchase is not less than CHF 400 and the claimant has all necessary paperwork that should be obtained in the store.


Current Switzerland Franc Rates

For other currencies or conversion amounts go to Currency Converter





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