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buying Swiss Pass

Now that I've decided to purchase a swiss saver pass should I buy it before travel or at Zurich airport? If Zurich airport where do I buy it?

Do the prices change? Right now it's $974.00 on Rick Steve site.

Posted by
2818 posts

According to the Swiss travel System website, the price in Switzerland is 856 CHF, which at today's rate is equivalent to $959. You can buy it from the train station agent right in the Zurich airport before you board the train there. But if your credit card has Foreign Transaction Fees you have to consider that. A 3% FTF brings the total up to $987 or more than the pass bought here.

Plus if you buy it on this site you may get a 20% discount coupon for luggage or other needs in the Travel Store. At least we did. Check and see if they still offer that.

But are you really sure you need a 15-day pass? Will you be using trains, boats, lifts every day? Even if you are, a Flex Pass or Half Fare card may be more cost -effective ( but not as convenient).

Posted by
114 posts

My card does not charge a 3% fee but what about charge cards with magnetic strips? Can they still be used in Switzerland?

Posted by
16489 posts

Looks you are getting a 2nd cl 15 day saver pass. SBB lists a price of 428 chf pp, so that's 856 chf, which todays exchange rate is $959, so you are paying about $15 currency conversion and mailing cost. Not too bad. If you buy in Switzerland, currency swings may make it cheaper or more expensive in USD terms. If you pay with a credit card in Switzerland, your credit may (check and see) put a 3% currency exchange fee on the transaction. That's about $30. But many credit cards, Capital One, don't. But as far as a major price hike, not likely. They may update prices once a year in chf terms. The currency fluctuations are what changes the price.

Posted by
2818 posts

Dot, people have been reporting difficulties with magnetic swipe cards in Switzerland at shops and restaurants, where they want a chip card instead. Read the current thread on "pin chip cards update" for that discussion. But it would really surprise me if the train agents could not still take a magnetic strip card. You could email SBB to ask. They are really good about responding to email queries, although it may take a couple of days.

It would save time and stress to just buy it here, but if you do you will still need to see the agent in the Zurich airport station to have it validated before you board the train.

Posted by
16883 posts

The Swiss Franc price will only change at the end of the year, but the currency conversion rate that you pay either here or there changes all the time.I have not heard any complaints from people who couldn't use a credit card at the Zurich airport train station ticket window. If you want to have the pass and map both in hand now, you can for $974. If you are making Golden Pass reservations in the same booking, then use the current coupon code discount. Sorry, we don't offer an additional discount on travel gear this year, since Rail Europe is now handling shipping and customer service for our orders.