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Old 20.05.2012, 18:11
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Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

Hi,
! need to open a bank account asap. But wondered which one and what are the fees for? I need one so I can be paid into from my employer, but I dont want to pay lots for it. Just need an atm card, nothing flash. Please help, which bank?? Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 20.05.2012, 18:21
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

Postfinance with their E-Finance. Many threads when searched. Low monthly fees. Opening is a breeze, just bring your CH permit or passport ( if US passport, there might be an issue - several threads on this exists ).
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Old 20.05.2012, 18:26
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

Definitely the Post - by far the best!
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Old 20.05.2012, 19:01
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

Thanks for that.
I have done some internet searching.
I guessed this one would crop up!
I am a UK national, do I open the online account in branch?
What are the fees if I don't use their ATM though?? and do they charge me for using their debit card for shopping?
Im a bit green to all this, and on a low wage , so any fees are gonna hurt!
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Old 20.05.2012, 19:04
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

All in EN:

https://www.postfinance.ch/en/priv.html

https://www.postfinance.ch/en/priv/prod/apply.html

https://www.postfinance.ch/en/priv/p...fin/offer.html

Try the E-Finance demo:

https://e-finance.postfinance.ch/ef/...ner_demo_EF_en
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Old 02.06.2012, 23:34
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

Probably in about the same situation as you. I can also say PostFinance is the best deal, with apparently some the highest interest rates on accounts too. Lowest fees from what I understand, ATMs are easy to find, as is your local Post office where you can do most of your banking.
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Old 07.06.2012, 17:22
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

Yes, I also second PostFinance. Their site is in English and much more user-friendly than UBS. I actually plan to abandon UBS altogether as in addition to their cumbersome site and stupid procedures, e.g., credit card payments where you can send money only one way, their staff are totally useless and arrogant.

Yes, I don't particularly like the PF card reader but there's no escape from this as all banks have something similar, just a bit simpler.

Also, PostFinance Card seems a very good alternative to Maestro - it's free to use from both the bank and the seller (e.g., Swiss don't have a surcharge on it while Maestro incurs one). And it can even be used online!

Their account maintenance fees are reasonable as well. Standard Online Set is free with assets above CHF 7500 and Plus Set (with additional perks like free cash withdrawal worldwide) is free after CHF 25000.

One problem with PostFinance - they do try to overcharge you every now and then but when you notice it (you really should), they immediately refund.
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Old 08.06.2012, 12:46
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

Has anyone paid money into their account using xe.com or hifx? I just want to know if there's an associated charge
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Old 08.06.2012, 13:02
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

I have to disagree with the others in this thread. When I first moved here this winter ( I am a US citizen), I went to PostFinance as I was told by many, including my Swiss husband, that is was the cheapest/easiest to use/etc. etc. I opened a UBS account a few months ago once I caught wind they charge lower fees to transfer money to the US (hello student loans!) and found that overall their ATM fees are cheaper (4 bucks a month from post finance!), plus the first year, everything is fee-free. After the second year, their fees are still lower than the Post, and their minimum without charging a 7CHF is lower than the Post.
Plus, when I call UBS for help, I get a PERSON. I have not been lucky with customer service in person at the Post either. They don't speak English too well, and even when I try German they give me attitude.
On my to do list is to pull out of Post soon.
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Old 08.06.2012, 13:24
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

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I have to disagree with the others in this thread. When I first moved here this winter ( I am a US citizen), I went to PostFinance as I was told by many, including my Swiss husband, that is was the cheapest/easiest to use/etc. etc. I opened a UBS account a few months ago once I caught wind they charge lower fees to transfer money to the US (hello student loans!) and found that overall their ATM fees are cheaper (4 bucks a month from post finance!), plus the first year, everything is fee-free. After the second year, their fees are still lower than the Post, and their minimum without charging a 7CHF is lower than the Post.
Plus, when I call UBS for help, I get a PERSON. I have not been lucky with customer service in person at the Post either. They don't speak English too well, and even when I try German they give me attitude.
On my to do list is to pull out of Post soon.
I can tell you a story or two about UBS customer care. Actually, that's the main reason (rather than their fees or cumbersome site) I want to severe my ties with them. They do speak perfect English though, I can't deny that.

