The Best Phone Plans in Switzerland in 2021

Mr. The Poor Swiss | Updated: | Save, Switzerland
The Best Phone Plan in Switzerland for different users

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

Update: Fully updated as of August 2020! Plans have become even cheaper than before!

We can agree that everybody wants to pay as little as possible for their phone bills. Even though you may think your current phone plan is the cheapest available, there could be new deals since you started using your plan. It is always essential to keep up to date with the latest offers.

The Swiss Phone plan market is quite diverse these days. Fifteen years ago, it was almost only Swisscom, and everybody was content with it. Now, many other providers are using one of the three major networks.

In this post, I am going to compare the phone plans and prepaid cards for seven standard phone usages. For each of them, I will show the cheapest options available. Keep reading if you want to save money on your phone bill!

Prepaid vs Plan

You have two options to pay for your phone bills:

  1. A proper plan where you pay month after month based on what you used.
  2. A prepaid card where you have to charge your card in advance.

Most people prefer to use a plan because it is much easier. Having a plan means that you will always be able to use your phone. On the contrary, if you use a prepaid card and you forget to charge your card, you may be prevented from using your phone.

Using a prepaid card is a bit more work. But it may be cheaper. Before I did the first version of this post, I was opposed to using a prepaid card. But this is too lazy. I know I have the discipline to charge my phone every month. Therefore, I will consider using a prepaid card if it is a cheaper option for me.

Which mobile phone network?

In Switzerland, there are three large mobile networks:

  1. Swisscom
  2. Salt
  3. Sunrise

They are all operating their own devices and antennas. Each prepaid or plan is operating on some specific network.

In the beginning, the Swisscom network was by far the best in Switzerland. Today, Sunrise and Swisscom are probably on a draw. However, it is challenging to find an unbiased comparison of these networks today. Most of the comparisons available are made by network providers and, as such, are biased.

I am using the Swisscom network. I always had excellent coverage and excellent internet speed. About ten years ago, I had the Sunrise network for a bit less than two years. I was very dissatisfied with the network at that time and quickly moved back to the Swisscom network. Today, I would not want to change the network. But I am biased as well.

These days, non-Swisscom networks have become much better. For most people, any network should work just fine.

Your Phone Usage

Now, there is no single plan or prepaid card that is cheapest for each possible case. You need to know your usage of your phone:

  • How many SMS and MMS per month?
  • How many calls per month?
  • The length of these calls in minutes?
  • How many MB of data per month?

If you do not know this, you can look at your last three phone bills and make the average of your usage. This average should be enough to give you an idea of how much you need on average. Generally, you should round minutes higher. A 1 minute 30 seconds call should be counted as two minutes. This rounding is how operators are counting for the price.

For each of the cases, I will list the main cheapest options. For the sake of comparison, I will exclude youth offers and special offers from the pack. If the same provider has several options in the top three, I will generally take the best one. It would not make sense to take the other one anyway. Finally, I will compare the monthly price of the offers. Since we are talking about long-term usage here, I did not include activation fees.

My Phone Usage

I checked my phone bills for the last four months, and I came up with this average usage:

  • 1 SMS per month
  • 0 MMS per month
  • 8 calls per month with about 28 minutes in total
  • 600 MB per month of mobile data (can be tuned down to 500 MB easily)

I realize that I am not a very common user. Indeed, most people use their phones a lot more than I do. For instance, most people use several gigabytes (GB) of data every month. I do not like using my phone. And generally, I use mobile data when I have Wifi at home and at the gym. Unfortunately, I do not have Wifi at work. Otherwise, I would be able to keep below 100 MB.

User 1: Mr. The Poor Swiss

Let’s start the first case with my case: 1 SMS per month, 8 calls per month, about 4 minutes per call, and 500 MB of mobile data.

Here are the three cheapest options:

  1. Lidl Connect Smart Prepaid (prepaid, Salt network): 9.80 CHF per month
    1. With Data Package 500MB
  2. Mucho Duo Micro (prepaid, Swisscom network): 10.05 CHF per month
  3. Coop Mobile Prepaid (prepaid, Swisscom network): 10.50 CHF per month
    1. With Surf Package and 15 Cents package

For me, the best offer would be the Lidl Connect Smart Prepaid offer. At only 9.80 CHF per month, it is very cheap.

