Current cheapest day-to-day banking/credit card combination

I am considering leaving Big Evil Bank® as we are paying 25CHF/month, which is too much (the first year was free, so this will average to 12.5CHF/month after 2 years, but still…)!

Our needs are simple/typical. We need: 3 accounts (mine, wife’s, joint) + joint credit card (preferably with decent exchange rates). We do not keep large amounts of cash in our accounts, so I don’t really care about rebates for >10k CHF etc.

At the moment, CLER seems to be the cheapest for chequing accounts… 1CHF/month per account.

For credit cards, there seem to be 3 free options: Coop Supercard, Migros Cumulus Card, & Swisscard Cashback.

Does anyone have any experience with any of these products?

I have all of those products. If you want a free fully featured Banking Account (Maestro, Online Banking from PC, Cash at all ATMs, eBill, Native Twint App, Savings Accouns etc.) than BCV is your best bet. You only need 10k in your account and it’s free. Cler ZAK is ok, but you only get a single account (with pots), no joint account and also some features missing, like Online Banking from PC, cash at all ATMs, eBill (!) etc.

Credit card: Get Revolut for out of country and free FX, And Swisscard Cashback Cards AMEX with 1% for everything within Switzerland. You can either use the second Visa or MC Cashback Card for places that don’t support AMEX (0.2% Cashback) or if you want to further optimize also get Topcard Supercard or Migros Cumulus.

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Interesting, good advice on the credit cards. Do you know, by chance, if Swisscard is difficult with giving decent limits to Permit B holders?

So, for CLER, there is no e-banking in the browser? Only on the app? And you can’t see your personal+joint accounts with a single login?

It’s worth noting that the opportunity cost on leaving CHF10k in a 0% interest bank account is about 40CHF/month (assuming one averages 5%/year in investment portfolio).

Neon has eBill support on their roadmap for this year and feels much more straightforward and polished as an app than Cler Zak. I prefer their integration of a debit Mastercard debit over Cler’s “bolted on” third-party credit card (though Viseca is on of the better issuers in Switzerland). Once they’ll have eBill support, I am probably switching my payment account to from UBS to Neon. I don’t need the bells and whistles (or online banking) that UBS has.

Neon is free and has just one card that I can use both online and for two free ATM withdrawals a month.

In addition, I’ve recently applied for the above-mentioned Swisscard Cashback duo of AMEX and VISA. So altogether I’ll hopefully have a free Mastercard debit/AMEX Credit/Visa Credit trio and 2 cash withdrawals for free. That should satisfy my domestic payment needs.

For abroad, I’m not going to bother with Swiss cards, their surcharges and currency rates, but use my European FX-free cards (exchanging currency at IBKR). If you don’t have one, Revolut seems a sensible option (which I have as well, but prefer other cards).

Cler offers online banking for their accounts - but not on their free App-only “Zak” offer.

Neon is app-only as well, and, while maybe slightly behind on some features, has a better look and feel IMO.

PS: Sorry, I might have missed your need for joint accounts and joint credit card. These are features that are not that “simple/typical” to be served by the “current cheapest day-to-day” providers but will probably limit your choice to the “legacy” banks (and in many cases exclude their least expensive offers).

I just saw that CLER actually charges separately for a debit (Maestro) card… 40CHF/year. So, multiply this by 3 cards (+3 accounts) and we get 13CHF/month… cheaper than UBS/CS, but far from free.

Neon seems to be the cheapest. Thanks for the tip. If they had desktop eBanking, I’d jump at it.

PS: A joint account is pretty typical for couples after a certain number of years (and/or kids) together…which must be >50% of the population…

Better in which terms?
Forex-wise it’s the worst choice according to the infamous Handelszeitung article

I wrote Neon a long e-mail that I completely disagree with this decision to get rid of the Maestro and took all my money away from Neon and deleted the App. In Switzerland you still need a Maestro card or Cash as many places will not accept MasterCard or Visa Card or only with an extra fee. Those are mainly small places. Bit just within the last month I came open several places where I needed a Maestro for Card Payment. (My dentist -3% with instant maestro payment, Expovina seller -10% if you pay wit Maestro/Cash, Small Store in Zurich only taking Maestro, Other Place +10% for Visa/MC, Kebab Place +1 CHF for Visa/MC. Restaurant only Maestro/Postfinance, Postoffice: Only Maestro/Postfinance etc. etc.) Also Neons Mastercard is a Prepaid Card (Bin) not Debit Card, so it will get declined in some usage scenarios.

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Instead of a joint account you could also get a joint Credit Card and share the bill after each month.

I just know that every card issuer just gave me the max. 10k limit (Topcard, Cembra, Cornercard, Postfinance). Only Swisscard for unknown reasons is always giving me strange limits like 8.5k (Amex Cashback) or 9.6k (Cashback Visa Classic)…Same for my friends. So I would say Swisscard is the worst of all the companies in terms of limits.

