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need for cash in Switzerland?

need for cash in Switzerland?

Old Jan 20, 20, 9:23 pm
  #1  
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need for cash in Switzerland?

Have a short work trip coming up: 4 days in Les Diablerets. About 24hrs in Geneva beforehand for a quick look round (sadly Sat night/ Sunday) since I've never been.

Will I need to have CHF handy? I can carry some Euros for emergencies.

tb
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Old Jan 21, 20, 1:52 am
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Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
Have a short work trip coming up: 4 days in Les Diablerets. About 24hrs in Geneva beforehand for a quick look round (sadly Sat night/ Sunday) since I've never been.

Will I need to have CHF handy? I can carry some Euros for emergencies.

tb
Always have a few bills and coins handy, especially for vending machines or other equipment that won't take cards. Whenever interacting with a human you will be fine with plastic.

EUR won't do you no good in Switzerland.
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Old Jan 21, 20, 3:06 am
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Bring CHF .. EUR might work (better than no cash at all) -- but at ridiculous rates.
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Old Jan 21, 20, 3:23 am
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The places geared up for tourists are likely to take euros but the rate may not be so good and they likely to take notes only and give you any change in CHF.

Just like some shops in central London will take Euros for example.

.
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Old Jan 21, 20, 3:45 am
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Not sure what is actually being asked - if you are asking whether you should get CHF before arriving in Switzerland, the answer depends on whether you get a better rate/fewer fees in the place you are coming from, versus using ATMs in Switzerland itself, which are widespread.

Nobody in Switzerland will refuse cash in payment so getting rid of cash is not a problem either.

Anyway in my view the value of CHF is only headed up in the long term, so holding on to excess is unlikely to be a losing proposition - especially since the Swiss National Bank has in the past few months adopted a policy that all Swiss banknotes from 1976 onwards will retain their monetary value indefinitely. Previously, the notes issued between 1976-1993 were due to become toilet paper 3 months from now, and the notes issued from 1994-2016 were likely to become toilet paper around the year 2040.

Oddly, plenty of Swiss ATMs also stock euros, and almost every train ticket machine takes euro notes at a rate which is not too bad. In the Geneva area, some machines even accept euro coins. I am not sure whether euros would be useful in a genuine emergency. But I did once buy 50 euros for 50 francs at Zurich airport from a Spanish guy who looked like he had some emergency going on (yes, it was a real banknote).
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Old Jan 21, 20, 5:25 am
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I'd always have a bit of cash with me, just in case. Not a big deal to withdraw CHF 50 from a machine. If at the end of your trip you still have some left over, pay the taxi or part pay the hotel.
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Old Jan 21, 20, 7:35 am
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I have done it both ways—without having CHF and using only a credit card and with having. When I had it, I tended to use it for something such as buying a diet soda at a shop but I could have just as easily used a credit card. I tend to just have a wheelie bag so no need to tip hotel porters. Public transportation in many places in Switzerland is very good so you are not tipping someone for getting a taxi. Tipping in those instances would be really the only reason to have any local currency. Otherwise, for a few days in cities, depending on what you are planning to do, you don’t need CHF. However, if you’re planning on going off the beaten track at all, maybe withdraw a bit from an ATM.
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Old Jan 21, 20, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
Anyway in my view the value of CHF is only headed up in the long term, so holding on to excess is unlikely to be a losing proposition - especially since the Swiss National Bank has in the past few months adopted a policy that all Swiss banknotes from 1976 onwards will retain their monetary value indefinitely. Previously, the notes issued between 1976-1993 were due to become toilet paper 3 months from now, and the notes issued from 1994-2016 were likely to become toilet paper around the year 2040.
When I used to work in an international tour operator, all international transactions were done in CHF because, at the time, that was the most reliable currency for holding its value against all the others we used.
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Old Jan 21, 20, 9:53 am
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I have had trips to Switzerland where I used nothing but cards. It wasn’t a problem.

I also don’t recall having any problem spending down CHF cash and coins.
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Old Jan 21, 20, 10:24 am
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Thanks for the feedback.

The 'poor rate' on Euros, whilst true, doesn't factor in that having even CHF5-10 left over that one doesn't spend (or be forced to spend on something not needed), is vastly more wasteful than any poor exchange rate. I don't anticipate taking any taxis, my hotel is being paid for. I _may_ have time to buy some chocolate at a Migros or whatever, but I'm assuming I can use credit cards for that.

