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Old 03.05.2011, 17:24
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Allanon Allanon is offline
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Re: Which bank to choose ? Which card/debit card/etc ? Help needed:)

Hi and welcome to EF.

Debit Cards
Almost any swiss bank will offer you debit cards that work in almost any country of europe and the world (they used to be called EC-Cards and since 2002 Maestro Cards: http://www.maestro.ch).

E-banking
Also, most banks will offer e-banking where you can make your online payments and check your account statement with all the latest movements.

Credit Cards
You have two options: most banks will offer you their own cards. If you have specific needs (e.g. if you're a golfer, travelling often by plane and want the miles, often renting a car...) you might want to apply for a dedicated card. These you can receive directly from the company offering the service (e.g. Swiss for a Milemaker card) or from one of the credit card providers (e.g. Swisscard)

One of the best ways to find out what suits you best is using Comparis. A service that allows you to compare prices and services (not just for credit cards but also for insurances, cars, homes... you name it):
http://en.comparis.ch/kreditkarten/default.aspx

Banks
Ok, this is the tough one. There are basically three types of bank in Switzerland (for the average retail customer, not private banking).
- Big banks
- Regional banks
- Reiffeisen bank
Plus the Swiss Post that offers banking services but actually does not have a banking license (yet) so their money is with one of the big banks.

The two big banks in CH you should know. They're regularly in the press and I don't want to advertise them.

The regional banks (called Kantonalbanken). Each canton has it's own. In Fribourg that would be tha Banque Cantonale de Fribourg (www.bcf.ch).

The Raiffeisen bank is an association of many small banks unter one hood (www.raiffeisen.ch).

Which one to go to depends on you:
- how much money you intend to put in the bank (some banks don't charge any fees depending on your total assets under management)
- what services you need (local payments, international payments, trading... fees vary)
- interest rates
- number of ATMs available and fees if you take money from an ATM of another bank
- currencies (only CHF or also other currencies)

I would recommend putting together what your exact needs are and then getting a detailed offer from each of the four above mentioned type of banks based on your needs. Then compare and select. You can also have accounts at different banks.

Unless you're a Private Banking customer... then it's a different story altogether. Can't help you for bank in Fribourg. I work in ZH (and no, I do NOT work for a bank, but do banking software so don't really have an interest in advertising for a specific bank... ;-) )

Cheers
Andy
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