Best Credit Card Switzerland for Every User Category (2024)

Beste Kreditkarte Schweiz

Discover the top picks of our Credit Card Comparison Switzerland 2024.

We’ve examined countless credit cards and identified the best choices for all types of consumers, crowning the “Best Credit Card Switzerland” in each category.

Travelers visiting Switzerland: For insights on credit card acceptance in Switzerland, check out our article “What Credit Cards Are Accepted in Switzerland?“.

Best Credit Cards in Switzerland πŸ‘‘

  1. Best Credit Card Switzerland for Students πŸ‘¨β€πŸŽ“
  2. Best Credit Card Switzerland for Business People and High Earners πŸ’Έ
  3. Best Credit Card Switzerland for Travel / Abroad 🌴
  4. Best credit card Switzerland for Miles ✈
  5. Best credit card Switzerland for Everyday / Online purchases πŸ›’

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Credit Card Comparison Switzerland 2024

This section summarizes the benefits of the best credit cards in Switzerland. For an even more detailed description, click on “To the Provider” or read our full reviews and let the great offers convince you!

Further below, you will find the criteria that we have taken into account during the comparison.

1. Best Credit Card for Students πŸ‘¨β€πŸŽ“

Swisscard Cashback Cards Duo

Swisscard Cashback Cards Duo

  • No annual fee
  • Up to 100 CHF start bonus
  • 1% Cashback
  • CHF 100 Apple Pay credit

1.a) Description of Swisscard Credit Cards:

What makes the Swisscard Cashback Cards Duo the best credit card in Switzerland for students is that they offer savings options and have no annual fee.

When you sign up, you’ll be sent two credit cards for free, one from American Express and one from either Visa or Mastercard. The reason for the duo is that American Express has more customer benefits but is not accepted in some places. Thus, you are well served by the duo.

To show you the costs and benefits of the cards, here is a fictional example. Take a look at our full review of the credit card duo for even more information.

1.b) Case study Peter πŸ‘¨β€πŸŽ“

Peter

Peter applies for the Swisscard Cashback Cards Duo and receives his credit cards after a short while. Thanks to the start bonus, he gets back 5% of the amounts he spends via his American Express in the form of cashback for the first 3 months. After that, the cashback is 1%. For payments with his Visa/Mastercard, he gets 0.25% cashback from the beginning.

For payments in foreign currencies, including use abroad, Peter pays a fee of 2.5% with all cards. The exchange rate is always adjusted.

In numbers, it could look like this:

Peter pays 500.- per month with his American Express and 100.- with his Visa/Mastercard. Once, he buys a product worth 50 euros abroad. His statement after one year looks like this:

Peters benefits
CHF 500 x 5% x 3 months = CHF 75
CHF 500 x 1% x 9 months = CHF 45
CHF 100 x 0.25% x 12 months = CHF 3
Total: CHF 123.00
Peters costs
Annual fee = CHF 0
Application fee = CHF 0
50 Euro x 2.5% β‰ˆ CHF 1.25
Total: CHF 1.25

At the end of the year, Peter saved CHF 121.75 thanks to his credit cards. For him, as a student, this is an excellent way to take care of his finances without any hassle.

2. Best Credit Card Switzerland for Business People and High-Earners πŸ’Έ

American Express Platinum Credit Card

American Express Platinum Credit Card

  • Half the annual fee in the first year: CHF 450 instead of CHF 900
  • 45,000 Membership Rewards points
  • CHF 100 shopping credit at Globus
  • SWISS voucher worth CHF 100.-
  • Priority Pass worth CHF 459 (free access to 1,400 airport lounges worldwide)
  • Comprehensive insurance package
  • Travel & Lifestyle Service
  • Membership Rewards Bonus Program

2.a) Description of the American Express Platinum Credit Card:

What makes the American Express Platinum Credit Card the best credit card in Switzerland for businessmen and high earners is, above all, that it brings with it an extraordinary level of comfortable luxury.

You can find the full list of benefits here if you scroll down to the document “Summary of Platinum Card benefits”. The full list spans 6 pages.

You can also check out our full review of the Amex Platinum.

