The end of the year brings the usual set of considerations on how to optimize the new one ahead and I’m hoping to get some food for thought on this subject.
Let me just start by saying that I am aware owning a credit card is not a very Mustachian thing to do, which is why I renounced mine a few years ago and never looked back.
In 2022 however, after getting back into some extra-EU travelling, I realized that, in certain situations, it may be worth the hassle of owning a piece of plastic that shows you’re ‘worth of credit’. I’m thinking in particular medical emergencies in places where I wouldn’t be able to foot the bill with a Maestro debit card.
That said, and considering that my biggest non-essential expenditure item at the moment is travel (around 4-5K this year), I’m seriously considering applying for a card that would get me some extra travel benefits.
The only one I could find is the Flying Blue (KLM/Air France program) Mastercard from Viseca (Flying Blue), which earns 1 mile per 2 CHF spent. Pretty expensive however at CHF230/year.
So question #1 would be: does anybody know of any other cards for CH residents that let you earn either Avios or FB miles?
A probably more important question, however, is whether this makes sense at all and how do I calculate that. Current miles valuation (as reliable as they can be) are around 1.2 to 1.4 cents/USD a mile. In other words, earning 5000 miles/year = between 60 to 70 USD worth of miles back. In the case of the KLM/AF above it would not be enough to justify the annual fee.
Thus, question #2: is this even worth considering or would I just be better off with a free credit card like Cumulus or the Amex/MC Swisscard combo?
Finally, there’s an extra element that makes this all more complicated: I tend to book my flights departing from outside Switzerland (France or Italy). The high savings compared to flying out of Geneva or Zurich more than justify the extra train ticket + time spent.
This means though that I always book flights in EUR, i.e. foreign currency processing fee. The KLM/AF card above for instance has a 1.75% fee, while the Swisscard Amex/MC a hefty 2.5% fee. That’s expensive! Especially considering my Wise debit card has no foreign transaction fees. But granted, it’s not credit.
So, question #3: what would be the best credit card for purchases in foreign currency?
Apologies for the long post, just trying to do my homework and hopefully the thread will be useful for anyone that is in a similar situation.