Certo! One Mastercard World Review 2022

By Baptiste Wicht | Updated: | Switzerland

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

Cembra is a well-known credit card provider in Switzerland. They are primarily known for their Cumulus card with a good cashback. After stopping this card, they started a new set of cards: The Certo One Mastercard World and the Certo Mastercard World.

And these cards look even better than the last card from Cembra. So, let’s delve into the details of these two cards and see how interesting they are.

By the end of this review, you will know whether you should use one of these new cards from Cembra.

The end of the Cumulus Card

Until recently, Cembra issued the Cumulus Mastercard, an excellent free credit card in Switzerland. I have used this card for several years.

However, in May 2022, Migros Bank announced they would issue their credit card based on the Cumulus points system. This decision ended a 15-year partnership between Migros and Cembra.

So, Cembra started their Certo One! Mastercard and Certo Mastercard, in response to the end of this partnership, to retain their customers.

The cards previously issued by Cembra will still be valid until the end of their expiration date. However, new cards will not be issued anymore.

Cembra Certo cards

To replace the loss of the Cumulus card, Cembra started two new cards:

  • The Certo Mastercard World that you can get in exchange for your Cumulus Mastercard.
  • The Certo One Mastercard World is an entirely new card.

In this review, we look at these two cards in detail.

Cembra started a new website for these two cards: Certo Cards. You can register there to get a new card for free.

Both cards are Mastercard, which shops in Switzerland accept very well. You can use them pretty much everywhere in shops and online. Mastercard is much better in Switzerland than American Express.

Certo Mastercard World

The Certo! Mastercard World
The Certo Mastercard World

The first card, the Certo Mastercard World is made to replace the Cumulus Mastercard previously offered by Cembra. You can only obtain it by exchanging your previous Cumulus card with this new card.

This card is free, which is generally the essential point about credit cards.

And second important point, this card has cashback:

  • 1% cash back at Migros, Coop, and SBB
  • 0.33% cash back at other shops and online

This cashback is better than the previous card that only gave 0.33% in every shop. For a free card, this is great! This level of cashback is quite good if you often shop at the first three shops.

Certo One Mastercard World

The Certo! One Mastercard World
The Certo One Mastercard World

The second card, the Certo One Mastercard World is a new card that anybody can order.

This card is also free. And it also has cashback:

  • 1% cash back at three chosen retailers. You can select the retailers yourself and change once a month.
  • 0.33% cash back at all other shops and online.

Here is the current list of available retailers (as of July 2022): Migros, Coop, SBB, Zalando, SWISS, Manor, Lidl, Decathlon, Aldi, H&M, Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb, Booking.com, Microspot, Digitec Galaxus, Ochsner Sport & Shoes, Interdiscount, Denner, Landi. 

Just like the other Certo card, the cashback will be accumulated for three months and then credited to your credit card bill.

I am pleasantly surprised by this card. The ability to choose the three places where you want the highest cashback is excellent! Looking at the list, I would use Migros, Lidl, and Digitec Galaxus. These three shops cover a lot our expenses!

I do not even understand why the Certo (without the One) Mastercard exists. For me, the Certo One is strictly better since you can achieve the same cash back even better.

The fees

We also need to talk about the fees of the card.

As mentioned before, the base price of the card is free. There is no annual or monthly fee. If you use these cards correctly, you will never pay any fee.

You can also get an additional card for free. This is useful if you want a single account for you and your partner but still want to have two cards.

If you carry some balance, you will pay 11.95% interest. This interest rate is extremely expensive, but it is probably not a huge deal since you should always pay your entire balance. A credit card is only attractive financially if you do not carry credit card debt.

There are other fees as well:

  • If you pay in full but late, you will have to pay 30 CHF.
  • If you need a replacement card, you will have to pay 20 CHF
  • If you withdraw money in Switzerland or abroad, you will pay a 3.75% fee
  • If you pay abroad on in foreign currency, you will pay 1.5% extra

All those fees are pretty high. However, you can avoid all these fees. So, I still consider this card free, which is excellent.

The insurance benefits of Certo One

Many credit cards come with some insurance benefits. So, let’s quickly review the insurance benefits of the Certo One Mastercard World.

This card has three different insurance benefits:

  1. Best price guarantee: At most 3000 CHF per year and 2000 CHF per event
  2. Purchase insurance: At most 2000 CHF per year and 2000 CHF per event
  3. Rescue assistance insurance: Transfer to the nearest hospital, repatriation, search and rescue

All these insurance benefits come free of charge with the card.

