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Old 30.06.2012, 01:29
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Should I exchange money in Switzerland or in my home country?

Hi guys,
I've been saving money in Canada for my education in Switzerland. I will be travelling in August, and I was wondering if I should exchange my money into Swiss Francs now or do it when I get into Switzerland.

At the moment, I have 99% of my money in my bank account. 1% in cash (cdn).

Thank you for your advice!
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Old 30.06.2012, 17:59
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Re: Should I exchange money in Switzerland or in my home country?

Hello

Perhaps you can help yourself if you told us the rate which you can get in Canada, and we can tell you the rate where you get them here.

www.oanda.com is a fair website.
www.ubs.ch
https://www.credit-suisse.com/ch

The above should give you an idea the rates you get in Switzerland.
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Old 30.06.2012, 18:05
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Re: Should I exchange money in Switzerland or in my home country?

Don't forget, you can get the trader's rate for amounts greater than 50'000 CHF
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Old 30.06.2012, 18:07
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Re: Should I exchange money in Switzerland or in my home country?

The main question is the choice of the bank who will do the change. As FX rates are reciprocal, there is only one rate. Then banks start applying various spreads to make you pay for the service.

So my suggestion is to ask your bank what the rate for conversion and the commission to wire in CH are - if you are not happy go ask another bank or have a relative or friend ask theirs.

Then compare with the rate of the day on www.bloomberg.com or any other site and start discussing with your bank.

In any case you will need a bank in CH to receive your money, so you can also wait until you have both sides and ask questions on both sides.

good luck
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Old 01.07.2012, 02:13
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Re: Should I exchange money in Switzerland or in my home country?

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Don't forget, you can get the trader's rate for amounts greater than 50'000 CHF
what's a trader's rate?
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Old 01.07.2012, 02:14
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Re: Should I exchange money in Switzerland or in my home country?

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The main question is the choice of the bank who will do the change. As FX rates are reciprocal, there is only one rate. Then banks start applying various spreads to make you pay for the service.

So my suggestion is to ask your bank what the rate for conversion and the commission to wire in CH are - if you are not happy go ask another bank or have a relative or friend ask theirs.

Then compare with the rate of the day on www.bloomberg.com or any other site and start discussing with your bank.

In any case you will need a bank in CH to receive your money, so you can also wait until you have both sides and ask questions on both sides.

good luck
Yikes, I forgot. I will need to join a bank when I get to Switzerland so I can access my account. I guess my Visa card will also need to be rebooted?
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Old 01.07.2012, 02:55
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Re: Should I exchange money in Switzerland or in my home country?

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Yikes, I forgot. I will need to join a bank when I get to Switzerland so I can access my account. I guess my Visa card will also need to be rebooted?
I recommend Post finance - easy, straight forward, low charges, friendly staff ( at least at the smaller branches)

What do you mean by "rebooted? You can still use a foreign credit card, but there may be exchange rate expenses added. Also, if your card is likely to expire whilst over here, check with your banks credit card department to see what their policy is about sending new cards out to another country, with the pin number still on it.

For general expenses, I find it easiest to use a debit card here, connected to a local bank.
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Old 01.07.2012, 16:35
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Re: Should I exchange money in Switzerland or in my home country?

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Hi guys,
I've been saving money in Canada for my education in Switzerland. I will be travelling in August, and I was wondering if I should exchange my money into Swiss Francs now or do it when I get into Switzerland.

At the moment, I have 99% of my money in my bank account. 1% in cash (cdn).

Thank you for your advice!
I had been working in the US during the past few summers, and always found that the currency exchange rates that US banks offer for Euro and Swiss franc weren't that competitive. It was always more profitable for me to take the cash in dollars and exchange in Europe (at the right places, as some banks or bank branches in Switzerland also offer bad rates). Canada may be different though.

I also found it easier to take the cash with me when travelling rather than doing bank transfers, to avoid the transfer fees. Last time I took travellers cheques instead, as it's more secure carrying them rather than actual cash, and I could get them for free from my American bank.
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Old 04.07.2012, 21:49
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Re: Should I exchange money in Switzerland or in my home country?

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I recommend Post finance - easy, straight forward, low charges, friendly staff ( at least at the smaller branches)

What do you mean by "rebooted? You can still use a foreign credit card, but there may be exchange rate expenses added. Also, if your card is likely to expire whilst over here, check with your banks credit card department to see what their policy is about sending new cards out to another country, with the pin number still on it.

For general expenses, I find it easiest to use a debit card here, connected to a local bank.
I mean if I brought my visa card from Canada and tried to use it Switzerland, wouldn't there be some sort of international fee that'd be applied? So wouldn't it be better to cancel my visa here and get a new one in Switzerland with a Swiss bank? or is that a bad idea?
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Old 04.07.2012, 22:34
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Re: Should I exchange money in Switzerland or in my home country?

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I mean if I brought my visa card from Canada and tried to use it Switzerland, wouldn't there be some sort of international fee that'd be applied? So wouldn't it be better to cancel my visa here and get a new one in Switzerland with a Swiss bank? or is that a bad idea?
Don't cancel your old one just yet. I have been here for 6 months and have yet to find a bank which will give me a credit card. Unless you have a open ended contract with your employer, the banks won't give you a credit card.

Make sure you bring some cash with you to tide you open until you can open a bank account and get a Maestro card (that's the European name for an Eftpos card). For me, that took almost 3 weeks, and since there are fees for registering at the Kreisburo etc as well as food and public transport costs, I needed about CHF500 cash. So I recommend you bring that amount with you in hard currency. :-)
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Old 04.07.2012, 23:06
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Re: Should I exchange money in Switzerland or in my home country?

Don't cancel until you have a Swiss card! Some banks make you wait for a card.

Coop & Migros offer cheap VISA and M.Card credit cards, but a lot of people here still use cash.
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