Included are: A Free Priority Pass worth 459 and thus access to over 1,400 VIP lounges in over 148 countries; a 100 SWISS voucher per year; a travel credit totaling 200 per year with SIXT ride; exclusive services in over 1,000 hotels worldwide; special conditions and extras for cruises, private jets, and helicopters; access to first-class loyalty programs for various car rental services and luxury hotels; and much more.

To help you understand the costs and benefits of the card, here is a fictional example.

James

2.b) Case study James 🀡

James applies for the American Express Platinum and receives his credit card after a short while. Thanks to the start bonus, he gets 50% of the annual amount for free in the first year.

During this year, James flies abroad every few weeks for meetings and enjoys preferential treatment at airports, where he and his guests are welcomed in VIP lounges thanks to his Priority Pass.

He gets generous discounts on stays at the best luxury hotels, such as 10% off meals at the Radisson and 20% off his next stay at the MeliΓ‘.

Meanwhile, every time James makes a payment with his American Express Platinum credit card, he earns reward points that he can use to book his next vacation, pay in online stores, or top up his PayPal account.

With every payment, James enjoys a comprehensive insurance program.

3. Best Credit Card for Travel / Abroad🌴

Travel Prepaid Mastercard

Travel Prepaid Mastercard

  • Prepaid (theft protection)
  • Without annual fee
  • Without foreign currency fee
  • Instant recharge via app
  • Hotelcard included, up to 50 percent discount
  • Fast, free, and worldwide replacement in case of loss

3.a) Description of the Travel Prepaid Mastercard:

What makes the Swissbankers Travel Prepaid Mastercard the best credit card for travel and foreign payments is, first and foremost, that it has no foreign currency fee and no annual fee.

This makes it the ideal secondary credit card, as you can simply load it up within seconds of use and stash it somewhere for the rest of the year without paying any fees. So, if you already have a credit card with benefits, you can easily use the Travel Prepaid just abroad.

To show you the costs and benefits of the card, here is a fictional example.

Emily

3.b) Case study Emily πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ¨

Emily applies for the Swissbankers Travel Prepaid Mastercard and receives her credit card shortly after. From now on, she runs all her subscriptions based abroad (Spotify, Audible, etc.) on the new card, saving the usual 2.5% fee that most cards charge.

She’ll also be traveling for six months this year, so she’s using the new card to make insured, no-fee, no-hassle payments. If the card ever runs low on funds, it can be reloaded in seconds via the app. Emily finds it too tricky to carry around a lot of money in some countries. That’s why she only ever tops up the card in these regions as much as she thinks is appropriate.

Additionally, Emily orders clothes from Germany twice this year, also saving on fees.

In numbers, it might look like this:

Emily pays the equivalent of CHF 1,000 per month via her Swissbankers Travel Prepaid Mastercard when she travels abroad. In addition, she pays for two clothing orders from Germany worth 250.- each and monthly subscriptions amounting to 30.-

Her statement after one year looks like this:

Emilys advantages (compared to the usual 2.5% fees)
CHF 1,000 x 2.5% x 6 months = CHF 150
CHF 250 x 2.5% x 2 purchases = CHF 12.5
CHF 30 x 2.5% x 12 months = CHF 9
Total: CHF 171.5
Emilys costs
Annual fee = CHF 0
Application fee = CHF 0
Foreign currency fee = CHF 0
Top-up fee = CHF 6,410 (total) x 1.5% = CHF 102.9
Total: CHF 103

At the end of the year, Emily saved CHF 68.5 thanks to her credit card. For her, the credit card is a great way to travel more safely and save money at the same time.

4. Best Credit Card for Miles ✈

Swiss Miles & More Classic Duo

Swiss Miles & More Classic Duo

  • 2,000 miles welcome bonus
  • No miles expiration
  • Earn miles with every franc
  • Travel comfort and transport accident insurance

4.a) Description of the Swiss Miles & More Classic Duo:

What makes the SWISS Miles & More credit card the best credit card in Switzerland for miles collectors is the generous starting bonus, the manageable annual fee, and, of course, the non-cash rewards, flights, and upgrades you can exchange your miles for.

Just like the Swisscard Cashback Duo (best credit card for students), the SWISS Miles & More offer is a credit card duo. If you choose the SWISS Miles & More, you will get a card from the credit card provider American Express and additionally optionally one from Visa or Mastercard.

