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Old 18.07.2012, 21:53
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Swiss credit card for third-world country nationals

Hi there,

I have been a student here in Switzerland for almost one year already, and right after coming here last September I opened an Academica bank account with Credit Suisse. One of the offers of that account is a credit card with zero annual fee, something I considered as a plus. However, when I came to a branch to apply for this credit card, I was told that, being a national of a third-world country, I'd be refused (supposedly because they won't be able to pursue whatever I owe if I spend a lot and then leave the country). The fact that I have a bank account in the US and two credit cards there did not seem to make a difference. If I remember correctly, the counter lady that told me this said something along the lines of "You won't be able to find these requirements anywhere in the official documents, but that is precisely why your application would be rejected." Though she also said that it would make a difference if I earn a good salary here in Switzerland. I work part-time parallel to my studies, but I don't earn a "good salary" by Swiss standards.

I was just wondering, has anyone out there in a similar situation been able to get a credit card here in Switzerland? I have really been struggling when trying to purchase something online. Seeing that I don't seem to find anything on the internet supporting the counter lady's words, I wonder if she just lied to me for some reason?
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Old 18.07.2012, 22:00
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Re: Swiss credit card for third-world country nationals

CS wouldn't give us a credit card and we have a "good salary". So, we got a credit card from COOP (the supercard), which is issued by CS. So. whatever.

http://en.comparis.ch/kreditkarten/default.aspx

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Hi there,

I have been a student here in Switzerland for almost one year already, and right after coming here last September I opened an Academica bank account with Credit Suisse. One of the offers of that account is a credit card with zero annual fee, something I considered as a plus. However, when I came to a branch to apply for this credit card, I was told that, being a national of a third-world country, I'd be refused (supposedly because they won't be able to pursue whatever I owe if I spend a lot and then leave the country). The fact that I have a bank account in the US and two credit cards there did not seem to make a difference. If I remember correctly, the counter lady that told me this said something along the lines of "You won't be able to find these requirements anywhere in the official documents, but that is precisely why your application would be rejected." Though she also said that it would make a difference if I earn a good salary here in Switzerland. I work part-time parallel to my studies, but I don't earn a "good salary" by Swiss standards.

I was just wondering, has anyone out there in a similar situation been able to get a credit card here in Switzerland? I have really been struggling when trying to purchase something online. Seeing that I don't seem to find anything on the internet supporting the counter lady's words, I wonder if she just lied to me for some reason?
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Old 06.09.2012, 20:12
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Re: Swiss credit card for third-world country nationals

Well, for what it's worth, I applied for a Cumulus Mastercard (issued by GE Money Bank) a few weeks ago and got my rejection letter today...
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Old 06.09.2012, 23:02
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Re: Swiss credit card for third-world country nationals

Well, sounds bad but you do have several factor of risk for a credit; some banks are conservative when they decide to whom loan money. On my first application I was requested to freeze 5000 CHF from my bank account in order to get a CC, a condition I didn't accept. Two years after I tried with UBS and it went well.

Depending on your needs you may want to apply for a prepaid CC instead.
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Old 07.09.2012, 05:32
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Re: Swiss credit card for third-world country nationals

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Well, for what it's worth, I applied for a Cumulus Mastercard (issued by GE Money Bank) a few weeks ago and got my rejection letter today...
How about trying for a prepaid credit card?

http://www.cornercard.ch/ch/html/de/...prepaidkarten/
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Old 07.09.2012, 07:44
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Re: Swiss credit card for third-world country nationals

SBB also sell a prepaid credit card, with no fees on the first deposit but 1% or something on susequent recharges.
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Old 07.09.2012, 07:51
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Re: Swiss credit card for third-world country nationals

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If I remember correctly, the counter lady that told me this said something along the lines of "You won't be able to find these requirements anywhere in the official documents, but that is precisely why your application would be rejected."
I would still try. It's the card issuer (swisscard) who decides, not the lady at the counter.

AFAIK swisscard offers a prepaid Mastercard, might be an alternative.

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Though she also said that it would make a difference if I earn a good salary here in Switzerland. I work part-time parallel to my studies, but I don't earn a "good salary" by Swiss standards.
Most students don't. That's exactly why the banks issue cards with low credit limits for students...

I don't know if that's an option, but transferring a substantial amount (by your standards) from your US account to CS and leave it there for a while might help as well. Would show them that you actually have the means to pay your credit card bills.

Last edited by Mark75; 07.09.2012 at 08:06.
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