Any free USD bank account in Switzerland?

Hi,
actually I have:

  • a free CHF bank account, with BCGE
  • a free EUR bank account (N26)
  • interactive broker (good for ETF and currency conversion)

And I’m looking for a free USD bank account, to be used in Switzerland. Any suggestions?

Reason: I periodically receive (USD) stocks from my company.
I’d like to sell them and later buy some ETF (USD and EUR). But before reinvesting these money,
I’d like to keep them in some USD bank account. And don’t lose money with unnecessary currency conversions.

I don’t know, maybe I can use Revolut. But it’s not clear to me how much money is protected.
Another option may be Migros bank, which give you free account if you keep more than 7500 $€ (otherwise, you have to pay 36chf/year)

Thank you for your time,
Marco

Postfinance has free and best USD account at a Swiss institution (a minimum net worth at Postfin applies for all accounts to be free)

I had a USD private acct at Migrosbank up till 2 years ago, and I had more than $7500, but they charged me $3 a month, so not sure your info is correct.

USD transfers to/fro these accounts cost $5 or so.

For postfinance, I see that they require to keep 25k CHF for each account (e.g. 50k if I want also eur, 75k if I want also CHF).
Considering that I have to keep 25k in order to save 60chf/year, it sounds better to don’t keep all these money, but instead pay the monthly fee (sounds like 0.24% of “interest”). https://www.postfinance.ch/it/privati/prodotti/conto/conto-privato-valuta-estera.html

Ok, it’s better if I send them an email. Probably I’ve misunderstood their brochure

Do you refer to postfinance account or migros?

Thank you for your comments :smiley:

Where do you receive, where are they held, and how do sell them?
Will the broker/intermediary transfer the proceeds in directly to your external Swiss USD bank account?

Many brokers, for example, will not let you transfer funds in a currency to a non-local bank account - let alone Revolut as a non-bank account.

Actually I receive them on Morgan Stanley. I plan to transfer them to IB, before selling.

I used to get some shares through an ESPP as well. Borker was MS, as well (stockplanconnect)

No Problem to wire USD from this MS account directly to my USD account with PF… I’d go with PF

On the other hand: Transferring shares out of this MS ESPP account is/was a huge pain! not sure, if it’s the same for you…

My first info wasn’t correct, sorry, it’s not a “minimum 25k net worth” but a minimum of 25k invested (etf’s or stocks in your depot count) which gives you free accounts in various currencies at Postfin.
But this 25k invested gives you multiple free accounts, you don’t need 25k per currency or something.

The transfer of USD between 2 Swiss banks with Swiss IBAN’s cost about Fr 5, usually at the sending end i.e. Fr5 less arrives at the target account than what left the source account. Prices can vary from bank to bank.

Now postfinance sound more interesting, thank you :smiley:.

I’ll try it, thank you😅

Why not transfer directly to IB? It’s a proper account, with more guarantees than at a swiss bank, and you’ll earn interests if the FED rates are positive (unlike at a swiss bank).

Same here (with your free BCGE account there is a high chance we’re working for the same company :wink: ). I use Revolut and send the USD to IBKR as soon as possible. That’s the only option with 0 transfer fees I found. I do have Revolut Metal tho.

Could you tell me if it is possible to buy USD stock using the money in this USD account directly? And how to convert CHF to USD most cheaply? I guess via PF will be expensive, Revolut has its limits. TransferWise?

Don’t only consider the cost of holding the account, but also the fees to wire and exchange money.

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Yes of course. If u want, in Postfinance you have a private account in CHF, EUR & CHF (each with IBAN).
Then you have an “account” (without IBAN) for each currency in your E-trading. You can transfer back n forth (free). From the “account” in the E-trading you trade, in the currency of the shares, ETFs…
The accounts are free with investment (cash doesn’t count) over 25k at Postfin.
The E-Trading costs Fr 90 p.a. (counts as credit to trading).
Converting at Postfin below 50k is approx 1.0%, above is approx 0.5%.
I’ve “moved” new USD investments to IB, that’s of course cheapest fx. That would probably be the cheapest way to get USD’s, then transfer back to Postfin. Transferwise would probably be possible, somewhere around 0.4%, with small additional fees for USD transfers (not free like euro with SEPA).

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Exactly :grin: I didn’t realized that BCGE can be PII.
By the way, I see that you have an interesting blog (I was following our Italian ex-colleague).

So you pay 0$ for the not-SEPA bank transfer? interesting

That’s a good point, until yesterday I didn’t know about different prices for SEPA and not-SEPA bank transfer. Anyone know about a website about these comparison? (on USD)

So I have to pay 90chf/year for a suc setting, right? Or do you mean what by paying these 90chf, I have this amount available for buying ETF/etc…?

Yeah at least with MSSB wiring the money to an USD bank account doesn’t cost anything (not sure if its because there is no intermediary bank between them an Revolut).

You need E-trading (with >25k) to get the free accounts.
(Ok, >25k in a 3a (Postfinance Pension 75 for example) also counts, and a mortgage, but let’s keep it simple)

You pay Fr 90 p.a. for E-Trading, and during that calender year the first Fr 90 in trading fees are waived.

Why do you need it to be in Switzerland? There are only 2 liquid currencies here: CHF and EUR. Waiting eagerly for your next thread “How to move USD out of Switzerland without spending a fortune on bank fees”

Open an account in the US instead. Alternatively: a multi-currency wallet like Revolut

it’s not free

you’ll pay more in management fees for these 25k than the ordinary account maintenance fee

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