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Old 28.03.2011, 10:26
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Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

Hi all,

I have some questions about private bank accounts here in Switzerland. I am really annoyed how my bank handles some topics.

1)As a consultant I am travelling a lot. So my credit card invoice is usually quite big. Sometimes it happens that my credit card gets charged to my bank account before my company reimburses me the expenses. One time it happened that my credit card bill exceeded my current bank balance (we talk about 200 CHF out of 7.000). My bank should perfectly know that 2 days later my company reimburses me my expenses (always the 25th of the month). Nevertheless, they declined my credit card bill, as it is not allowed to overdraw the account. My bank told me, this is the usual practise here in Switzerland!!

2)Today I was not able to withdraw more then 80 CHF as I utilized my monthly limit. Limit here means, I can only withdraw a specific amount of money every month (1/3 of my monthly income!!!), regardless how much money is left on my bank account. To be precise: currently I have about 9.000 CHF on my bank account, but as I have only 80 CHF left on my monthly “budget” I can not get more then that 80 CHF. This happed the first time as usually I do not spend so much money; anyhow what is this for a stupid rule to get only 1/3 of ones monthly income as the budget for the maestro card?

Seriously what is this all about? Is this the usual practise here in Switzerland, or is this a special treatment for foreigners only?

Do you have the same experience, or is this only my bank?

I am sure we have some bankers here which can provide some more inside.

Thanks and cheers,

J
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Old 28.03.2011, 10:29
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

your withdraw limit is usually only on cash machines that are not your own banks, eg I'm with UBS and have the same limits as you, but I can withdraw as much as I want upto whatever is left in my account from a UBS cash machine.

but yes it's a PITA when your in a shop and the machine refuses your card because you have gone over there imposed limit.

The other thing I have no idea about, do you really think a person gets involved in bouncing a payment? the computer has no idea if your employed or when they will pay you.
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Old 28.03.2011, 10:40
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

Good point. Unfortunately there is no cash machine from my bank around. But I will follow up on this one.

I agree most likely there is no person involved.

But I am wondering if you can really not overdraw your bank accounts here in Switzerland. E.g. in Germany you can overdraw up to twice the amount of your monthly income (this is not what I need, but anyhow to overdraw a bit could be sometimes helpful).
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Old 28.03.2011, 11:17
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

Just to confirm that it does seem to be normal practice. My monthly limit on withdrawls from bankmachines/ card readers that do not belong to my bank is a paultry 500 chf (which I convinced them to raise fr0m 200chf a month!) a month. Withdrawls from bank machines belonging to my bank are 2k chf a month. Any more and I have to go inside.

Obviously my limits are low since I don't earn a whole lot but it's still a right pain.
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Old 28.03.2011, 11:21
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

try the UK. the withdrawal limit is often £50/£100 per day regardless of your bank balance. i had to ask for them to remove it.
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Old 28.03.2011, 11:38
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

Thanks for your feedback. At least it seems to be normal practice .

As mentioned, usually it’s fine and it is not a big deal either, anyhow this morning I was quite upset about this….


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Old 28.03.2011, 12:01
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

I don't know how it works with other banks but with Post Finance you just tell them you want 1000CHF overdraft ability and 'presto', you have it. As to the limit, it happened to me once that I hit it while out of the country. A phone call later they had tripled my limit and I was back in business.
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Old 28.03.2011, 12:04
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

Different credit cards have different limits, give your bank a call or better yet make an appt and get a relationship going with the person who should be taking care of your accounts. You'll be amazed on what can be done.
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Old 28.03.2011, 12:36
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

I bank with UBS and have only a daily cashpoint limit from non-UBS machines.

Your problem with expenses is something maybe you should take up with your employer. If you're spending that much, they should really be offering you a company credit card, or paying hotel bills, flights etc. directly. Alternatively, if you incur interest as a result of your employer paying late - put the interest on your next claim.

I understand in France, the approach to overdrafts is even more draconian.
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Old 28.03.2011, 12:38
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

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Today I was not able to withdraw more then 80 CHF as I utilized my monthly limit.
Ho hum. Happens to the best of us. Yes, I remember well when I tried using my EC card to buy furniture but had exceeded my "allowance" and thus payment was declined.

A right royal pain - I had 2000 CHF per month. Not enough when moving to a new country and buying furniture...

Anyhoo. All sorted out after I berated my bank manager. We came to a deal.

But yes, this aspect of daily banking is a little frustrating.

