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-   -   Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points? (https://www.englishforum.ch/finance-banking-taxation/276067-swiss-credit-cards-air-miles-reward-points.html)

tomplender 20.10.2017 13:39

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by martin959 (Post 2862956)
Hi Tom, where can I see the "prizes" that can be exchanged for the points? :D

https://www.surprize.ch/uberraschungen-pramien :)

MDP 04.11.2017 09:35

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Blueangel (Post 2862954)
That's not the case at all.

Some employers - particularly government bodies - prohibit their employees privately benefiting from business travel arangements. Please check with your HR department before going down this route.

By 'own credit card', do you mean your personal card, or your personal business card issued by your employer as opposed to a centralised / lodge card?

Does your employer have a travel management company? Do they have a list of prefered travel and/or accommodation suppliers?

The company I work for (non Gov) prefers individuals to pay for travel and accom from their own card, even via our travel management company and then claim it back, I do have a company card buts it's a pain (no online statement access).

The reason for the thread that if I sourced a card specifically for work travel and keep it separate from my personal finances, could there be a benefit?

YuropFlyer 04.11.2017 09:37

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MDP (Post 2869468)
The company I work for (non Gov) prefers individuals to pay for travel and accom from their own card, even via our travel management company and then claim it back, I do have a company card buts it's a pain (no online statement access).

The reason for the thread that if I sourced a card specifically for work travel and keep it separate from my personal finances, could there be a benefit?

You wouldn't have to go through keeping all the receipts (if the company trusts you - which I assume here) and just handing in the whole statement?

MDP 04.11.2017 09:41

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ivank (Post 2862722)
Credit card companies have been hard pressed into cutting commissions so good offers are hard to come by these days.

One of the more generous offers is TCS Mastercard Gold - 1% kickback in cash.

Free cards from cumulus and coop give about 0.3% in respective store points

Thanks I'll have a look at this.

taduncombe 13.12.2017 16:59

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Another credit card nerd here (but brand new to Switzerland). Even outside of churning (maximizing credit card signup bonuses) there are some awesome cash-back US / UK cards you should be using here in Switzerland regularly. My current favorite is the Uber Card from Barclays. Even if you're required to pay currency conversion fees to pay your bills (just 1% if you use Transferwise), it pays off. Details below:

https://www.uber.com/en-CH/c/uber-credit-card/
-4% cash back for restaurants
-3% cash back for hotels and flights
-2% cash back for all online purchases
-1% cash back for everything else
-No foreign transaction fee
-No annual fee
-Chip+Sig AND Chip+Pin technology (it uses pin when signature is not available, e.g. at kiosks)
-Pay your cell phone bill with it and get $600 in damage and theft protection

If you need to convert CHF to USD (or GBP), Transferwise costs just 1%. You're either breaking even or in the green on every use. Plus, maintaining an active credit history can be good if you ever want to repatriate.

As I'm a newbie in CH, I'm wondering if anyone else knows if there a way to pay off US cards from a Swiss bank account with no currency conversion fees? (or less than the 1% at Transferwise)

roegner 13.12.2017 17:09

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by taduncombe (Post 2885498)
(just 1% if you use Transferwise)

Thatīs not "just" for me

Treverus 13.12.2017 17:15

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nigelr (Post 2862755)
Just a question, please don't get annoyed, but why the hell would any normal person need 15 credit cards?

To explain this to the people who have never lived in a country where credit cards actually offer some value: When I lived in Asia was it completely normal to have great deals offered by credit card companies. You go to a restaurant and there is some sign on the table "If you pay with your xyz bank Amex here this month do you get 50% off!". As a result does everyone get a card by most major banks to benefit from these offer... which are on all the time. And here is the shocker for Swiss banks: They offer these cards for free! Nix, nothing, nada... just like that! There is an official price attached to them, but every single one is "free for the first year" and once you get the following years bill do you call and say "you either waive that or I want to cancel the card" and then it's free forever.

I even got a free platinum card with the whole travel insurance thing, the aiport lounge access and what not when I took out a mortgage.

