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What is the Best Swiss Bank in 2024?

Baptiste Wicht | Updated: |

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

Unless you live entirely off the grid and get paid in cash, you need a bank account. But which Swiss Bank should you choose?

There are tons of Swiss banks. After all, Switzerland is the country of  banks. However, contrary to popular belief, Swiss banks are not great!

Most Swiss banks are costly and offer poor service. You can find much cheaper and better banks in other countries. Fortunately, this situation is improving with new banks trying to break the status quo.

Which is the Best Swiss Bank in 2023? But first, let’s consider how to choose a bank!

How to choose a bank?

You can use many criteria to compare banks. We see the most important parameters. Of course, your needs may be different from mine. So, the best Swiss bank for me may not be the best for you!

The parameters will also depend on what you need. But here are the things most people need from a bank:

  • A checking account to get their salary.
  • A debit card to withdraw cash when you cannot use your credit card.
  • Possibly, a savings account. But not everybody needs one. I have not used one in years.

You will also need a credit card. However, the best credit cards are not the ones you can get from a bank! I would encourage you to have a separate credit card from your bank account. If you do not know which one to choose, you can read about the best credit cards in Switzerland. So, for our comparison of banks, we will ignore credit cards.

The Base Price

First, you need to consider the price of the bank account. These days, you can find free bank accounts in Switzerland. So there is no reason to pay anything for a bank account!

You need to be aware that some Swiss banks have conditions that make it free. For instance, my current bank, Migros Bank, used to be free only as long as I had 7500 CHF in my bank account (this fee has since been waived). These limitations were not an issue for me, as I generally keep about 10,000 CHF on my account. But it could be an issue for people having less than that.

So, before you choose a bank account, you need to know how much you will keep in your account.

The price of features

The base price of a bank account is essential, but we should also consider the prices of the features.

First, you want a free debit card. You can find several banks with free debit cards, so there is no reason to pay for a debit card! You should not use it too much, of course. You should only use it to withdraw money. And you can use it if you cannot use a credit card.

Of course, you want to be able to do bank transfers in Switzerland for free! You do not want to pay extra money to pay your bills! You will also need bank transfers to send money to your broker (Interactive Brokers, for instance).

You may want cheap bank transfers in Europe in euros. This feature is not mandatory since you generally do not want to use your bank account for this. For this, you probably want to use Neon to save on fees and bad conversion rates.

Finally, you want to be able to withdraw some cash for free! There are always some cases where you will need cash, and you do not want to have to pay to get some money!

The security of the bank

Even if you do not keep much money in your bank account, you want your money to be safe.

For that, you should keep your money in a Swiss bank account. All Swiss bank accounts are insured for up to 100’000 CHF. If your bank goes bankrupt, you still get your money back.

You must ensure the money is kept in an institution with a Swiss banking license. You should not consider small startups that may not yet have a banking license.

If you are serious about security, learn how to secure your online finances!

Access to the bank services

For this one, it will highly depend on you. You need to decide how much access you want to your bank account.

Some people want an actual office with people in case they have an issue. I do not care about that. But that is not the case for everybody!

And also, sometimes, people want a local bank. They feel like they can trust a regional bank more. We have plenty of cantonal banks in Switzerland, and people seem to like them. This would be one of the last points I would use to compare the two banks. But if you want, that is something you can consider! I prefer to look at the ATMs of that bank rather than the bank itself.

Some people want a mobile application, and some, like me, prefer a web application. If you want a mobile or web application, you may want to ensure it works well, but you do not need to use your bank application a lot.

I use my bank account monthly to pay all my bills. Except for that time, I rarely check my bank account. As long as I can do that relatively quickly, I do not care how to do that. But I want to be able to do that from home.

But some people check their bank accounts daily. For these people, it is essential to have a powerful application that works well. If you are one of these people, I encourage you to find reviews of bank mobile apps and maybe demos so that you can get a feel for them.