As you can see, for my usage, there are options at less than 10 CHF per month. It is really impressive. A lot of people spend much more than that. I used to spend more than double that.

For very light phone users, prepaid plans are shining. Plans do not even come close to be interesting for such small usages.

I currently do not have the best offer since I have the Coop Mobile Prepaid and not the Lidl offer. However, I will not change because there is a significant advantage to Coop Mobile Prepaid. Indeed, the packs have no duration. So, if you buy a pack of 1GB of data, you can use it for a long-time. So, if you use less data for one month, you can save data in the next month. Most packs have a 30-day duration. This advantage makes the Coop Mobile Prepaid offer excellent.

User 2: Light Phone User

But most people use their phones more than me. Let’s see what happens with a more realistic small user:

  • 50 SMS per month
  • 60 minutes per month (12 times 5 minutes calls)
  • 1 GB of data

I think this is pretty much a basic user in Switzerland.

Here are the three cheapest options for this user:

  1. Aldi Suisse Mobile Smart S (Prepaid, Sunrise network): 14.90 CHF per month
  2. Yallo All in 15 (Prepaid, Sunrise network): 15 CHF per month
  3. Mucho Duo Mini (prepaid, Swisscom network): 17.90 CHF per month
  4. Talk Talk 20 (plan, Sunrise network): 19.95 CHF per month
  5. Lidl Connect Smart Abo (plan, Salt network): 19.95 CHF per month

This time, the best option is from Aldi. It seems that German discounters have great phone plans.

Interestingly, the Mucho option is only 3 CHF more expensive per month but offers 2GB per month, whereas the others have only slightly more than 1GB.

User 3: Medium User

Let’s take it up a notch with our third user:

  • 100 SMS per month
  • 240 minutes of calls (24 times 10 minutes calls)
  • 2 GB of data

Here are the three best options:

  1. Aldi Suisse Mobile Smart S (Prepaid, Sunrise network): 14.90 CHF per month
  2. Talk Talk EU & US (plan, Sunrise network): 19.95 CHF per month
  3. Lidl Connect Smart Abo (plan, Salt network): 19.95 CHF per month

And once again, Aldi is shining in the first place! The prepaid offer from Aldi is outstanding. And for the first time, a plan is coming in the top three. At less than 20 CHF per month, a plan is already an excellent deal here.

User 4: Heavy Data user

Our user 4 uses the same as user 3, but with more data:

  • 100 SMS per month
  • 240 minutes of calls (24 times 10 minutes calls)
  • 5 GB of data

Let’s see what the options for this user are:

  1. Lidl Connect Smart Abo (plan, Salt network): 19.95 CHF per month
  2. Aldi Suisse Mobile Smart M (prepaid, Sunrise Network): 24.90 CHF per month
  3. Mucho Duo Swiss (prepaid, Swisscom network): 24.90 CHF per month

We find Lidl and Adli again with their great offers. For the first time, a plan is the best offer. The Lidl Connect plan is an excellent value.

User 5: Heavier Data only user

User 5 only uses mobile data, no calls, and no SMS. This usage is not uncommon since you can easily use internet apps for calls and messages. Our user 5 uses 10 GB of data per month.

Here are the three cheapest options for user 5:

  1. Sunrise Mobile Internet Start (Plan, Sunrise network): 9 CHF per month
    • Only 2Mbps internet download speed
  2. Sunrise Mobile Internet Comfort (Plan, Sunrise network): 19 CHF per month
    1. 10Mbps internet download speed
  3. Mucho Ultra 19 (Prepaid, Swisscom network): 19 CHF per month
    1. 15Mbps internet download speed
  4. Salt Surf 50 GB (Plan, Salt network): 24.95 CHF per month
    1. 150Mbps internet download speed

Now, we can see that the first option is much cheaper than the others. However, the speed is very low. It is highly unlikely that a heavy user of mobile data would want such a low speed.

The Sunrise option is already five times faster and only 10 CHF more per month. So, it is a great option. But if you want something fast, the Salt Surf plan is less than 25 CHF per month and has high-speed internet.

