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Old 16.05.2007, 01:34
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Swiss Credit Cards

Any ideas on the best deal for a Swiss Credit Card ?

Looking for a Visa with some possiblity to earn bonus points for miles
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Old 16.05.2007, 01:38
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

I have a German one which is free and gives u 1 mile for every Euro spent.

Plus for 60€ I can have car rental insurance coverage.

All that with a foreign exchange fee of ony 0.9%

I have looked around here, but only can't find anything similar
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Old 16.05.2007, 08:08
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

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Any ideas on the best deal for a Swiss Credit Card ?

Looking for a Visa with some possiblity to earn bonus points for miles
Swiss / Lufthansa have a Gold Visa with airmiles .... Miles & More credit cards - VISA Gold

1 mile for every 2 chuffs charged ....
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Old 16.05.2007, 09:21
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

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I have a German one which is free and gives u 1 mile for every Euro spent.

Plus for 60€ I can have car rental insurance coverage.

All that with a foreign exchange fee of ony 0.9%

I have looked around here, but only can't find anything similar
Would you mind sharing where to get one? Thanks!

EDIT:
Coming to think of it, I actually need a Swiss card with low exchange fee and annual charge, and mileage option... Wouldn't doo anything with a German one...

Last edited by Pekka; 16.05.2007 at 09:27. Reason: Don't need a EU card after all.
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Old 16.05.2007, 09:40
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

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Swiss / Lufthansa have a Gold Visa with airmiles .... Miles & More credit cards - VISA Gold

1 mile for every 2 chuffs charged ....
Service charge for foreign currency transactions is 2,5%. It seems like it pays out to have a EU card for Euro transactions (if you also have a bank account in the EU), or does someone have better info of cards with lower service charges?
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Old 16.05.2007, 10:49
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

You might wanna get a M-Budget Credit Card... It doesn't give you miles, but it is free as well =) You can get it in every Migros store...
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Old 16.05.2007, 22:26
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

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Service charge for foreign currency transactions is 2,5%. It seems like it pays out to have a EU card for Euro transactions (if you also have a bank account in the EU), or does someone have better info of cards with lower service charges?
There's the Cornèrcard Miles & More Gold (VISA), which has a 0.9% service charge, but costs a whopping CHF 220 a year. If you have FTL status with Miles&More it costs only CHF 140 though and if you're SEN or HON it's free.

Or then there's the cheap way; the Coop Supercard Plus which is free with a service charge of 1.5%. You don't get any miles on it, but you get 1 Superpoint per 2 Francs spent and you can convert Superpoints into Miles&More miles. The regular exchange rate is 2:1, so you'll end up with a measly 0.25 miles per Franc though . In the past there have been yearly promotions with a 1:1 exchange rate, but word is that they will not return.

Last edited by Mark75; 17.05.2007 at 13:04. Reason: fixed typos
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Old 16.05.2007, 23:08
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

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Or then there's the cheap way; the Coop Supercard Plus which is free with a service charge of 1.5%. You don't get any miles on it, but you get 1 Superpoint per 2 Francs spent and you can convert Superpoints into Miles&More miles. The regular exchange rate is 2:1, so you'll end up with a measly 0.25 miles per Franc though . In the past there have been yearly promotions with a 1:1 exchange rate, but word is that they will not return.
My problem with the Coop Supercard Plus is that it's issued by Crédit Suisse. I have an Amex card from them and have been having nothing but problems with the card and the issuer from day one. First they sent the card to some old address of mine that they had still saved in their system from when I had an Academica student account with them - which was several years back and despite the fact that I had given them my correct address on the application form.

When I called and asked them to re-issue the card and send it to the address I had provided on the application form, I got a new one that didn't work because they had already canceled it - because they had also sent the first bill to the same old address - so I hadn't payed it because I never got it :-)

Since then, they keep on blocking the card for all kinds of reasons. I recently tried to book a flight with Easyjet. The card wouldn't work - so I called the help desk the next day. There they told me the card had been blocked for security reasons because someone from the Ukraine had tried to get authorization for a transaction. It turned out that they thought the .uk in easyjet.co.uk stands for "Ukraine" (I'm not kidding). They also didn't tell me this had happened. That could have gotten me into a very bad situation had this happened during a business trip or on a holiday.

