Any credit card here collects miles?

As in the title, Any credit card here collects miles?

Yes, SWISS Miles&More credit cards offered through Swisscard AECS or Cornèrcard Miles & More.

However, the cards are not free and I would bet that the real cashback rate is not worth compare to other credit cards.

Note that you can get Miles&More miles through other credit cards:

  • The free Supercard credit card awards you Superpoints that you can convert.
  • UBS creditcards (which can be free within a package) award you KeyClub points that you can convert.

The advantage is that you are not stuck with Miles&More miles, but can collect points of those two programs and decide later if you want to convert them to miles.

EDIT: adding some calculations:

Credit card Annual fee [CHF] Miles awarded per 100 CHF spent
SWISS Miles & More Classic 120 30 (Visa/Mastercard) or 75 (AMEX)
SWISS Miles & More Gold 220 40 (Visa/Mastercard) or 100 (AMEX)
SWISS Miles & More Platinum 500-700 50 (Visa/Mastercard) or 120 (AMEX)
Cornèrcard Miles & More 140 (Classic) / 220 (Gold) 50 (Visa/Mastercard) or 100 (Diners Club) + additional bonus miles
Supercard Free 16.67
UBS Classic 100 (without package) / Free (with package) 10
UBS Gold 200 (without package) 20
UBS Platinum 500 (without package) 30

Notes on calculations:

  • Supercard awards 1 point for every 3 CHF spent, and you convert 2 points for 1 mile.
  • UBS awards 2/4/6 points for every 1000 CHF spent with Classic/Gold/Premium, and you convert 20 points for 1000 miles. Special conditions and additional points for young people (under 26 yo) and students (under 30 yo).
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Viseca offers one for the Flying Blue program

One thing to consider with all those cards:
You are very likely to pay a high commission on foreign currency transactions and fees for spending Swiss Francs on a foreign website.

If you spend a lot in CHF inside Switzerland it may be worth it. Otherwise, not so much

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To add the already excellent list and points above

  • SWISS M&M gold is free of charge if LH Sen (leave LH, ugh)
  • Digitec/Galaxus now do 2x mile ratio on the SWISS cards, which is nice if spending a lot there (like me).
  • Amex offers (gold/plat) are terrible value in CH no matter how you try to justify them with ‘whats included’. But they do have some changing exchange ratios MR:miles with BA and I think KLM/AF/Delta/Etihad. Around 0.6-0.5 mile/CHF, bad ratio
  • At least in recent past you could obtain the german M&M card through DKB. Things might have changed, I still have a DKB account with proper Swiss address and 100Eur limit on the credit card which is my Euro card - I pre-charge it when paying to overcome the 100Eur limit for larger amounts (4-5digits no problem). Again, not worth for mile collecting.

As noted about but bears repeating, typical forex fees are 1.5-2.5%, on top of not favorable exchange rate. The mile ratios are generally not worth it, unless you mid/high 5digit+/year CHF CC spend. Better off in many cases with cashback card for CHF and dedicated EUR (if lot of EUR spend) and Wise or similar for other currencies without any kickbacks. Forget about US/India style revenue bonuses in Europe on cc-spend, sadly.

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Collecting Miles for couple of years now. I traded my remaining miles for a last flight and will cancel my subscription in this summer. Main reasons:

  • I do not fly that much anymore. Collecting points for an uncertain event (see point 3) does not make sense anymore.
  • I get better service and insurance coverings with other credit cards. It’s a bit strange, that other provider can offer better solutions than a mileage credit card - since this should be THE card used for travelling.
  • I experienced in the past that Miles & More adjusted new “prices”. E.g., instead of 50’000 miles, they increased the “price” for a flight to 70’000. This is an increase by 40%. Who gives you the guarantee, that this will not happen again?
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This. It is also what I shortly wanted to mention there

The problem with miles is that it is extremely difficult to compute their value in hard currency (as it depends what you buy with them) AND airlines can change the price of the rewards (i.e., value of miles) at any time.

Interestingly, during the covid crisis airlines started to use their loyalty programs as loans collateral. Loyalty programs of AA and United have both been valued higher than their respective market cap (and that is still the case!). This should give an idea whether those programs are overall a good deal for you.

