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Half-Fare Cards... they get you half-priced fare
Today I went to the train station to buy a half-fare card. I read somewhere that these cards are the best deal in Zürich, if not the best deal in public transportation - like EVER. And coming from a girl that likes a good deal, I have to agree.
Basically, the card does what it says it does... (birds chirping, breeze blowing... silence..)
OK. That's fine. I'll explain: the half-fare card gives you half priced fare anywhere within Switzerland and to some destinations in Germany and Austria on pretty much any kind of transportation. (Check the ever so clever "synoptic map" for exact destinations...)
You wanna travel with the bus? BAM - half price. You wanna go somewhere on the train? BAM - half price, baby. How about from Zürich to Munich and back? KABLAM – half-priced fare. Oh, how I wish you all could have heard the noises I made for those in my head.
The cards cost CHF 150 for one year, 250 for two or 350 for three years for adults. I especially love this calculator on the SBB site. It plays to what Jace calls my 'Cheap Charlie' personality and shows you exactly how quickly you'll make back the CHF 150 you spent on the card.
Being a tightwad, I took it upon myself to find the fastest way to get my card's worth... basically I have to take two trips back and forth to Berlin within the year... or two to Cologne, or three to Vienna… you get the picture. Or I could just use it to go to work everyday (borrrinnnng...) and spread the cost out across the year. Then again, Berlin would be awfully nice...
Before you start traveling, emphasis on before, run to the train station and get yourself one of these half-fare cards. You can also order it online but because you need to hand over a passport photo and a wad of cash you might as well do it in person. In about 10 days, you will receive your card in the mail - then let them try to hold you back, you adventure-lover you.
Full details regarding the half-fare card available on the SBB website. Happy trails!
HOT TIP! How to save 50 percent on IKEA delivery in Zurich
Today I went to IKEA Spreitenbach (surprise, surprise, if you don't know me by now, I heart IKEA by like a million).
After checking out I saw this sign that basically says that you can save 50 percent on the delivery costs at IKEA by showing a valid round trip public transportation ticket at customer service. So since I don't have a car yet and I did come with the bus this was fantastic news to me!
However, the IKEA customer service rep I went to in an effort to get this discount was a real hard-ass. He was reading the fine print of the ticket to make sure that it had enough zones and that it was 'hin und zuruck' and not just one way. He even went so far as to tell me that the zones on my ticket weren't valid and that I was riding 'schwarz' or black despite the fact that I asked for a round trip ticket to IKEA when I bought it! I almost went CRAZY on this man, right there... in my favorite shopping place on earth... we know it would have hurt me more than him. But I held it together and in the end the guy caved and realized he was wrong (only after asking his manager about bus zones! OMG!).
If you were to say... oh, I don't know... buy a round trip ticket from Zürich to IKEA before you bought a big purchase that you needed delivered, you could save heaps on your IKEA delivery fees. But in an effort to promote being green, I would prefer that you actually did take public transport to IKEA... okay?
A round trip ticket from Zürich to either IKEA near Zürich is way less than the CHF 95 minimum delivery fees (you'll save 50 percent). So think about it.
Text and half-fare card photo by Jessica Cartwright
How to apply for a residency or work permit in Switzerland for you and your family.
Information about renting property and obtaining a mortgage in Switzerland.
Information about the Swiss healthcare system, health insurance, pharmacies and emergency numbers.
Explaining Swiss currency, banknotes, credit cards and bureaux de change.