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TCS Travel Mastercard Gold Credit Card with 1% cashback!

Baptiste Wicht | Updated: |

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

In the past, I already compared the credit cards in Switzerland. At this point, the best credit card is the Certo One Mastercard. I compared several credit cards to arrive at that conclusion. However, even though I have found a good credit card for my situation, it is a bad idea not to consider new options.

However, there is a card I did not consider in my first comparison. The Touring Club Suisse (TCS) is offering two new credit cards for its members.

What is very interesting is the TCS Travel MasterCard Gold. This card will cost you 100 CHF annually, although it is free in its first year. But they will give you 1% cashback. This cashback makes it an exciting card for Switzerland.

The second one is the TCS Member MasterCard. This card is not particularly interesting since it does not offer cashback, but at least it is a free credit card.

In this article, I look at this card in detail.

How to compare credit cards

Now, when you compare credit cards, you need to compare two things: the price of the credit card and the cash back you get when you make a purchase.

First and foremost, you want to consider only free credit cards. Even a 100 CHF annual fee will remove most cashback from the card. Credit card companies are always trying to make people buy more expensive cards with the promise of bigger cashback. However, you need to spend a ton of money each month with a credit card to make the higher fee interesting.

Once you have eliminated the credit cards that are too expensive, you need to consider the advantages you have with these cards. You want to get the credit card with the highest cashback. Ideally, you want real cash back, not points or coupons. But if you know you will spend all the coupons or points, it may also be worth considering it.

TCS Travel Mastercard Gold

TCS Mastercard Gold
TCS Mastercard Gold

TCS is offering its members the TCS Travel Mastercard Gold for 100 CHF per year. This point is essential: You need to be a member of TCS to get this card.

If you are not a member of the TCS, it is not worth it to become one to get the card. Of course, it is only my opinion. However, you should only get this card if you are already a member of the TCS. Otherwise, you must pay the extra fee to be a member. This fee is not a lot of money. It is only 32 CHF per year. But it still adds up.

It is not worth it just to get this credit card. The card is already expensive, and adding the membership will make it even more expensive.

In the first year, you will not have to pay the fee. But you will pay 100 CHF each year starting the second year. The most significant 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 stations 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.

Is the TCS MasterCard Gold Good For Me?

Now, every credit card user is different, so there cannot be an answer for everybody. However, the process of comparing credit cards is relatively simple.

We start again with my credit card user profile. I am spending 15’000 CHF every year. Of those, I spend 10’000 CHF Swiss francs. And 5’000 CHF is spent in foreign currencies. As said in my article about credit cards in Switzerland, it is vital to consider foreign exchange fees. It is something I was not taking into account before.

You can get the same numbers and do the same computation! If you do not know these numbers, go through the last twelve months of credit card statements and get the total in CHF and foreign currencies. It should not take a long time and will probably show you a thing or two about your spending.

Here is 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 fee is not so bad. But it is also not so great. With the Certo One Mastercard, I would get the same bonus without any annual fees, saving 100 CHF per year.

I do not spend enough in Switzerland for this card to make sense. And I spend too much outside Switzerland.

The only advantage of the TCS credit card is that it allows you to withdraw money for free in foreign countries.

Your mileage may vary with your spending profile. If you spend much more than I do with your credit card in Switzerland, this new credit card could interest you!


In summary, TCS offers good credit cards for its members. The TCS Travel Mastercard Gold is a good credit card if you are already a member.

The 1% cashback bonus is excellent, but you need to spend more than me on your credit card to make it worthwhile. If you spend only Swiss francs, you must spend at least 10,000 CHF with this card. If you spend in foreign currencies, you will pay 1.5% in fees, which you also need to consider.

It is not worth it for me to take this card. The Certo One Mastercard allows you to get 1% cash back in three shops without an annual fee, and a Neon debit card will enable you to save more on foreign currency exchange fees.

What about you? What credit card do you use? Do you use the TCS Travel Mastercard Gold?

The best financial services for your money!

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Baptiste Wicht started 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. 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.

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14 thoughts on “TCS Travel Mastercard Gold Credit Card with 1% cashback!”

  1. The TCS card cashback does not work for all suppliers, just some, and the customer service is terrible. Fine for Tamoil and BP, but the big cashbacks never come. Half-scam.

  2. I have the TCS Mastercard Gold and the cashback makes it absolutely worth it for me (I try to pay everything I can by credit card), the monthly payout is very convenient and I don’t have the annoyance of trying to pay with the Cashback Amex and have it refused (most shops accept it but not all, for example Aldi). The major drawback for me is that the optional SMS notification costs 4 CHF per month (2 for online transactions only) which is too much, and the transactions on the app appear only the day after, so I feel a bit less safe from fraud and I am not always sure for example if a “broken” online transaction went through. It is still my favorite but it’s not perfect.

    1. Hi Federico,

      It’s a good point that with the AMEX, you have to think every time whether you can use it or not.
      With the AMEX, I don’t have proper notifications either and everything takes a long time to appear. The same is true with the Cumulus cards. Swiss credit card are just lagging behind in all these technology points.

    1. Hi Thomas,

      That’s good to know. I did not know any of that. I especially like the fact that cashback is paid monthly. This is much more practical.
      If I were taking gas at BP or Tamoil, this would start to get interesting!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I have this card. I “switched” from Cumulus at the start of 2019 (still have Cumulus as backup). I got about 400 CHF cashback (don’t kill me, I spent way too much this year, but I did take a 3 month vacation). What I love about this card is some of the perks: The benefits program is really good (some shops or booking or even Swiss offer more cashback), renting cars with it is super affordable with the big guys (with great insurance and an additional driver) and what I didn’t know until yesterday: car insurance with TCS is 10% off if you have a gold card! As it is already 100 CHF cheaper than mine I am sure to switch as soon as my stupid contract ends (thanks for the car insurance article, it made me realize even more how stupid I was)

    1. Hi retireby50,

      Wow, that’s a lot of cashback! At least, it’s good that if you spend a lot, you get a lot back. Do you mind sharing which shops have more cashback? This could be interesting.
      It’s also good to know that you can save on car insurance at TCS.

      Several contracts for car insurance are way too long indeed. But we do not check the date generally, only the price. I did the same thing ;)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. TCS basic membership costs CHF 32 per year. Therefore, the total cost of the card is CHF 132, and it is totally worth it. Your advice that it is not worth it for non-members is just wrong.

    1. Hi Carlos,

      That’s your opinion, there is nothing wrong with the math.

      If you are a member, you will need to spend more than 14’285 CHF per year with this card to make it better than the Cumulus card.
      If you are not a member, you will need to spend more than 18’857 CHF per year with this card to make it better than the Cumulus card.

      Given these numbers, I still think it’s not worth it.

  5. Hi, I think you meant 100 CHF per year for the card? In one of the paragraphs, the cost is mentioned as 100 CHF per month.
    Thanks for the update and the extended info.

    1. That’s pretty nice :)

      I never heard of this one, thanks Mauro!

      But, it’s not the same price. The gold one is 200 CHF per year for 1% bonus, the silver is 100 CHF per year for 0.5% bonus. But for foreign exchange fees, if you have the currencies on your card, it’s really nice!

      Thank you very much Mauro!

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