Credit & Banking Cards
Popular Credit & Banking Cards
Major global cards: Visa & Mastercard, followed by Amex.
Maestro debit-card: Used like a standard credit card, with 3 main differences:
Withdrawing cash with it in Switzerland is free (or at a small flat fee, depending on your bank & account balance). In contrast, withdrawing cash using a credit card is - in most cases - more expensive.
When you pay with it, payment is deducted immediately from your account.
it has a 'Cash' function, allowing you to load money on it and replace change for car parks, bus
tickets, payphones, etc
Typical Credit Card Costs
Usually from CHF 0 to CHF 100 / year for 'standard' cards, depending on your bank & special offers.
How to get a Credit Card
Any Bank can issue a Credit Card for you. Here's how it work:
1. Have the following ready:
Swiss bank account, in the bank you want the credit card issued in.
Permanent address in CH (you can prove this showing an apt contract, Utility bill, etc)
Valid work permit (or proof for a pending work permit requests
2. With proof of the above, go to your selected bank, where you'll need to sign documents.
3. You'll get your card by post within 2 weeks (on average).
1. Can I get a Swiss credit-card before I have a permanent CH address?
Usually, no. However, your bank may decide to still issue one for you, depending on various factors
like how well they know you / your company, etc. Best to check directly with your bank.
2. Can my spouse get a Swiss credit-card even if he / she is not employed in CH?
Yes, via getting a second card on your credit-card account.
3. Can I get a Swiss credit-card even if I don't have a Swiss work permit?
Yes, if you can prove you have a pending request for a work permit from an established company.
4. Can I use my foreign credit cards in CH ?
If it's a major card, then yes. But you'll likely pay higher commissions & get a worse exchange
rate versus using a local card.
5. Are there special requirements for US citizens when getting a Swiss credit-card?
No. The special requirements for US citizens may apply only to opening Swiss account.