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  #21  
Old 02.11.2016, 15:47
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

Migros Budget Card has very favorable payment conditions. Once I get the bill I have more than three weeks to pay. But, when I miss the deadline I am stuck with a CHF 20 charge.
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  #22  
Old 02.11.2016, 15:54
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

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Also most of the cheaper ones seem to be Credit Suisse, which seems to have a bad reputation for customer service.
Been using CS for years for CCs and never any problem with service.
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  #23  
Old 02.11.2016, 16:04
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

You can also just get both, they are both free. You'll be able then to get combined 1.3% cashback from shopping at Migros and 1.5% from coop in form of points at each.

There's a hassle that coop doesn't do DD with post finance, so you'd have to pay it manually in that case.
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  #24  
Old 06.11.2016, 12:56
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

So the Migros Card charges 1.5% foreign transaction fees.

Does anybody know of any good CC's that don't charge fees or charge a lower rate?

Perhaps I'm asking too much out of a card here, but I've noticed that many services that seem like they should be Swiss-based and charge in CHF, end up dinging me for foreign transactions. This has happened with Uber trips and AirBnB stays in within Switzerland. In fact I often get my card locked because the charge shows up as some place I'm not (i.e. the Netherlands) and the CC thinks it's a fraudulent transaction.

Sometimes foreign transactions are unavoidable on plane flights. From my understanding, if I booked anything on any website other than Swiss Air with a Migros CC, I'd end up having to pay 1.5%, which for international flights can be a pretty steep penalty.
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  #25  
Old 06.11.2016, 13:17
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

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So the Migros Card charges 1.5% foreign transaction fees.

Does anybody know of any good CC's that don't charge fees or charge a lower rate?

Perhaps I'm asking too much out of a card here, but I've noticed that many services that seem like they should be Swiss-based and charge in CHF, end up dinging me for foreign transactions. This has happened with Uber trips and AirBnB stays in within Switzerland. In fact I often get my card locked because the charge shows up as some place I'm not (i.e. the Netherlands) and the CC thinks it's a fraudulent transaction.

Sometimes foreign transactions are unavoidable on plane flights. From my understanding, if I booked anything on any website other than Swiss Air with a Migros CC, I'd end up having to pay 1.5%, which for international flights can be a pretty steep penalty.
Postfinance charges 0.9%.

I have never gotten charged transaction fees for Uber/AirBnB unless I am using them outside of Switzerland. They do register as outside companies but no issues there till now.
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  #26  
Old 06.11.2016, 13:25
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

You might want to look through the credit card conditions listed on this moneyland.ch website. Click on "info" by each card:

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

A very quick review showed that the CornerCard and PostFinance charge 1.2% for foreign currency transactions abroad:

http://www.moneyland.ch/de/cornercar...d-visa-classic

Moneyland listed the PostFinance Prepaid Value Card with a 1.2% fee. This is the regular one from their website:

https://www.postfinance.ch/en/priv/p...ic/detail.html
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  #27  
Old 06.11.2016, 14:07
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

Foreign transaction charges are rarely as simple as they seem and cannot really be compared just by the loading fee. Although the card companies tell you what loading they charge on the exchange rate, they can basically choose any exhange rate they want to as the base.

There's a calculator at http://www.xe.com/creditcard-charges-calculator/ which will compare the mid market rate to the actual rate charged: obviously this only helps to calculate the real charge on a card that you already have. Also, the mid market rate is kind of a theoretical rate. It's the rate that a currency conversion website will typically show you.

I have a Migros Cumuls Mastercard and xe.com shows a charge of around 3% from mid market rate. Interestingly, for refunds, they charge -3% i.e. they give you 3% on top.

I have personally never been charged the foreign transaction fee using my Migros card with a vendor charging in Swiss francs. This includes all the major airlines, as long as they bill in Swiss francs. However, I haven't used the vendors you mention.

