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Old 16.10.2006, 20:14
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Re: A switzerland account - I CANT FIND!

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Also what is maestro?
Maestro is a type of debit card here in Europe (also in UK). I had never heard of it in the US as most debit cards there are branded Visa or Mastercard. I have a UK one and I have never encountered a place in our year here that didn't take it (can't speak for Switzerland yet) and I have had no problems using it for online purchases.
  #22  
Old 16.10.2006, 20:29
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Re: A switzerland account - I CANT FIND!

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Maestro is a type of debit card here in Europe (also in UK). I had never heard of it in the US as most debit cards there are branded Visa or Mastercard. I have a UK one and I have never encountered a place in our year here that didn't take it (can't speak for Switzerland yet) and I have had no problems using it for online purchases.
Maestro was Switch in the UK. Just like Access became Mastercard.
There was some crap advert with a penguin or something highlighting the change.

My UBS EC-Maestro has no visible 16 digit number - it has one on the chip or mag strip (seen it on receipts) - so I can't use it on line...

There are also Visa-Delta, Electron, Solo debit type cards in the UK,

For the insomniacs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debit_Card
  #23  
Old 16.10.2006, 21:14
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Re: A switzerland account - I CANT FIND!

Just withdraw money at an ATM at the airport. Depending on your overseas bank, you might be charged a few $ + 1-2% commission, but this is normal.
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And do I get all the money I want as cash?
I have heard you do not necessarily have the right to all your cash. Say you have 10k in the bank, your Maestro might have a withdrawal limit of 2k or 5k per month. This means you cannot withdraw the whole balance in a month, even though it is yours. What I do not know is whether you can if you go to the counter in person.

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Looks like opening a bank account in CH is by no means easy..... can't I just walk in and say "I'd like an account"
None are free, unless you have 7500+ CHF in Postfinance.ch or 10000+ CHF at ubs.ch in there every month. You are charged 2chf a month otherwise in both cases if you chose online banking, and to not have statements sent to you by mail. Note you must set this option yourself online! If you don't, you will get charged 7 francs a month!

If you can, pick a bank and a colleague who is with that bank too, and ask the colleague to ring and make an appointment for you. Introductions are apparently a much better way to get an account in CH, even a simple one...CHF+
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Old 17.10.2006, 00:47
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Re: A switzerland account - I CANT FIND!

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I plan to arrive in CH from US end of this month. Looks like opening a bank account in CH is by no means easy..... can't I just walk in and say "I'd like an account" and have a free checking account with a visa/MC debit card that can double for purchases online?
Well that's what I did. Don't expect it to be free though - nothing here is. But banking in this country is one of the things I find to be a pleasure. Wire transfers don't get lost, nobody uses cheques, foreign currency rates aren't usually a rip off, all internet banking uses two-factor authentication (a point which is totally lost on many US banks). So relax about that part. Generally you'll need to show your permit to prove that you are resident, but others have managed it without the permit apparently.
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Old 17.10.2006, 09:08
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Re: A switzerland account - I CANT FIND!

Quote:
Just withdraw money at an ATM at the airport. Depending on your overseas bank, you might be charged a few $ + 1-2% commission, but this is normal.

I have heard you do not necessarily have the right to all your cash. Say you have 10k in the bank, your Maestro might have a withdrawal limit of 2k or 5k per month. This means you cannot withdraw the whole balance in a month, even though it is yours. What I do not know is whether you can if you go to the counter in person.
Which is actually quite sensible for all concerned. The monthly limit allowed on a Maestro is CHF 50K or 10K per day. Usually though it is throttled back to 10K per month. If you go into your branch you can withdraw the lot on the spot if it is less than 100K otherwise you must give notice, which again IMHO is sensible/normal.

Quote:
None are free, unless you have 7500+ CHF in Postfinance.ch or 10000+ CHF at ubs.ch in there every month. You are charged 2chf a month otherwise in both cases if you chose online banking, and to not have statements sent to you by mail. Note you must set this option yourself online! If you don't, you will get charged 7 francs a month!

If you can, pick a bank and a colleague who is with that bank too, and ask the colleague to ring and make an appointment for you. Introductions are apparently a much better way to get an account in CH, even a simple one...CHF+
I have been told that Coop bank is the best priced although I do not have an account there and also that it is easy to get an account there. Any experiences anyone.

To the question of what is Meastro, for US citizens it is the European equivalent of Cirrus. and now that the US have finally got their act together with respect to common ATM usage it works more or less worldwide. Gone are the days of needing to go into Western Union to get dollar bills. Now there is only the French credit card system to crack and we have global card usage
  #26  
Old 17.10.2006, 14:06
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Re: A switzerland account - I CANT FIND!

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The monthly limit allowed on a Maestro is CHF 50K or 10K per day. Usually though it is throttled back to 10K per month.
I would think this greatly depends on the income of the client. At UBS, if you earn less than 100K a year, there is no way they give you 10k-50k or more a month straight up. Unless you have good connections or make a stunning impression perhaps....

I am just saying this so people like the student and other poster here in this thread could make an educated guess as what to expect based on their income. I think a 5k a month, 2k a day limit is likely for earners <100k/year, with the 50k limit I am not sure what you require.
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