Swisscard Cashback Credit Card Review – Free and 1% Cashback

By Baptiste Wicht | Updated: | Earn, Save

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

Recently Swisscard announced a new offer for credit cards: Swisscard Cashback. They offer an American Express (Amex) and either a MasterCard or a Visa. They already offered several cards in the past. But these new Cashback cards are really interesting.

First of all, these cards are free! This fact is essential because unless you spend a lot of money, a small fee will render your cashback useless. But these are not the only free cards in Switzerland! What is very interesting is that they are offering 5% cashback in the first three months (limited to 100 CHF). After that, the cashback bonus becomes 1% on the American Express card and 0.2% on the MasterCard and Visa cards.

A cashback of 1% is more than other free cards in Switzerland are offering! Of course, you need to be able to use the card as much as possible to use that extra cashback. Doing so may be difficult since American Express cards are not as well accepted as Visa and MasterCard, especially in Switzerland.

In this article, we see if this offer is really interesting and if it is worth ordering a new Swisscard Cashback credit card.

The details

Swisscard Cashback cards come in two different sets:

  • An American Express and a Visa
  • An American Express and a MasterCard

So, you will always have two cards if you opt for their offer. What is important is that only one card is interesting! The American Express card has a 1% cashback. This cashback is more than other free credit cards in Switzerland. On the other hand, the Visa and the MasterCard cards only have 0.2% cashback. This cashback is lower than the best credit cards in Switzerland.

The idea is to use only the American Express. You should not use the other credit card. If you can use the Amex, you should use it and use your secondary card when you cannot. That way, you will have 1% cashback on American Express purchases and 0.33% for other purchases.

The cards have a standard maximum limit of 10’000 CHF per month. We should never need that much. Depending on your income, you may not get the maximum.

1% cashback

As I already said, the most interesting point about this card is the 1% cashback. My current credit card only has 0.33% cashback.

I spend about 10’000 CHF on my credit card each year. This is only on domestic purchases. I make my International purchases with my revolut card or with my Neon card. A 1% bonus on that amount is 100 CHF. This bonus is about 67 CHF more than what I would get with the Cumulus MasterCard. This difference is a nice increase but not a huge one.

There is also a nice bonus of having a 5% cashback in the first three months. However, this is limited to a maximum of 100 CHF.

For me, it will not be a huge difference. At most, I will spend 3000 CHF in one month on my credit card. In this case, this would be a bonus of 100 CHF. Such a bonus is not life-changing. But it would still be interesting. On the other hand, this is still limited to what I can use an American Express for.

The fees

The new Swisscard Cashback MasterCard
The new Swisscard Cashback MasterCard

I said the cards were free. You do not have to pay an annual or a monthly fee. On the other hand, many things are not free of charge with these cards. These extra fees are how these companies get money!

First of all, these cards are incredibly costly for withdrawing money. If you withdraw money in Switzerland, you will pay 3.75% of fees, or at least 5 CHF. Abroad, you will also 3.75% but at least 10 CHF. These fees are pretty bad! All credit cards are bad for withdrawing money. As a rule, you should never withdraw money using a credit card.

One other thing this card is pretty bad at is payments in foreign currency. You will pay 2.5% of your payment if it is not in Swiss Francs. So, you should never use this card for foreign payments. If you want to make foreign payments for free, you should use a Revolut card.

Finally, if you carry a balance on your credit card, you will pay a hefty interest of 11.95%. Credit card interest is how credit card companies make most of their income. Of course, if you are serious about personal finance, you should never have credit card debt. Credit card debt is the worst kind of debt you can have!

Moreover, there are also many smaller fees. For instance, if you want a paper statement, you will have to pay 1.95 CHF per statement. If you call them, you will pay 1.90 CHF per call. If you pay at the counter, you will pay a fee as well. Basically, for everything you want on paper, you will have to pay. If you are careful, you can avoid all these fees! But you need to be aware of them!

American Express in Switzerland

American Express cards have less coverage than other credit cards
American Express cards have less coverage than other credit cards

The main problem with this offer is that the interesting card with 1% cashback is an American Express. And American Express cards are much less supported in Switzerland than MasterCard and Visa. Even in the United States, it is generally easier to have a MasterCard or a VISA. It is a bit crazy, given the name of the card!

For shops, it highly depends on the size of the shop. Support for American Express cards is getting better and better. It used to be very poor. But now, large retailers such as Lidl, Migros and Coop are allowing to pay with an American Express.