The duo was introduced because American Express, despite its many customer benefits, is not accepted everywhere. Therefore, with a second card from Visa or Mastercard, you are well taken care of.

SWISS Miles & More has several credit card offers that differ mainly in annual fees, spending limits, and miles earned per 2 francs. Here is a brief overview:

With the Classic offer (annual fee CHF 120):

  • 2,000 airline miles starting bonus
  • Up to 1.5 miles per CHF 2
  • Spending limit: CHF 15,000

Gold offer (annual fee CHF 220)

  • 5,000 air miles start bonus
  • Up to 2 miles per CHF 2
  • Spending limit: CHF 30,000

Platinum offer (annual fee CHF 700)

  • 10,000 air miles start bonus
  • Up to 2.4 miles per CHF 2
  • Spending limit: CHF 80,000

The recommended card duo is the Classic offer, as it includes good benefits, and the annual fee is still very reasonable.

For every CHF 2 you spend on the SWISS Miles & More Classic cards, you earn 1.5 miles with American Express and 0.6 miles with Visa/Mastercard.

Redeeming miles

You can exchange your miles for non-cash awards, flights, or an upgrade to Business or First Class at any time.

The offers are varied and attractive. You can check the current flight offers, also called “mileage bargains”, here.

To show you the costs and benefits of the cards, here is a fictitious example.

Lea

4.b) Case study Lea πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈ

Lea orders the SWISS Miles & More Classic credit cards. She pays bills with them every month and also uses them to buy her lunch, fill up her gas tank, fly to the Maldives, and do her online shopping.

After a year, without noticing it in her everyday life, she has accumulated enough miles to fly on vacation once again.

In numbers, it could look like this:

Lea spent 1,500 each month on her American Express and 200 on her Visa/Mastercard. Then there was the flight to the Maldives for 1,000.-, which she also booked via American Express.

Leas benefits (miles)
2,000 miles starting bonus
CHF 1,500 / CHF 2 x 1.5 miles x 12 months = 13,500 miles
CHF 200 / CHF 2 x 0.6 miles x 12 months = 720 miles
CHF 1,500 / CHF 2 x 1.5 miles = 1,125 miles
Total: 17,345 miles
Leas costs
Annual fee = CHF 120
Application fee = CHF 0
Total: CHF 120

Lea has earned 17,345 miles from her spending. She decides to exchange 15,000 miles for a flight to Brussels (round trip) and save the remaining 2,345 miles for later.

5. Best Credit Card Switzerland for Everyday / Online Shopping πŸ›’

Swisscard Cashback Cards Duo Credit Card

Swisscard Cashback Cards Duo Credit Card

  • No annual fee
  • Up to CHF 100 start bonus
  • 1% Cashback
  • CHF 100 Apple Pay credit

5.a) Description of Swisscard Credit Cards:

What makes the Swisscard Cashback Cards Duo the best credit card in Switzerland for online purchases and as everyday cards is the same reason why they are attractive to students: They offer top savings opportunities but have no annual fee.

When you sign up, you’ll be sent two credit cards for free, one from American Express and one of choice from Visa or Mastercard. The reason for the duo is that American Express has more customer benefits but is not accepted in some places. Thus, you are well served with the duo.

To show you the costs and benefits of the cards, here is a fictional example. Take a look at our full review of the credit card duo for even more information.

Marc

5.b) Case study Marc πŸ™Žβ€β™‚οΈ

Marc applies for the Swisscard Cashback Cards Duo and receives his credit cards after a short time. Thanks to the start bonus, he gets back 5% of the amounts he spends via his American Express card in the form of cashback in the first 3 months (up to 100.-, then 1%). After that, the cashback is 1%. For payments with his Visa/Mastercard, he gets 0.25% cashback from the beginning.

For payments in foreign currencies, including use abroad, Marc pays a fee of 2.5% for all cards. The exchange rate is always adjusted.

In numbers, it could look like this:

Marc pays an average of 1,500.- per month with his American Express and 200.- with his Visa/Mastercard. Once he buys a product worth 100 Euros abroad.

His statement after one year looks like this.