Last edited by greencelery; 06.11.2016 at 14:10. Reason: Last sentence added for clarity.
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  #28  
Old 06.11.2016, 15:54
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

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Does anybody know of any good CC's that don't charge fees or charge a lower rate?
Revolut

Anything else currently on the swiss market is total garbage compared to it if you need to convert currencies.
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  #29  
Old 06.11.2016, 21:05
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

Thanks for the tip on Revolut! Looks like a useful product.

I see that it can't be loaded with CHF (yet?), so what's the optimal method for converting CHF into, say, USD?

Is it still something like this for ammounts greater than ~1000 CHF:

PostFinance -> (via transferwise/currency fair) -> US bank account
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  #30  
Old 06.11.2016, 21:56
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

Yes unfortunately they don't support CHF inpayments, but next best thing is EUR because you can do free international transfers for EURs with SEPA. USDs will cost you some money to transfer.

The cheapest way to do currency conversion for larger amounts that I know of is through Interactive Brokers. Conversion fees are at a noise level of rate fluctuations, a couple of $/€/Fr for a 10-20k trade. Account maintanence is not free, so using them solely for currency conversion may not be worth the hassle, but if you're also looking for a good stock broker they're hard to beat.

PostFinance works too, but like all swiss banks, they're very greedy. IIRC, they take about a 1% cut for a EUR/CHF conversion. At least it'll be done instantly and conveniently for you in their ebanking, so it may be worth it for small amounts. Transferwise/CurrencyFair are also greedy, just a bit less than banks (I think 0.5%), but I think they don't support paying to third party accounts, and Revolut takes inpayments to a bank account in their name.
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  #31  
Old 07.11.2016, 13:30
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

Interesting. I've just been reading up about SEPA.

From my limited understanding, it seems like Post Finance should not be legally allowed to charge 1% for turning CHF into EUR. Am I missing something?

It seems like the optimal method would then be for me to open a bank account in some Eurozone country (though this may be more trouble then it's worth) and then do:

Postfinance CHF -> SEPA transfer -> EUR bank -> Revolut -> USD bank
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  #32  
Old 07.11.2016, 13:56
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

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From my limited understanding, it seems like Post Finance should not be legally allowed to charge 1% for turning CHF into EUR. Am I missing something?
I don't know where you got that idea from. Nobody converts currencies for free. Even IB formally charges you a little bit for it and Revolut probably also has a slight mark up on the rates to compensate for such fees, even if they don't openly admit it. For some exotic currencies (RUB, THB and some others) they have even a relatively large markup and admit it, search for the thread about Revolut on this forum.

AFAIK, the only thing that SEPA mandates is to have same fee for both domestic transfers and abroad transfers within SEPA countries. Usually, it's free, but some banks (e.g. BCGE) do charge something for it. But you've gotta have EURs in the first place. Or pay for the conversion in the form of ridiculously overpriced and nontransparent bank exchange rates.
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  #33  
Old 07.11.2016, 14:13
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

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Postfinance CHF -> SEPA transfer -> EUR bank -> Revolut -> USD bank
Why is a US bank here in the picture? I thought we're discussing options for a CC card. If you need to convert a big amount, larger than a typical cc turnover, go with IB:

PostFinance CHF -> IB CHF: cost 10-20 Fr or so with PF, but can be as low as 2 Fr with some other swiss banks.
IB: CHF -> USD, practically free.
IB USD -> your US bank, one transfer per month free.
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  #34  
Old 07.11.2016, 14:36
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

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Why is a US bank here in the picture?
Because there are lots of good options for US credit cards that have good kickbacks and 0 foreign transaction fees. The trick is to efficiently convert CHF into USD to pay the bills.
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  #35  
Old 07.11.2016, 14:44
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

I'm not sure how likely you're to get one as a swiss resident. My guess it's only an option if you have a US passport or some other close ties to the US, at least in recent past.