For online stores, it is worse. Most websites do not accept American Express cards. For instance, digitec, one of the biggest online technological retailers in Switzerland, does not support American Express. On the other hand, many websites support Paypal. And Paypal supports American Express.

If you have experience with Amex cards in Switzerland, I would like to hear about it!

Solution: Two cards

One credit card may not be enough!
One credit card may not be enough!

Unfortunately, one card does not rule them all! Since the support for American Express in Switzerland, and abroad, is not great, the solution is to keep two cards. However, the strategy is not to use the Visa or MasterCard from Swisscard. The cashback on these cards is too low.

The strategy is to use the American Express card as much as possible. And then, use your Visa/Mastercard from Migros or Coop to get 0.33% back. With that, you will have a maximum cashback on both situations.

Of course, this is not as practical as using a single credit card. I can understand that some people do not want this. And this is especially true since it will not make you a lot of income. In my case, I can generate, in the best case, 66 CHF more each year by using this card next to my current credit card.

There is also a second advantage of having a second credit card. With it, you have a second line of credit if you need it. Credit cards can complement your emergency fund well. But you need to be careful not to use this credit lightly and spend more because you have more credit cards. And be especially careful about always paying your balance in full.

I said the solution is to use two cards. The solution is to use three cards. You still have to use the Revolut card for foreign currencies! Let’s hope your wallet is big enough!

Ordering a Swisscard Cashback card

To order this card, I filled out the online form for ordering an American Express and a Visa. The procedure is straightforward, but you will have to set a lot of information. Compared to my old Cumulus credit card, this is at least three times more complicated. I do not know why they require so much information about this. They could simplify the procedure.

Moreover, they contacted me twice during the procedure for specific information. I can easily say this is the worst experience of all the credit card applications I have ever done. But I may have been unlucky.

Once everything was finally filled and accepted, I received the cards quite quickly. And I could directly start using them.


I think this is a good offer! 1% of cashback is nice, considering the state of the market in Switzerland. And this is especially true since this card has no annual fee. The other credit card with 1% cashback is the TCS Travel Mastercard Gold.  However, this other card is not free!

However, this new offer is not enough by itself. First, American Express cards are not accepted everywhere. That means you will have to use a Visa or a MasterCard if you want to use credit cards as much as possible. And the Visa and Mastercard Swisscard is offering have less cashback than the Migros and Coop credit cards. Therefore, you should keep your other credit card and use the Amex card for everything you can and use the other one when you cannot use the Amex.

Finally, you should, of course, not use these cards to withdraw money. And you should never use them to pay in foreign currencies. For this last one, you should use a Revolut card.

Now, for most people, having several cards will be too much. And I completely understand this. I do not mind the small effort since I like optimization. But if you only want one credit card for your domestic purchases, I still recommend the Certo One Mastercard.

If you are interested in this card, you can check the Swisscard Cashback website.

What do you think about this new credit card on the market? Do you plan to order?

Baptiste Wicht is the author behind 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.

49 thoughts on “Swisscard Cashback Credit Card Review – Free and 1% Cashback”

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for your great articles. It helps us deciding tremendously.
    I could not locate your Friend Referral Code to apply for Swisscard Cashback in any of your articles anymore. If you still have it, could you please share with me so we both get 40CHF?
    Thank you very much again!

  2. Hello,
    I’m just about to order the Amex cashback card but I see that the shopping insurance is mandatory for the first year 4chf/months. Do you know if it’s new? Section 13 and 14 of the form you have to print and send to swisscard.
    Thanks for all the review

    1. Hi Valentin,

      That’s weird. I know they have a 4.90 CHF per month extra insurance package that you can get, but it’s never been mandatory. If it’s the case, it’s new, but you should call them to make sure or read the document again.

      1. Sorry my bad, the thick box in the printed form was not visible (unless with light in the window). The card is ordered.
        Thanks for your reply

    2. Hi Valentin,
      If you happen to have a friend referral code for Swisscard AMEX, I’d be gladly receive!
      Thank you in advance,

  3. Hey Mr Poor Swiss!

    I just finally ordered the Cashback cards with your code! We have a big holiday planned and wanted to max out the cashback with it, but now I saw that the maximum bonus cashback for the 5% is a meager 100 CHF.
    I recall this was once 500 CHF, did they change it?

    1. Hi Julian,

      I am not sure, but I also seem to remember 500 CHF as the maximum cashback. 100 CHF makes the 5% much less interesting indeed.
      I will update the article to mention the new number.

