Currency in Switzerland

A Travel Money Guide to Switzerland

switzerland alps

You're heading to the land of cheese, chocolate and watches! Famous for its amazing weather, eye-captivating scenery of the Alps and rich cultural diversity, Switzerland is a country that every traveller has to visit at least once in their lifetime. Even if you're not skiing or hiking in the mountains, there's plenty to do and enjoy.

But you can make your savings go even further with a few clever choices, including how you’ll exchange currency and pay for things in Switzerland.

This guide helps you get a little more savvy in your decision-making by giving you an overview on:

What Currency is Used in Switzerland?

The currency sign for Switzerland is the Swiss Franc while the currency code is CHF. In Switzerland, each franc is divided into 100 Rappen.

Swiss banknotes are available in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 1000. There are also 1, 2 and 5 franc coins. Rappen come in coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50.

In Switzerland, you’ll come to realise that the symbol CHF will be written down in shops and on menus, and the currency code CHF will be used in exchange offices.

Using Your Bank Card in Switzerland

shophouses in switzerland

Some of the best travel money cards include debit, credit and prepaid cards. Efficient and convenient, credit and debit cards are perfect for travelling and naturally, a big hit in Switzerland.

Most places in cities will have the facilities to cater to card payments but when you’re in smaller villages, cash payments will still be preferred.

Whether you choose to pay with your card more often is still up to you, as long as you’re aware of the fees and charges incurred by the respective cards.

Debit Cards

In Switzerland, you’ll have no trouble using a debit card with a chip and PIN. However, it is important to check that you are getting the best deal from your credit card provider, as you might end up paying high fees for the currency conversion, foreign transaction, and overseas ATM withdrawals.

To make your trip hassle-free, look for a bank card that’s designed for frequent travellers. Some travel-friendly debit cards that waive a portion of the charges include Wise, ING, Citibank and Revolut.

All major credit cards are accepted as currency in Italy

Credit Cards

All major credit cards are accepted in Switzerland, but if you’re venturing into more villages in the rural areas, it is best to still have some cash on you.

Brush up on the costs of using your credit card overseas. Using credit cards in ATMs, for example, can incur overseas withdrawal fees and cash advance fees.

Some credit cards come with attractive features for frequent travellers, including complimentary travel insurance, rewards points, and additional security measures.

But the perks are countered by some exorbitant charges if you use your card overseas, including:

  • International transaction fees
  • High exchange rate margins
  • ATM fees
  • Potential ‘cash advance fees’ if you use an ATM

As with debit cards, there are some exceptions. Bankwest Platinum and 28 Degrees cards are designed for travellers and waive the currency conversion fees.

Prepaid Travel Cards

It’s natural to gravitate towards a prepaid travel card, considering the product is designed for travellers. Lock in a favourable exchange rate with prepaid travel cards. Bonus: You also get a handy back-up card!

Even though they are convenient, you could end up with hidden fees. Some travel cards still impose the following:

  • Currency conversion fees
  • Uncompetitive exchange rates
  • International ATM withdrawal fees
  • Reload fees
  • Inactivity fees

Using a Currency Converter For Swiss Francs

The Swiss Franc (CHF) is relatively stable to the Australian dollar (AUD) and the New Zealand dollar. Converting AUD to CHF is easy with our currency conversion tool.

Simply enter in the value and currencies to figure out how much it would cost you to buy Swiss Francs with S Money today. We use the same mid-market rate you’d find on Google or


*Wholesale exchange rate updated

How to Exchange Currency in Switzerland

Smaller establishments located in the villages only accept cash, and at some train stations there is a small fee (usually CHF 1) to use the public toilets, making it essential that you have a little on hand as you travel. While it can be better value to buy the currency before you go (see our section on that below), you can also get currency once you arrive in the country.

The most popular ways to exchange currency include ATMs, currency exchange desks and traveller cheques.

You can use the available ATMs for currency in Italy

ATMs in Switzerland

As global financial capital, Switzerland has a a bank on more or less every corner in the cities – with an ATM. In more rural areas, there will be fewer ATMs to choose from. If you’re looking for a specific ATM, try these tools:

While ATMs often offer the best exchange rates, it would be best to complete your transaction in your home currency instead of CHF. Travellers will need to be wary of the Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) scam, which banks use to confuse tourists into agreeing to pay a poor exchange rate by converting their purchase price (plus a markup for the exchange) into their home currency. It is important to ensure you’re charged in CHF instead, which means you’re allowing your home bank to do the conversion instead, which will more likely be a fairer exchange rate.

Many ATMs in Switzerland, and especially in the border areas dispense euros as well as Swiss francs. However, note that Swiss francs (currency code CHF), are the legal currency even though euros are frequently accepted in tourist areas. If vendors charge you in EUR, you might possibly pay more as vendors may not offer you the best exchange rate.

Switzerland Currency Exchange Outlets

There are various ways to change your AUD into CHF in Switzerland. Changing your money to Swiss Franc prior to your trip would be ideal but you can also exchange foreign currency at any of the Swiss banks (they exchange bank notes only, not coins), currency exchange desks at the major airports, railway stations and some hotels but look out for service fees.

Currency exchange in Italy is easy and available

Travellers Cheques

Most merchants in Switzerland won’t accept traveller cheques, and they will give you poor exchange rates, so you’re generally better off avoiding them altogether.

It’s better to stick with ATM withdrawals and currency exchanges if you’re looking for convenience and better value.

Buying Switzerland Currency Before You Go

Buying Swiss Francs before you leave home can be a seamless process, with three main options to suit your needs:

  • Buy CHF online and have it delivered or collect it in-store.
  • Buy from a bureau de change.
  • Buy at your home airport.

Since bureau de change desks at Australian airports are renowned for their poor rates, we recommend avoiding them and picking up your currency ahead of time.

A fuss-free way to secure your travel money is to order it online. It can be delivered to your door or made available for pick-up at a convenient location. Online currency providers offer competitive deals you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. For example, S Money offers the same rate listed on Google and

If you’re in the city, an alternative is to visit a CBD bureau de change. Suburban outlets don’t have the competition to keep prices low and banks often supply high fees and poor rates.

What Will the Swiss Franc Buy Me?

picnic in the mountains of switzerland

It’s handy to cost out your trip before you go so you know just how much money to exchange. Prices vary across Switzerland but here are some average costs (all prices quoted in Swiss Francs):

110 CHF

A night in an affordable hotel

25 CHF

Meal at a cheap restaurant


Bottle of local beer

14 CHF

Local transportation

54 CHF

Attraction tickets

Track the best time to buy currency

We match the currency exchange rate with the rate shown on Google or Xe. In real time.

This means you never pay over-inflated rates and can be 100% positive you are getting the most competitive rate for currency exchange.

  • Check out the daily rates:

Not ready to buy yet?
You can get a free rate tracker!

Updated: Posted on