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Old 26.08.2007, 19:02
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UBS Welcome Account [including branch recommendations]

Hi everybody,

After searching the forum and reading the UBS leaflet regarding the Welcome Account, i must admit that i am a bit confused.
My understanding is that this account would cost 2CHF/month if you use e-documents or 7CHF/month if you dont use e-documents. If you have 10000CHF total assets, this account will become free of monthly charge.
Included in this offer free of charge for the first year would be: maestro, credit card, withdrawals from any ATM, e-banking, direct debits and standing orders. Any other type of transaction would be charged.
On the other hand i could read on the forum that you get charged for everything if you dont have 10000CHF at all times in your account, apart from withdrawing cash at UBS ATMs or paying with Maestro in Switzerland.

Could please someone who opened this type of account confirm this?
Many thanks for your help!!
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Old 26.08.2007, 20:07
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

There is a pdf at UBS with prices that lists in the detail what things cost if you do not have the 10k, basically 2CHF per month then, 2CHF if you withdraw cash somehwere else and 30 cts per internet banking payment. But this applies to a personal account, and I am not sure about the welcome account.

For normal accounts, credit cards at UBS are never free, you might get a basic card for free the first year but afterwards you will pay! At present 100chf minimum. But for students and young people it could be different, and perhaps for this welcome account too.
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Old 26.08.2007, 21:13
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

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There is a pdf at UBS with prices that lists in the detail what things cost if you do not have the 10k, basically 2CHF per month then, 2CHF if you withdraw cash somehwere else and 30 cts per internet banking payment. But this applies to a personal account, and I am not sure about the welcome account.

For normal accounts, credit cards at UBS are never free, you might get a basic card for free the first year but afterwards you will pay! At present 100chf minimum. But for students and young people it could be different, and perhaps for this welcome account too.
Thank you muze7!
I have the printed leaflet from UBS, i have read it several times. I have also read the pdf on the internet. They state that the items i mentioned above are included in the offer free of charge compared to the second year when they become fee liable as you describe. The printed leaflet and the pdf are different and i feel that both are slightly misleading. The welcome account is described as an all-in-one package with no payment for the first year for certain items (the ones i mentioned), which will convert into individual products with relevant applicable conditions the second year.
This is what i understand, i would like someone who has this account already running to confirm that this is the case. Believe it or not i spoke to someone from UBS and he confirmed that maestro and credit cards are free for the first year, but he said that i would pay for third party ATMs, standing orders and direct debits. This is where i am confused. If all these items are included in the offer, i can see them in the leaflets, why will i not be paying for the cards and pay for the others?
Then the advert it incorrect.
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Old 26.08.2007, 23:12
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

Ok, I had a look, it seems like just a rebranding of existing products. So in effect it is a normal personal account. I can confirm that with these, you will not pay for ATM fees and internet banking payment fees etc. if over 10k. I have the impression if the account reaches 10k during a month, this suffices. In other words, it does not look like the average balance has to be >10k across the whole month. But check if this is important.

Also, the balance of other accounts under the same 'tree' counts towards this, so for example a savings account, custody account if you rent an apartment and have to deposit a bond, pillar 3a account if you want to save on tax etc. If you need more info on those, the forum has lots of threads.
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Old 03.09.2007, 22:02
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

My Swiss boyfriend and I (American) both opened the UBS welcome accounts (checking/savings/credit card) and were charged only the maintenance fee for the first year (7 CHF/month, listed as the "all-in-one price." No additional fee for credit cards, ATM transactions, or e-banking transactions. Also, if the balance of the account was over 10,000 CHF for the entire month, then the 7 CHF charge was waived for that month.

Weirdly, after the first year, we both received statements saying that our UBS welcome package terms would be extended for another year.

Bottom line: it worked very well for us-especially since I initially balked at the idea of paying for a credit card.

But, make sure you have all your papers when you sign up, including information about how much you will be paid (this seemed to be as important as seeing my B permit!). Also, they give you a choice of credit cards-I think the Visa is better, since sometimes I've seen that Visa but not Mastercard is accepted (though Maestro, aka your ATM card is nearly always accepted). Also, make sure you don't go for the fancy card they offer (when we applied, it was the Alinghi card), since it will cost more after the first year than the more standard card. The credit card maintenance fees were not on the same pamphlet that we were shown to set up our accounts!


Good luck!
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Old 03.09.2007, 23:23
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

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My Swiss boyfriend and I (American) both opened the UBS welcome accounts (checking/savings/credit card) and were charged only the maintenance fee for the first year (7 CHF/month, listed as the "all-in-one price." No additional fee for credit cards, ATM transactions, or e-banking transactions. Also, if the balance of the account was over 10,000 CHF for the entire month, then the 7 CHF charge was waived for that month.

Weirdly, after the first year, we both received statements saying that our UBS welcome package terms would be extended for another year.

Bottom line: it worked very well for us-especially since I initially balked at the idea of paying for a credit card.