  4. Hey Poor Swiss ;)
    thanks for that article!

    So if I understand correctly, you use your Neon Mastercard or Revolut when you pay things abroad, and your Amex/Cumulus for payments in Switzerland and over the internet?

  5. Hello Mr. Poor Swiss,

    I have a doubt about the use of this Amex card and may be the same for any credit card.

    In a online scenario, I understand that the expensive purchasing fees apply when you buy something in a different currency, let’s say from CHF to EUR.

    But… if, for example, I am physically in Italy and use the Amex to pay my next AirBnB in CHF (no currency conversion), will I have to pay fees for using the credit card abroad even if the currency is same as the card (CHF) ? Are the fees also location based even online?

    Would I need to use a VPN and make the purchase connecting from Switzerland to avoid the expensive fees?

    Any advice for newly digital nomads regarding this topic? Would be good having a post with your opinion or tips about digital nomad, even if you are not DN.

    Thanks in advance and congratulations for your blog.

    1. Hi,

      Normally, where you are physically does not matter for online transactions. If you are in Switzerland and pay CHF to a provider with domicile in Italy, you will pay a fee. And if you are in Italy and pay CHF to the same provider, you will also pay the same fee.
      What matters is where is the recipient of the money.
      So, in that case, a VPN will make no difference. You should be fine as long as the Airbnb recipient is in Switzerland.

      There may be exceptions that I do not know, but I have never encountered one.

  6. Hi,

    Thank you for the informative article. A couple of things to mention:

    I have applied for this online, and even though I did have the ID verification call with the call centre person, the system has failed to process it and I now have to fill the printed form to apply and mail it to them since they won’t allow me to try again online, so it can be a bit of a hassle. I have called the help line and they told me that this is happening quite often if the verification video call is done via the smartphone and not the desktop/laptop. So, doing the ID call over the laptop/desktop browser is a recommended option.

    Another thing is now that I have got the letter with the T&S’s, I can see that apparently the 11.95% annual interest rate applies from the posting date which (I guess) means that you get to pay the interest immediately after making a purchase, i.e. no grace period. I might be completely wrong in my understanding of the situation here, but with the 1% cashback and .99% monthly interest it basically means that you get a free credit card but no real bonus. Am I right in thinking about it this way?

    Thanks and all the best

    1. Hi ted,

      Thanks for sharing your experience! It’s a bit sad that these services are having so much issues with online verification in this age…

      Regarding the terms, I do not think this is right. With each credit card I know, you always have 30 days to pay the balance. Only if you don’t pay the balance in full will you pay the interests. But it’s then possible that they count the 11.95% interest starting from the posting date of the expense that is unpaid and not from after the 30 years.
      I have never paid any interest on my cashback card.

  7. Hi,

    You did not mention about interest.
    How much do they charge? Is it monthly or yearly? Most probably this counterracts the cashback advantages, isn’t it?

    1. Hi Asdrubale

      I did not mention it, because you should never pay interest on a credit card. If you are paying interest, it means you have credit card debt and this is one of the worst kinds of debts.
      If you have credit card debt, you should not care about any cashback, you should only focus on not having credit card debt.

      1. Hey poorswiss

        Just trying to summarize everything up.

        -I have a Bank account at ZKB with a maestro card and their Visa Credit card as its in a All in one Packet.
        – Migros Cumulus card as well
        – Revolut online as of now, never needed the physical card until now
        – Neon free account as of last week ( meant to be joint account with my partner for our babys bills, food, etc)

        If i understand correctly,
        – for my day to day use including online purchases in CHF i should use my Cumulus instead of my Maestro card because of the cash back in the form of Points)
        – purchases online in foreign currency ( Neon or revolut)
        – while travelling (Revolut or Neon because of the no Currency exchange fees)

        -ZKB visa credit card in this case useless since cumulus is better because of cash back and for online purchases in CHF or Foreign (revolut or neon would be free)

        Sorry but did i get that correct?

        Lg chris

        1. Hi Chris,

          You got it correct.

          I would just clarify that CHF is not enough not to pay fees with Cumulus. You should use it for purchases in CHF and in Switzerland. If you are paying abroad in CHF (even online), you will still pay fees.

          And if you want to go all the way, you can use the cashback Amex to get 1% whenever you can and use the Cumulus when you can’t use the Amex, but it makes not that much difference in the long term.

  8. According to my recent experience, LIDL doesn’t accept AMEX.
    On the contrary Migros and Coop do accept it, as you correctly stated.

  9. Ciao,
    è corretto che durante le richiesta di registrazione richiedono il tuo iban e la banca?
    grazie mille

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