Migros Bank Review – Best Traditional Bank in Switzerland

Mr. The Poor Swiss | Updated: | Save, Switzerland
PostFinance Increasing Fees - Migros the Best Swiss Bank?

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For several years, I have been using Migros Bank as my main bank account. They are offering good service at excellent prices. And in the days of expensive bank accounts in Switzerland, it is important to look at these fees.

In this article, I want to review the bank account offering of Migros Bank in detail. We will see all their prices and how it compares against other Swiss banks.

Migros Bank

Migros Bank Logo
Migros Bank Logo

Migros bank is the bank of the Migros group. It is an old bank. It was founded more than 60 years ago, in 1958. Since I already am a customer of Migros, I feel confident about this bank.

Since they are an official bank, your assets will be insured up to 100’000 CHF in case of bankruptcy. This is the case of all official banks in Switzerland. It is important to know what would happen to your money in case of bank bankruptcy.

Migros Bank has an excellent reputation in Switzerland. They are serving more than 800’000 customers in Switzerland. This high number of customers makes them one of the biggest banks in Switzerland per number of customers.

So, let’s see in detail what Migros Bank is about.

Migros Bank Fees

My main reason for looking for a new bank was to look for a free bank. Since all bank accounts in Switzerland have a zero interest rate, it is essential to look at the fees.

The most significant advantage of Migros Bank is it does not have any management fees. As long as you have at least 7500 CHF with them, the monthly management fee is waived. For most people, this should be perfectly fine since you can keep your emergency fund there.

Another advantage of the bank is that the Debit Card is free. Migros Bank is the only bank with the BCV to have a free debit card. Most debit cards in Switzerland cost 30 CHF per year. I do not plan to use the credit card from Migros since I already have the best credit card in Switzerland.

Unfortunately, Migros Bank is not entirely free. There are a few fees. You will pay 0.20 CHF for each incoming payment. You can avoid this by moving some of the payments to a secondary account. But, it should not be an issue for most people.

You will also have to pay 0.30 CHF for each SEPA transfer in Europe. You can probably negate this by using Revolut, TransferWise, or Neon.

The other fee is the withdrawal fee for ATMs other than Migros ATM:

  • 2 CHF for each withdrawal in CHF in Switzerland
  • 4 CHF for each withdrawal in EUR in Switzerland
  • 5 CHF for each withdrawal abroad

However, this should not be a big issue for several reasons.

  1. You can withdraw money at each Migros Bank, Migros Shops, Migrolino, and Migrol stations. So, there are a lot of withdrawal points all over Switzerland. If you count all these locations as ATMs, Migros Bank is probably the bank with the most ATMs in Switzerland. It should be more than enough to withdraw money when you need it.
  2. You do not often need cash. In most cases, you can pay with your credit card or your debit card. Using your credit card will be free and will give you some cashback. And using a debit card in Switzerland will be free as well.

So, you will probably not have to bother with these fees. In three years, I have never paid for withdrawing money with my Migros card.

There are other fees for payment abroad. But this is not an issue since I will also use my Neon account or my Revolut account for this.

Given all this, Migros Bank is currently the cheapest Brick and Mortar bank in Switzerland.

Migros Bank Features

We can also look at the features offered by the standard accounts at Migros Bank.

As mentioned before, the Migros Bank account comes with a Maestro card. It is a good thing since it is still sometimes necessary to use a Maestro card in Switzerland. And the card comes for free, which is also good.

With Migros Bank, you will be able to do many operations in the Migros Bank offices. And you will also be able to do some operations in Migros shops.

But most people will use the banking of Migros Bank to do most operations. The banking application from Migros Bank can be used on Apple phones and tablets, Android phones and tablets, and on Mac and Windows.

This mobile application takes a different approach to security than most other applications. Indeed, you will need to install this application on at least two devices. You will often need the second device to validate some transactions from your account.

The Migros Bank application is quite bad. It is slow, and I have had many issues. Moreover, it is a pain to have to install it on two devices. I would have preferred online e-banking like most banks. I do not want to install a banking application on my desktop computer. For me, the quality of applications is the biggest pain point with this bank account.

However, the application has all the features you will need:

  • Make money transfers
  • Scan paper bills
  • Pay ebills
  • Pay with Google Pay

So, if you do not have to use it too often, the Migros application will do everything you will need.

Since May 2021, Migros has full support for TWINT. You can download the Twint Migros application next to the Migros application and start using Twint for your mobile payments.

Migros Bank vs Neon

Great Swiss Digital Bank
Neon
Free

Neon is the best digital bank in Switzerland. And it is free!

