How to maximise your money in Switzerland

From bureaucratic headaches to learning one (or more) of the local languages, international residents in Switzerland face a unique set of challenges. Managing your money doesn’t need to be one of them.

Published: Fri 22 Mar 2024 08:53 CEST
How to maximise your money in Switzerland
Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in which to live. Unfortunately, the costs of exchanging currencies can reach great heights. Photo: Ryan Klaus / Unsplash

By picking the right bank, you can do more than cover your day-to-day financial needs. You can unlock opportunities to make your money work for you – now and well into the future.

There’s certainly no shortage of banks to choose from in Switzerland. That said, life as an international resident demands services you might not have previously prioritised. Understanding your banking needs abroad is the first step to picking a bank that meets them. 

Tip #1: Choose a multi-currency account

A multi-currency account lives up to its name by offering the flexibility of holding funds in multiple currencies under the same account. Essentially, it helps you to hedge against currency fluctuations and mitigate potential losses when transferring funds or repatriating income. 

Alpian, the Swiss digital bank democratizing access to premium banking and investing services, offers a comprehensive suite of everyday banking features ideally suited to expats. With its multi-currency account, you enjoy the convenience of a single IBAN accommodating Swiss Francs (CHF), euros (EUR), Great British Pounds (GBP), and US Dollars (USD). 

Download the Alpian app to start making the most of your money

Tip #2: Watch out for foreign transaction fees

In Switzerland, the average foreign currency spread hovers around 1.4 per cent, with costs quickly adding up when you’re frequently sending money abroad and travelling back home. Choosing a bank that provides competitive exchange rates and low (or no) foreign transaction fees keeps your money in your pockets.

Alpian’s recent comparative study of Swiss currency exchange providers found that, depending on the provider, consumers could lose up to 105 EUR (115 USD) on a 10,000 CHF (11,308 USD) currency exchange. The analysis tracked exchanges between CHF/EUR, CHF/USD, and CHF/GBP over seven weekdays. Among the competitors were big names such as Wise and Revolut, and several smaller banks and businesses. 

Alpian consistently emerged as the frontrunner, offering the most competitive rates for retail clients on pairings most commonly used by Switzerland’s international residents.

Tip #3: Always read the small print

Understanding a bank’s rates and fee structures empowers you to make informed decisions and steer clear of unnecessary costs. Anything less than total transparency should set alarm bells ringing.

Compare upfront costs to accurately assess the total expenses associated with each bank. Armed with this information, you can choose the option that best fits your financial needs and priorities, ensuring you’re not caught off guard by hidden fees or charges down the line.

Better finances are an app away – download Alpian to save on international transfers 

Tip #4: Consider the benefits of a digital-only bank

Digital banks operate without physical branches, slashing overheads compared to traditional brick-and-mortar banks. This translates into several benefits for customers, including lower fees and round-the-clock access to accounts and services through mobile apps and online platforms. 

These perks may even extend to competitive interest rates – a major payoff for customers seeking to maximise their savings. 

 Tip #5: Get personalised financial guidance with a wealth manager

Navigating Switzerland’s financial systems and managing currency fluctuations can be a minefield. A wealth manager can work closely with you to provide personalised guidance tailored to your unique financial situation – whether that means mitigating currency risks or planning for retirement. 

Dor the majority, the idea of having a financial advisor might seem unrealistic. With Alpian, it’s part of the package. 

Easily schedule an appointment in the language of your choice (English, German, Italian or French) and get face-to-face in-app support from a member of Alpian’s Wealth Management Team. Coupled with Alpian’s multi-currency account and personalised investment plans, you’ve got all the tools you need to maximise your wealth – and it’s all just an app download away. 

Take the first step to maximising your money in Switzerland. Download the Alpian app today.

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