Insurance benefits on credit cards are not essential. In the immense majority of cases, people will never use them. On top of that, some of these insurance benefits could be covered by complementary insurance or are sometimes automatically covered anyway.

Nevertheless, these insurance benefits are interesting, and it is good to know about them using this card.

Certo One vs Cembra Cumulus Mastercard

Before, the Cumulus Mastercard from Cembra was the best card available in Switzerland. So, let’s compare the new Certo One vs the old Cembra Cumulus card.

The previous Cumulus card offered 0.33% cashback in every shop, with no other improvements. The new Certo One card offers 1% on three select shops and 0.33% on all other shops. Therefore, the new Certo One card is significantly better than the Cembra Cumulus Mastercard.

On all other fronts, the two cards are similar. They have the same fees and use the same system. There are some differences on the insurance front, but this does not matter to most people. And insurance in credit cards is generally just a marketing argument.

Overall, I much prefer the new Certo One Card!

Certo One vs Migros Cumulus Visa

Since Migros started a new Cumulus credit card, we must compare Certo One Mastercard and the Migros Cumulus Visa credit card.

Both cards are free. There is no annual or monthly fee.

The first difference is that the card from Migros is a Visa, while the card from Cembra is a Mastercard. But in Switzerland, it should make no difference. They are always accepted together.

The new card from Migros offers 1% cash back at Migros (2% the first year) and 0.33% cashback in other shops. This cashback is very similar to the Certo One card.

However, with Certo One, you can get 1% cashback in three different shops, including Migros, while you only get Migros shop with the Migros Bank card. Therefore, the Certo One card is better than the Migros Cumulus card!

Also, the cashback from Certo is real cash back on your credit card bill. You can only spend the cashback from Cumulus at Migros. So, the cashback from Certo is more interesting than the cashback from Cumulus.

The Migros Cumulus Visa card is slightly cheaper on other fees:

  • 2.5% for withdrawing money instead of 3.75%
  • 9.4% interest rate instead of 11.95%

Since you should not pay any of these fees, these differences should not matter.

Also, Migros Cumulus Visa card has no fee on foreign exchange, compared to Certo’s 1.5% exchange fee! One. However, this card is still not good to use abroad! The card has no fee, but you will use the Migros Bank exchange rate, which is on average 1.5% more expensive than the interbank exchange rate. It is indeed much better than the Certo One, but you should not use these cards abroad or online (use Neon)!

With Certo One, you will have to use the Cembra mobile app. And with the Migros card, you will have to use the One app. I have never tested any of these apps. But I have had a bad experience with both Cembra and Migros Bank applications. So, I do not expect a good application from any of them. It should not make much difference anyway.

One difference that could be significant for some is that Cembra does not have any support for e-bills. On the other hand, Migros Bank supports it well. So,  if you rely on e-bills, the Cumulus Visa has an advantage.

So, overall, the Cembra Certo One Mastercard World looks better than the Migros Cumulus Visa card!

I will soon write a full review of the new card by Migros for completeness’ sake.

Certo One Mastercard Pros

Let’s summarize the advantages of the Certo One Mastercard:

  • 1% cashback on three shops
  • 0.33% cashback in all other shops
  • The cashback is real cash back, not points
  • Free card
  • Free additional card
  • Extra insurance benefits

Certo One Mastercard Cons

Let’s summarize the disadvantages of the Certo One Mastercard:

  • Expensive to use abroad
  • No support for e-bills

Conclusion

For me, the new Cembra Certo One Mastercard World is the new best credit card in Switzerland. It can be used everywhere, is free, and has great cashback.

It is better than the previous Cumulus card and better than the new Cumulus card from Migros with more flexible rewards.

The card is free but has several high fees that you should avoid. But since You can avoid all the fees, we can still consider this card a free card!

The only thing I do not understand is why they did two different cards. And especially why they encourage people to exchange to the Certo Mastercard (no One! in the name) even though the One! is always at least as good. I plan to move to this card in the next few weeks since it is better than my current Cumulus card.

One card that I should still mention is the Swisscard Cashback American Express. It has 1% cashback in each shop. However, since it is an American Express, you cannot use it everywhere. If you only want one cart, the new Certo card is better than the Amex. But if you want to optimize, you can get both for maximum cashback everywhere.

If you want to learn more about credit cards, you can learn about my credit card strategy.

What about you? What do you think about this new credit card?

Baptiste Wicht 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.

