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Migros Bank

I’m going on holiday soon. Do I need cash abroad?

Having cash in the local currency is always generally a good idea. We explain how much cash you’ll need to carry and which bank card you should always take on holiday.

Sven Illi
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Because you can’t pay by card everywhere, you should always have some cash in the local currency on you. How much depends on your travel plans. You’ll probably need less cash on an all-inclusive package tour than if you’re travelling on your own.

Depending on your destination, cash may not just be a much-appreciated means of payment, but a necessity. Find out beforehand which payment methods are most suitable in the country where you’ll be travelling. It’s best to plan your budget in advance­. Think about what additional costs may be incurred for things like transportation, accommodation, ­excursions, meals, tips or souvenirs.

Many banks enable you to order cash in a wide range of foreign currencies and then have it delivered conveniently to your home. ­Migros Bank customers who order by 3pm will receive their money in the denomination ordered at favourable exchange rates the very next working day.

Don’t rely on just one card

Besides cash, you should also take two cards with you: a debit and a credit card. Always use your debit card to withdraw cash at ­ATMs. The fees are about CHF 5 per withdrawal.

However, this is cheaper than making withdrawals using a credit card, for which a minimum fee of CHF 10 is often charged. Depending on the provider, transaction fees of up to 4% are also added to the amount withdrawn.

Remember: many debit cards can be used in both Switzerland and most other European countries. If you are travelling further afield, you must have the­country in question activated by your bank­. Migros Bank customers can do this conveniently on the One app.

Watch your limits

When abroad, purchases, hotel accommodation and car rental are best paid for by credit card. In some cases, you can't pay for such services without a credit card.

Before starting your trip, you should check whether your existing limits are sufficient for your expected spending.

Tip: the Cumulus credit card enables you to withdraw up to CHF 500 twice a year free of charge when abroad. What's more, you don't pay any processing fees for transactions in foreign currencies when using this card.

Sven Illi is a customer advisor at Migros Bank.

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