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Old 01.11.2011, 17:24
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Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

Is it cheaper to buy EUR from Switzerland, or from Germany?

I will be paying for a purchase in Germany in EUR (about 30K). So, will it be better to buy EUR from for example UBS, or whether to take the CHF cash and buy from a German bank in Germany?
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Old 01.11.2011, 17:30
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

Has nothing to do with the location, all depends how much the person who you're buying from wants to charge you.

I have previously acquired some currency from forum members, maybe that would work for you too.
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Old 01.11.2011, 17:39
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

Well, as I want to buy euros, it is 'buying a foreign currency' in Switzerland, while it will be 'buying local currency' in Germany. And for an amount of 30K, a difference of 0.01 will cost me 300 CHF

So, yes if there is someone here, who'd like to sell me 30K for a better price than CH and DE, that could work. They can get a better 'sell' rate for their EUR, and I get a better 'buy' rate for EUR.

I know that EF is filled with rich people that earn over 120K ;-) , but I am not sure whether they'd trade for such amounts?
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Old 01.11.2011, 17:44
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

Does it have to be cash? If so, shop around and don't forget that you may have to declare the money at the border.
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Old 01.11.2011, 17:47
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

yes, I'll buy banknotes. The customs office told it needs to be declared when over 10'000, but wasn't sure how. As I will be flying to Germany from Zurich, I am not sure whether to declare at customs in both places. He said that it only requires declaration, they wouldn't charge you.. I sure hope so
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Old 01.11.2011, 17:52
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

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yes, I'll buy banknotes. The customs office told it needs to be declared when over 10'000, but wasn't sure how. As I will be flying to Germany from Zurich, I am not sure whether to declare at customs in both places. He said that it only requires declaration, they wouldn't charge you.. I sure hope so
You declare upon arrival in Germany (use the red channel). "Declaration" means you must state the exact amount you are carrying and declare the provenance, intended use, owner and recipient of the cash.
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Old 02.11.2011, 14:07
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

Have you tried Swissquote?

You will get a better rate than the banks for sure. You will need to watch the rates for a few days, I think it's possible to get 1.22 if you time it right.
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Old 02.11.2011, 14:37
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

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Have you tried Swissquote?

You will get a better rate than the banks for sure. You will need to watch the rates for a few days, I think it's possible to get 1.22 if you time it right.
Cheers, the rate seems better, but transferring it to a bank and getting out cash looks like it might end up costing more with tax commissions, transfer fees, etc. Maybe, I'd rather give them a call, and see if they do cash exchange.
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Old 02.11.2011, 14:58
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

Transfers into the Swissquote accounts from a swiss franc bank account are free as long as your bank doesn't charge you for domestic transfers that is.

The spread is about 1% so you will pay 0.5% above the mid.

When you transfer the euros out to Germany or into a Swiss Euro account you will be charged EUR10.- by swissquote and the receiving bank in Switzerland won't charge anything, banks in Germany might charge you another EUR10.-, so all in all the charges are EUR20.- max + 0.5% of the value in swiss franks which for CHF30k is CHF150.-
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Old 02.11.2011, 22:58
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

I have an account with Postbank in Germany and often make payments in USD. They take 0.1% on the exchange rate so I'd suggest you check with the person you're doing business with if he'd possibly have an account there or if his bank has similar rates. You could simply wire the money to him then. Another option is to open an account there yourself, wire the money to that account and pick it up. You'll probably have to let the branch you're going to visit know in advance that you want to pick up that amount in cash.
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Old 03.11.2011, 10:44
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

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I have an account with Postbank in Germany and often make payments in USD. They take 0.1% on the exchange rate so I'd suggest you check with the person you're doing business with if he'd possibly have an account there or if his bank has similar rates. You could simply wire the money to him then. Another option is to open an account there yourself, wire the money to that account and pick it up. You'll probably have to let the branch you're going to visit know in advance that you want to pick up that amount in cash.
Always sceptical of first posts that promise things that are not true...

"They take 0.1% on the exchange rate..."

Which exchange rate? What time? I've had the big banks promise tight spreads and when it boils down to it they charge as much as 300pips!

Unless you know someone who would execute the money order within the bank, I wouldn't hold my breath.

PS: To the OP 1.22 is achievable right now at swissquote (since the mid right now is 1.2135) and probably till the Greek referundum vote. The banks are selling at 1.2450 that's 250 pips more! Which is CHF250 for every CHF10,000 exchanged.
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Old 03.11.2011, 10:51
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

The thing is I need to take cash. So, either in Switzerland or in Germany, I need to buy it over the counter.

At UBS, they have a banknote rate, which is a bit higher than their electronic trading rate. But, I cannot simply open e EUR account, trade at the forex price, and then withdraw the cash, because they charge 2% commission when you withdraw so (I don't know why you need to pay for withdrawing your own money from a bank that you lent it to).

So, either I directly get cash with the banknote rates from UBS, or try to find a bank to buy at the counter in Germany with a lower rate, hoping they will not charge extra commission for the transaction.