But, make sure you have all your papers when you sign up, including information about how much you will be paid (this seemed to be as important as seeing my B permit!). Also, they give you a choice of credit cards-I think the Visa is better, since sometimes I've seen that Visa but not Mastercard is accepted (though Maestro, aka your ATM card is nearly always accepted). Also, make sure you don't go for the fancy card they offer (when we applied, it was the Alinghi card), since it will cost more after the first year than the more standard card. The credit card maintenance fees were not on the same pamphlet that we were shown to set up our accounts!


Good luck!
Hello there,

Thank you very much for the confirmation!
I have already signed up for the account. I think i did choose the Alinghi card as i was told that it would be at the same price with a normal one. Needless to say it might cost more than a normal one, as my bank adviser was not at all informed about this package. I wonder how he advises other clients. I had to call him again and went through the offer and showed him that several items were actually free of charge and that all i would pay is the monthly fee. Interesting what you said regarding the second year. I was thinking to look for a cheaper bank and open another bank account once i settle down and have the time to do some research.
You mentioned credit card fees. How much are they likely to be in the first year? I remember i asked the guy how it works over here when you use the credit card, explaining that in the UK, i used to pay my credit cardit soon after the purchase (not even waiting for the bill) and i didnt get charged at all. His reply was that the way i used my credit card in the UK was not normal
I already have my UK VISA credit card and he offerd MasterCard so i can have both. I hope i didnt make a mistake by choosing this and see that i cant actually use it.
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Old 04.09.2007, 00:36
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

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Hello there,

Thank you very much for the confirmation!
I have already signed up for the account. I think i did choose the Alinghi card as i was told that it would be at the same price with a normal one. Needless to say it might cost more than a normal one, as my bank adviser was not at all informed about this package. I wonder how he advises other clients. I had to call him again and went through the offer and showed him that several items were actually free of charge and that all i would pay is the monthly fee. Interesting what you said regarding the second year. I was thinking to look for a cheaper bank and open another bank account once i settle down and have the time to do some research.
You mentioned credit card fees. How much are they likely to be in the first year? I remember i asked the guy how it works over here when you use the credit card, explaining that in the UK, i used to pay my credit cardit soon after the purchase (not even waiting for the bill) and i didnt get charged at all. His reply was that the way i used my credit card in the UK was not normal
I already have my UK VISA credit card and he offerd MasterCard so i can have both. I hope i didnt make a mistake by choosing this and see that i cant actually use it.
My UBS representative also seemed pretty uninformed about the welcome package-but that didn't seem to affect anything about billing or fees later. . .

As for the credit card costs, you will not be charged any interest or finance fees if you pay your monthly bills on time. (I always pay the monthly bill in full and have never been charged a fee). Actually, I've been told that the Swiss generally dislike being in debt (hence the higher yearly fees for credit cards compared to the debt-happy Americans), so your use of credit cards is very normal - except maybe the Swiss won't pay here until they see the actual bill, which seems very much in character). Certainly UBS won't mind if you pay early. In fact, I have paid the bill late (by a few days) on several occasions, due to my forgetfulness and non-familiarity with the quirks of post office hours, and unlike US cards, they did not slap me with a late fee or any interest/finance fees-almost like there's a built in grace period past the 30 day billing cycle!

As for the mastercard/visa thing, it also doesn't really matter. I have seen the no mastercard thing only a few times (not enough to actually remember useful details, like where), and not in restaurants. I also have a set of credit cards based in the US but non-US purchases are given pretty horrible exchange rates and fees, so I only use them when visiting the ol' homeland (the UBS card, on the other hand, is very reasonable).

About the fancy/non-fancy cards, the difference was maybe 20 CHF per year-it didn't really matter, I was just indignant about it. Finally, I had also considered finding another bank once the year was up, and I think UBS sent the inertia-inducing letter because either I have been able to save the minimum fee-erasing amount anyway (10,000 CHF) or I had no balance on the credit card. If you don't get such a letter well in advance (about 2 months), you may be able to convince them to extend the offer anyway if you meet one of these criteria (and it sounds like you should).
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Old 04.09.2007, 08:15
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

Can someone with this account advise if this is a good option if one needs to transfer and convert CHF overseas. For example - convert to AUD and deposit in an AUD bank account.

I know the exchange rate is key - I am more interested in if it is possible to transact this with this type of account and if it expensive per transaction.

Thanks
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Old 04.09.2007, 22:02
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

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Can someone with this account advise if this is a good option if one needs to transfer and convert CHF overseas. For example - convert to AUD and deposit in an AUD bank account.

I know the exchange rate is key - I am more interested in if it is possible to transact this with this type of account and if it expensive per transaction.

Thanks


I am also interested in sending money abroad. Yes, it is possible. They have a package where you pay 10CHF per transaction if the bank that you want to send money to would charge you for depositing money, otherwise you pay 5CHF/transaction.
Regarding the foreign exchange rates, i have been told that UBS is pretty good, but i havent checked it personally. I would like someone who tried this service to comment on that. Or if someone knows banks with better transfer and exchange services, that would be very much appreciated.
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Old 05.09.2007, 19:22
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

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Can someone with this account advise if this is a good option if one needs to transfer and convert CHF overseas. For example - convert to AUD and deposit in an AUD bank account.
I checked this today, with UBS, to buy 5000 AUD today will cost you 5'212.50 CHF + 10 CHF transaction costs.