Use the F9YMGT code to receive 20CHF for free!

Neon is a great digital bank from Switzerland. They offer an attractive bank account.

The main difference between Neon and Migros Bank is that Neon is an entirely digital bank. On the other hand, Migros Bank has offices, and you can get help from people directly.

If you use it correctly, Neon is entirely free. But Migros bank has some fees. And Neon mobile application is significantly better than the one from Migros.

And Neon has some extra features that Migros Bank does not have:

  • Purchases abroad with the Neon card are free.
  • International money transfers are cheaper with Neon thanks to their partnership with TransferWise.

Overall, Neon is better and cheaper than Migros Bank. But many people do not want to use an entirely digital bank, so that Migros Bank will be great for them.

One advantage of Migros Bank is that it has significantly higher limits than Neon. So, it could be better for your main account if you have to do some more substantial transactions.

If you want more details, I have an entire review of Neon.

Migros Bank vs PostFinance

PostFinance was my previous bank before I changed to Migros Bank.

The main issue with PostFinance is that you have to pay 5 CHF in management fees every month. They only waive this fee is if you invest more than 25’000 CHF in their products. But PostFinance investment products are bad, so it is not a great way to waive the fee.

So, the main advantage of Migros against PostFinance is that you can get it almost free if you keep 7500 CHF in your account.

Other than that, both banks have about the same features and fees. There is nothing exceptional about any of these two banks. They are standard banks. PostFinance has one advantage in that its applications are significantly better than those from Migros.

Overall, Migros is significantly better than PostFinance since they have the same features but significantly cheaper.

Migros Bank Pros

Let’s summarize the advantages of Migros Bank:

  • Free management of your account if you have more than 7500 CHF
  • Good customer service
  • Offers a free Maestro card
  • Can withdraw cash for free in many places
  • Support for Google Pay
  • Support for eBills
  • Support for TWINT

Migros Bank Cons

Let’s summarize the disadvantages of Migros Bank:

  • Terrible banking applications
  • Need to keep 7500 CHF on the account at all times
  • Incoming transfers are not free

Cheapest digital bank

Great Swiss Digital Bank
Neon
Free

Neon is the best digital bank in Switzerland. And it is free!

Use the F9YMGT code to receive 20CHF for free!

Now, you could save more money by opting for a digital bank instead of a brick-and-mortar bank. There is one solid digital contender: Neon. Neon is a fully-digital bank account. You only have an account on your phone. It is a bit similar to the model of Revolut but limited to Switzerland (and much safer).

Neon is a recent offer and was the first fully digital bank in Switzerland. They are entirely free if you use them properly (not too many withdrawals). And they offer free payments abroad.

For more information, I have a review of Neon.

Conclusion

When my previous bank (PostFinance) raised its fees from 0 to 60 CHF per year, I needed to change bank. I did not want to pay more for no new advantages. It means I had to research the cheapest bank in Switzerland.

After some research, I found out that Migros Bank is now the best Brick and Mortar Bank in Switzerland. I will only pay around 8 CHF per year at Migros bank.

The management fees of Migros Bank are waived if you keep more than 7500 CHF on your account. Since my emergency fund is bigger than that, it is fine to keep this cash.

I have now been using Migros Bank for about three years. Overall, I am quite happy with their services. They offer an excellent service at a reasonable price. The only thing I dislike about them is their applications. All their applications and the way they are linked together are pretty bad.

If you prefer digital banks, you can get a free digital bank account. For instance, you could go with Neon. This bank account is entirely free!

If you want to learn how to change bank accounts, I have a guide on how to switch to a new bank.

What do you think about the new fees? Which bank do you use? Do you plan to leave PostFinance because of this?

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.

43 thoughts on “Migros Bank Review – Best Traditional Bank in Switzerland”

  1. Hello,

    Thanks for your useful information! I’m new in Switzerland and I would like to ask a few questions:

    As I see that your post is from 3 years ago, I’d like to know if something changed regarding the Migros App (mandatory to install it in 2 devices) because for me it’s enough reason to take a look for another bank.

    Do you think Neon is a reliable bank as a primary option? I’m European citizen, often paying abroad and it kills me if I have to pay 1.5 CHF for each transaction. Therefore I’m thinking to use Neon as a primary account (salary, payments) because I’m more into having just one account than 2.

    I will apreciate your opinion.

    Regards

    1. Hi Daniel,

      No, nothing changed, the application is still pretty bad and you will still need two devices to use it properly. For me, the scanning of bills is atrocious on this app.
      Yes, I believe Neon is reliable as a primary bank account. You just need to be careful about the 30K CHF limit. This should be rare to hit that, but still could be an issue (hence why I am keeping Migros).
      What I am doing now is receiving my salary on Migros, transferring almost everything to Neon, and do all my operations from Neon since the app is 10 times better.

