The Best Places in the USA for Swiss francs
How to buy Swiss francs online, at a bank or on the move
Swiss franc travel money card
Travel money cards are a safe and convenient way to spend in Swiss franc (CHF) - and if you pick the right one they could help you save on currency conversion, too. Top up your card balance in dollars and convert those dollars to francs to spend in stores and restaurants, or withdraw cash from ATMs when you need it. Easy.
Wise debit card
The Wise travel money card is likely to get you a better exchange rate and lower fees compared to your bank. Spending on the card will use the local currency if you have it in your Wise account - no matter where in the world you are. And if not, the card can simply auto-convert your money at the real rate, for a small fee.
You can also withdraw Swiss francs from an ATM whenever you need them - giving you the safety of spending with a card, and the convenience of cash.
It’s free to open a Wise account, with a one time fee of 9 USD for the Wise debit card. Converting USD to CHF costs 0.47% with Wise - making this by far one of the cheapest ways to get your hands on travel money for Switzerland.
Often this is the best way to buy Swiss francs. You can shop around for the best exchange rates to give you more francs for your US dollars. You can reserve your order, pick it up in a store or even have it delivered to your door.
Currency Exchange International (CXI)
Currency Exchange International specializes in providing foreign currency exchange at great rates with superior customer service. CXI owns and operates more than 30 branch locations across the United States and offers online foreign currency ordering through its website.
Buying francs online for home delivery is easy with CXI. Select from more than 90 foreign currencies and receive it as soon as next day. Available in most areas.
Banks do offer a wide range of currencies that you can buy but make sure you spend your foreign currency overseas because you might not be able to convert it back to dollars when you get back home.
In some cases, you can choose to receive your order in small, large or mixed denominations but it is subject to availability.
Currency exchange services offered by the bank might not offer the best CHF to USD rates but they are convenient, particularly if you are an existing customer.
When you buy francs from the bank you can usually pay with credit card, cash or from your bank account.
Foreign Currency Exchange
Money changers can be a cheap way to buy francs. The problem is, it can be a hard to find them outside of the city and they regularly run out of less common currencies.
Often the exchange rates are on a board facing the front of the shop, so finding the USD to CHF rate is easy. Ask what transaction fees they charge for the foreign exchange and if it cost more to pay with credit cards.
- The exchange rates are better in major cities. So it can be worth going there if you're exchanging more than $2,000.
- Always ask for a better rate. We've found you can often get a better deal just by asking, particularly if you're buying more than $1000.
Yes, you can buy currency at the airport. But that doesn't mean you should. While it's convenient, it's also very expensive. You will receive less CHF for your USD at the airport.
Most airport currency exchange services accept cash and credit cards.
- Ordering francs online and picking it up at the airport is much cheaper than buying it in person.
- If you've run out of time before your trip, it's might be better to buy your francs when you get to Switzerland, or use your cards instead.
Want to find the best time to buy?
Simply use our free email alerts to track the CHF rate daily. Or set the rate you want and we'll email you when it's time to buy.