One important thing is where you can withdraw money for free! The lack of ATMs was a big issue for me with Postfinance. There were no ATMs close to where I worked or lived where I could withdraw cash for free. This could be vital if you withdraw money often!

Features of the bank

Finally, the least important thing about a bank is its features.

You do not need anything fancy with your bank. For instance, I only use four features with my bank:

  • Getting my salary in.
  • Paying my bills by scanning them with my phone or computer.
  • Transfer money to my broker.
  • Withdraw cash from time to time.

That is it! And I do not think that people need any more features than that.

But if you need it, you could consider a few things.

One thing many people want to have is electronic bills. I do not like them. Using electronic bills will bind you with a bank. And that is bad. You want to be able to change to a new bank very easily. But some people like it and cannot live with it. So you could use that as an argument.

Some people also want to transfer transactions to their fancy budgeting tools, such as YNAB or Personal Capital. Once again, I do not think this is useful. You do not need any fancy budgeting tool. You need a simple spreadsheet. And you can even have some budget applications for free! I do not understand people willing to pay for a budgeting tool.

Managing your budget with a simple spreadsheet will take you fifteen minutes a month! But if you want, this could limit your bank choice. I do not think it is a good argument, but that is up to you!

Some banks have even more features than that. Some banks try to do your budget for you, for instance. Some banks have features to automate bank transfers between accounts. But do you need that? Ultimately, deciding which feature is worth it will be up to you.

The two Best Swiss Banks

Based on these arguments, here are the two best Swiss banks in 2022:

  • Neon is the best digital Swiss Bank.
  • Migros Bank is a good traditional Swiss Bank.

I decided to choose one digital bank and one standard bank. Because some people do not yet want to move to a digital bank, I can understand them. And as it turns out, there are still some great Swiss Banks!

Furthermore, digital banks currently have more limitations. So, it still makes sense to have a traditional bank account.

And, of course, there are other Swiss banks than these two. And some of them are pretty good. But I would rather not give you a list of too many banks. That would be a waste of time for you and me! There is more value in a shorter list with two good banks.

The Best Digital Swiss Bank in 2022: Neon

Best App to Pay, Save and Invest
Neon
5.0

All the services you need to pay, save and invest, in a neat package, with extremely good prices!

Use the poorswiss code to receive 30 CHF in trading credits and your card for free!

Pros:
  • Pay abroad for free
  • Invest with great fees
Use the poorswiss code Read my review

Neon is an entirely digital bank. That means they do not have any office that you can walk in. Of course, they have some form of customer service. But all your operations will need to go through the mobile app.

Neon does not offer a Maestro card. Instead, it provides a Mastercard prepaid card. You can use this card where you usually use a Maestro card, but there are some exceptions in places that only accept Maestro cards.

Since 2024, neon supports a joint account, neon duo. They are the first digital joint account of Switzerland. I will not go into too much detail since the features and fees are slightly different, but this is a great feature for many people looking for a good joint account.

Given its wide range of features and low price, Neon is currently the best digital Swiss bank.

If you enter the code “poorswiss” during registration, you will receive the card for free and get 30 CHF in trading credits once you use your account. And I will get 10 CHF as well.

The Base Price

Price is where Neon excels! The base price of a checking account with Neon is entirely free! That’s right. You will not pay any management fees! And you do not need a specific amount of money on your account for this to be valid!

Not all operations are free. For instance, you will still have to pay to transfer money abroad or receive money in foreign currencies, but these are exceptional events.

The price of features

The price of features at Neon is also excellent! Pricing is where Neon shines compared to other Swiss banks.

You can make free payments in CHF in Switzerland. These payments are for all our bills and money transfers!

With your Mastercard, you can purchase things online and abroad in foreign currencies for free! These free purchases abroad are probably one of the most significant advantages of Neon.

If you transfer money abroad from Neon, you will profit from their partnership with Wise. So, you will also pay very low fees for transferring money to other countries.

