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.