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  #61  
Old 21.06.2019, 09:25
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

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Correct. Earlier in this thread, I suggested Googling Swiss Miles and More. I already had one. Coincidentally this thread reactivated at a time when I am closing the account because the conditions are laughable! As a moderate card user, it's impossible to ever get enough for an upgrade on a decent flight and it's cheaper to avoid the card fees and bid for the occasional upgrade!
Depends, if you have a senator card/LH/Swiss gold card or HON, the cards are free. Works well enough for me to get the holiday flights paid with miles.
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Old 21.06.2019, 10:32
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

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Depends, if you have a senator card/LH/Swiss gold card or HON, the cards are free. Works well enough for me to get the holiday flights paid with miles.
Again agree but I think moderate fliers don't have access to many of the cards you mention, gold card is twice the price for more spend points, which only benefits if a customer uses their card a lot. I tried to spend my points on a ZH-TLV flight and the taxes were half the price of the ticket. Nice perk but not when it took so long to build up the points that were needed!
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Old 21.06.2019, 12:18
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

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Again agree but I think moderate fliers don't have access to many of the cards you mention, gold card is twice the price for more spend points, which only benefits if a customer uses their card a lot. I tried to spend my points on a ZH-TLV flight and the taxes were half the price of the ticket. Nice perk but not when it took so long to build up the points that were needed!

Absolutely! I've had many miles accumlated both by frequent traveling and by using the SWISS (the airlines) cards and trying to spend miles for flights has been nothing more than a complete WASTE. Basically get nothing. YOu can get an upgrade but hard to come-by, Web-site not user friendly and the amont of miles you need accumlated both from flying and credit card spend are tremendously high.


So 2 separate issues, one is mile accumlation from travel - only way to get socalled status is by traveling many intercontinenats at business class (corporate travel usuall), Weekly flights in Europe via SWISS does nothing for you.


In the US - I didn't travel as much as I do today but on Continental (back inthe day) I was gold status with moderate travel plus with credit cards I got free flights and upgrades all the time!! SWISS is just garbabe or only for super high business class travelers.


SWISS credit cards then offer no value what so ever...so I cancelled them. Now....what DOES work if you want miles and the only value I get from havng status is ...Lounge access. GEt yourself an Aegean airlines card (Greek airlines), get miles status there and voila, as its part of Star Alliance.


The other thing I do, is now I book most of my corporate travel, when possible NOT ON SWISS. I look for One-world airlines that offer same destination an I get more miles/benefits. I only choose SWISS if I'm in a time-bind and times are not aligning to my needs. UK can suck cause I have to go though gate E but ok big deal. In Europe..I look for other carriers that on on my corporate travel system and I look to add miles to other places (not Swiss miles, i canceled that too), use Aegean.
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  #64  
Old 21.06.2019, 13:54
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

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YOu can get an upgrade but hard to come-by, Web-site not user friendly and the amont of miles you need accumlated both from flying and credit card spend are tremendously high.
Couldnt agree more. I decided to get rid of my points by upgrading the ZH-TLV flight, a total waste but it was a way to use the points for the hell of it! Spent far too much time trying to get through their nightmare website, found the upgrade option, then told no option upgrade option available, checked Swiss website, seats available to buy in business.

Here's hoping N26 hurry up!
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Old 25.06.2019, 08:58
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

My wife and I just moved to Switzerland from the US and are looking at various credit cards. We were pretty heavy spenders in the US, and I don't really anticipate that changing much here in Switzerland.

It looks like the TCS Mastercard Gold is probably the best option for anyone who charges more than 40k/year? 400 CHF back every year more than covers the 100+39+50 fees for 2 credit cards? So it's effectively better than a .5% cashback card?

I see the Coop and Migros cards are 1% back at affilliates, but don't you get 1% back anyway if you have a loyalty card at each? So that 1% is actually 0%? And therefore, it's only .33% at non-affiliated stores?

I also see the AMEX Cashback card that offers 1%, but how often can you actually use AMEX? I read that AMEX doesn't have much support in Switzerland?
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Old 25.06.2019, 09:02
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

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Not to steal the thread from the OP, but this is an issue that I'll be wrestling with when I move to Switzerland. I'm a huge miles and points guy in the US. Probably have 15 different credit cards, but use 2 of them mostly.