Neon does not offer a Maestro card. Instead, it provides a MasterCard. This is different from most Swiss banks. But Neon offers the MasterCard for free! However, you may have to use cash in places that only accept Maestro.

You can also use your Neon card with Google Pay. So you can pay in many shops.

Finally, you can also withdraw money at any ATM for free! However, you only have two free ATM withdrawals per month. After this, you will have to pay 2 CHF for each withdrawal. If you are like me and trying to avoid cash, you should be more than okay with two monthly withdrawals. I generally withdraw money less than once a month.

The safety of the bank

All Swiss bank accounts are insured for up to 100’000 CHF. But Neon is not a bank. However, your funds are deposited in your name with the Hypothekarbank Lenzburg bank. This bank has a Swiss banking license.

So, as long as you do not have over 100’000 CHF, your money is fully insured!

Access to The Bank

Neon Mobile Application
Neon Mobile Application

Access to the features of the bank is entirely on your phone. That means that your bank is always in your pocket!

You can use all ATMs in Switzerland to withdraw money, which is great because this is not the case for many banks!

Another great thing is that the website is entirely translated into all national languages and English! The application itself is also available in English! If you are an ex-pat and do not yet speak one of the national languages, this could be very important to you!

Finally, customer service is available by email and by phone. But you will not be able to talk to people in person since they do not have offices for the customers.

Features

Your balance on the Neon Application
Your balance on the Neon Application

Overall, Neon has more than enough features for most people. The mobile application is excellent and very easy to use.

You can scan your bills with your phone to get the reference number! This feature can save you a lot of time, but nowadays, it is almost present in all mobile banking applications.

Also, you can easily download account statements in PDF. This feature is essential if you want to archive them! You can also receive an SMS notification when something happens to your account. This feature could be helpful.

Neon is also the only digital Swiss bank with support for e-bills. On top of that, Neon has a few extra features. For instance, you can send money directly to other Neon users.

A good traditional Swiss Bank in 2022: Migros Bank

Migros Bank is the Best Standard Swiss Bank
Migros Bank is the Best Standard Swiss Bank

If you prefer a standard brick-and-mortar Swiss Bank, Migros Bank is an interesting option. I am using Migros Bank as my main bank account.

I would not say Migros Bank is the best traditional bank because it has some significant issues (mostly its apps). However, options in traditional banks are not great.

You can get both individual and joint accounts with Migros Bank. The conditions are the same.

One thing you need to be aware of is that the application is not available in English. If you are an ex-pat and do not speak one of our national languages, I recommend going with Neon instead.

The Base Price

We start with the base price. Checking and savings accounts are free.

The price of features

Most of the features you use are free with Migros Bank.

First, you can make payments for free in CHF in Switzerland. So you can pay your bills and transfer money for free!

The Visa debit card is free. You must pay 30 CHF per year if you want an additional card. Their credit cards are not free either. But they are not great, so you do not wish to use them anyway!

Withdrawing money in all the places I mentioned before is free of charge. You can withdraw money as many times per month as you want! But if you want to withdraw from another ATM, you will pay 2 CHF per withdrawal.

However, SEPA payments in euros are not free! You will pay 0.30 CHF per payment in EUR abroad. I think this fee is a bit disappointing. But it should not be an issue if you do not get too many incoming payments.

You should not use the Migros Bank card to make payments abroad. They will be costly. Neon is much better for this.

The safety of the bank

Migros Bank is a licensed Swiss bank. As such, your money is protected for up to 100’000 CHF. This protection is the best security you can get for your money in Switzerland.

Access to The Bank

Since Migros Bank is a standard brick-and-mortar Swiss bank, you can access its service in offices. That means you can do transactions in the office and get customer support there. Actual customer support is the main difference with a fully digital bank.

There are plenty of Migros Bank offices in Switzerland. If you live in a city, you should have access to one. Otherwise, the nearest town should have one!

And, of course, you will also have access to the bank services through the Migros Bank mobile application. And they also have a desktop application for Windows and Mac.

