Saturday, May 31, 2014

Secret tip for saving money in Switzerland

Oh, yodelers. Lately, The Frau has been talking about things she wish she’d known about life in Switzerland, only to discover one important thing eight years too late.

As most yodelers know, tips for saving money in Switzerland can seem as secretive as a Swiss bank (pre-American government intervention, at least).

For the last eight years, The Frau has left Switzerland for several weeks at a time to travel or visit family in the States. Little did she know she could have been making money while she was gone.

Ja. By turning in her GA (Swiss Train Pass).

Here’s what The Frau should have done:

Before you go on a long trip, give your GA to your local SBB train station. You can do this up to three days before you leave. They then give you a travel card that is valid to use until you leave the country and upon your return, so you don’t need to worry about getting to and from the airport.

When you return to your home station, you simply pick up your GA and receive a voucher for use at any SBB. The Frau’s husband was gone for 13 days so he turned in his GA for the first time and here’s what he got:

A voucher for CHF 126.

The amount works out to be less than CHF 10 per day, and you also have to pay a CHF 10 fee just to turn it in, but it's still totally worth it if you’re going to be gone anyway.

The Frau is sad she didn't know about this offer years earlier since it certainly would have saved–at least her parents–a lot of money in train fare. 

But alas, The Frau’s loss is your gain. 

Enjoy reading about Swiss life? Then you might enjoy The Frau’s new book, Swiss Life: 30 Things I Wish I’d Known. It even has a section on Mutterhood. Available at fine online retailers and on Zurich’s most famous shopping street too (Bahnhofstrasse 70).

19 comments:

Dominik said...

I was just literally OMG-ing! I'm Swiss and even I didn't know that!! Hoooly sh*t! This is amazing. If I would have known this before I could have saved hundreds if not even thousands of CHF by now! Thanks for sharing!!

Ozsváth Szilvia said...

Thanks Chantal, good to know such "secrets"! I could have saved a lot of money during the past 4 years ... Let's start saving! :)

Guillermo Gonzalez said...

Hi Chantal,

How did you find out, is it on a website anywhere? I ask because I'm wondering if you can do the same with ZVV NetworkPasses (the yearly tickets for the Zürich tram)

Anonymous said...

Hi,

this should have been explained to you when you bought the GA. It is a common practice among students to deposit the GA during the long summer holidays. This way, the duration the GA is valid get's prolonged for the amount of days the GA is deposited. The maximum amount of days is (was?) 90 days, I think.

Regards, Patrick

swisspostcards said...

I knew about this! My husband does it every time. I think the secret here "in der Schweiz" is reading carefully the instructions of every single thing you buy, rent etc...and my husband is a great reader! So I am super lucky: I have all the advantages without doing nothing at all!

Have a nice day and enjoy your GA money!

Sonhos Milka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sonhos Milka said...

Thanks a lot :)

Last week we went to Mallorca and got CHF 65 :)

I am sharing this secret tip in my Blog (sonhosmilka.blogspot.com) to all my portuguese readers.

I do agree with Patrick, this should be explained when we buy the GA.

Cheers!

Sonhos Milka

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