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I have a stupid question....

Palm Beach Gardens...
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I have a stupid question....

....but must ask.....are Euros widely accepted in Switzerland? I see all quotes in francs....is Switz. not an EU member? (I guess that's 2 questions...LOL)

Wichita, Kansas
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for Wichita, Kansas
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1. Re: I have a stupid question....

Switzerland is not a member of the EU, Euro's are not widely accepted and ... Swiss Customs will only process Switzerland VAT refund forms.

Palm Beach Gardens...
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2. Re: I have a stupid question....

wow...glad I asked. Thanks. And what are the VAT rules...? Same as in the EU? I was hoping to get a watch. Thinking the best thing may be to charge anything and just get a small amt of francs

Edited: 23 January 2011, 17:26
Brentwood, United...
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3. Re: I have a stupid question....

PLenty of ATMs around which give Swiss Francs from Debit Cards $ or £ at the current market rate. Some companies may of course charge a transaction fee.

Large supermarkets and some stores accept Euros but at a relatively poor rate of exchange.

Palm Beach Gardens...
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4. Re: I have a stupid question....

from looking at current exchange, and historically, it looks like I a going to do better with my dollars if I buy things in Switzerland than in Paris or Brussels.....am I correct in my thinking? This stuff confuses me....Thanks

France
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5. Re: I have a stupid question....

Who knows what exchange rate will be better in the future.

If you look at prices in websites for stores in Paris, Brussels and Zurich the price you see will probably be including VAT (ie what locals actually pay). As a tourist you can get the VAT refunded so would get a hefty reduction in EU countries but much less in Switzerland, where the VAT rate in the first place is lower. If it's a big item it's best to research in advance with a calculator (and tax expert) beside you.

Basic "rules" are the same ie fill in forms and get customs stamp when leaving the country in order to get a refund. Don't even think about getting EU stamps etc after you have entered Switzerland - there are lots of posts on here about how it doesn't work. Do all EU paperwork in the EU then leave and have a nice time in Switzerland and do all the Swiss paperwork in Switzerland.

Otherwise your plan to charge to credit card and have a few CHF for coffees etc is a good one.

Palm Beach Gardens...
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6. Re: I have a stupid question....

Thanks...I have an area bank that provides all foreign currencies. Will be no problem to get a small amt of Francs

Karlsruhe, Germany
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7. Re: I have a stupid question....

You will get a better rater if you buy Francs in Switzerland not at home.

Basel / Switzerland
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8. Re: I have a stupid question....

Just to follow exchange rates, type in the google bar

CHF/USD and you will get the swiss franc expressed in US Dollars.

USD/CHF and you will get the US dollar expressed in Swiss Francs

it also works with EUR, of course.

Wichita, Kansas
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9. Re: I have a stupid question....

Each Country has a different VAT rate and a different minimum purchase amount to qualify for a VAT refund.

Summary here:

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/vat.htm

You will get the best exchange rate at an ATM by using a bank Debit card linked to a Checking / Savings account.

Palm Beach Gardens...
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10. Re: I have a stupid question....

I still plan to get at least a small amt of Francs before I go....ran into problems in Portugal when I arrived w/o Euros. Thanks everyone.