Finally, if you want to withdraw money, you have many choices! You can withdraw cash with your Migros Bank debit card in:

  • Migros Bank offices
  • Migros shops
  • Migrolino shops
  • Migrol shops
  • Denner shops

This list makes up many places where you can withdraw money! It takes time to get used to it since people are used to withdrawing cash from banks. But now, I always withdraw money in Migros shops.

Features

Migros Bank application
Migros Bank application

For features, nothing is missing with Migros Bank.

All the basic features are here. You can get report statements in PDF, scan bills with your phone, and access electronic bills (e-bills).

However, the mobile application of Migros is much worse than the mobile app of Neon. It is not intuitive at all. And it does not look good at all, either.

The biggest problem is what they call two-factor authentication. You need a second computer, mobile phone, or tablet with the application to validate transfers from the main. This limitation is a big issue for me because my computer runs Linux. And Migros Bank does not support Linux!

For me, this system is a big concern with Migros Bank. I had to install the application on my wife’s phone to use it. It is terrible! If you do not have two phones or a tablet and a phone, you cannot use Migros. Even if you install it on your computer, you must still install it on your phone to confirm transactions.

In 2023, they have released a new version of their apps and it actually made everything worse. They even had to delay the upgrade because they add too many issues.

Swiss Banks Summary

We can summarize our findings with this comparison table of the best Swiss banks:

Best Digital Bank
Good traditional bank
5.0
4.0
Free
Free
  • Pay abroad for free
  • Transfer money abroad for a good fee
  • Everything from your phone
  • Good mobile application
  • High limits
  • Good withdrawals
  • Can deposit cash easily
  • Mobile and desktop applications
  • Cannot deposit cash easily
  • Mobile-only
  • Expensive purchases abroad
  • Expensive transfers abroad
  • Poor mobile app
Best Digital Bank
5.0
Free
  • Pay abroad for free
  • Transfer money abroad for a good fee
  • Everything from your phone
  • Good mobile application
  • Cannot deposit cash easily
  • Mobile-only
Good traditional bank
4.0
Free
  • High limits
  • Good withdrawals
  • Can deposit cash easily
  • Mobile and desktop applications
  • Expensive purchases abroad
  • Expensive transfers abroad
  • Poor mobile app

And here are the compared fees of both banks:

Bank Neon Migros
Management fees 0 CHF 0 CHF
Incoming transfer 0 CHF 0 CHF
SEPA payment 0 CHF 0.30 CHF
Foreign currency or abroad payment About 0.4% About 2.0%
Foreign currency transfer About 0.8% About 2.0%

Alternatives

Of all the banks I considered, these two were the best.

There is one group of banks we need to mention: cantonal banks. Cantonal banks are generally providing great value for money. I did not mention any cantonal bank in this article because they are, by definition, local banks. I would have to make one article per canton.

But for instance, the Zuger Kantonalbank provides excellent value, and so does the Freiburg Kantonalbank from my canton, Fribourg. You can read my Zürcher Kantonal Bank review for an example.

I have also reviewed other brick-and-mortar banks, such as Raiffeisen and PostFinance. And I also compared some other digital banks like Yapeal and Yuh. But they are not as good as Neon or Migros. If you want me to compare other Swiss banks, let me know in the comments below, and I will see what I can do.

What about the most famous Swiss banks: UBS (my UBS review) and Credit Suisse? These banks are not bad, but they are expensive. I do not believe they provide enough value to justify their price. So, you can get much better value for your money by using the two best Swiss banks I have outlined in this article.

Conclusion

Best App to Pay, Save and Invest
Neon
5.0

All the services you need to pay, save and invest, in a neat package, with extremely good prices!

Use the poorswiss code to receive 30 CHF in trading credits and your card for free!

Pros:
  • Pay abroad for free
  • Invest with great fees
Use the poorswiss code Read my review

The best Swiss bank is currently Neon. And a good traditional bank is Migros Bank.

