Banking + credit card combinations [2024 edition]

Hey all,

Due to the recent price changes by the various cantonal banks and some personal reshufflings I’m tempted to revisit my setup currently relying on having both bank accounts and credit cards with the same firm.

Most separate credit card offers I’ve seen (LX M&M Gold cards; AmEx Cashback; etc) come with hefty forex conversion fees that make even the in-built goodies unattractive.

What are some known, working and cheap combinations of private bank accounts and separate credit cards that work for daily retail banking and regular spending outside of Switzerland? Especially if you frequently travel to, and spend in, the Eurozone, UK and perhaps North America, and occasionally rent a car / book a hotel which require credit cards (of the post-paid version)


  • the requirement for credit card seems somewhat overstated, at least with European hotels
  • you don’t have to pay with the card that they‘ll hold your security deposit on


  • a bank account of your choice (even ZKB offers them for free today)
  • a Swiss credit, possibly with a bonus/cashback scheme
  • an inexpensive card for payments abroad/in foreign currency (e.g. Revolut, Wise)
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Do go for Wise, not Revolut, for sure! I have long experience with both of them…

Personally I prefer Wise (probably for similar reasons like you) even though it may often be a bit more expensive.

Wise is fine, but it’s still not a credit card :wink: was trying to avoid having to split between bank account, separate credit card provider for CHF (majority spend), and a third one (Wise, Revolut, N26, yadda)

ZKB + Certo one + Revolut / Wise could be an option. Zero cost and even cash back from Certo one.

But if you need a credit card which offers specific advantages for foreign travel then perhaps this wouldn’t work for you


Raiffeisen or ZKB with the Cumulus credit card. Raiffeisen is interesting if you use the member benefits (which offset the 50 CHF fee for the debit card); otherwise, ZKB is completely free.

In my opinion, the Cumulus card is a good compromise due to the benefits it offers, such as the ability to withdraw cash for free at Migros locations and reasonable exchange fees if you don’t use the card daily abroad. This is, in my opinion, the most flexible and minimalist duo, without needing accounts or services from other banks or fintechs.

The other completely free option is at Migros Bank. You can have the account, debit card, and credit card with the same provider. However, Migros’ app ecosystem is not user-friendly and doesn’t match the level of its peers. To my knowledge, it is the only bank that literally offers everything for free (account, debit card, and credit card).


I use Raiffeisen + Neon (good conversion rates) or Yuh (multicurrency account € / $)

But I do not hold / need a credit card.

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Are we ignoring in this setup that ZKB is free, but has zero interest? If you have 10k and 1% interest (such as with Yuh currently), then that equals a opportunity cost of 100 CHF/year when going with ZKB.

Only reason I see why to use ZKB over Yuh for the pure banking account, is the possibility to open a shared account with another person.

My setup:
Yuh (“nice” interest, zero cost on the banking package)
Amex Cashback (only for inland use)
Revolut for foreign transactions

→ this setup only works if you rarely to never need a credit card abroad. I always use Revolut and in the worst case Amex would be there to the rescue, but never needed it.


Why would you hold 10k in your checking account?

I’m with @kawansky because every bank named in their post can write mortgages, and none of the neobanks care to.

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I have neon for daily banking and purchases abroad, Swisscard Cashback for personal domestic and Certo (+ partner card) for household purchases.

If I were single, I would use Certo for myself and no Swisscard Cashback.

I wouldn’t know how to lower costs further.

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I have neon + swisscard cashback. I’m starting to get a little annoyed how few stores accept amex and often having to change to the second card (visa). I might rethink my combination soon.

Yuh (checking/savings) + Certo One for switzerland + Radicant/Revolut for abroad

I have never had an issue with debit cards abroad. If something would come up I would use the certo card as a fallback/emergency.

The only post-paid card without hefty fees I know are the UBS key4 credit cards. They only have a 0.5% markup on the mastercard rate. However, the UBS account itself is not cheap, they don‘t have a good interest rate on cash and one needs to pay for the premium package in order to get a higher card limit.


10,000 may be a lot, but 5,000 is definitely not unusual. I still can’t pay my rent, health insurance etc. with VT.
So it’s a 50 CHF opportunity cost, if you like.

But agree with the mortgage, not sure whether I would even want to get this from Yuh, as unpersonalized/anonymous they feel.