Another time, I tried to order a cell phone directly from Nokia. They refused the card 4 times in a row (kept on trying). I called Swisscard AECS again and asked what was wrong - they told me everything's fine, the card should work. However, it never did. Sure enough I got refused a 5th time by Nokia before I gave up.

Anyway - I don't seem to be the only one with these kinds of problems - Swisscard AECS (Credit Suisse's card issuer) has pulled comparable stunts on two of my colleagues at work as well. If you get a card from them, make sure you have a backup. Don't want to know what'd happen if they blocked my card for some stupid reason while I'm on vacation and I don't have a backup.
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Old 16.05.2007, 23:40
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

Do like the Americans. Get 10 cards, and charge criss cross. Then when you die, the bank gets screwed
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Old 17.05.2007, 11:32
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

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Or then there's the cheap way; the Coop Supercard Plus which is free with a service charge of 1.5%. You don't get any miles on it, but you get 1 Superpoint per 2 Francs spent and you can convert Superpoints into Miles&More miles. The regular exchange rate is 2:1, so you'll end up with a measly 0.25 miles per Franc though . In the past there have been yearly promotions with a 1:1 exchange rate, but word is that they will not return.
Thanks Mark,

I actually have a Coop Supercard Plus and now I know where to spend the Superpoints as well.

Cheers,
Pekka
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Old 17.05.2007, 11:38
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

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Would you mind sharing where to get one? Thanks!

EDIT:
Coming to think of it, I actually need a Swiss card with low exchange fee and annual charge, and mileage option... Wouldn't doo anything with a German one...
The German one is the LH FLTVISA card
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Old 21.05.2007, 01:56
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

Don't get the Migros M-budget card if you like to pay automatically. It is not an option on that card and won't be in the near future either, according to the person on the phone. If you want to pay that way with Supercardplus, it is a hassle as you have to get your bank to stamp a form with your signature! Incredibly shortsighted policy....

Both free cards have the drawback that you cannot access payments online, you need to wait for a statement and then pay within 2-3 weeks.

Last edited by muze7; 30.07.2007 at 16:26.
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Old 21.05.2007, 02:33
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

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If you want to pay that way with Supercardplus, it is a hassle as you have to get your bank to stamp a form with your signature! Incredibly shortsighted policy....
AFAIK that's standard procedure for direct debit/LSV, at least if you get a card from a bank you don't have a personal account with.

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Both free cards have the drawback that you cannot access payments online, you need to wait for a statement and then pay within 2-3 weeks.
The lack of online access is a problem with all cards issued by swisscard (Credit Suisse) except for the Amex charge cards. They've been working on some online access system for years now... at least that's what they keep telling me.
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Old 31.05.2007, 14:22
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

Anyone know of a credit card I can get to use over here with an L visa??? Transferring money back to NZ and currency exchange fees are getting expensive.
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Old 31.05.2007, 14:40
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

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Don't get the Migros M-budget card if you like to pay automatically. It is not an option on that card and won't be in the near future either.
That's not quite true. You can fill out an LSV (Lastschriftverfahren) form, then they will charge your bank account automatically at the end of each month just like with a normal bank credit card.
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Old 27.07.2007, 15:43
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

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Anyone know of a credit card I can get to use over here with an L visa??? Transferring money back to NZ and currency exchange fees are getting expensive.

I would also like to know this, and I have searched extensively in the forum postings on this subject but not been able to find anything, so maybe it's something that you just have absolutely no chance of getting if you are still new enough in the country to actually need one...

I have been in Switzerland for four months, work for UBS through an agency (all of us newbies in my department are on initial 6-month contracts through recruitment agencies), earn a reasonable amount of money compared to what I'd guess is the "norm", but cannot get a credit card, even from UBS.

Or rather, I can get either a standard or gold card from UBS with credit limits of 5000F or 10000F respectively, but only by blocking that same amount of money in my bank account that I cannot touch for as long as I use the card, and having not so long ago paid out three months rent as deposit on my flat as well as other startup expenses of coming here, plus still having to pay a mortgage on my house back in the UK, that is somewhat beyond me at present.

