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Old 02.10.2015, 20:35
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UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

UBS used to waive the maintenance fee if you kept a minimum total balance. Not anymore - now they charge everybody.

Current account maintenance fees per account are as follows:

- CHF 5 per month, with total assets of at least CHF 10,000 or with a building financing/mortgage at UBS
- CHF 7 per month, under CHF 10,000 total assets and without building financing/mortgage at UBS
- For bank packages, account maintenance is included in the flat fee

If you switch to e-documents, fees are reduced by CHF 2 per month. So if you have at least CHF 10,000 CHF in the bank and give up on paper statements, you pay CHF 3/month.

Postfinance still has free account management for average customer assets exceeding CHF 7,500, regardless of whether you get the statements electronically or by post.
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Old 02.10.2015, 22:54
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

Vote with your feet and switch if you don't like the services, they won't understand it any other way.
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Old 07.10.2015, 17:53
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

Very timely announcements of increase in account keeping rates at UBS...

I have just spent a large part of today comparing bank accounts and credit cards.

Criteria:
  • full online e-banking functionality
  • Phone, correspondence and online all in English
  • %reward or dividend you get form the 'reward program' or loyalty schemes
  • Insurances included (e.g. life, travel, repatriation, medical costs etc)
  • annual interest rate
  • ATM availability
  • how much they rip you off for purchases in foreign currency - this is in addition to what they make on the exchange rate, and is levied on all foreign purchases, often even those made in CHF!!)
  • Account fees and annual card fees

Conclusion, go with PostFinance for a joint bank account and a Gold credit card with secondary card holder, and be 100's if not 1,000's better of per year by closing UBS accounts, a VISA classic card and an AMEX Gold card.

the only downside i could see in moving away from the usual suspects is that some amex and visa cards give *some* insurance benefits for travel, accident, death etc, but these keep diminishing or being removed. I decided to get my own annual travel insurance with the money I save.

I compared our (we are a couple)

UBS 'classic' VISA card:
(see their site)
- annual rate 15%,
- 125 in annual fees,
- a 1.75% on foreign transactions (plus exchange rate margin),
- 0.3% reward: and rewards in the form of Keycard Points (while points work like money 1:1 but they translate to roughly a TINY 0.3% return - you'd get CHF225 worth of points for spending CHF75,000 on the card).

Gold AMEX (issuer is Swisscards, managed by Credit Suisse)
- 15% annual interest,
- 250 annual fee for 2 cards,
- and massive 3.5% fee for any foreign purchases (even if purchase was in CHF!)
- roughly 0.7% "rewards" ... 1.25 point-up points for CHF spent (e.g.; 93,000 points could redeem for an iPad air worth chf 429, meaning a "return" of 0.69% of what you spent)

I also looked at the Migros Cumulus card,
- annual interest 9.9%
- rewards are 0.5%, but they often expire within 30 days - i.e. before I get to spend them (with the Migros empire).
- Foreign transaction fees are 1.5%,
- But no annual fees it seems...

Compare that to Post Finance, Gold Visa or mastercard (you will need to get a Post Finance bank account, but as we've seen form the original poster, its better)
- 9.5% annual rate,
- 0.9% on foreign transactions / purchases,
- 130 in annual fees on the Gold card,
- cash rewards! ... yes CASH that goes back into your account every 6 months (at the rate of 1.5% in yr1 and 0.75% thereafter).

A cash reward is better than points as it doesn't force me to spend on what I don't need from a restricted range of trinkets, marked up to retail price (yet another margin there for all those rewards programs). Even if i shopped at Migros (double the points on their card), I worked out I still wouldn't be ahead, and anyway, i would have paid more for my groceries than at Aldi

Sources
I looked at two finance comparison sites, www.Comparis.ch and http://www.moneyland.ch/en/credit-cards-comparison , as well as Amex, UBS, Cembra (for the Migros Cumulus Credit Card) and Post Finance

Post Finance has moved forwards in leaps and bounds and now has everything nice and easy in English online - including ability to apply online for your account, credit cards and ebanking (called eFinance). I also called their support number and got great service too when I wanted to be sure I understood what I needed to apply for.

I also checked extensively here on EF, and it seems most people are very happy to using PF as their bank. (ok, the rare person has grumbled, but reviews seem overwhelmingly positive)
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Old 07.10.2015, 18:07
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

Any comparison made/experience with the local Kantonal banks?
My understanding is that they have similar advantages as the Post bank but haven't compared their credit cards.
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Old 07.10.2015, 18:17
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

SGKB does free accounts, and online banking in English, but documentation etc is only in German.

PostFinance biggest issue is cash machines - the normal account charges for using non-PostFinance ones, the Plus account doesn't but costs 12/month unless you have 25k assets with them.
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Old 07.10.2015, 18:36
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

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Any comparison made/experience with the local Kantonal banks?
No I didn't as i went with the best ranked versus my own cards...The Credit Card comparisons in Comparis (and the other site I mentioned) rank them by decreasing amount you'd expect to save (based on some spending assumptions)

Kantonal ones are in there, but Post Finance was best ranked.

Have a look and see, then model it on how much you spend a year, how much you spond abroad, and what you usually leave as your balance, and see what works best for you.
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Old 07.10.2015, 18:42
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

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PostFinance biggest issue is cash machines - the normal account charges for using non-PostFinance ones, the Plus account doesn't but costs 12/month unless you have 25k assets with them.

true: I omitted that.

5/m fee for a normal account (free with balance >7500), but you pay chf2 for withdrawals at 3rd part ATMs (but Post is everywhere, right?)