User 6: Unlimited Data only user

Now, some people need even more data. Our user 5 needs 500 GB per month on its phone. Granted, this is not unlimited. But who uses more than that per month on a freaking phone?

So, here are three options:

  1. Sunrise Mobile Internet Start (Plan, Sunrise network): 9 CHF per month
    • Only 2Mbps internet download speed
  2. Sunrise Mobile Internet Comfort (Plan, Sunrise network): 19 CHF per month
    1. 10Mbps internet download speed
  3. Salt Surf Unlimited (Plan, Salt Network): 35 CHF per month
    1. 150Mbps internet download speed

Once again, I believe that no one would like the first options. It is simply too slow. But the other two options have a very reasonable price for unlimited usage. A few years ago, we would have had to pay twice more than that for unlimited plans.

User 7: Frequent User Roaming

Roaming is costly in Switzerland. You have to be careful about that. Unfortunately, I do not know of a very good comparator for Roaming. Moreover, the roaming rates are different for every country. So it is challenging to compare different plans without having an exact situation.

When I travel to other countries, my strategy is straightforward: I let my phone in airplane mode the whole time. If I find a Wifi, I will use it, but otherwise, I will not allow myself to use any data. I think that most people can disconnect from their phone, it could do them some good.

For this comparison, I used the Frequent User profile from moneyland (more on that later) with France as a destination. For Switzerland, this user has the same national usage as the user 3. The Frequent Profile is as follows:

  • 38 calls from Switzerland while abroad
  • 1.4 GB of mobile data while abroad
  • 38 calls to Switzerland while abroad, 2.5 minutes per call
  • 38 calls to France while in France, 2.5 minutes per call

I think it is already quite a heavy usage of Roaming. Here are the three cheapest options for this usage:

  1. Aldi Suisse Mobile Smart S (prepaid, Sunrise network): 14.90 CHF per month + 118.50 CHF per year = 24.75 CHF per month
  2. Lidl Connect Smart Abo (Plan, Salt network): 19.95 CHF per month + 117.10 CHF per year: 29.70 CHF per month
  3. Talk Talk EU & US (Plan, Sunrise Network): 19.95 CHF per month + 132.30 per year = 31 CHF per month
    • With Data Booster 500MB option
  4. Mucho Duo Swiss (prepaid, Swisscom network): 24.90 CHF per month + 84.35 per year = 31.95 per month
    • With Talk Mini Roam and Data Mini Roam packages

We can see that that this makes it significantly more expensive than User 3. However, it is more reasonable than I thought. I would not have thought that prepaid plans were interesting for Roaming.

If you want better accuracy for Roaming, you will have to know to which country you are going. Then, you will need to know how often and how much usage you will need. Real usage is not easy to estimate.

Of course, the best course of action is not to use Roaming!

Best prepaid for light users: Coop Mobile

My favorite prepaid offer is the Coop Mobile Prepaid. The base prices are fair:

  • 0.29 CHF per minute on call
  • 0.15 CHF per SMS

But the great thing about this offer is the plans that Coop Mobile Prepaid has!

  • The 15 Cents offer that gives 100 units of calls and SMS (1 SMS = 1 unit and 1 minute of call = 1 unit) at 15 CHF
  • Surf 250: 250MB at 4.90 CHF
  • Surf 750: 750MB at 9.90 CHF
  • Surf 1500: 1500MB at 14.90 CHF

The best thing about these offers is that they do not have an expiration date. So, you can buy a pack and use it for a year if you want. So, this is the best prepaid offer for light users, like me.

I currently have the Coop Mobile Prepaid offer, and I am pleased with it. Since I started using it, I have used an average of 5 CHF per month!

Having a cheap phone plan is one of the ways I am using to save a lot of money in Switzerland. But there are others!

Best Overall Plan: Lidl Connect Smart Abo

My favorite phone plan is the Lidl Connect Smart Abo plan. It gives you unlimited SMS and calls and 5 GB of data per month. It only costs 19.95 CHF per month. And at the time of this writing, there is an offer to get it at 14.95 CHF per month.

The only thing I do not like about this plan is that it is on the Salt network. But if you are not a purist like me, this network should be perfectly fine for you.