Marcs advantages
Cashback of the start bonus = CHF 100 (up to CHF 100, 5% applies)
Remaining cashback of the first 3 months (with 1%) = 2,500 x 1% = CHF 25
CHF 1,500 x 1% x 9 months = CHF 135
CHF 200 x 0.25% x 12 months = CHF 60
Total: CHF 320.00
Marcs costs
Annual fee = CHF 0
Application fee = CHF 0
Use abroad = 100 Euro x 2.5% β‰ˆ CHF 2.50
Total: CHF 2.50

At the end of the year, Marc saved CHF 317.5 thanks to his credit cards. For him, this is a great way to take care of his finances without any hassle.


Factors Considered in our Credit Card Comparison Switzerland βš™

Here we present the most important factors taken into account when comparing the credit cards in Switzerland:

1. Interest rates and fees

Credit cards are often not free. Therefore, it is important to know the associated costs. There are usually annual fees, and if you exceed your credit card limit or don’t pay your bills on time, you may incur additional (usually high) interest.

However, some credit cards offer first-year fee waivers or other perks. Of course, you ought to make sure to pay on time anyway.

2. Spending limit and Acceptance

The spending limit is the maximum amount you can spend with your credit card. This can vary by card and provider.

In addition, the acceptance of the credit card, so the number of places where it is accepted, can be a decisive criterion. Some credit cards are accepted worldwide, while others are only accepted in certain countries or at certain merchants.

3. Rewards and benefits

Many credit cards offer attractive rewards programs, such as cashback offers, loyalty points, or travel insurance. Depending on your needs and preferences, this can be a deciding factor in choosing the right credit card. After all, you can benefit from spending, which is pretty cool, right?

4. Customer service

Good customer service is worth its weight in gold. If you have a problem or have questions about your credit card, you certainly want to get help quickly and competently. Therefore, you should find out more about the credit card provider’s customer service and, if possible, consider reviews from other customers.

Of course, we have only chosen providers that have good standards for the “Best Credit Card Switzerland” award.

5. Security features

In the age of the Internet and digitalization, credit card security is an important topic. Look out for features such as fraud protection, emergency replacement cards, and secure online payment options.

Many credit cards offer additional protection in the form of insurance, e.g., against theft or damage to items purchased with the card.

What Kind of Credit Cards are Available in Switzerland?

Credit Cards Switzerland

What exactly do we mean by a credit card? A credit card is a convenient payment instrument that allows us to make purchases in stores or online and to withdraw cash from ATMs.

The name “credit card” derives from the fact that originally, every credit card came with a credit that could be accessed flexibly. In this way, we could purchase goods or services and pay for them later, which gave us some financial flexibility.

Today, the picture has changed somewhat. In Switzerland, for example, almost all bank cards are issued by major credit card companies, whether or not they are actually linked to credit.

In this context, it is useful to define the term “credit card” a little more broadly. Colloquially, a credit card in Switzerland is, of course, still a card used to make purchases on credit, but a credit card can also be defined as any card issued by one of the major credit card companies. Among the best-known are:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Diners Club

What credit cards are accepted in Switzerland?

There are other credit card providers, especially in the USA, but they play a rather minor role in Switzerland and the rest of Europe and usually don’t issue cards. However, the four options, Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Diners Club, are widely accepted in Switzerland.

The advantage of a Swiss credit card is that all major providers are very reliable and secure.

How do Swiss Credit Cards Work?

Although the name seems obvious, the mechanisms and variations of how these payment methods work are not always the same. In fact, as we explained earlier, not even the term “credit card” itself is always clearly defined. Not every card actually offers credits.

What are the types of credit cards?

In this context, we would like to discuss four main types of credit cards in Switzerland: Prepaid credit cards, charge cards, normal credit cards, and debit cards.

Prepaid credit card: A prepaid credit card is a type of credit card that needs to be loaded before use. Here, no credit is granted, and only the deposited balance can be used. As a rule, all virtual credit cards are prepaid cards.

Charge card: The charge card is “packed” with payments over a longer period of time. This means that the bank advances the amounts spent and collects them in a credit card account. Usually, the entire amount is debited on a set monthly due date.