Or separate gratis credit cards from coop/migros/revolut

Though they might not be on the cheaper end, Viseca has better app, push notifications and better service. In cases of having problems, like fraud / unauthorized transactions, for example (as happened to a close friend who I advised). Also, better English in written communication.

Joint cards and account are, in my opinion, neither an indispensable nor a “no-frills” feature.
I’d just suggest to ask yourself if you really need them.
And then (maybe even more importantly) ask your spouse, obviously. :wink:

Actually, less than 50% of the population are married.

I actually gave Neon feedback congratulating them on their choice of Mastercard debit. And disagreed with Bank Cler with their choice of a third-party credit card (having its own separate app) instead of going with a debit card.

Why?
Because I’m having enough cards to carry around already. For simplicity’s sake. There is no reasonable justification for carrying around more than one card (using the same payment network, e.g. Mastercard), to debit from my account. Except unbundling and price discrimination by banks (“Why consolidate everything into one card, when you can charge high fees for credit cards?”). And there’s no reasonable justification for me to have a Maestro that can’t be used for online purchases, if Mastercard debit exists. And then, many sane countries haven’t had this distinction between Maestro/V PAY debit cards and Mastercard/VISA for years, but been using Mastercard and/or Visa debit as “standard” cards included with a bank account.

Bottom line: Having (separate Mastercard) Maestro cards is a thing from the past.

And while some people might still choose to live in the past (like a couple of the merchants you named) or believe they have to, I don’t. And I don’t think a modern app-controlled bank account should be the place for it.

And while admittedly, I might have worked around the issue of the post office a few times (but very have to make any payments there) and even had a lakeside outdoor restaurant in Zurich not accept card payments once and I certainly won’t dispute your experiences, they aren’t mine either. Personally, I haven’t even had nor used a Swiss Maestro card for at least five years. I usually don’t even carry cash. Migros, coop, the discount supermarket chains (including Denner) as well as the small stores and even the local kebab place I frequent accept Mastercard and VISA.

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Ok. On the other hand I haven’t ever heared about anyone having issues where any swiss card issuer or bank would not refund money lost in an unauthorized transaction.

I think that in Switzerland cash is still king. No one even blinks when someone whips out a 200CHF bill to pay for a kilo of potatoes. Far cry from a place like Sweden, but things are changing slowly.

And restricting payments to credit cards here is not an option… even Lidl only very recently started accepting credit cards in Switzerland, and many small retailers still do not (and, as observed, many small ones accept only cash).

Also, who said anything about being married? A joint account or credit card isn’t some complex niche derivatives product, it is a standard offer by banks the world over and is a useful tool for managing joint expenses for those of us who have met that special someone… I’m sure that even some of these new banks targeting the Gen Y/Z demographic will start offering them eventually.

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I’m not some kind of Maestro freak, I also think it’s a thing of the past, but it just doesn’t reflect reality in Switzerland outside of big cities and large chains. The same goes for other countries e.g. Germany and the Netherlands. Revolut and N26 both offer Maestro cards, because this is a real problem. (see here: https://community.revolut.com/t/optional-maestro-card/2078)

It’s not like you can force a place to accept MasterCard, you can only choose to not go there or not to consume anything if you are already there and hope to force a chain that way if you are not the only one. Or in some cases (like Swiss Post) you cannot do anything.

But I have to add that I don’t have any use for another Mastercard without any kind of Cashback or Reward. (other than withdrawing cash at the ATM) Why would you ever use the Neon Mastercard if you have 5 other free cards with 0.33 - 1.0% cashback… That’s why the Neon decision is only a step backward for me.

Card acceptance in Germany has also considerably improved over the last few years, after the EU interchange regulation, especially for Visa and Mastercard. Netherlands not too much for MC/VISA but they are a special case (due to their current domestic fee structure). So when traveling there, I do carry my Revolut Maestro as backup. Still, in Germany you might run into the occasional girocard-only merchant (domestic scheme) - not, more commonly, cash-only places. And the cash think is true in Switzerland as well.

Anyways, merchants that do accept Maestro but not Mastercard/VISA have become an absolute rarity to encounter in day-to-day life. More likely even that they are cash-only (also due to minimum amount policy they might have). I will rather use or withdraw cash as backup in these cases.

Free withdrawals. And I can still pay things elsewhere (including online) if I need to. So Swisscard or my VISA (in absence of AMEX acceptance) are no single point of failure.

@chca have you considered Raffeisen? If you take part in their co-op, your account fees will be lower, in 2-3 years it is already worth it!

Neon + Raiffeisen Coop works fine for me. For EUR transactions I use my Revolut card.

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