What is required to get a credit card in Switzerland? – In Switzerland, there are some legal requirements as well as individual requirements of the card providers.
To get a credit card in Switzerland, you must be of legal age, a resident of Switzerland, have a regular income, and have a normal credit rating. A credit check and being of legal age are required by law.
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Basic requirements for obtaining a credit card 📋
In order to get a credit card in Switzerland, applicants must meet certain basic requirements. The most important of these are:
🟢 Minimum age: Applicants must be at least 18 years old. Prepaid credit cards are an exception here. These are usually also issued to minors. Otherwise, debit cards offer an alternative.
🟢 Residence: A permanent residence in Switzerland is also required. This serves as security for the credit card companies and guarantees that the cardholder is legally tangible. If you are a cross-border commuter, it may also work. Then, you simply need to send in a few more documents and, if necessary, contact your desired card provider in person.
🟢 Regular income (with exceptions): Credit card companies usually require proof of regular income. This serves as an indicator of the applicant’s ability to pay the credit card bills. The exact income limits may vary depending on the credit card provider. Some premium cards, for example, require a higher income for approval.
Exception: If you do not have a regular income, there are still card providers who will be happy to give you a credit card. In this case, however, the spending limit will be correspondingly low, for example, 500 francs per month.
Another exception may be if you apply for a card from a bank where you have a bank account. As they have precise knowledge of your account balance, you may still get a card if you are in a good financial position.
🟢 Normal credit rating: A good credit rating is crucial. In Switzerland, a credit check is a legal requirement for credit cards, as they fall under the same law as loans.
Institutions such as the ZEK (Central Office for Credit Information) play an important role in assessing creditworthiness. They collect information on previous and existing loans, leasing contracts, and credit cards. A negative entry with the ZEK (e.g., due to debt collection or irresponsible use of previous credit cards) can significantly reduce the chances of obtaining a credit card approval.
The credit rating also affects your spending limit.
The application process 📜
The process of applying for a credit card in Switzerland is fairly straightforward but does require the provision of certain documents:
- Required documents: Standard documents include a valid proof of identity (e.g., ID card or passport), proof of income (such as payslips), and often a current residence confirmation. These documents help the credit card company verify your identity and assess your financial situation.
- Application process: You can usually apply for a credit card online, over the phone, or in a branch. Online applications are the most popular nowadays, as they are convenient and fast. The applicant fills out a form with personal and financial information and uploads the required documents. After submission, the credit card company checks the information and performs the credit check.
- Online application vs. in-branch application: While online applications are known for their speed and convenience, in-branch applications offer the advantage of personal advice. Speaking directly to an advisor can be particularly helpful if you have questions about special card offers or unclear requirements. However, you should always remember that providers naturally benefit more if you take the expensive premium version instead of the free version 😉
Choosing the right card 💳
When choosing a suitable credit card, you can decide whether you want a card with or without an annual fee. Cards with a fee often have more to offer in terms of benefit programs, discounts, or points.
In most cases, choosing a free credit card makes more sense. Because these can also have great benefit programs without the pressure of a fee. We have taken a close look at countless offers for you and summarized the best credit cards in Switzerland for each user category.
You can view the credit card comparison here.
FAQs on applications in Switzerland ❓
Is it hard to get a credit card?
In principle, it is not hard to get a credit card in Switzerland. As credit card issuers profit from the cards, they are generally very happy to accept new customers. You just have to meet a few minimum standards.
What is the quickest way to get a credit card?
The quickest way to get a credit card is to apply online. There are offers in Switzerland where you can have a credit card after just 30 minutes. Although this is only digital until the physical credit card arrives in the mail, you can use it immediately.
How much does a credit card cost?
Credit cards have very diverse costs. Numerous offers in Switzerland are completely free. As a rule, paid cards cost between CHF 50 and CHF 150 per year, but there are also premium offers for up to CHF 900 per year.
Applying for a credit card in Switzerland is a clearly structured process that requires you to be of legal age, a resident of Switzerland, have a regular income, and have a normal credit rating.
With options for different financial situations, from standard credit cards to special offers, the market is versatile and adaptable. Digitalization makes the application process considerably easier, while personal advice in branches continues to offer valuable support.
When choosing the right credit card, your individual needs and the services offered should be carefully weighed.