A few weeks ago, I compared the credit cards in Switzerland. I came to the conclusion that for me, the best credit card would be to use Cumulus Mastercard. Since then, I ordered the card, but I have not received it yet. I am also waiting on Revolut to finally get a Swiss IBAN so that I can top it up for free.
However, there is a card I have not considered in my first comparison. The Touring Club Suisse (TCS) is offering two credit cards for its members. The first one is the TCS Member MasterCard. This is not really interesting since it does not have any cashback, but it is free. What is more interesting is the TCS Travel MasterCard Gold. This card will cost you 100 CHF per year, although it is free in its first year. But they will give you 1% cashback. In this post, I am going to look at this card in details.
TCS Travel Mastercard Gold
TCS is offering the TCS Travel Mastercard Gold for 100 CHF per year to its member. This point is very important: You need to be a member of TCS to get this card. If you are not a member of the TCS, it is really not worth it to become one to get the card. This is only my opinion. But you should only get this card if you are already a member of the TCS. Otherwise, you will have to pay extra to be a member. It is not worth it just to get this credit card.
The first year, you will not have to pay the fee, but you will pay 100 CHF each year starting the second year. The big advantage of this card is the 1% cashback bonus plan. There are a few other advantages. For instance, you can get a reduction in a few gas station in Switzerland. And it is interesting to note that you can withdraw money for free outside Switzerland. If you pay abroad in other than CHF, you will pay 1.5% of fees.
How do I know if this card is for me?
Let’s start again with my credit card user profile. I am spending 15’000 CHF every year. Of those, 10’000 CHF are spent inSwisss francs. And 5’000 CHF are spent in foreign currencies. As said in my article about credit cards in Switzerland, it is very important to consider foreign exchange fees. This is something I was not considering before. You can get the same numbers for you and do the same computation!
Let’s see how much the TCS Travel Mastercard Gold would cost me each year:
- Bonus: 15’000 x 1% = 150 CHF
- Annual fees: 100 CHF = -100 CHF
- Foreign fees: 5’000 x 1.5% = -75 CHF
- Total: 150 – 100 – 25 = -25 CHF
With this card, I would pay 25 CHF each year. This is not so bad. This is still better than my current PostFinance Credit Card. And this is exactly the same result I got for my future card, the Cumulus Mastercard. The main difference is that the Cumulus card has less bonus but no fees. This makes 100 CHF fewer fees but 100 CHF less of bonus. Basically, I do not spend enough in Switzerland for this card to make sense. And I spend too much outside Switzerland.
Since I already ordered a Cumulus credit card, I will not switch to TCS credit card for now. They are both equal now for me. The advantage of the TCS credit card would be to be able to withdraw money for free in foreign countries.
In summary, TCS offers a good credit card for its members. The TCS Travel Mastercard Gold is a good credit card if you are already a member of the TCS. The 1% cashback bonus is great. But you need to spend more than me on your credit card to make it worthwhile. If you spend only Swiss francs, you need to spend at least 10’000 CHF with this card. And if you spend in foreign currencies, you will pay 1.5% fees, which you also need to take into account.
For me, it is currently not worth it to take this card. I ordered a free Cumulus Credit Card that I plan to use for now. And I also plan to try a Revolut card to reduce foreign fees transactions. Of course, I will keep you up to date with my findings. You can read my previous post about credit cards for more details on these two credit cards.
Update: I got a Revolut card now! That means I do not spend anything on foreign currency exchange fees! This is a really great card.
What about you ? What credit card do you use ? Do you use the TCS Travel Mastercard Gold ?