Efficient conversion is possible with IB as I've outlined above. Costs can be as low as 2 CHF for a CHF transfer abroad to IB account plus some peanuts for actual conversion.
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  #36  
Old 07.11.2016, 22:44
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

Late to the party, but I still believe the Migros CC is still the best.

I was comparing CC with a colleague today and he claims that CornerCard has better rates when being used abroad.

So, I breakout the Excel spreadsheet and we found the following. Earlier this year, I used 3 different CCs in/around Switzerland, Canada, and Eurozone.

On paper
  • Migros CC is +1.5% on foreign FX
  • CornerCard CC is 1.2% on foreign FX
  • UBS CC is 2.0% on foreign FX

By far, the UBS card was the most expensive.
By deduction with the info above, you would deduce that CornerCard would be the best.

In reality
UBS still sucks eggs. It's a corporate card so insurance protection, coverage, blah blah. I'll never use it for personal purposes anyway.
CornerCard, despite the "lower commission", had a worse base FX applied than Migros. So, from my purchases at The Gap, Tim Hortons, and various retail outlets, and only comparing same-day transactions booked, we found that the CornerCard was between 0.6% to 1.0% higher than Migros, after all costs have been taken into account.

In conclusion
I'm getting rid of my CornerCard because it sucks. I only got it because a friend wanted to get his free iPad from referrals and paid the annual fee for me.
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  #37  
Old 07.11.2016, 22:54
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

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  • Migros CC is +1.5% on foreign FX
  • CornerCard CC is 1.2% on foreign FX
  • UBS CC is 2.0% on foreign FX
You should add a couple of %'s to each of those because they use unfair unspecified fx rates. Then as already mentioned there's:

Revolut: 0.0% on foreign FX (intrabank rate)

You won't find a better deal in Switzerland.

Cumulus card though is nice to have too. As long as you use it only inside Switzerland or online, and only for CHF, then it's totally free and earns 0.5% cashback for use at migros.

I'm not a big believer in credit card insurances. There's no good and cheap offers for that among swiss cards anyway. If you do care about insurance components, don't forget to read the actual insurance terms of your card and prepare to be disappointed.

Last edited by ivank; 07.11.2016 at 23:09.
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  #38  
Old 16.11.2016, 22:07
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

I'm newly arrived, and using a Miles & More card for my CHF purchases.

For everything else I'm using my existing HSBC Premier Debit/Credit cards from the US. There are zero FX fees on these (no buy/sell margin, no cash advance charge on the debit card, no 2.5% load/etc). A great deal.

Note that this is only the case for the USA HSBC Premier cards. I also have HSBC cards from Canada and the UK, and they charge both buy/sell spread and a flat % fee. Don't know why the US cards are different.

About HSBC Premier...
Requires 100k balance (you can meet this via a brokerage investment)
With an account in one country, they will assist you on a remote opening of an account in another HSBC country
With the 100k balance there are no monthly/annual fees on accounts or cards
There is unfortunately no retail HSBC in Switzerland. Only for high net worth.
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  #39  
Old 17.11.2016, 00:21
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

I think it's a widely undisputed fact that U.S. credit cards are much better. But a person not really connected in any way to the U.S. most likely will not be able to get one. So can we please focus on what's available for us mortal swiss (and non-U.S. taxpayer, hehe) residents please.
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  #40  
Old 17.11.2016, 01:07
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Re: Is it worth getting a Swiss credit card?

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I think it's a widely undisputed fact that U.S. credit cards are much better. But a person not really connected in any way to the U.S. most likely will not be able to get one. So can we please focus on what's available for us mortal swiss (and non-U.S. taxpayer, hehe) residents please.
For Swiss residents from a European country with HSBC retail branches (UK among others)

1. Open an HSBC Premier account in your home country
2. Remote open a US HSBC account w credit card.
3. Enjoy zero FX charges.

Not a solution for everyone, nor a quick and easy one. But it is a solution for some.
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