The appreciation in the value of the CHF is rather moot unless I'm going to buy a rather large sum, or coming back to Switzerland fairly soon, since otherwise it's just sitting at home.

However, I've never actually travelled to a country before without having some local currency with me...so it's the 'strangeness'/ newness of doing so that disturbs me more. Pragmatically, I'm assuming ATMs are fairly plentiful, so I can always find one if needs be for a cash purchase.

tb
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Old Jan 22, 20, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by DeeGee26.2 View Post
When I used to work in an international tour operator, all international transactions were done in CHF because, at the time, that was the most reliable currency for holding its value against all the others we used.
Most (all?) railroads in Europe/Asia still clear their inter-railroad invoices in CHF.

Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
However, I've never actually travelled to a country before without having some local currency with me...so it's the 'strangeness'/ newness of doing so that disturbs me more. Pragmatically, I'm assuming ATMs are fairly plentiful, so I can always find one if needs be for a cash purchase.

Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland - went to all without taking out cash - cards accepted everywhere.
Switzerland - I don't think I took out CHF last time I was there, but I did encounter one public transport machine in Geneva that wouldn't take cards (or bills for that matter). Ended up paying with Euro coins, which I did have. No need for local currency otherwise.

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia - 90%+ of cases no need for € cash. The only exception was at the local market. I was able to pay for a local bus in a 3rd tier city using a CC though to compensate for that.
Belarus - paid everything by card, including the metro, where you can use contactless payment right on the turnstile like in London.
UK - haven't bothered to take out GBPs in a while either.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 4:07 am
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When I saw your post heading "need for cash in Switzerland?" my initial response was "Yes - and a lot of it." Switzerland is probably the most expensive place I've been.

It won't hurt to have a few notes and if you end up with any left over they make very pretty, if expensive, souvenirs.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by trueblu View Post

However, I've never actually travelled to a country before without having some local currency with me...so it's the 'strangeness'/ newness of doing so that disturbs me more. Pragmatically, I'm assuming ATMs are fairly plentiful, so I can always find one if needs be for a cash purchase.

tb
I strongly suggest you continue that practice. Every time I see one of these "do I need cash threads" it disturbs me. The answer is always "maybe", it depends on what you're going to do there. The next answer is, if you're leaving your hotel at all, it's probably a good idea to have some cash on you, or at least expect that you might need to get some while there. And finally, you're correct that you can always (and nearly always should) get cash from a bank ATM in the country.

That's my opinion. But I've run into enough places where I'm glad I have cash. I never get it in advance. And I've probably been cheated more by ATM's in my home country with outrageous surcharges than I have in Europe.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 8:18 am
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
I strongly suggest you continue that practice. Every time I see one of these "do I need cash threads" it disturbs me. The answer is always "maybe", it depends on what you're going to do there. The next answer is, if you're leaving your hotel at all, it's probably a good idea to have some cash on you, or at least expect that you might need to get some while there. And finally, you're correct that you can always (and nearly always should) get cash from a bank ATM in the country.

That's my opinion. But I've run into enough places where I'm glad I have cash. I never get it in advance. And I've probably been cheated more by ATM's in my home country with outrageous surcharges than I have in Europe.
Appreciate the concern. I would certainly not travel to a less developed country without cash, and as I said, I'll have Euros (and RMB) as well as bank cards. I think in a major pinch I'd be fine. It's more the case of whether most restaurants accept cards or not that sort of thing. In some countries, even decent establishments may be predominantly cash only. Not having been to Switzerland, I wasn't sure.

Although I'm tempted to have a very small number of CHFs on arrival from an ATM, I'm almost tempted to see if I can get away without it...just to see.

tb
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Old Jan 24, 20, 1:36 pm
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Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
Thanks for the feedback.

The 'poor rate' on Euros, whilst true, doesn't factor in that having even CHF5-10 left over that one doesn't spend (or be forced to spend on something not needed), is vastly more wasteful than any poor exchange rate.
Well I would challenge that. The shops that take EUR here in Switzerland donít like to actually take it, so the exchange is ridiculously high. Like really high. Just donít pay in EUR here.
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