Phone Plans Comparators

Moneyland Comparators

Moneyland offers independent comparators for many services: telecom, mortgages, insurances!

Find exactly what you need with Moneyland!

I know two comparators in Switzerland for mobile prepaid and plans.

The first one and the best one is the mobile comparator from moneyland. You can configure all the numbers precisely, and the results are detailed. This comparator is the one I have used for most of the comparisons in this post. The problem is that they are considering many offers that are only valid for some time. And the way they compare it is using the activation costs and one-time costs. I much prefer to see the long-time costs.

The second comparator is the mobile comparator from comparis. It is also good, but it is much more limited in the parameters you can use. You cannot tune it to your needs. Indeed, if you know your average usage, you are much better off using the one from moneyland. However, it never hurts to use two comparators.

Conclusion

I have to say that I am surprised by the results of the comparison. Over the last decade, phone plans and prepaid offers have become much more affordable.

I remember when I was young, and a Swisscom unlimited plan was costing 69 CHF per month, and it was not considered that bad. Fortunately, we have many more options now.

We can see that there is a lot of competition in this field. There are many actors. And even German discounters, Lidl and Aldi, offer excellent mobile plans.

If you have never considered prepaid before, I strongly encourage you to do so now. There are many great options, and they can be much cheaper than phone plans.

And you should not forget to rethink your plans every few years. For instance, the Lid Connect Smart Abo was not in the first version of this article. But it is now an excellent plan. But you should not change every year since you would then pay heavy activation fees.

If you are in the best value for money, you may also be interested in the best internet plans in Switzerland.

What about you? Which phone plan or prepaid card do you use?

Mr. The Poor Swiss is the author behind thepoorswiss.com. In 2017, he realized that he was falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation. He decided to cut on his expenses and increase his income. This blog is relating his story and findings. In 2019, he is saving more than 50% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.

53 thoughts on “The Best Phone Plans in Switzerland in 2021”

  1. What’s the best mobile/smart phone sim card to get for someone from the UK, who has residency in Lausanne, Switzerland for work, and theoretically consumes the following:

    Calls: 100 mins
    SMS: 100 texts
    Data: 100GB internet (video calls, conferencing)

    France is across Lake Leman, so sometimes I my phone picks up a signal from Orange France, and I don’t know whether I will be charged local or roaming rates when that happens!

  2. I think yallo swype is a great option too. You can get unlimited data, calls and sms for just 20 CHF per month. I like the flexibility of not being limited.

    1. Hi Kristopher, I am considering Yallo Swype and would like to know what you think about its network. Are Swype connections reliable (e.g. for video calls)? Also, I read online that you may be tricked into viewing ads, and if you click on the ads, you will be charged. Have you had such experience?

      1. Hello Leo,

        Swype uses the Sunrise network which is one of the most reliable ones in my opinion. And no, I had no experience with being tricked into watching ads.

  3. Hi,

    I’ve collected some providers about available Swiss and international/traveler SIM cards. You can find Hungarian also but probably it isn’t relevant for most of you.
    I focus on prepaid versions because I’m living in Hungary until I get a job in Switzerland. By the way do you have any information about which service provider doesn’t allow tethering?
    Link for my spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15sX2cDsIhYSD2akIRau52zKsW3jjVAb4f2bwHSHGcAM/edit?usp=sharing

    I recommend mobile hotspot (MiFi) device for SIM card what you want to use only for internet. It could reduce hustle and you don’t need a phone with dual SIM or you can use the secondary SIM slot for other purpose.
    Smartphone vs MiFi (explanation and comparison) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak7LGtt7eWY

    1. Hi Roy,

      Nice job! Thanks for sharing!

      Using a MiFi for your laptop or desktop computer is indeed a good idea and more practical than use the smartphone.

      I have no idea about the usage of tethering in Switzerland.

      Which are you using now?

      1. Hi Mr. The Poor Swiss,

        Actually I’m still living in Hungary because I haven’t received job offer in Switzerland yet.
        Currently we are using Netfone family pack (free call between each other, amount of monthly fee can use for calling) with prepaid Telekom (data package without expiration available) to extend when required.