With www.wechselstube.com which is Swiss it will cost you 5'004.50 CHF plus between 0 and 20 CHF transaction costs. You can check real time rates at the latter web site yourself under price comparison. I have no link with them by the way, I just dislike getting ripped off by banks.

So I avoid UBS myself.

Last edited by muze7; 06.09.2007 at 15:07.
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Old 06.09.2007, 01:53
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

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I checked this today, with UBS, to buy 5000 AUD today will cost you 5'212.50 CHF + 10 CHF transaction costs.

With www.wechselstube.com which is Swiss it will cost you 5'004.50 CHF plus between 0 and 20 CHF transaction costs. You can check real time rates at the latter web site yourself under price comparison.

So I avoid UBS myself.

Wow - big difference. I will look into it and thanks for the advise.
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Old 06.09.2007, 19:56
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

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I checked this today, with UBS, to buy 5000 AUD today will cost you 5'212.50 CHF + 10 CHF transaction costs.

With www.wechselstube.com which is Swiss it will cost you 5'004.50 CHF plus between 0 and 20 CHF transaction costs. You can check real time rates at the latter web site yourself under price comparison. I have no link with them by the way, I just dislike getting ripped off by banks.

So I avoid UBS myself.
Thanks muze!
I do have a question though. Dont you need a bank account in order to do this online transaction? Even if with an UBS account you can still use this website to do the transaction that you want, right? Just transferring money from one account to another through wechselstube.
I have checked the AUD on wechselstube and on UBS today and the difference was 37CHF only. Wechselstube even advertises the difference on their site compared to traditional exchange rates as being 23.50CHF. I dont know where you took the 212CHF difference from, but i would be curious.
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Old 06.09.2007, 20:23
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

Hi Sielca,
I do have the same account of E-Banking and the information you have, is correct.
MoMi
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Old 20.09.2007, 16:15
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

This week, I have been engaging in an exchange of e-mails with UBS in the Valais about opening a Welcome Account. They require from me a deposit of a minimum of CHF25,000 in order to open this account. I have queried the amount, and it has been confirmed. For me this amounts to providing a term free, unsecured loan to UBS, which would cost me around 500 GBP per year in lost interest.
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Old 20.09.2007, 18:21
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

Will you be on an L permit? Do you ahve a guaranteed job when you get here, if so I would wait, as they are likely to be less of a pain re the 25k.
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Old 20.09.2007, 18:23
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

Quote:
I do have a question though. Dont you need a bank account in order to do this online transaction? Even if with an UBS account you can still use this website to do the transaction that you want, right? Just transferring money from one account to another through wechselstube.
Yes, you use your UBS account to transfer to them, or use any other account you might have

Quote:
I have checked the AUD on wechselstube and on UBS today and the difference was 37CHF only. Wechselstube even advertises the difference on their site compared to traditional exchange rates as being 23.50CHF. I dont know where you took the 212CHF difference from, but i would be curious.
Remember that UBS rates are fixed for the day, and wechselstube rates are real time minus 5 minutes I think. So the time we did the comparisons matters too. Also, I think UBS uses the rate of the previous day but I am not 100% sure. If that is the case, if your currency is going down, UBS might be better. But if it is going up, use Wechselstube.
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Old 21.09.2007, 15:10
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Re: UBS Welcome Account

Have just heard back from another bank, Fortis Banque, and their offer makes UBS look utterly irresistable. Fortis require, either a mortgage to be taken out, or the deposit of CHF100,000 to be invested in the Money Market before they will open a Current Account. Er, thanks, but no thanks.
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Old 01.10.2007, 14:16
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UBS welcome account

Today I opened my first account in Switzerland. After reading all the helpful posts, I decided to inquire about the UBS welcome account. I live in Basel and so I went to my local neighborhood branch. The banker that helped me was so informative and very helpful. As an added bonus he spoke perfect English. This is a free account for 1 year after that it is 2 fr if you get paperless statements via internet. I would highly recommend if you are living in Basel to go to this branch and have Stefan Sigg help you get started. The branch is located at St. Alban Ring 210/Hardstrasse 143. Tram # 14 Karl Barth Platz. He was friendly and he did not make me feel intimidated. He set up everything for me in English and explained everything to me in detail. He also said if I had any ?'s not to hesitate to contact him I now feel like I really am living here with my Swiss bank account.
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Old 01.10.2007, 14:23
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Re: UBS welcome account

Sounds like a really positive experience. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01.10.2007, 15:37
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Re: UBS welcome account

I had a similar experience with the Zug branch. Very friendly, very prompt, and the account manager spoke perfect English. The account manager even told me a few tricks to get some tax benefits
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