38 thoughts on “Certo! One Mastercard World Review 2022”

  1. >> And with the Migros card, you will have to use the One app. I have never tested any of these apps. But I have had a bad experience with both Cembra and Migros Bank applications

    The Migros Cumulus VISA card may be from Migros Bank, but it uses the One app which is from Viseca, and IMHO it’s a good app!
    The Manor Mastercard also uses the same One app, and you can have both cards registered in the same app, which is great.

    The Certo cards use the Cembra app, which does not work on smartphone which have USB debugging enabled… :-(

    1. Hi Michel,

      Thanks for letting me know. I thought it was coming from Migros. This is good news since Migros apps are pretty poor.

      Good to know also about the USB debugging, I am not surprised…

  2. Hey Baptist, thx for this review and making me discovering this card.
    (I was looking at supercard as I’ll move near one Co-op supermarket but saw the cashback is only in superpoints)

    I don’t see any affiliate link or code to use when ordering certo. Did you forget to put one or I missed it?
    If I take one I want to use your link so you can have some money. I clicked on certo link but don’t see any code in the link.

    Also, I read 30chf fees for paying in full but late and another comment saying it’s short to pay and tricky..
    What does all that mean? I didn’t get it.
    Isn’t the card directly punctioning your linked bank account or do you have to top it with money transfer first?

    1. Hi Grégg

      I don’t have an affiliate card for this card. Thanks for asking for it :) I am trying not to have too many of them to maintain.

      Usually, you have 30 pays to pay the bill. They support LSV, but not e-bills, so people don’t like it. I don’t like LSV either. I always pay the bill directly. It’s not that much of a deal.

      1. I thought you had this card now (and removed Amex and Migros).

        So concretely, if I received my mobile bill and usually I manually scan the code to pay the bill from my bank account (I don’t use ebill), what does it change for me 🤔

  3. The best credit card strategy would be:
    Cashback AmEx using at Migros, Coop and using the Coop Supercard / Migros Cumulus Card for additional Cashback with points
    Using Certo One for e.g. Aldi, LIDL or other shops that do not accept AmEx yet

    Do you agree? But you have to use two credit cards and need your brain before paying ;-).

  4. Hi Baptiste
    Thanks for your good article. I’m a little bit astonished that you present the Certo One card to be the best credit card, as before you were praising Swisscard Cashback Amex to be the best. I will stick to that, as I can cover about 90% of my expenses with it. It is 1% for all expenses, not only for 3 retailers. I can even pay at Galaxis with it, by using Pay Pal. Accompanied with the Cumulus card for the few other payments, it was great. For the second credit card, I’m now a little bit unsure, the case is not as obvious as it is for you.

    Certo One:
    + 1% for 3 retailers (alltough not needed for Migros, Coop, Galaxus 1% with AmEx, SBB incl. local transport subscription 3% with Reka), perhaps for Lidl?
    – Cembra: don’t like that company

    Cumulus Visa:
    + lower rates abroad for car hire (no debit allowed)
    + Viseca One app which lets configure security properties of card such as online, regions, contactless etc.

    So I might go with Cumulus Visa, let’s see.

    1. Hi Martin,

      Actually, I still think the best credit card is the Swisscard Amex. The new Certo is the best non-amex card, I will that clearer in the article.

      I don’t particularly like Cembra either, but I don’t think that’s a great criterion :)

  5. Hi Baptiste,

    Do you know if you can order 2 Cembra Certo One with the same account to share with your partner ?

      1. In a recent (less than a month) interaction with Cembra I had made the eBill suggestion and they responded it was a good idea that they might be looking into…

  6. Hi Baptiste – thanks for the great article. What are you thoughts of Certo! one vs. Swisscard AMEX ? they both offer 1% cash back … clearly AMEX is not accepted everywhere but other than that they seem the same to me

    thanks !
    Alessio

    1. Hi Alex,

      The Amex is still slightly better since it’s not limited to 3 shops. However, it’s true that the gap is getting smaller.
      I have canceled my Amex a few months ago to simplify our cards. But I would still recommend it.
      If you shop in many places where they accept AMEX, then it’s great. If not and especially if you shop mostly at three retailers supported by Certo! One, the new card is great replacement :)

    2. Hi,
      No, AMEX offerts 1% cashback but you will need to wait practically one full Year before you can pretend to receive your money. If the meanwhile, you cancel your AMEX, you can then forget your cashback.
      For Certo One, I expect to receive the cashback for the next billing month.
      Best

