Credit card for my mum

Let’s say that you’re well above 70, have a “regular” credit card that costs you 100.- a year and 1.- per month for a paper bill (and the bank says that’s the only way, unless you have the full banking package).

Let’s say you mostly buy stuff in chf and eur online, occasionally go to Germany or Italy, and you spend a few days in the UK every year. And you’re pi**ed off by these costs, for the little use you make of the card.

So you go and ask your son (who is wise, frugal (mostly), and knows many things about the world) to find a better solution.

I was thinking of having her get a Neon card.

It’s prepaid (safe), it’s easy (just send money to the account using the IBAN) and simple (one app with few options, and she’d only check her balance occasionally anyway), and it’s free.

What do you think?
What would you recommend to your parents / grandparents?

Prepaid cards can get annoying when you forget to charge them. Also in rare cases they are not accepted, because they are “online” cards and not offline. That is, the balance of the card needs to be checked with each payment.

I guess the easiest solution would be to use a card provided by the bank, that you can auto-repay, but depending on the bank, it can get expensive. If you just want a regular credit card for free then there is the Cumulus and Supercard, but you need to pay every month it or make an LSV.

One particular “problem” is that banks seem to consider only her AHV as revenue.

Any of her other revenue channels such as real estate is ignored.

Which, on another note, gets me thinking: if one is to retire early his/her creditworthiness might suffer a lot…

I second that recommendation of Neon if the parents/grandparents are Swiss.

  • It’s Swiss
  • It’s and they are reasonably “approachable”
  • their card is better than Zak’s. Zak keeps forgetting my Touch ID, their virtual prepaid card is a (non-physical) third-party product that works with a separate balance and requires separate top-ups

Make it clear that prepaid cards aren’t a credit card (limitations for rentals, offline payments etc.) and do educate the user about DCC (to be avoided like the plague!).

My second recommendation would probably be TransferWise, though they only have an omnibus account in Switzerland. Spending in foreign currency isn’t free of fees, but their own rates (if applicable to the card?!?) should be better than Mastercard. I like them, as they have reasonably inexpensive costs, a solid platform and support, better in-app management (PIN, blocking, Limits, Apple Pay) - and the product is focused on payments, without the unnecessary bells and whistles that Zak and Revolut have added (Neon less so).


My parents use the cumulus one, but also pay by post, so “paper” fee but not post fee.
A big difference might be the Call Center. They are very kind. You also have an additional insurance for traveling on top of it (mostly useless though).

Not 100% mustachian though.

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