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Swiss Card further clarification

Further to previous poster's (Frank's) question, there is a little ambiguity which I ask the experts, (Tim, Larry, etc) to clear up for me.
The question is: can you enter Switzerland at one end of the country and leave on the other and have both journeys covered by the Swiss Card. That seems to be the question from the previous poster. I see the following statement in the details at the SBB site under "miscellaneous provisions" is:

"•The Swiss Card entitles you to one return trip between any Swiss border/ airport station and your destination on any line marked on the Swiss route map with a continuous line. You must complete the outward and return journey within one day and via the most direct route. See list of border / airport stations"

The words "one return trip" implies it must be a round trip, say from/to Zurich airport, and not from Zurich airport and to Chamonix or any other exit point.

In the "Details" section, the statement is:

"Journey to and from a Swiss border railway stations or airport to your vacation destination"

This implies any border crossing will do. Anyone have a definitive answer or personal experience using the Swiss Card?

Posted by
6898 posts

Sam, I believe that much of what you are describing is the Swiss Transfer Card. The Swiss Transfer Card is just one type of Swiss pass or card. There are several. This particular card is designed to take you from an approved Swiss border station or airport to one location for your stay. It is described as a round-trip card from the border station or airport. However, I believe that you could enter at one end of the country, travel to your destination and then depart via another end of the country although I don't see this method of travel mentioned on the website.

Most of the other Swiss passes or cards don't limit you to one round trip. In fact, you can travel anywhere in Switzerland with these other passes or cards. With Swiss flexi passes, you could only travel full fare on your designated travel days. 50% fare on the other days. And, of course, no Swiss pass or card (except the Swiss Family Card for children under 16) covers you more than 50% to some mountain tops. The Jungfrau and Schilthorn are two such mountains. (The children under 16 with the family card travel free in the company of at least one parent with a valid ticket).

Posted by
18468 posts

Larry, thanks for your reply. I read four offers on the International Visitors section of the SBB site, The Swiss Pass, the Swiss Transfer Ticket, the Swiss Card, and the Swiss Half Fare Card. The Swiss Pass, (including the Flexi Pass) is pretty self explanatory. The Swiss Transfer Ticket, has virtually the same verbiage as I cited above. The price of 139 chf 2nd class does not include any half fare privilege that is included in the Swiss Card, offered at 199 chf 2nd class. The Swiss Half Fare Card is also pretty self explanatory is offered at 120 chf.
I watched a show on Nat Geo last night that explained that the more choices we have, the more stressed we get (fear of not making an optimal choice). SBB has mastered the art of stressing us out with all the myriad pass choices.

Posted by
18468 posts

I'll answer my own question. I made a specific inquiry to SBB pass office. Asking if I could use the Swiss Card for free transport from Zurich airport to my holiday destination, receive the half-fare function during my stay, and get free transport from my exit point in Switzerland at St Margrethen. Answer follows:
"Thank you for your query.
Yes that will work. Your exit point from Switzerland does not necessarily need to be the same as your entry point.
Information Swiss Travel System:
Kind regards
Frederic Pannatier
Contact Center
P.O. Box - 3900 Brig, Switzerland
Rail Service: 0900 300 300 (CHF 1.19/min. from the Swiss fixed-line network) -"