  7. Hi Baptiste,
    This article is more than welcome, I figure out that Cembra will no longer be providing Cumulus when I saw the add for the new Migros Bank Cumulus card (which is less interesting now). We have one Cumulus Cembra, in the name of my SO, and it’s more as emergency and for shops that don’t take Amex.
    To be honest I hate it for one simple reason: they don’t support eBill and have very short period to pay the bill, and at least once my SO didn’t give me the invoice on time, depending if it arrives during holiday, you might postpone it to later but it will be too late already. Then as mentioned it’s 30CHF fee. At least with Swisscards you have ebill, you can set to pay it automatically if it’s below a certain amount or you can at least pay it in 2 click from a phone and you get 3 notifications (Swisscard app, email notification and ebanking ebill notification), while Cembra took a lot of manipulation, scanning the QR, entering the amount as it’s assuming you will not pay in full… I guess the option to not have the possibility to pay in full is not offered here but I might check.

    Anyway, I guess we will still move to the Certo One, as my SO still want her own card and the Amex Cashback is not working well online as we share the same account. I don’t see any point in using the Certo with fixed retailers when you can have the same in the One with possibility to change them every months. I guess it’s another trick to onboard all previous Cumulus customer and lock them in a product that is not as good as it could be.
    I guess we will not use any retailers that accept Amex as we have already the 1% cashback with it (Coop, Migros, SBB, Manor, H&M…) then I will check our bills for selecting the largest expensive with have with the card, I guess Aldi and Lidl, then maybe Digitec?, not sure.
    Again they mention they have no deal with these companies, so I guess they just pick up retailers to attracts as many new customers as possible and then people will probably pick up ones that are not optimal like Netflix which is nice but clearly not the largest spending for most people I guess, or worst they will select an expense that they do abroad or in foreign currency and loose much more on exchange rate than the 1% bonus. I’m sure they could offer 1% at all of these companies and still make a deal. If they add some gas stations that don’t accept Amex, like Avia or MiniPrix, it might make it slightly more interesting but for me it’s still not as good as the Amex Cashback, that cover already 80-90% of the volume of expenses we have on the credit cards.
    Let’s see what my SO think about it.

    Anyway, thanks again for the great article, right at the good time.

    1. Hi Eluc,

      Thanks for your kind words :)

      It’s true that it’s a shame that they don’t have ebills. Cembra is really anchored in the past. I will mention that in the article!

      I also have the same thought as you for the non-One card. It’s a stupid trick. Or they think that people are too dumb to change and they don’t want options (which sometimes they don’t).

      I have no idea how they pick up retailers. I am slightly worried that they cut out the offer later on when seeing how much this cost them. But it still seems worth a try.

      And it’s absolutely true that if it’s well accepted within your expenses, Amex remains the best credit card available.

      Thanks for sharing all your thoughts!

  8. Hi!

    A beautiful and detailed analysis as usual. Really useful many thanks!

    I wanted to ask you about the cases where you need to rent a car/hotel abroad (so foreign currency). Which card would be best?

    Currently, I do not own a credit card (only NEON as my main bank) but since soon I will be traveling abroad (where a credit card will be needed for those activities) I am investigating about the subject.
    Certo One card has very good features except on the exchange rate, I think. What do you think in those cases? I have looked on your other articles without a clear answer.

    thanks!

    1. Hi Xavier,

      Thanks for your kind words :)

      For paying abroad:
      * You should first use your Neon card whenever possible
      * When you can’t (only credit cards are supported), the new Migros Cumulus Visa card is much better (about twice cheaper in fees). I don’t see anything better as far as real credit cards go.

  9. Migros Mastecard is the best among the rest. But the truth is that all Swiss credit cards are crapware. Their only target is to milk you by all means. Take “the best”. You are late with the payment and you have to pay 30 CHF processing fee. They encourage you be late. Debit Direct doesn’t work with Postfinance and it’s hard to setup with other bank. Their bank exchange rate is outrageous. Btw I think it is more than 1.5% and for some currencies much more. I have it, but I use it only in emergency situation for CHF purchases. For the rest, I have a credit card from another country.

      1. For my usage their is no difference. I still have the cumulus card and wasn’t notified by Cembra. If I need to change I’ll probably get the new one

    1. PostFinance does offer the automatic payment of your credit card from you main bank account at the end of each month, I have it and I never have to worry about the payments! Also there is a 0.3% cashback which offsets the yearly CHF 50 cost of the card.

      1. 50 chf annual fee vs 0 and 0.3% cashback vs 1% cashback at 3 shops + 0.33% everywhere else. please clarify how you can possibly defend PF cards?

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