Best bank cards 2023

I also use a cantonal Bank where I receive my salary, automate transfer to 3rd pilar or Interactive Broker. I also need their Deposit account for renting my flat.
However, I do not use their cards (Maestro, debit or credit) so I cancelled them. It keep costs minimal (36chf by year).
I use only Twint and I wire CHF to Wise for my daily expenses. If I ever need cash I will withdraw it with Wise but I have never used more than 200chf by month.

I use the Sonect app to get smaller amounts of cash. It doesn’t cost anything when you load your Sonect account by bank transfer. Cash withdrawals with Wise get expensive after the first 200. For large amounts of cash, I go to the bank.

This is an interesting topic. I’ve always been skeptical about using Wise on a daily basis, however I like the “prepaid” aspect. I find that a precise and binding control of one’s expenses is more efficient than using cards with cashback that encourage usage.

In this sense, the best setup in terms of control/cost/flexibility seems to me to be :

  • Wise for daily use and for spending abroad
  • Account card (Raiffeisen or cantonal bank if free card)
  • Backup credit card (preference for the new Cumulus for the flexibility it brings with the possibility of withdrawals at Migros and partner cash registers).

Fixed cost of 8.- for the Wise card otherwise the rest of the setup is free. This seems interesting to me!

Have you encountered any problems using the Wise card in Switzerland?

I would further question if any of you guys ever faced issues when using Wise card abroad?

I une à Wise card daily in Switzerland and never had issue.
However contactless do not work often, I usually had to do my code in Aldi for example. Whatever the amount is.

I used the Wise card also to withdraw cash on exotic countries like Vietnam.
Most local banks will add withdrawal fee for cash withdrawal.

I used it every year in USA to withdraw cash or pay at the supermarket.
However there is also some limitation as a top-up card.

  • It is not a debit card and you cannot request cash back from the supermarket cashier (e.g. add 40 usd cash in top up of your groceries).
  • You cannot use it to rent a car in car rental company as it is not a credit card either.

It most certainly is a Debit card - though that doesn’t mean that an US supermarket will give you cash back on that foreign VISA Infinite debit card.

It does. But not Mastercard credit although the Mastercard logo is shown on the machine. Just had the experience. Same for Visa credit / Visa debit.

My Revolut Maestro was accepted. Didn’t try Neon.

Interestingly enough, I showed my Neon Mastercard at Hertz and they accepted it as a credit card and gave me my car. They just blocked some amount that showed as an unconfirmed transaction which was released once I returned the car.

I think that’s how it usually works with debit “credit” cards. The problem is: do you want to keep >1k cash just for situations like that?

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This weekend I was in UK, using my Revolut card extensively. I had the same issues - contactless payments not working (very often), updates about transaction coming hours after they were done. Ones from London transportation haven’t come yet (only the first time I entered the metro). Not very nice experience I must say. Probably time to hunt for something else, but if Wise behaves in the same way…

TfL will not calculate your fare immediately after each journey. They will apply daily and weekly capping of fares and only charge you the correct amount for every day.

Not sure about the exact specifics of that system, but they are not charging each journey separately and then (possibly) doing a ton of refund transactions - they will actually „wait“ until definitely charging the correct amount.

Edit: I used my Wise card in London and it worked flawlessly, mostly over contactless. I think one transaction attempt got declined - but I think I must have run into the contactless limit (for consecutive non-PIN transactions) there. In which case you shouldn’t be surprised that you have to insert the physical chip card into the reader - rather than being prompted for PIN - due to the way most UK readers check PIN numbers for transactions.


Yes, but I was using TfL extensively on Saturday, no updates so far - I wonder how long it takes them to calculate it.

OK, so Wise seems to be good candidate for Revolut replacement then ;). For me it was not only TfL where it was working/not working randomly, but also vending machine at the airport etc.

I can’t relate to that statement. I am using Revolut extensively and it is working flawless for me, even in India. Sometimes I already had the notification on the phone before the terminal even said that the payment is accepted.

The only problem I had is when they do not accept international cards (i.e. non-Indian cards), but that is nothing Revolut can change.

Could your delayed notifications be the consequence of a bad internet connection ? (or something similar ? Like data savings mode on ?)

Not really, I had good mobile connection all the time. The problem was not only the notifications - on my transactions list I saw only 1.5 GBP, even yesterday when I was already on WIFI. But I checked today and it seems it was already (not sure when) updated to 8.3 GBP (I guess daily cap).

Did you check your travel history with TfL? 7 day travel history can be checked online even without registering an account.

PS: They also happened to update (increase) their fares on 5 March, so maybe not the best weekend to verify how immediately they’re booking.

It wouldn’t explain other failed transactions with the card though.


Yes, very good point! :grin:

I think with the overall fruitfull discussion I will opt for Wise card to make international purchases. Now I have to think about the best bank within Switzerland for my main card. As I don’t want to keep with BCF (Banque Cantonale de Fribourg) living in Olten, do you have any recommendation? I actually would like to keep my debit mastercard option, but I’m also willing to go for a credit card. I would need to do my research but your opinion is always valuable :smiley:

If you want to have your credit card from the same bank as your bank account: Choose the high street you like most and that is nearest to you. Could be a cantonal bank, Raiffeisen, Postfinance, even UBS or Credit Suisse.

If you want to maximise Cashback domestically, you may want to look into Swisscard’s Cashback Cards duo. I also like the IKEA Mastercard for its cashback and insurances (and it’s a Mastercard, not the less accepted AMEX).

Otherwise, I still stand by my recommendation of the Migros Cumulus credit card as probably the single best all-around card for Swiss consumers.

Irrespective of any cashback or miles/points, I like to have and recommend…

  • at least two credit cards when travelling abroad, for off-the-grid, rental and hotel use
  • at least one card allowing cheap transactions abroad or in foreign currency (could be a debit card)
  • one card allowing for cheap cash withdrawals, in Switzerland and abroad
  • one card “for the beach”, nightlife or more dubious online shops, that doesn’t get a big headache even when compromised (stolen and my code spied out)

:point_right: …and the Migros Cumulus Visa - while I suspect it won’t have the best FX rates - covers the first three reasonably well - in just one card. Without annual fee.


I second this !

Best setup (for me)

  • Migros Cumulus Credit Card (for daily use and for cash withdrawal at Migros and/or Denner).
  • Raiffeisen (private and savings accounts; without Debit Card, only bank card for cash withdrawal/deposit)
  • Wise for everything else (one-time cash withdrawals in Switzerland, use abroad, virtual card for one-time purchases on the Internet).

It is (for me) the most flexible no-cost setup.

How do you handle e.g. car rentals (abroad)?

I will first try with the WISE card and if it is not accepted, the Migros Cumulus. Same for hotel abroad.