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You’ll have to pay to convert your proof of vaccination for Switzerland

Oct. 14, 2021
4 min read
You’ll have to pay to convert your proof of vaccination for Switzerland
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Since the world began to reopen, it's been clear that digital health vaccine passports will play an important role in travel. Several countries that mandate proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry require either official or unofficial vaccine passports — some cities, such as New York, have versions that are necessary for admittance to indoor activities, too.

Generally, vaccine passports are free. They're supposed to simplify and streamline the travel process. But in one country, that's no longer the case.

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If skiing the slopes of Switzerland is in your travel plans soon, you’d better make sure to pack your vaccine card -- and some extra cash. According to The Local, the country will charge certain travelers -- including those from the U.S. and the U.K. -- a $32 (30 CHF) fee to convert their paper vaccination card to the Swiss Covid certificate.

Yes, that’s right. You’ll have to pay to convert your proof of vaccination, which you received for free. If you’re not happy about this mandate, you aren't alone. The Swiss tourism board isn’t thrilled, either.

Many countries now require proof of vaccination to enter from abroad, or to get access to indoor spaces such as restaurants or movie theaters.

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But Switzerland may be starting a trend that other countries desperate for tourism dollars could try to replicate. Still, it likely won’t go over well for tourists who can visit other countries with their proof of vaccination without paying extra for the privilege.

“This is a hurdle that doesn't exist in other countries,” said Switzerland Tourism spokesman Markus Berger, according to local paper 20 Minuten. "With the CHF 30 fee, we have a hurdle that other countries don't have." Switzerland, according to Berger, is the only country that charges a fee to convert vaccine certificates.

According to the Swiss government website, travelers who were vaccinated abroad may be subject to a fee “to cover the costs of issuing a COVID certificate.” If you already have an EU Digital COVID Certificate or a compatible certificate, you don’t need to apply for a Swiss COVID certificate. The government says these are also recognized in Switzerland.

Like many European countries, Switzerland began welcoming back vaccinated international travelers over the summer, including Americans. U.S. citizens who can show they’ve been fully vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-19 are welcome to visit.

To enter, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health says you must show one of the following:

  • Proof of full vaccination
  • Results of a recent negative COVID-19 test
  • Proof of recovery from COVID-19

Otherwise, if you are traveling to Switzerland by plane and cannot prove one of the above, you will be required to take a test. Just make sure to bring some extra money for that, too.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
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Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
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  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
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  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023