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for another the great article! I am curious if anyone has experience with the bank grantee for their rental. Does Neon offer such a deposit and is it accepted by the Swiss rental offices? For Migros Bank would this deposit count towards the 7,5k minimum so not to encounter their account management fee? I think this would matter to a lot of customers in Switzerland

    1. Hi JP,

      Neon does not have such an offer currently. Maybe they will have this in the future, but I doubt it.
      With Neon, I have been told that the rental guarantee count towards the 7.5K minimum. This can be useful indeed.

  3. Sorry to bother you again.
    If I put my money in a Swiss bank and invest in something I will pay withholding tax on my gains? Something about 35% right? As a non resident can I avoid or reduce that?
    Thanks.

    1. I am afraid I do not know how this would apply to non-residents. If you use a Swiss broker, I would expect you have to pay withholding taxes but you may be able to reclaim them if you are non-resident. You would have to ask your bank this or the Swiss tax authorities.

  4. Hello.
    I am a Brazilian citizen living and working in Germany, with a permanent resident status, for a decade.
    I would like to open a bank account in Switzerland to diversify my investments.
    Questions:
    Do you still thinking Miros Banck is a good option?
    Even Switzerland exchanging financial info with Germany this still a good option? Btw I do not hide any money.

    1. Hi Romulo,

      If they accept German residents, then yes Migros bank would be a good bet. But most Swiss banks have special conditions for non Swiss residents. There are some minimums and sometimes extra fees.

      1. Thanks for the reply.
        Last questions,
        where I can find how exposed Swiss banks (Migros Bank) are to e. g. American or British markets?
        They phone your employer to confirm your info.?
        If I can choose a branch anyone is ok or a big/ central one is better?

        1. Hi Romulo,

          I have no idea about their exposures and I would be surprised if they were to call your employers, but again not an expert.
          For big banks, I don’t think you can choose a bank or at least it would not matter much.

  5. Hello Mr The Poor Swiss and thank you for your interesting blog;

    I want to leave Credit Swiss and I am hesitating between going 100% Digital with Neon or take the same balance you advise Migros Bank + Neon. However my first exchange with Migros bank customer service is rather mixed and unefficient; do you still use Migros bank today or do you plan to go 100% digital? Why would you still need a Migros Bank account today?

    1. Hi Sylvain,

      I still receive my salary in Migros but then transfer to Neon to pay my bills and do my monthly transfers. The reason is that Neon app works much better than Migros’s apps.
      The reason I still use Migros and not only Neon is twofold:
      1) I have my mortgage account at Migros bank anyway so I will have to keep an account regardless.
      2) There is a daily limit of 30K CHF at Neon. This could be an issue some month for me and I do not want to run into issues because of that.

  6. Hello, again thank you for the precious infos.
    I’m with Postfinance since years and now I was planning to switch to Neon or Migros Bank. But:

    Neon cons for me:
    you have only the app access (a year ago my iphone was out of order for 3 months due to an error in the apple IOS and also my backup old iphone was blocked due to IOS issues! I spent hours with the high Apple hierarchy techs who besides apologizing weren’t able to solve it). You already suggested me to keep it on other phones or devices but since I’m VERY frugal I change Ipad every minimum 10 ys and phone 6 ys. so all my devices are always OS out of date (and I’m also IOS updating adverse for many reasons).

    Migros Bank cons for me:
    actually with my Postfinance Card I can withdraw cash for free in all the many Post offices. In my area there are no Migros Banks and the only way to withdraw cash for free would be in a small Denner shop which should serve a 30 km radius area (so of course the cash availability is not guaranteed).
    To contact them by phone you have to pay, same as Postfinance now, but PF at least writes everywhere the call fees, MB does not (I know, it’s very cheap but I don’t like the lack of transparency!)

    Conclusion: 50.-/year spare is not worth all the above cons for me, so I think I’m going to hold on to PF for now.

    1. I think it makes sense to have both PF and MigrosBank now that PF charges negative interests starting from 100k. What PF did was really messy. First they announced the threshold to be 250k that can be raised to 500k if you have 30k in their investment products. Now they’ve changed their mind with the new tiered structure where the threshold is raised only by the amount invested.

      I’m planning to keep my PF account and use it for all regular transactions and Migros Bank to store cash. I agree though that next month Migros Bank may change their thresholds as well but it’s the risk with every bank now.

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