Normal credit card: The normal credit card works similarly, but here, the entire amount spent does not have to be repaid on the cut-off date. The unpaid credit is granted over a longer period of time and earns interest. In this way, many banks generate income from credit cards and can often offer them without annual fees.

Most credit cards are issued by banks but use the infrastructure and payment technology of major credit card companies such as Visa, American Express, and Mastercard.

Debit Card: The last category we want to discuss is the debit card. Although they are also often issued by large companies like Visa and Mastercard, they work more like a normal bank account card. So, the paid amounts are not collected and advanced as a credit but are debited directly from the account.

This model is especially popular with direct banks, which often issue a free “credit card for traveling” as a part of the bank account but which works without a credit line and debits the amounts directly.

In Switzerland, such cards are very common and are often offered by branch banks in combination with a bank account.

Best Credit Card Switzerland: My Experience

Best Credit Card Switzerland: My Experience

In my personal life, I have had one experience with credit cards above all: Good customer service pays off!

To give an embarrassing personal example: In my more naive years, I thought it would be a great idea to order things on all sorts of scam websites with my Swiss credit card. As you would expect, this behavior put me in the perfect demographic for credit card scammers, and I soon had to deal with various withdrawal attempts, junk mail, and, of course, never-arriving goods.

One thing about Swiss credit card providers: They notice almost every fraud attempt! Furthermore, I was given a friendly phone call and guided through the paperwork that is filled out in such a case, and I got all my money back from the credit card provider without any hassle. To me, this is customer service at its finest, and I don’t regret for a second choosing a trusted Swiss credit card!

While I only lost smaller amounts, I read of many who lost a fortune. So make sure you value good customer service and fair providers like the ones listed above.

FAQs about Credit Cards Switzerland

Before we conclude, let us answer some frequently asked questions about credit cards. You may find the answers to some questions that have been on your mind for a while.

1. Are credit cards popular in Switzerland?

The number of credit cards in circulation in Switzerland is estimated at over 8 million. The number of different credit card offers is estimated at just over 300.

2. What does it mean when a credit card is “free”?

A “free” credit card means that there is no annual fee for the card. However, it does not mean that the card is completely free. There may still be fees for certain services, such as cash withdrawals or foreign transactions.

3. Which is a free credit card in Switzerland?

From the listed credit cards in our credit card comparison, the Swisscard Cashback Credit Cards and the Travel Prepaid Mastercard are free.

4. Can I have several credit cards at the same time?

It is possible to have multiple credit cards. There is no rule that says you can only own one credit card. In fact, in some cases, it may even make sense to have more than one, especially if each card offers different benefits and rewards.

5. Can I exceed my credit card limit?

Generally, it is possible to exceed your credit card’s limit, but it is not recommended. If you go over the limit, you may incur high interest rates and fees. It can also hurt your credit score.

6. How can I reduce my credit card debt?

To reduce your credit card debt, you should try to control your spending and make your monthly payments on time. If you are having trouble paying off your debt, you might also consider contacting a debt management counseling service.

7. Which credit card is the most widely accepted?

Credit cards from Visa and Mastercard are the most-accepted cards worldwide. American Express is accepted in fewer places in Europe but is still viable.

8. What type of card is best to use abroad?

Abroad, it is best to use a prepaid credit card. When the card gets lost or stolen, the maximal damage is still no catastrophe this way. In terms of providers, Visa and Mastercard are good options.

What is the Best Credit Card to Use in Switzerland? – Conclusion

The best credit card in Switzerland has to be evaluated individually for each category and is also a matter of preference.

What is the best choice for a credit card?

πŸ‘¨β€πŸŽ“ The best credit card for students is the Swisscard Cashback Cards Duo.

πŸ’Έ The best credit card for business people and high-earners is the American Express Platinum credit card.

🌴 The best credit card for travel / abroad is the Travel Prepaid Mastercard.

✈ The best credit card for miles is the Swiss Miles & More Classic Duo.

πŸ›’ The best credit card for everyday / online purchases is also the Swisscard Cashback Cards Credit Card Duo.

Before you make your decision, take the time to understand your options thoroughly.

We hope this article based on our Credit Card Comparison Switzerland 2024 has helped you find the “Best Credit Card Switzerland” for your needs.

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