But, from what I have read the idea of miles and points, don't really translate to switzerland. They don't have a Chase Saphire Reserve, or a Citi Prestige style card.

You could continue to use your US (or whatever country you may be from originally) based cards, as long as they don't have foreign exchange fees, and most reward earning cards don't. The issue will be paying the bill. pay from US accounts or transfer cash back to pay them, which has it's own costs, which coupon negate any rewards...
From what I've read, with a Revolut bank account, you could effectively pay from a US account for no real cost, just the hassle of a few transfers between accounts.

However, you also have to account for more than just the foreign transaction fees. You also have to consider the exchange rate that they are offering you, which, from what I've read, is usually quite poor (not the rate Google says, and not the rate that banks pay between themselves).

Regardless, it appears that having a Revolut bank account is pretty important for no-fee payments across the rest of the EU (and other currencies they support).
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Old 25.06.2019, 22:52
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

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However, you also have to account for more than just the foreign transaction fees. You also have to consider the exchange rate that they are offering you, which, from what I've read, is usually quite poor (not the rate Google says, and not the rate that banks pay between themselves).
After further research it looks like this is not necessarily the case. It looks like the exchange rates are pretty comparable for Visa, about a 0.3% markup, which, in general, is a lot lower than the better rewards programs offered by US credit cards. It seems a high-reward US credit card is the best option for a credit card in Switzerland -- if you're able to obtain one (you have good credit in the US or by some other means).
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Old 26.06.2019, 13:54
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

I would also take into account if a credit card provider supports Apple (Google) Pay. Many banks tried to sabotaged Apple in favor of absolutely terrible solution - Twint.
If you spend a lot of money every year I can't imagine not using a watch or phone to pay! (plus it's much safer than plastic card).
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Old 26.06.2019, 19:37
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

TCS MasterCard Gold is provided by Cembra Moneybank. I switched from Postfinance for this card earlier this year.

Postfinance wishes to put my middle name on the card, and refused to remove for the reissue when the cards expired. That, and the fact I have to pay 60 Chf for a post account I donít need, as you need one for the credit card... So I walked...

Cembra is ok, but unlike Postfinance they charge for CHF transactions abroad so AliExpress in CHF is charged extra fees. You get the cashback each month, compared to June and December for Postfinance.

Postfinance you could only pay your statement invoice via Postfinance account so you couldnít make payments in advance to cover expected expenses for example like you can with Cembra and Swisscard.


Iím miffed with Cembra as I wanted a high credit limit, they told me I could call once I got my gold card to increase. I did and filled out a form and said no, and I canít raise in first 6 months. So they effectively lied to me to get the business.

They offered only 10,000, I had 15,000 with Postfinance and wanted that matched as minimum and previously 20,000 limit with Swisscard. So now until I change next year I have to put money in to increase when on a trip.

Cembra also charge a monthly fee for text messages if you want to be warned of money going out for fraud prevention. Postfinance did this for free.

Foreign transactions seem to be cheaper with Cembra and cash back is higher than Postfinance. I just donít get a 10,000 limit with gold card as you get that with any normal card.

Just hope I can find a decent replacement early next year.

Itís frustrating, Iíve had a UK gold card for free for last 20 years and we spend so much on fees and extra charges here. Iím not interested in miles as you can never redeem. So cashback is better.

Anyway just my thoughts after looking at all Swiss credit cards but still not happy with any of them :-(
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Old 28.06.2019, 13:26
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

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I see the Coop and Migros cards are 1% back at affilliates, but don't you get 1% back anyway if you have a loyalty card at each? So that 1% is actually 0%? And therefore, it's only .33% at non-affiliated stores?