And the Swissquote thing might take a few days for opening an account, after submitting documents, since apparently they will go to a central office and be checked there. I need the cash for next week, so, it is not an option.

But if anyone is selling EUR at a good rate, please PM me...
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Old 03.11.2011, 11:04
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

My bank doesn't charge for taking money out in EUR as far as I'm aware. They do however charge a flat fee of EUR3.- per month for having the EUR account.

So technically you could transfer the money to me, I exchange it for you on Swissquotes, transfer it back to my EUR account, withdraw the money and give it to you. Of course you'd have to hope I don't just do a runner with your money or you can find someone who can do this for you who you trust.
You can really get more or save around EUR500.

Since you need this next week I won't be able to do it anyway as I am away soon.
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Old 03.11.2011, 12:47
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

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Always sceptical of first posts that promise things that are not true...

"They take 0.1% on the exchange rate..."

Which exchange rate? What time? I've had the big banks promise tight spreads and when it boils down to it they charge as much as 300pips!

Unless you know someone who would execute the money order within the bank, I wouldn't hold my breath.
Yes, thank you for your kind words.

You are partially right in fact, they take about 0.15% on the exchange rate instead of 0.1% (there are no other fees).

Postbank Devisenkurse vom 02.11.2011 14:00
1 EUR =
Devisenverkauf(Brief) Devisenankauf(Geld)
US-Dollar . . . . . . . . 1,37490 1,38090
Britische Pfund . . . . . 0,85920 0,86320
Kanadische Dollar . . . . 1,39160 1,40360
Schweizer Franken . . . 1,21450 1,21850

( From: http://www.postbank.de/-snm-01843302...n_20111102.pdf )

Anyway, the OP would need more time to do it this way. So I guess there's little else to do but negotiate with different banks/money exchanges. Back when there was no Euro I'd often exchange cash here in Antwerp and for amounts over 100.000 BEF (around 2500 Euro) it was no problem to haggle a bit and negotiate a better exchange rate than the advertised one. So OP, have a word with UBS about the exchange rate. They should be willing to make you a better offer for that amount. If they're not you could make a few phone calls to other banks.
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Old 03.11.2011, 13:36
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

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Yes, thank you for your kind words.

You are partially right in fact, they take about 0.15% on the exchange rate instead of 0.1% (there are no other fees).

Postbank Devisenkurse vom 02.11.2011 14:00
1 EUR =
Devisenverkauf(Brief) Devisenankauf(Geld)
US-Dollar . . . . . . . . 1,37490 1,38090
Britische Pfund . . . . . 0,85920 0,86320
Kanadische Dollar . . . . 1,39160 1,40360
Schweizer Franken . . . 1,21450 1,21850

( From: http://www.postbank.de/-snm-01843302...n_20111102.pdf )
Thank you for the link! Those quotes are pretty tight for client rates!
Could you perhaps tell us how to navigate to that pdf from the main page?
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Old 03.11.2011, 13:44
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

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Thank you for the link! Those quotes are pretty tight for client rates!
Could you perhaps tell us how to navigate to that pdf from the main page?
To get to the pdf: find the menu on the left - click on Konten-Karten - Konto-Services-Auslandszahlungen. In the center part of the screen click on 'downloads' and you'll see the Devisenkurse.

Another cool aspect is they only charge 1.50 euro for a payment outside of SEPA (inside SEPA is free of course).
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Old 03.11.2011, 14:24
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

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To get to the pdf: find the menu on the left - click on Konten-Karten - Konto-Services-Auslandszahlungen. In the center part of the screen click on 'downloads' and you'll see the Devisenkurse.

Another cool aspect is they only charge 1.50 euro for a payment outside of SEPA (inside SEPA is free of course).
Thanks for the info. I however still don't see if these rates are available for normal customers. I guess they are mainly for reference purposes only. But I will take your word for it.

See the other rates for example:
http://www.postbank.de/-snm-01843046...n_20111102.pdf
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Old 03.11.2011, 14:40
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

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Thanks for the info. I however still don't see if these rates are available for normal customers. I guess they are mainly for reference purposes only. But I will take your word for it.

See the other rates for example:
http://www.postbank.de/-snm-01843046...n_20111102.pdf
Yep, that's the cash rates. The other doc is the "official" rates (where they charge their spread) for wire transfers.
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Old 03.11.2011, 14:44
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

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Yep, that's the cash rates. The other doc is the "official" rates (where they charge their spread) for wire transfers.
So we're back to where we started? Those rates are not the rates charged?
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Old 03.11.2011, 14:51
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Re: Buying Euros in Germany/Switzerland

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So we're back to where we started? Those rates are not the rates charged?
Those rates + spreads are charged if you wire transfer CHF into your EUR account. This you can then withdraw in Euros at the rather good rate of 1 EUR = 1 EUR . But if you rock up with a suitcase full of used CHF notes, you'll be charged the rates you discovered, and asked some questions.
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