The bottom line is: No, there are no great CC offers in Switzerland. All cards are essentially issued by the two main players in the market which makes it as dull as the Migros/Coop duopoly does for Swiss shopping. Get one set of two cards (as many shops dont accept all mayor cards should you get two different ones) your bank and stick to it. No point splitting up the usage over more cards.

taduncombe 13.12.2017 17:18

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by roegner (Post 2885503)
Thatīs not "just" for me

Fair enough. Is there a way to avoid that 1%? Despite the bonuses making it worth it, I'll still amount hundreds of CHF per year in fees that I'd prefer to avoid!

roegner 13.12.2017 17:24

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by taduncombe (Post 2885498)
Another credit card nerd here (but brand new to Switzerland). Even outside of churning (maximizing credit card signup bonuses) there are some awesome cash-back US / UK cards you should be using here in Switzerland regularly. My current favorite is the Uber Card from Barclays. Even if you're required to pay currency conversion fees to pay your bills (just 1% if you use Transferwise), it pays off. Details below:

https://www.uber.com/en-CH/c/uber-credit-card/
-4% cash back for restaurants
-3% cash back for hotels and flights
-2% cash back for all online purchases
-1% cash back for everything else
-No foreign transaction fee
-No annual fee
-Chip+Sig AND Chip+Pin technology (it uses pin when signature is not available, e.g. at kiosks)
-Pay your cell phone bill with it and get $600 in damage and theft protection

If you need to convert CHF to USD (or GBP), Transferwise costs just 1%. You're either breaking even or in the green on every use. Plus, maintaining an active credit history can be good if you ever want to repatriate.

As I'm a newbie in CH, I'm wondering if anyone else knows if there a way to pay off US cards from a Swiss bank account with no currency conversion fees? (or less than the 1% at Transferwise)

Are you sure that is ALL restaurants, hotels etc? Website says it is according to MCC and that could in principle include but also exclude a lot.


Annual Fee: $0. For purchases and balance transfers, the variable APR is 15.99%, 21.74% or 24.74% depending upon our review of your application and your credit history at account opening. The variable APR for cash advances is 25.99%. The APRs on your account will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. The minimum monthly interest charge will be $0.50. Balance transfer fee: 3% (min. $10). Cash advance and cash equivalent fees: 5% (min. $10). Foreign transaction fee: 0%. This information is accurate as of 10/25/2017 and is subject to change after this date. See Terms and Conditions for more information about the terms of this offer.

taduncombe 13.12.2017 17:38

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by roegner (Post 2885513)
Are you sure that is ALL restaurants, hotels etc? Website says it is according to MCC and that could in principle include but also exclude a lot.

I've been in CH less than a week, so I haven't been able to check personally. In the US it was very reliable (over 90%) for both restaurants and bars to use the Merchant category codes (MCC) recognized by restaurant/dining rewards credit cards (also for travel purchases, etc.). If you'd like, I could provide an update on my experience in a month or so to see if it proves true in CH as well.

eyebeebe 13.12.2017 20:02

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by taduncombe (Post 2885498)
Another credit card nerd here (but brand new to Switzerland). Even outside of churning (maximizing credit card signup bonuses) there are some awesome cash-back US / UK cards you should be using here in Switzerland regularly. My current favorite is the Uber Card from Barclays. Even if you're required to pay currency conversion fees to pay your bills (just 1% if you use Transferwise), it pays off. Details below:

https://www.uber.com/en-CH/c/uber-credit-card/
-4% cash back for restaurants
-3% cash back for hotels and flights
-2% cash back for all online purchases
-1% cash back for everything else
-No foreign transaction fee
-No annual fee
-Chip+Sig AND Chip+Pin technology (it uses pin when signature is not available, e.g. at kiosks)
-Pay your cell phone bill with it and get $600 in damage and theft protection

If you need to convert CHF to USD (or GBP), Transferwise costs just 1%. You're either breaking even or in the green on every use. Plus, maintaining an active credit history can be good if you ever want to repatriate.

As I'm a newbie in CH, I'm wondering if anyone else knows if there a way to pay off US cards from a Swiss bank account with no currency conversion fees? (or less than the 1% at Transferwise)

So the card is billed in USD? Meaning you have an FX charge when you make a purchase in CHF. Then call it a month later when you have to pay your bill you again have to change CHF into USD. So before you take into account any movements in the FX rate between time of purchase and time of bill payment you are paying two sets of transaction fees. Are you sure that itís really such a great deal? Also is the mobile phone insurance valid in Switzerland and can you even pay your bill by CC here? Iíve never seen that as an option.

Treverus 13.12.2017 21:48

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eyebeebe (Post 2885555)
Also is the mobile phone insurance valid in Switzerland and can you even pay your bill by CC here? Iíve never seen that as an option.

Default option with salt.

Tom1234 13.12.2017 22:03

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Blueangel (Post 2862954)
That's not the case at all.

Some employers - particularly government bodies - prohibit their employees privately benefiting from business travel arangements. Please check with your HR department before going down this route.

And some don't give a damn. They accept that's a small perk considering you're giving up evenings and weekends to travel to, and from places of work abroad for work, but in your own time.

At least that's how it's seen with all the companies I have worked for that have involved international travel.

taduncombe 13.12.2017 22:35

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eyebeebe (Post 2885555)
So the card is billed in USD? Meaning you have an FX charge when you make a purchase in CHF.