  4. I bought a sim card from ebay from the Uk Three network for 53gbp. It has 24GB of data and allows me to roam here and within the EU for 2 years. I’m not sure if that will continue to work in the future though, but for now it’s super cheap for data. The trick is to find a sim card that you can activate in Switzerland, some of the UK sim cards can only be activated within the UK and then used in the rest of the EU. I’ve read that if you use the same strategy for French cards you have to activate within France as well.

    For calling I’m using my office number since I arrived here 3 years ago. I’m planning to get a coop pre paid plan for my child since he is expected to have very minimal usage.

    1. Hi Newt,

      Thanks a lot for sharing!
      It’s really good to know that sometimes it’s not possible to activate it in Switzerland. It makes sense from a UK point of view, but I would not have thought of that!

  5. Good article.

    For the type of user as yourself, 10 calls or less, around 0.5-1 GB data, I highly recommend a two SIM card setup as mentioned by some other replies.

    I am a similar user. Here is my setup:

    Calling: Swisscom prepaid 0.89c/h
    I go with prepaid Swisscom for calling. The great thing is, I do not call ofthen but when I do, with swisscom prepaid, I can talk for one hour per call for 0.89 cents (Rappen), so I have no problem making a couple of longer phone calls that last 1h or more without to fear really high cost per call!

    Data: Lycamobile 500MB/3.25 CHF
    On the second Sim card I go with the prepaid Lycamobile Data bundle. The website is poor, the handling of recharge and bundle activation a pain but the price is unbeatable for people with known/good estimated Data usage per month.

    1. Hi Vincent,

      Thanks a lot for sharing your setup :)

      That sounds like a great deal! This would take me below 5 CHF per month.

      I will have to consider this option next year. I will have to see if my cheap Android can handle two SIM cards nicely.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I am an ‘unlimited’ data user and for me the best is yallo (Sunrise network). I pay 24 chf per month for unlimited 4G data, calls and sms but I only really need the data.

    Most of the time yallo has these 50% off “deals” that last forever.

    Before I had yallo internet at home for 19 chf month but this required a special sim card that couldnt be used for calls and sms so I had to that 2 sim cards in my phone. This was a problem because I also have a prepaid european sim card that I use when I travel to EU (for cheap data). It was a bit of a hassle to swap sim cards so now I have only 1 swiss and 1 EU sim and both are in the phone at the same time.

  7. What‘s the most interesting about Lycamobile, in my opinion, is that it is very flexible due to having no contracts. Since there is Wi-Fi at both home and office, I don’t need to buy any bundles. When I go hiking on weekends, I buy Surf Daily Swiss (1.5CHF per day, unlimited and high speed). By this way, the sum of my phone bill for last 3 months is less than 25 CHF.

    1. Hi Ren,

      That’s a good point. When you do not need much internet, a prepaid plan without contract is the best option. I am currently using Coop Mobile Prepaid and I have paid only 35 CHF in the last 6 months.

      Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hi,

    Thank you for your very informative blog. I recently moved to Switzerland and trying to save money as well as to start some investment. I have been digging into your past posts, really helpful!

    I am using Swisscom prepaid plan. In last 6 months I only topped up 30 CHF (including the balance of 20 CHF came with the SIM purchase. A SIM costs 20 CHF).

    I have chosen not to take any monthly package, I don’t need to pay anything if I don’t use my mobile phone. Their tariffs are:
    CHF 0.29/min for calls
    0.15/SMS within Switzerland and abroad
    2.–/day to surf in Switzerland

    These days I hardly go out, so I don’t really need to use data outside, also no need for calls.

    I am very happy to have a premium provider with a low expense!

    1. Hi Hiro,

      I am glad you find my posts useful!

      Wow, that’s a better offer than I thought. 2 CHF per day you use mobile data is really not that bad. I generally use it a few days per week so it would be more expensive for me than Coop Mobile.
      But this is a great offer if you want to watch videos for instance. And as you said, it’s a premium provider at a great price!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Thanks for the article !

    On my side I have the Salt Smart plan which I pay 20.- per month thanks to an offer and it includes eveything (call, sms, internet). Unfortunately there is no roaming included.

    Thanks to this plan I can benefit from Salt Fiber at 40.- per month which is really great.

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