Yes, this is correct. If you (only) have the Coop and Migros cards, it makes sense to pay for Migros shopping with the Coop card, and vice versa (to get the 0.33% return). Use the loyalty cards to get the 1%.
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  #71  
Old 28.06.2019, 14:13
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

For any Brits who still have a UK bank account and regularly fly Swiss, you can get 1.51% cashback by booking via Topcashback.co.uk. I believe there's also a US version of the site. I've been using it for many years and it's brilliant for hotels and car hire too. I've booked two hotels with Expedia and car hire with Rentalcars last week, and got £167 cashback.
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Old 29.06.2019, 10:52
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

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After further research it looks like this is not necessarily the case. It looks like the exchange rates are pretty comparable for Visa, about a 0.3% markup, which, in general, is a lot lower than the better rewards programs offered by US credit cards. It seems a high-reward US credit card is the best option for a credit card in Switzerland -- if you're able to obtain one (you have good credit in the US or by some other means).
Without a doubt this is true. For those of us lucky enough to have US credit, the high-reward US cards are perfect over here if you're willing to go through the hassle of currency exchange. I've been doing this for a year and half, and now it's even better with the fee-free ACH transfers available using Revolut. To restate the case:

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Revolut has finally added ACH transfers to US Banks! (sometime in the last 6 months I think) This makes paying off the credit cards possible at no additional cost:

> a free IBAN transfer into a Revolut account from a Swiss bank. (~2 days)
> a zero-fee interbank rate ("real rate") currency exchange using a free Revolut account (no monthly fees). If under 5000 pounds per month and performed during the week (they add 0.5% over 5000 pounds and 0.5% on the weekend). (instantly)
> a free ACH transfer from a Revolut account to a US Bank (~2 days)
> pay off credit card bill

Using US credit cards with rewards is a no-brainer if you don't mind the hassle. For me, that's reward rates of 2% or more. The only "cost" is if the exchange-rate the credit card company uses in respect to the mid-market rate (Visa: ~0.25%, MC: ~0.15%).
If you're not a bonus chaser, the Uber card is near impossible to beat. (e.g. no foreign or annual fee, 4% restaurant, 3% on travel, 2% on online purchases)
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Old 30.06.2019, 13:30
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

> Revolut has finally added ACH transfers to US Banks!

I can't seem to find ACH transfers in the UI. Where are they?
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Old 30.06.2019, 22:39
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

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I would also take into account if a credit card provider supports Apple (Google) Pay. Many banks tried to sabotaged Apple in favor of absolutely terrible solution - Twint.
If you spend a lot of money every year I can't imagine not using a watch or phone to pay! (plus it's much safer than plastic card).
Do any banks apart from CS and the Amex Cashback card support Apple Pay yet?
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Old 01.07.2019, 10:41
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

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Do any banks apart from CS and the Amex Cashback card support Apple Pay yet?
Official list form Apple webpage:

Bonus Card (Visa credit and prepaid cards)
boon. by Wirecard
CornŤrcard (Mastercard and Visa credit and prepaid cards)
Credit Suisse
Monese
Revolut
Swiss Bankers (Mastercard prepaid cards)
Swisscard (American Express credit cards, Cashback, mydrive, Pointup, SWISS Miles & More, Neutral Mastercard credit cards, wow Visa Prepaid Card)

I hope that list will be longer after this investigation:
https://www.thelocal.ch/20181115/did...nd-samsung-pay
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  #76  
Old 01.07.2019, 11:19
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

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> Revolut has finally added ACH transfers to US Banks!

I can't seem to find ACH transfers in the UI. Where are they?
Transfers to the US
In the app:
> Payments (at the bottom row of the app)
> Send (top of app), hit "Bank Transfer" button
> "Add a new beneficiary": Add your US bank account & routing number

Once added you can select the added bank and transfer USD directly to it from your account for no fee. It doesn't say ACH in the app but that's what it is. I have tested this.

Worth noting that this only works from Revolut to a US Bank. You cannot currently, from my understanding, do an ACH transfer from a US bank into your Revolut account. That still requires a SWIFT payment that incurs a fee from most US Banks.
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Old 08.07.2019, 19:33
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Re: Swiss credit cards - air miles, reward points?

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I also see the AMEX Cashback card that offers 1%, but how often can you actually use AMEX? I read that AMEX doesn't have much support in Switzerland?
I have used the AMEX Cashback for a few months now and it is being accepted at most places I shop at, including Migros, Coop, Restaurants, Kiosks and so on. Notable exceptions were Aldi, Lidl and some small shops.

If you don't want to carry two credit cards in you wallet (AMEX and Visa / MC) i can recommend the following: add the AMEX Cashback to Apple Pay and use it wherever you can. When either Apple Pay or AMEX is not accepted use the Mastercard or Visa card you have in your wallet.
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