Indeed, I hadn’t considered the aspect of interest as this was not the main point in OP’s quest for optimization.
Taking this into account, it seems that Raiffeisen might be a better option. Depending on the region, Raiffeisen offers up to 1.1% on savings accounts, which is not only more attractive than what ZKB offers but also more advantageous than Yuh. Additionally, Raiffeisen provides great flexibility and extensive availability across Switzerland, as well as all necessary daily services, including joint accounts, mortgages, etc + the e-banking and app environment is working great.

I think it is possible to optimize even further by primarily using SwissQuote as a bank and broker. To my knowledge, SwissQuote’s debit card is the only card that offers a form of cashback as trading credit, which can be used to cover transaction fees for purchasing stocks, ETFs, etc (Yuh offer comparable privilege but missing the fact that you can’t have all the retail banking services with Yuh). In this sense, it would be, from a minimalist perspective, the most optimal account that allows both recovering cashback daily by using the debit card and paying abroad with a relatively low, albeit not optimal, conversion rate.

However, this only works if you exclusively use the SwissQuote debit card and do not use credit cards like Amex Cash Back or Certo. In this context, I think the Cumulus card would be the ideal backup credit card. However, this combination generates certain fees that would need to be covered with relatively high daily expenses.

I believe he is talking about the safety buffer, which explains the recommendation to keep 10,000 francs in a savings account.

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I previously looked at Raiffeisen as well and came to the conclusion that it is not worth it due to the costs you pay for the Debitcard (50/year). I also don’t like that you have to move money between accounts. If I get salary on the 24th and have to pay a bill on the 15th the next month, I don’t want to go into ebanking, put it to the savings account and then a day before you pay the bill, you move it back to win a few cents of interest in the end.

Thats the advantage of Yuh, you get your interest on your salary account where money flows in and out.

The emergency fund you can put on a savings account, I agree. (Unless you mean something else with safety buffer.) But if you have regular bills to pay with it, I wouldn’t call that safety buffer, but just your normal money.

I havent’ checked Swissquote in detail, but if you use IBKR for trading (cheaper) then I guess using it as a bank wouldn’t be better than using Yuh, which is owned by Swissquote (and Postfinance), no?

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I pay all my bills (rent, health insurance, etc.) within 2-3 days after the salary arrives, what is leftover gets invested immediately. All my other expenses I pay with the Certo credit card. The interest I’d get for these few days a year would be less than CHF 5, absolutely not worth it to optimize that xD


As I mentioned earlier, the Raiffeisen account is interesting if you take advantage of the benefits offered as a member; otherwise, you can simply use the account without requesting the debit card. And this way, as long as you have regular income deposits into your account, this combination is also completely free.

I think it’s interesting for good management to transfer money from one account to another and not let it fall into an all-purpose account like Yuh. This allows me to precisely and finely manage the money I need during the month, the money I can save, and the surplus, which, after three months, is added to my investments with my broker.


My combo:

ZKB: main account (e.g. salary) + shared account with GF + custody account (just to hold and to have it as a Swiss institution) + debit card, which I absolutely never use (but it was free). Always have roughly 1k on the main account to be able to Twint stuff - otherwise, I am only paying with the credit card.

WillBe: emergency account/savings account. Abroad and can only be transferred to an pre-defined account in your name. Had always very good interest rates (at the moment 1.3% p.a.).

IBRK: trading + holding only

Neon: Fx transactions only

Amex Gold: I earn a lot of these MR points which are useful for flights, hotels, etc. I am diversified with the MR points, since - in contrary to Miles and More - there are several options how you can use these points. I will downgrade it to Green/Classic in two years, since all the insurance components are already covered by TCS. I just took Gold because of a special offer with bonus MR points. Nearly do not have issues when paying with Amex (living in Zurich).

TCS Mastercard: free and there are some benefits like discount for petrol or when charging a car.

Swisscards Cashback: shared cards with GF for shared spendings.

Always interesting to see, how subjective the optimal package is, since I am pretty sure, that one would not take the Amex Gold, e.g. Really depend on one’s needs, obviously.

But as long as someone is using Revolut/Zak/neon/whatever for FX transactions and a reliable main bank account, you can’t do much wrong. There are other componentes which have a higher impact, in my opinion (e.g. health insurance premium, costs for food, rent, etc.).



I set up autopay for anything coming through eBill (transfer on due-date), and would just do the big regular items (rent, quarterly medical insurance, GA train fare) via recurring transfers from savings to checking on the day before. Obviously when I started this (during ZIRP days) the focus wasn’t on reducing opportunity costs.

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