No. The credit card I mentioned does not have a foreign transaction fee. Effectively all travel cards do not have foreign fees and it is becoming very common for other cards as well (e.g. Uber card and Amazon card, both great).

2x2 13.12.2017 23:47

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by taduncombe (Post 2885498)
As I'm a newbie in CH, I'm wondering if anyone else knows if there a way to pay off US cards from a Swiss bank account with no currency conversion fees? (or less than the 1% at Transferwise)

Revolut doesn't charge any conversion fees and uses interbank rate for FX. The only charge is your bank fee for transferring CHF to their UK account (also in CHF), but that's a flat fee of only a few francs.
Comes out cheaper than Transferwise.

taduncombe 14.12.2017 00:34

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2x2 (Post 2885611)
Revolut doesn't charge any conversion fees and uses interbank rate for FX.

Thanks! Revolut really appears to be a gem. I can even benefit from the cheap/free currency exchanges without using the Revolut credit card.

According to my reading of terms, there should be no exchange fees if you stay under a 6k CHF exchange per-month threshold (above is 0.5%, still better than Transferwise) and conduct transfers during the week (weekends include a 0.5% markup).

Quote:

Currency exchange transactions (Currency exchange and cross-currency card purchases, withdrawals, and bank transfers):
Live market rate* with no fees, up to £5,000/ Ä6,000/ Fr6,000/ 20,000zl (or currency equivalent) per month. A 0.5% fee applies thereafter**
https://www.revolut.com/ch/faq#are-there-any-charges

Quote:

At the weekend (Friday 23:59 - Sunday 23:59) we apply a small mark up on the spot rate as the Forex markets are closed. We take the rate from Friday 23:59 and apply a 0.5% mark up on major currencies
https://www.revolut.com/ch/faq#what-...ate-will-i-get

There are other fees as well, but for my usage, it looks like I could effectively avoid them all. I'll give it a try later this week. Thanks for the heads up!

taduncombe 14.12.2017 00:46

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2x2 (Post 2885611)
The only charge is your bank fee for transferring CHF to their UK account (also in CHF), but that's a flat fee of only a few francs.

Perhaps you could avoid that fee by directly topping up your CHF account with your Swiss debit card. https://www.revolut.com/ch/faq#will-...top-up-by-card

J2488 14.12.2017 08:54

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by roegner (Post 2885513)
Are you sure that is ALL restaurants, hotels etc? Website says it is according to MCC and that could in principle include but also exclude a lot.


Annual Fee: $0. For purchases and balance transfers, the variable APR is 15.99%, 21.74% or 24.74% depending upon our review of your application and your credit history at account opening. The variable APR for cash advances is 25.99%. The APRs on your account will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. The minimum monthly interest charge will be $0.50. Balance transfer fee: 3% (min. $10). Cash advance and cash equivalent fees: 5% (min. $10). Foreign transaction fee: 0%. This information is accurate as of 10/25/2017 and is subject to change after this date. See Terms and Conditions for more information about the terms of this offer.

In many cases, the offers only apply if the currency is the same and/or it is the same country of issue. i.e. a UK credit card that offers 4% cashback on restaurants, may not cover restaurants in Switzerland.

And with regards to 'being in the green every month' keep in mind that credit card FX rates are amongst the worst around. So while transferwise might only cost 1%, that actual amount charged by the credit card will be artificially high. you save a little when paying it off, but it costs you more overall.

taduncombe 14.12.2017 09:41

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by J2488 (Post 2885644)
In many cases, the offers only apply if the currency is the same and/or it is the same country of issue. i.e. a UK credit card that offers 4% cashback on restaurants, may not cover restaurants in Switzerland.

And with regards to 'being in the green every month' keep in mind that credit card FX rates are amongst the worst around. So while transferwise might only cost 1%, that actual amount charged by the credit card will be artificially high. you save a little when paying it off, but it costs you more overall.

Visa and Mastercard are transparent about the exchange rates that they charge. The very rough analyses I've read don't show significant markups on exchange rates - although I agree this is something to watch out for. I'd love some better literature on the subject if you have it. https://www.doctorofcredit.com/forei...rd-issuers-use

As a side note to using foreign credit cards, NEVER NEVER NEVER use dynamic currency conversion. That is, when they give you an option to charge your card in USD or GBP instead of CHF, say hell no. It is a scam: https://thepointsguy.com/2015/06/dyn...cy-conversion/

roegner 14.12.2017 09:59

Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by taduncombe (Post 2885670)
Visa and Mastercard are transparent about the exchange rates that they charge.

Yes, high ones so you pay a lot for that sevice


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