The choice of a Swiss bank currently boils down to whether you want a digital bank. If you want a Digital Swiss Bank, you can go with Neon. If you prefer a Swiss Bank with an office, choose Migros Bank.

These Swiss Banks are cheap and offer a good amount of features.

I use both banks. I was with Migros Bank before discovering Neon. Then, I opened a Neon account to test it, and I like it. I pay all my bills on my Neon account.

Today, I would probably use Neon as my primary bank account if I had to choose. The main advantage is the mobile app, which is ten times better. However, there are a few things that keep me at Migros:

  1. The limits of Neon. Generally, 30’000 CHF per day should be more than enough. But there are some cases where I had to do larger transfers than this, for instance, for my downpayment. So, this limit could be a blocker for some people.
  2. The fact that my mortgage is at Migros Bank.

Overall, Neon is much better than Migros Bank for me, mainly because of the issues I have with the Migros Mobile Application.

Learn more about these Swiss banks with my detailed reviews:

If you want to create an account at Neon, do not forget to enter the code “poorswiss” during registration. You will receive 10 CHF once you start using your account. And I will get 10 CHF as well.

What about you? Which of these two Swiss Banks do you prefer?

The best financial services for your money!

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Photo of Baptiste Wicht

Baptiste Wicht started thepoorswiss.com in 2017. He realized that he was falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation. He decided to cut his expenses and increase his income. This blog is relating his story and findings. Since 2019, he has been 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.

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144 thoughts on “What is the Best Swiss Bank in 2024?”

  1. from the neon website FAQ (translated)

    “What if neon goes bankrupt?

    We don’t plan on that, but it’s not a problem for you. Since your account is managed by Hypothekarbank Lenzburg (and not by neon), your money remains untouched. Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, in turn, is subject to deposit protection, which means that up to CHF 100,000 per private account (neon free, neon metal or neon green) including spaces and per joint account (neon duo) is protected – just like any other Swiss account.”

  2. Cantonal Banks could also be good for
    negotiated mortgages somehow later in life.
    But this is only my assumption, never hat a
    bank mortgage.
    Thank you, for all your pragmatic and excellent articles.

    FrankieS

    1. Hi Frankie

      I have never compared mortgages that much except when we bought a house. At this time, my cantonal bank (Fribourg) was not very competitive. But I can imagine that they can be good, for sure. And each bank has a lot of negotiation space.

  3. Is my money really safe in neon?

    The CHF100,000 insurance is for bank failures, and as neon always say “they are not a bank”. They have their bank services provided by lenzburg hypothekarbank which is a bank. What happens if Neon fails and not lenzburg hypothekarbank? Can it happen the same like the recent american case of Yotta? In which people cannot get their money back because technically Yotta is not a bank like neon.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2024/06/01/synapse-bankruptcy-yotta-accounts-locked.html

    1. Hi Daniel,

      This is an excellent question. I would say it’s perfectly fine because the situation is slightly different in that there is no intermediary. But I am truly no expert and the yotta situation is much more complex than it looks like.
      In this case, Neon appears to use directly HBL. And if you look at your IBAN, it’s indeed coming from HBL, so we are at least depositing money directly to HBL.

      If Neon was to bankrupt, we would still have accounts at HBL. It would likely take a while getting back our accounts (probably months). But I am confident, this would work.
      If HBL was to bankrupt, we would get the security from esissuise. It would likely also take a while.

  4. Hello Baptiste and thank you for all the great information on your site!

    The only thing stoping me from using Neon as my main bank account is the limited Twint experience. If I understand correctly, there’s no Neon Twint app. We need to use the UBS (or prepaid) version and that comes with severe limitations.

    My entourage uses Twint a lot, and the limits set by the UBS and the prepaid version for moving money are too restrictive for the kind of use I have for Twint. I also use credit cards with Twint, which I don’t think I can do in this case.

    Are you aware of any workarounds for this issue? I would really love to make Neon my main account.