I then applied for a Coop Supercard Plus (underwritten by Credit Suisse, and yes, I have read the other postings about the problems with Credit Suisse's credit card company), and - having chased them several times over the last few weeks because I have never once heard anything back from them, not even an acknowledgement - I find out today that I am being refused, even for a card with a 500F credit limit ("it's not the credit limit, it's the principle") because I only have an "L" Bewilligung and a "short-term" contract, not a permanent contract.

I wouldn't be so bothered about having a credit card, but for the fact that there are so many things here in Switzerland for which you can only pay by credit card, not by Maestro, yet they make it hellishly difficult to actually get a credit card. Until such point as I find a way through the tangled web, like Saharanz I am also getting hammered both ways on having to use my UK credit card to pay for everything for which I cannot pay by Maestro, and then come payday having to send Swiss francs back to the UK to pay off the card, paying international transfer and currency conversion charges yet again along the way.

So, all advice on how a relative newbie with a good job but not yet a "B" Bewilligung might get approved for a Swiss-based credit card would be VERY gratefully received.

Many thanks,

Martin Reed
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Old 27.07.2007, 17:42
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

Mirgros bank have a pre paid MasterCard which I have just got in the mail with a L Bewilligung. Costs 20CHF a year and 1% of transactions and you have to put money on it to use it but it's a hell of a lot better than nothing and way cheaper than sending money back home to top up my NZ card. I have tried with lots of banks etc. too, even asking for one with tiny limits with no luck.
I found out about this one on their website and when I went in to the bank to ask for one they had no idea what I was talking about but it does exist so be persistent and make them look it up if you have to. You can get in CHF or in Euros (or both), whatever you use more.
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Old 29.07.2007, 22:19
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

I have a "re-load card" from Corner Bank. I think they're actually meant for children, but hey, it works for me.

http://www.cornercard.ch

It's a prepaid Visa Electron, which I manage to use for everything (except strangely enough, some UK Hotel chains). Because it's not an actual "credit" card, you can get it without any sort of permit, as long as you provide proof of ID. And they seem quite happy to conduct business in English, which doesn't hurt.
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Old 29.07.2007, 22:34
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

Jelmoli's Visa card is gold, looks pretty and has more status than either Coop's or Migros' and it's free...
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Old 31.08.2007, 12:03
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Re: Swiss Credit Cards

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Jelmoli's Visa card is gold, looks pretty and has more status than either Coop's or Migros' and it's free...
Many thanks for that advice!

I went into Jelmoli about 7.50pm on 31st July (about 10 minutes before they were due to close for the Swiss national holiday), filled out the application form and gave them photocopies of my passport and work permit ("Bewilligung"). Two weeks later I started phoning Bonuscard (the card supplier behind Jelmoli - literally as well as figuratively!) to check the status of my application, and was told that they had no record of my application. Even though Bonuscard's offices are literally 100m from the Jelmoli store in the centre of Zürich, it appears that my application never made it across.

I then filled out a new application form off the internet at www.bonuscard.ch (site only in German or French - go into the store and get help filling out the form if you don't speak either), went to Bonuscard's offices at 18 St. Annagasse in the centre of Zürich, gave them

* my signed and completed application form
* a photocopy of my passport
* a photocopy of my work permit (only an L, due to intial 6-month contract)
* a photocopy of my contract with my agency
* a photocopy of my most recent payslip
* a photocopy of my contract on my flat
* a photocopy of my broadband contract

to demonstrate as much as possible that I not only had a good job, but had both an entitlement to be here and a commitment to staying here, and yesterday I got a shiny new gold Jelmoli Visa card with a 5000F credit limit, no annual fee as long as I spend more than 300F per year and no requirement to put up funds to the value of the credit limit of the card, which had been the stumbling block to applying for a credit card of the bank for which I work. 5000/10000F are 2 months / 4 months mortgage repayments on my UK mortgage, and that's much more important to me!

So anyway, that's what worked for me, and now I am no longer paying foreign exchange charges and commission for every transaction that I make in CH on my UK credit card, only to get stung again when sending Francs back to the UK to pay off the card at the end of the month.

If I had my startup time again I would apply for a Cornercard Reload card straight away to minimise the foreign exchange and commission charges, then for a Jelmoli Visa card once I had got my Bewilligung and then probably cancel the Cornercard Reload card at the end of the first year.

Easy to be wise when you know; many thanks to AbFab and DavidInBern for the tips!
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