As may have been mentioned (I've not read the other posts), with CS, anyway, you can withdraw any amount up to the balance of the account from the bank's counters.
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Old 28.03.2011, 12:43
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

There's also a monthly limit on how much you can spend using the cash card (with UBS at least on their standard account). I found that out by spending over the amount and having the payment refused (even though i had money in the account).
You can get your monthly spending limit increased just by going up to the counter in UBS.
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Old 28.03.2011, 12:54
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

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I understand in France, the approach to overdrafts is even more draconian.
The concept does not exist, you need to get a loan.
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Old 28.03.2011, 13:05
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

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I understand in France, the approach to overdrafts is even more draconian.
Draconian? It seems you never had to deal with such matters in the USA.

Let's say, you overdraw your US account by one cent. Your account will immediately be debited by that enormous amount plus, say, a fine of $36.00 (depends on the bank, but they all apply substantial ammounts even for petty cases) plus a penalty interest of 15 % PER DAY on those $36.01. Next day: another fine of 36 bucks added, plus, of course the additional interest plus compound interest. Etc. etc..

That adds up pretty quickly, and they won't notify you of your predicament until, within just a few days, you owe them several hundred dollars.

I'm not making this up. It happened to my AOH a few years ago, although I must admit the overdraft was about 50 cents, not just one. And it happened to her because the bank had waited almost a week before they credited her account with an amount of which she knew it had already been transferred. Those 50 cents cost her about 480 dollars over a holiday weekend.
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Old 28.03.2011, 13:57
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

For Maestro Cards
see: http://www.maestro.ch/en/ma_home/ma_...d_beziehen.htm

Withdraw cash

You can use your card at all points of sale or ATMs displaying the Maestro or Cirrus logo. Each transaction is confirmed by entering your personal PIN code, and then authorized electronically. The transaction amount is debited from your account within 2 to 7 days.

Your card issuer will notify you of your personal monthly limit. It is, however, limited to CHF 10,000 per month. You can access up to CHF 2,000 in a single day, although the maximum daily ATM withdrawal limit is CHF 1,000.


If you withdraw from an ATM of your own bank, you will most likely not be using the maestro system, hence you can usually withdraw more.
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Old 28.03.2011, 14:15
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

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Draconian? It seems you never had to deal with such matters in the USA.

Let's say, you overdraw your US account by one cent. Your account will immediately be debited by that enormous amount plus, say, a fine of $36.00 (depends on the bank, but they all apply substantial ammounts even for petty cases) plus a penalty interest of 15 % PER DAY on those $36.01. Next day: another fine of 36 bucks added, plus, of course the additional interest plus compound interest. Etc. etc..

That adds up pretty quickly, and they won't notify you of your predicament until, within just a few days, you owe them several hundred dollars.

I'm not making this up. It happened to my AOH a few years ago, although I must admit the overdraft was about 50 cents, not just one. And it happened to her because the bank had waited almost a week before they credited her account with an amount of which she knew it had already been transferred. Those 50 cents cost her about 480 dollars over a holiday weekend.
UK banks do the same thing. although a few people took them to court over unfair charges and now they back down on it.
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Old 22.07.2011, 21:35
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

On this topic, does anyone know what this is for PostFinance?
Went to the train station today and couldn't buy a GA as my limit was reached...

Is the limit monthly or weekly?
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Old 22.07.2011, 21:45
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

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On this topic, does anyone know what this is for PostFinance?
Went to the train station today and couldn't buy a GA as my limit was reached...

Is the limit monthly or weekly?
yes there is. check the letter that your PF card was stuck on. the limit is shown where the card is attached.
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Old 22.07.2011, 21:50
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

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On this topic, does anyone know what this is for PostFinance?
Went to the train station today and couldn't buy a GA as my limit was reached...

Is the limit monthly or weekly?
Post Finance cards have a 5000 a month limit, unlimited cash at the desk.

I know a CS customer that had is debit card limit raised to 30,000 a month, a week shopping with the family in Verbier & it was used up, so he had to use his credit card.
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Old 23.07.2011, 12:55
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

Good topic. I was wondering how this works here as I didn't read anything on this when I opened my account at UBS. Last month I went negative by CHF 300 and was able to withdraw cash with no problems. I didn't know I had an overrun - usually I mentally estimate my balance, but don't really check it during the month. In my country, banks give you a pre-approved limit which you can use and costs you only your left kidney - mine was quite high but I always tried to avoid using it, yet it helped in those cases!

Could it be related to the fact that you don't receive a fixed salary?
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Old 23.07.2011, 13:02
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Re: Swiss bank accounts - monthly limit and overdraw

Limits are there for financial protection.

In case your card gets stolen, or someone you lend it to tries to abuse it.

There are default limits, if these are not sufficient speak to your bank, they will be adjusted to your required levels.

In the land of the super rich, with account holders having 5-10 cards per set of accounts, and cards being dished out to girlfriends, wives, domestics etc, it is a way stop stop abuse.
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