Miles earned while flying come for free (if you haven’t bought an expensive flight just to get miles and especially if your company are paying for the flights anyway) so they are always nice to get. However, I would not buy miles or get one of those credits cards as my main cashback/reward card. It may be worth to avoid the expiry of a large amount of miles, etc. but that is yet another topic.

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This year I decided to try a miles credit card for the first time. I went with the SWISS Miles&More classic credit card duo and decided to try it because they offered 50% off the first year fee (so fees for 2 years will be 60 + 120) plus almost 20.000 miles of bonus. It’s working pretty well so far because I end up paying for many expenses among my group of friends and collecting their share through TWINT. So I end up collecting way more miles than the ones I would get through my expenses alone. I also travel a lot, not always with SWISS or partner airlines though.
In 5 months I have collected around 15.000 miles. Let’s see if it is worth it or not.

In your case, Gold could make more sense.
Happy spending and happy flying!

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How much did you spend to get those miles?
Any foreign currency transactions?

Just to calculate how much you would have gotten with an Amex 1%.

I spend between 2.5k and 3.5k per month. And no foreign currency transactions, no!

If we assume that you average 3000 per month, that makes 36k in a year.
If you paid everything everything with Amex Cashback of 1% you’d get 360 CHF per year.

According to this site, a MM mile is worth around 2 cents if converted cleverly, maybe more.

If you exclude the bonus miles from signing up, are you sure it’s worth it compared to the Amex?

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Let me give you a real life example:

I generated 285k in Miles which is CHF 285k, if we are taking the Gold Card and Amex only. With Cashback, you would receive CHF 2’850
I booked recently two business class flights to Japan (two ways) and paid with miles. Total value: a bit more than CHF 8’000

There are sometimes so calles “Meilenschnäppchen” where you get a 50% discount on the flight in Miles.

Moreover, the Miles and More Credit Card does have some perks and benefits whereas the Cashback does not have - but at least also no costs.

I personally will not continue collecting Miles, but it can definitely make sense, if someone is into this topic and can generate a benefit.

You are echoing what I read about a few years ago, when I was looking into this, that if you occasionally manage to get a business class upgrade on a flight you’d take anyway, it is worth it.

As a side note, I even read about a man who made a side business by helping people spend their miles most efficiently.

I suppose if you fly a lot, there can be a net financial benefit from optimising for miles. But for almost everyone else I think you’re worse off by going after miles with your credit card. Just get the cash and use it as you see best.

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I personally find that airline mile valuations are extremely deceiving - just massively publicized because credit card referrers get nice cuts. And of course the marketing sells itself; who doesn’t want business class flights and 5* hotels for free?

In practice, when you come to use them they are not worth it (availability, hidden taxes/fees, devaluations, etc.).

I also flew Geneva->Japan business class return last month but found a great deal with a middle eastern carrier (Etihad) for CHF 2’300. Seems better to have the optionality of cash and find good deals than try and get value for miles.

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You are absolutely right, that’s why I always avoided miles credit cards as well. And you’re also right that if we take out the bonus it may not make sense from a mathematical point of view. But I decided to try it out because a) I had a huge bonus of 20k miles, b) a 50% discount on the first-year fee, c) using the trick of paying for group expenses and collecting individually can really increase your expenses in Switzerland, and d) because I do plan to use the miles on long flight upgrades rather than on getting short flights for free. It makes much more sense that way.
And I don’t even plan to use it after the 2 mandatory years because I’m sure it will stop making sense by then.

Travelled a fair bit from 90ies through mid-10’s, and witnessed the steady and hard decline in mile-“value” and increase in loops and hoops and extra fees for mileage bookings or upgrades.

Even the long flight upgrade is an airline-miles-scam these days IMHO.
For an upgrade from Economy to Business, these days your Economy ticket must be in an upper fare sub-class, so you will (probably) need to buy a more expensive ticket than necessary to maybe be able to upgrade your travel class. The chances that you then can upgrade are <50% on long flight routes IMO (but my data-set of 0 upgrades achieved from about 6 flights that I wanted to, is admittedly very small).

Anyhow, wish you good luck, and would be cool to hear your feedback once you’ve spent some miles! Really. :blush: Maybe my opinion is rather unfair(?)

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