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currency???

QLD, Australia
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91 posts
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currency???

Going to be in Switzerland for 3 days during a Europe tour. Will I need to get Swiss Francs or do they accept Euros? I always like to have a bit of local currency on me when I travel.

If so, how much is recommended?

London, United...
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1. Re: currency???

You would be better off with Swiss Francs.

" If so, how much is recommended? "

About the length of a piece of string.

Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage, Zermatt
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2. Re: currency???

A few shops, restaurants, etc. will take Euros but the exchange rate will be awful as they must have some profit for taking your Euros to the bank and exchanging them. Best to get francs and it's best to get them using an ATM so that you take out just what you need each day. I use my debit (ATM) card for larger purchases and carry maybe 100 or 200 francs in cash for smaller things. Some shops will not take a card for a small purchase because the fees are too high so you need cash for small purchases as well as a coffee, etc. Just be sure your bank knows you will be using your debit card outside of your home area.

Canton of Valais...
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for Switzerland
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3. Re: currency???

Don't carry more cash on you than you can afford to loose. (I learnt this the hard way).

Normally the limit for CCs in shops is 20frs but I have seen some with 30frs. At the end of your time here go to any Change office - one at almost every station for example, and certainly at the airports - and change the Swiss franc notes and coins you have into the currency of wherever you are headed. Banks in all countries will change notes but none want coins. Within Switzerland they will take you coins, rounded out as close as they can get them to the notes you will be "buying".

United States
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4. Re: currency???

When I travel outside the U.S. I use a credit card that doesn't charge a fee for currency conversion (I use CapitalOne) for EVERYTHING. Don't charge more than you can pay off each month to avoid installment payments and interest charges. Debit cards are the worst way to go (money comes out of your checking account immediately). Why would you do that when you can take advantage of the 'float' you get with a credit card? Get some Swiss currency at an ATM for small purchases. Estimate how much you'll need and make one withdrawal. Don't make a lot of as-needed small withdrawals. . .you'll pay a fee each time.

Edited: 6:51 pm, June 02, 2014
Canton of Valais...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
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42,724 posts
200 reviews
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5. Re: currency???

The reason one should always use a debit card for cash withdrawals is that the vast majority of credit cards charge interest on cash withdrawals from the moment the withdrawal is made (and not from the statement date) and they do that even if you have a zero balance on the card. An ATM card gets you a better exchange rate than using a CC for a withdrawal as well.

If you withdraw sufficient funds to cover a week's trip then you are easily walking around with 1000frs cash on you or more. We have a lot of "criminal tourists" in this country - in fact they are all over Europe - and they delight in pickpocketing legitimate tourists who might have followed your advice. it is not smart to make their life easy!!

United States
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6. Re: currency???

Sorry, I wasn't clear. Use ONLY an ATM card or debit card to make cash withdrawals; NEVER a credit card for the reasons Hambagahle states. Use a currency conversion-free credit card for purchases only. Alison-K-QLD is going to be in Switzerland for 3 days. I doubt she will need 1000 Swiss francs for small purchases! She should make one ATM withdrawal for 200 to 300 Swiss francs for small purchases. I'm sure she can find a safe place to keep them. Multiple, small ATM withdrawals will result in multiple fees.

Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage, Zermatt
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7. Re: currency???

Only if you pay fees! There are institutions such as many credit unions that do not charge much at all for ATM withdrawals in foreign currencies. It's worthwhile to shop around. I pay 1% total fees for ATM withdrawals outside of the US and get the bank rate for exchanging foreign currency.

8. Re: currency???

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