12/m fee for the Plus account ((free with balance >25k) means no ATM fee

Last edited by alemap; 07.10.2015 at 18:49. Reason: omission
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Old 07.10.2015, 18:50
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

The same site does bank account comparison:

http://www.moneyland.ch/en/privateAccount/list

For my profile the top three are APPKB, FRKB and SGKB.
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Old 08.10.2015, 00:12
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

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SGKB does free accounts, and online banking in English, but documentation etc is only in German.

PostFinance biggest issue is cash machines - the normal account charges for using non-PostFinance ones, the Plus account doesn't but costs 12/month unless you have 25k assets with them.
I also find that quite annoying with the ATM - UBS does not yet charge for that.
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Old 08.10.2015, 00:28
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

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I also find that quite annoying with the ATM - UBS does not yet charge for that.
i thought i got a letter from ubs saying that they started to charge? maybe it was my imagination...
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Old 08.10.2015, 08:20
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

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Criteria:
  • %reward or dividend you get form the 'reward program' or loyalty schemes
Why? After all you finance that with your fees, and any paybacks will always be lower than what you pay to finance them. Plus, the way you can use them is always limited, the cash you paid them with is almost infinitely more versatile.

The perks are nothing but applied psychology intended to trick you. It's like the nonsense that a customer "saves xyz" by paying for a given product or service. Utter horse manure.
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Old 08.10.2015, 10:56
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

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Why? After all you finance that with your fees, and any paybacks will always be lower than what you pay to finance them. Plus, the way you can use them is always limited, the cash you paid them with is almost infinitely more versatile.

The perks are nothing but applied psychology intended to trick you. It's like the nonsense that a customer "saves xyz" by paying for a given product or service. Utter horse manure.
Good question. I wanted to quantify how much value/bullshit objectively, and see if it was worth anything.

So, I assumed annual spend of 75,000 on credit card (funnel every possible purchase through it).

PostFinance (PF) gold card reward is a % of what you spend back as cash. Real cash value in year 1=chf1,125 (1.5%) yr 2= chf 562 (0.75%). No applied psychology there, just an actual return. It's like getting a cut of a credit card fees that the merchants lose.

UBS classic VISA gives 0.3% back as points (3 points for every 1,000 chf) you can redeem at selected stores like Moevenpick Wein. Year 1 = chf 225 in Keycard vouchers.

Differences:
1. a chf 900 franc difference in the value of the reward in year 1.
2. real money, VERSUS coupons for More Crap You Don't Need, and they will expire/get lost.

Also useful to know is how that adds up as total cost/reward for the account , when modelled on our typical household spending patterns (result will vary):

PF as an example:
annual cost for credit card account: 130 for 2 credit cards,
annual fees levied for foreign/online purchases: 135
account management fee (PF needs you to have one with them): 60
assume only cash withdrawals are at PF ATMS

total cost=CHF 325
total reward (yr 1)=chf1,125

benefit= 800 cash in year 1 (the cash reward is half in subsequent years).
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Old 08.10.2015, 11:26
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

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Good question. I wanted to quantify how much value/bullshit objectively, and see if it was worth anything.
I think you are still somewhat biased in your analysis towards post finance.

In any case the comparison of these accounts is a minefield, because you have to take into account the individual circumstances, their spending habbits and their average account balance at the very least.

To compare private accounts you gotta strip them down to the minimum, any additional feature complicates the comparison as these are not standard features so you would never be comparing apples to apples.

The banks / credit card issuers do this on purpose. The regulator could probably do more to make comparisons easier but they unfortunately do not.

The credit card kick backs nonsense will sooner or later be reduced as people cotton on to the idea that they are in fact lining the pockets of Visa and Master card (and whoever sits in between) when they purchase goods through their system instead of just paying cash or with a lower fee debit card. Their poxy points systems are a load of rubbish.

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So, I assumed annual spend of 75,000 on credit card (funnel every possible purchase through it).
Hey big spender!
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Old 08.10.2015, 11:30
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

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I assumed annual spend of 75,000 on credit card
Wow, really? What do you buy each year?
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Old 08.10.2015, 13:15
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

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So, I assumed annual spend of 75,000 on credit card (funnel every possible purchase through it).
It stopped making sense right here ;-).

In any case, of course you are right Postfinance is cheaper.

The package deal at UBS for credit cards, maestro and any amount of accounts costs 15 CHF a month. You can, however, pay the fees for 1 year with 100 keyclub points, which is equivalent to a value of 100 CHF in coupons.

Annual spending of 33334 CHF on credit cards is needed to have zero banking costs at UBS. It's a bit easier to achieve than your quoted 75000, but requires some discipline to do all household shopping, car fuel and travel bookings with a credit card.
Using the credit card to buy in Swiss online stores (3% surcharge) or in foreign currencies is still a poor idea.
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Old 08.10.2015, 15:19
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

I recommend Raiffeisen, it costs only 40 chf a year and you can enter most of museums in Switzerland for free.
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Old 08.10.2015, 22:55
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

I'm just changing to Co-op Supercard, no annual fees, can't argue with that. The co-op points for spending are a bonus.

I won't use the card for cash or foreign withdrawals / purchases, so don't mind if they're not the best in that area (haven't checked).

However, I would also recommend Cornercard, I've had one of their cards for about 7 years (at a cost of 150chf per year). They have really good customer service in English, and have even helped me out when I was abroad and had a sticky situation with needing to get a big transaction through that would take me over the limit.
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Old 09.10.2015, 06:48
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Re: UBS account maintenance monthly fees increase

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I'm just changing to Co-op Supercard, no annual fees, can't argue with that.
As long as you do electronic statements, anyway. As of next month, if you do paper statements then there's a monthly fee.
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