    1. Hi Abraham,

      You are correct that TWINT support is quite limited. I am not aware of any workaround, but since I have never used TWINT. You probably need to either use TWINT less or use another bank.

  5. Hi Baptiste

    Do you do a review for shared / couple’s accounts somewhere? Like lots of couples living together will use one shared account for household expenses. I can find very few and so far none that are for free.

    1. Hi Barbara,

      I have not done a full review of this. Migros is free for joint accounts as well. Neon just introduced its joint acount, but it’s not free unfortunately.
      I hope to be able to review more joint acounts in the future.

  6. The Zürich cantonal bank also offers free bank accounts and debit cards for private users now. The ebanking and phone app are very good in my experience, at least compared to all other banks I’ve used.
    Unfortunately the debit card has a 1.25% fee for transactions abroad and in foreign currencies (capped to 1.50 CHF/transaction).

    1. Yes, ZKB has some great accounts (I will soon publish a review). The main issue is that offices are only in Zurich. So, while you may be able to open an account if you are in another canton, if you have to go there, it may be complicated depending on where you live.

  7. I have the metal profile bank account at neon and now considering to close the account. Their on-call support is dead. I have a problem right now I cannot solve, their hotline is just an automated set of responses that always ends up with “please send us an e-mail”.

    Them closing the on-call support I would consider a bad sign, maybe the business is not going that well that they’re forced to reduce their support to answering e-mails (with very various frequency).

    1. Hi skyrunner

      Did they have a call support and it did get closed? That’s interesting, I did not hear about that before.
      That would be sad indeed, but for a digital bank, I am not very surprised that we have to go through emails. Even though we could expect something more for the premium options.

    1. I now receiverd the same information. The incoming transfer fee will be waived as of April and we don’t need 7500 CHF in the account for it to be free. This is good news! I will update the article in the coming days.

  8. Hi there! Thank you for your blog and the valuable information you provide. Have you also compared the Kantonal Banks? FKB seems better than Migros to me.

    Additionally, I wanted to inquire if you have any plans to conduct a comparison of 1-year Fixed Deposit accounts soon. :))

    I’ve been researching, and it appears that WIR Bank currently offers the best deal. However, it would be appreciated to receive your in-depth analysis of the market and available options.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi Carla

      I plan to compare a few cantonal banks in the future. However, the problem is that they are much more limited. I’d rather speak of banks that you can use in the entire country, rather than banks that are regional by definition. But there are some good cantonal banks indeed.

      I talked about short-term investments recently: The 5 Best Short-Term Investments
      I am not going to compare them in detail because I would have to update this article all the time and it would be too time-consuming.

  9. Migros Bank is not a traditional bank anymore, since they closed their tellers. You can now only withdraw cash at the ATM. Furthermore, it’s almost always impossible to log in their new banking application. And, when you are able to log in, you can see that the new banking application is worse than the previous one.
    Unfortunately this bank has been a big disappointment. I am looking for an alternative.

    1. hi Karl,

      I don’t think they closed all their tellers, we still have some tellers in Fribourg as well as offices. And you can also withdraw cash at any Migros shop, which makes for a ton of teller-equivalents.
      However, I agree that their new banking application is bad. I was expecting something better (I should have known better).

    2. I entirely agree with Karl. It is getting worst and worst. They keep changing things in their banking app that were previously working!! Their customer service is horrible, you wait and wait and nothing…one has to take an appointment for the following week…burocrats… They also keep “closing” branches (keeping ATMs fortunately at least), making those “on appointment only”. I really need an alternative and my choice will probably go to a Kantonalbank that has a good mobile or pc app. For N26, I will wait to see a Swiss banking license.

      1. Sorry to hear that. I don’t have much contacts with their offices, but the one in Fribourg is still open and we had good experience there.
        Although, the apps are just bad. And the new one is even worst than the old one.

        I don’t have any problem with cantonal banks. I just don’t talk about them that much because there are too many to review and they are all only available locally.

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