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Old 25.07.2013, 14:43
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What bank is best to open a current account?

Hi all,

I'm chilean and I'm in Neuchâtel to finish my PhD.

I need to open a current account in a bank of Neuchâtel, but I don't know what bank is the best option in terms of the costs. So, please, I need you to answer me three questions:

(1) What bank would be the cheaper option in order to open a current account?

(2) Which bank has the lowest fees?

(3) What is the maximum amount of money I can get from an ATM (Automated teller machine) per day in Switzerland?

Thank you!
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Old 25.07.2013, 15:12
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Re: What bank is best to open a current account?

Q1 & Q2 are the same. Answer: They'll all about the same in fees
Q3: Daily limit is normally set to around 1000 to 5000 CHF, but you can specify it yourself

Select the bank with the most convienient money machine for you
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Old 25.07.2013, 15:22
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Re: What bank is best to open a current account?

I started at the BkB and found them to be very fair and accommodating. Their online service was also very good

Savings and current account I would say the Postfinance, again same kind of experience with them as I had with BkB.


Friendly Kiwi is correct as in the grand scheme of things they will all cost the same in the end unless you have serious money to invest or earn them you need to start looking at higher interest options. As far as anything else machine availability is a good selling point.

Bear in mind also that the standard hole in the wall machine for Postfinance works in shops too BUT only in Switzerland

whereas the BkB one worked in other countries too as it was a debit card !

Last edited by DrX; 25.07.2013 at 15:28. Reason: Added text
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Old 25.07.2013, 15:41
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Re: What bank is best to open a current account?

I love postfinance, all their services are also in English so makes it easier and they are on the cheaper side.
KantonalBank was a disaster for me (the Basel one)...they charge a fortune when I send money abroad....50 CHF!!!! And the online services is ridiculous, you have to pay 85 CHF for the little decoder you get for free from Postfinance...
You can take money out of CH with your yellow card and as a matter of fact my mom has a card that she uses. Also the credit card charges are less with Postfinance...
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Old 25.07.2013, 16:13
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Re: What bank is best to open a current account?

I think the Post Bank is a good deal. It is free to have and they wont charge fees for having the account. They charge 10 chf to close the account
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Old 25.07.2013, 17:04
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Re: What bank is best to open a current account?

For current accounts, I like >>www.postfinance.ch<< and Berner Kantonalbank´s online bank >>www.money-net.ch<<.

Postfinance is free, as long as you have more than CHF 7500 on your account at any given time. Otherwise CHF 3/month.

Money-net accounts are always free, only drawback is their ATM-Card (Maestro) which is CHF 20/year, fixed non-avoidable fee.

In order to transfer money from and to Switzerland, you might want to consider going via >>www.transferwise.com<<, as the banks (all of them) will otherwise suck your blood.

To get a free CHF-credit card, check out the offers in both >>Migros<< and >>Coop<<. They both offer a free Mastercard, and in Coop you can also opt for Visa. Migros automatically deducts your monthly total from your account, while Coop sends a bill that you have to manually settle.

Enjoy Switzerland!
Rgds, Christian

Last edited by ChrisNeedsToKnow; 25.07.2013 at 17:20.
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Old 25.07.2013, 19:27
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Re: What bank is best to open a current account?

Hi all!,

I would like to thank you to all for your advices! Apparently, the PostFinance is the best choice for me. Tomorrow I'll go to open a current account with them.

Thank you very much!

LEO
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Old 30.07.2013, 22:47
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Re: What bank is best to open a current account?

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For current accounts, I like >>www.postfinance.ch<< and Berner Kantonalbank´s online bank >>www.money-net.ch<<.

Postfinance is free, as long as you have more than CHF 7500 on your account at any given time. Otherwise CHF 3/month.

Money-net accounts are always free, only drawback is their ATM-Card (Maestro) which is CHF 20/year, fixed non-avoidable fee.

In order to transfer money from and to Switzerland, you might want to consider going via >>www.transferwise.com<<, as the banks (all of them) will otherwise suck your blood.

To get a free CHF-credit card, check out the offers in both >>Migros<< and >>Coop<<. They both offer a free Mastercard, and in Coop you can also opt for Visa. Migros automatically deducts your monthly total from your account, while Coop sends a bill that you have to manually settle.

Enjoy Switzerland!
Rgds, Christian
Thanks for these ideas, I'm looking too! BTW, transferwise.com seems to only work within certain European countries (and not to/from the U.S.)
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Old 31.07.2013, 16:23
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Re: What bank is best to open a current account?

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Thanks for these ideas, I'm looking too! BTW, transferwise.com seems to only work within certain European countries (and not to/from the U.S.)
Hi,

Apparently you can't. I'm interested in transfer money from my current account in Chile to my current account in Switzerland, but it seems that I can't use 'Transferwise'

It would be nice if somebody can share a similar option to move money from North- or Southamerica to Europe!
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Old 31.07.2013, 17:03
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Re: What bank is best to open a current account?

www.currencyfair.com has a USD account in the USA and a CAD account in Canada. I didn´t see any other accounts in North- or South-America.

After looking into the details I prefer www.currencyfair.com over www.transferwise.com. Reason is the way they determine the FX rate. Let´s transfer 100 CHF into EUR as an example:

transferwise (please correct me if someone knows better):
  • customer (you) enters a deal on transferwise-website "I want to change 100 CHF into EUR"
  • Transferwise gives you an estimated fx-rate. You then transfer 100 CHF to Transferwise´s CHF account.
  • Once your CHF hit Transerwise´s account, they immediately apply the (random) CHF/EUR-fx-rate which is applicable at that moment in time (and not the fx-rate of the original quote).
  • Obvisouly this might move in your favour or against your favour, but you can never know before.
  • Last but not least they transfer the EUR-amount to the EUR-account you specified.
currencyfair:
  • with currencyfair, you open something like an "account" with them, allowing you to have (positive) balances in quite an amount of currencies.
  • the customer (you) can then pay any amount into any of the given currencies into currencyfair.
  • Once the amount hits currencyfair´s account, you will have credit in the amount of that balance in that currency (for example CHF 100).
  • You can then change currencies within your currencyfair-account (for example CHF 100 into EUR).
    • AUD, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HUF, NOK, PLN and SEK are handled with local banks in the respective countries.
    • AED and ZAR accounts are with a bank in Britain, so you have to keep transfer costs to Britain in mind.
    • NZD are with a bank in Australia.
    • for USD they write something which isn´t entirely clear to me: "Please note, we are unable to accept deposits via Bill Pay. USD deposits will usually need to be made via Domestic Wire transfer and you will need to check with your bank for the associated fees. There may be alternative methods of depositing funds into CurrencyFair - please contact The Team for more information."
  • The fx is immediate and you will always know exactly what you get on the other end.
  • Last but not least you can use the balance to pay whatever and whoever you wish, from any of currencyfair´s accounts throughout the world.
I prefer currencyfair because of the additional control it gives to the customer. Having a balance with them allows paying whoever, whereever, immediately.


However, if you just want to do an occasional transfer where speed isn´t of the essence, you can initiate the payment with transferwise and be done with it.


I hope you can find a similar service which can be used from Chile.


Transferwise´s chat-service is very friendly and helpful. Maybe ask in there?


Rgds, Christian
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Old 10.08.2013, 13:18
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Re: What bank is best to open a current account?

Hello Christian,

I apologize in advance, because I'm responding very late!
Well, I want to thank you for your complete and useful answer. I'm confident that it will be useful for a lot of people as well!
Finally, I opened a bank account in Switzerland. This was the best choice in my case.

Cheers,

LEO
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