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Banking Guide


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. 

2Can 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.









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