With regard to PostFinance ATM withdrawal fees, I mentioned it is free (and commission free abroad) for Plus Set only which requires you to keep CHF 25000 in assets.
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Old 08.06.2012, 13:39
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

I've always found UBS to be very helpful in our dealings with them. We also have a Post account, but it's used more as an emergency/tax payments account with UBS as the main one. Website is mostly in English (Post is the same) so you will need some language skills other than English to use either.
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Old 08.06.2012, 13:48
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

I'm with KantonalBank

No fees if your balance is at least 1000chf.
No charge for cash card or cash machine usage, but 40 chf per year if you want a maestro card.

Internet banking
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  #13  
Old 08.06.2012, 14:24
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

UBS works out a lot cheaper than PostFinance if you make frequent money transfers abroad, and they offer a GBP account which might be useful to you.

If you're earning and spending all your money in CHF in Switzerland, PostFinance usually works out cheaper.
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Old 08.06.2012, 14:26
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

Did you ask your employer; sometimes they have special arrangements with banks for their employees?
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Old 08.06.2012, 14:48
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

Currently I'm being paid in GBP into a UK account, so I wanted to open an account here and get a better excahnge rate using hifx or xe.com but the problem is if postFinance charge for receipt of the funds I may lose any benefit I have gained.
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Old 08.06.2012, 15:25
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

One thing about UBS accounts in another currency - they do charge for cash withdrawals from them! Say, you have a Euro account from which you want to get Euro cash - you get charged for this At least, that's what their person at the information desk told me. I don't know if they charge for wire transfers in such cases (Euro to Euro) though.
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Old 08.06.2012, 16:08
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

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One thing about UBS accounts in another currency - they do charge for cash withdrawals from them! Say, you have a Euro account from which you want to get Euro cash - you get charged for this At least, that's what their person at the information desk told me. I don't know if they charge for wire transfers in such cases (Euro to Euro) though.
If you withdraw EUR from your EUR account in Switzerland, there is no charge.NOT TRUE, MY MISTAKE - YOU PAY 1% FEE; SEE BELOW
If you withdraw EUR from your CHF account in Switzerland, there is no charge TRUE

If you withdraw EUR from your EUR account abroad, you pay a service fee.

If you are transferring EUR from your Swiss EUR account to a non-Swiss EUR account you pay the international transfer fees. However, if you are prepared to wait a couple of days for the transfer to happen, the fees at both ends are covered by a 10 CHF flat fee ("payment abroad extra"). I didn't find a lower fee than that at any of the high-street Swiss banks (though of course you can do it cheaper with the currency trading websites).

Last edited by quark; 08.06.2012 at 16:59. Reason: correct error; see post below
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Old 08.06.2012, 16:23
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

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If you withdraw EUR from your EUR account in Switzerland, there is no charge.
I would expect it, too, but the clerk told me otherwise. He said any cash operations on non-CHF accounts incur commission as they must physically stock foreign currencies here which is expensive.

Can you confirm you did it yourself without any additional charges?

BTW, on UBS service standards. Just got a call from one of their managers apologising for the troubles I had with her people. That is good, of course, but I'm still unsure if one apologetic manager can make up for a dozen of her useless workers
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Old 08.06.2012, 17:02
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

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I would expect it, too, but the clerk told me otherwise. He said any cash operations on non-CHF accounts incur commission as they must physically stock foreign currencies here which is expensive.
I've just checked on Pg.22 of this document, and the clerk is right and I was wrong:
http://www.ubs.com/ch/en/swissbank/p...dukte_en-1.pdf

It's free to withdraw EUR for a UBS Bancomat from a CHF account, but not from an EUR account - then you pay a fee of 1% of the withdrawn amount. This is why the clerk's explanation is obviously untrue - they're storing the EUR either way.... but what they said about fees was correct.

I've corrected my post above - sorry about that!
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Old 08.06.2012, 17:18
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Re: Opening a bank account on arrival, which bank is the cheapest on fees!?

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Has anyone paid money into their account using xe.com or hifx? I just want to know if there's an associated charge
You can open a GBP account online linked to your CHF account and make transfers online. I use it to send/receive GBP to and from the UK without exchange loss. Only the fees are still charges which are about £2 to the UK from CH online.
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