what about money when you get into country?


My husband and I are wondering what to do about money when we arrive in Zurich, Switzerland.
We know they use Swiss francs but we are wondering where to convert some money.
We will be there two days before boarding our ship to sail to Amsterdam.

Where do you get the best rates? Do most places of business accept Visa and MasterCard?
We will be on the October 16, 2017 cruise from Basel to Amsterdam

Should we convert some money here before leaving?

mickey peveler
p'ville panthers


  • edited June 2017
    We always exchange money at an ATM at the airport upon arrival in the country. We have never had a problem finding one in any airport. I don't think we have ever even had to ask where one is located. They have always been readily available -- especially in Europe.
  • The best rates are from credit card issuers and ATMs. Credit cards are widely accepted, as in America. You'll want a little cash, at least. However, some banks and card issuers charge a service fee for currency conversion (usually 3%). Check with your bank or card issuer to find out. If your card charges a fee, shop for one that doesn't. The worst rates are when you exchange one physical currency. Of these, banks are better and the change money booths in airports and tourist areas are the absolute worst. If you plan to use your ATM or credit card overseas, be sure to notify the issuer before your trip. Otherwise, they may block your card for fraud prevention.
  • edited June 2017
    We always use an airport ATM. We only had a problem once- at a small airport (Shannon, Ireland) where there was only one ATM in the arrival area that was out of service. We got money at an ATM in town (Ennis) 30 minutes later.

    As far as fees- think about it- you are spending thousands, actually more like tens of thousands of dollars on your trip. If you plan to buy expensive items (big souvenirs, hard items, clothes, etc.) you'll probably be in a store that will be more than happy to accept your credit card, likewise you will be able to use it at most restaurants and for excursions arranged through a third parties, so you will only need cash for small purchases and tips for TD and bus driver if on a land tour. No need to get tip money too early, wait til near the end so you know how much excess foreign currency you have to dispose of.

    So, if your bank charges a 3% fee to get cash from an ATM, that is only $3.00 per $100 dollars and just $30 for a thousand!- that is budget dust compared to what you are spending on the trip and airfare.
  • Also, American Express does not require you to notify them if u are traveling, bit you can set a limit so that if you buy somerhing over a certain amount of money you automatically get an email or text.
  • edited June 2017
    We always use an airport ATM upon landing for petty cash and use our credit card for most purchases while traveling. We have a credit card that doesn't charge fees for currency exchange and the exchange rates are good. Don't get too many Swiss francs, though, because the countries on the rest of your trip all use the Euro.
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