Zak Review 2022: Free Bank Account from Bank Cler

By Baptiste Wicht | Updated: | Save, Switzerland

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

Zak is a free digital Swiss bank account from Bank Cler. It is the first fully digital bank account from Switzerland. It was launched in 2018. As a digital bank account, you can use Zak from anywhere with your smartphone.

The main feature of Zak is that it is free! For all your operations in Switzerland, you will not pay anything. Being free makes Zak very attractive.

Some people dislike digital banks because they are afraid of not having a big bank behind them. But Zak is a bank account from Bank Cler. So you have the advantages of a big bank with the free price of digital banks.

This article will cover Zak in detail: what is good with it and what is not great!

I wrote this article in collaboration with Bank Cler.


Good Swiss Digital Bank

Zak is a good digital bank in Switzerland from Bank Cler. And it is free!

Win 25 CHF when using the JJB3HN code.

Zak is the earliest Swiss digital bank account. Bank Cler started offering Zak accounts in 2018. Bank Cler was previously known as Bank Coop. There are a few new digital bank accounts now. But, interestingly, they were the first ones to start.

This bank account is entirely digital. You can only use it from your smartphone. There is no e-banking access from your desktop.

The main selling point of Zak is to be entirely free for operations in Switzerland. These days, banks have no interest rate. So, it is essential to choose a free bank account. You do not want to waste your money on bank fees.

All people that are more than 15 years old can open a Zak bank account. But you also need to be a resident in Switzerland. If you are not a Swiss citizen, you will need either a B or C permit to open an account.

With Zak, you will have a physical Visa card with each account. Additionally, you will also get a virtual prepaid Visa card. You can use your virtual Visa card for either Google Pay and Apple Pay if you want to pay with your phone.

There is one awesome thing with the prepaid virtual Visa card: you can pay abroad for free! Free purchases abroad are an awesome feature. With Zak, most people will not need a Revolut account just for traveling abroad.

For people that use their phones a lot, this is great. But for people that do not use them much, having only a virtual card is not great. So, for instance, for me, this is a big disadvantage.

I have not been using their mobile application for a long time. But it feels well-designed. It is easy to use and user-friendly. The app simplifies people’s life. Of course, you want your banking app to be as simple as possible.

Since March 2022, Zak supports eBill. This was a feature widely requested by their users. I know many people were not using Zak because of that.

Please note that Zak is only available in the three Swiss national languages: French, German and Italian. It is not available in English. The absence of English is slightly disappointing for ex-pats. It could be a strong disadvantage for many people.

Zak Savings Pots
Zak Savings Pots

Zak Fees

The main advantage of Zak compared to other Swiss bank accounts is the pricing. However, if you use the Zak account correctly, you will not have to pay for anything.

There are no management fees at Zak, and you will not pay any fees for monthly or yearly statements.

All payments through the application are free in CHF and EUR. Most bank accounts offer free payments in CHF, at least.

The physical Visa card of Zak is free. You can withdraw money for free at all Bank Cler ATMs. If you withdraw cash at other ATMs, you will pay 2 CHF per withdrawal in CHF and 5 CHF per withdrawal in EUR. This limitation could be an issue if you have no ATM from Bank Cler close to you. If you withdraw money abroad, you will have to pay 5 CHF per withdrawal.

If you pay with the Visa card in Switzerland, transactions will be free. If you pay abroad, you will pay 1.50 CHF per purchase. You can also deposit cash for free at a Bank Cler ATM.


They also offer a prepaid virtual prepaid Visa card for free. It is free for purchases in Switzerland and abroad! You cannot withdraw money with this card. But you can directly send money back and forth from your account or use it for mobile payment. Since it is virtual, you will have to use it online or with Google Pay or Apple Pay.

The fact that you can pay abroad with the Visa card is awesome! This extra feature can make a huge difference compared to other banks! I think that Bank Cler did a great job at pricing Zak.

On the other hand, the card offer of Zak is not great for purchases in Switzerland. The Visa card does not offer any cashback. The absence of cashback is not a big deal since we have a very strong credit card strategy. This drawback is currently the same for every Swiss digital bank.

If you want all the details of Zak Pricing, they are available online in PDF.

Other features

Zak also has a few interesting extra features. These features could make a difference for some people.

One feature that could be very practical is Zak Illico. With this feature, you can directly send money to other Zak users in real-time. You can imagine using that to pay your friends quickly or to split a bill.

This feature is excellent if you know many people using the application. On the other hand, if you do not know any other users, this is less useful. Depending on how Zak becomes popular in the future, this could become a great thing.

You can also create common savings pots. These pots are like small accounts that up to ten people manage. You can use this to share expenses for projects with a group of people. For example, I can see this being very useful if you are on vacation with some friends and want to keep an overview of the shared bills.

Another thing you can do is create savings pots with individual goals. These are like an account where you can save money for a goal (vacation or retirement). And you can automate some transfers to this account every month. If you need this to manage your finances, this could be a great feature. But if you keep it simple, like me, you probably will not need this feature.

Inside the app, you will also find some deals for shops and services. Depending on the offers, this could be interesting. But I do not see that as a selling point. There are more than enough deals on the internet already. And I will never open my bank application to look for deals.

Some of these features could be interesting for some people, especially the direct payment to other users. However, if you know people using the application, several of these features can be great.

Zak Plus

Zak also comes in a premium version: Zak Plus. This bank account will cost you 8 CHF per month.

With this option, you will have all the features of the standard account. And you will pay fewer fees for one thing: All withdrawals are free regardless of the country or ATM.

You also have a few other advantages like a card with a unique design and free coffee in Bank Cler offices.

Honestly, I do not feel this is a great offer. Generally, abroad, you can avoid withdrawing money. And since you already can pay for free abroad with the Visa prepaid card, there is little advantage in doing the same with the physical Visa.

Zak Plus is a great way to get cash abroad. If you travel a lot and need cash, 8 CHF per month is a small amount to pay. However, it will account for a small percentage as long as you withdraw large amounts regularly.

How to open a Zak account?

Opening a Zak bank account is very easy. Bank Cler made the process extremely straightforward.

You can open an account directly from your phone. You just have to download the app and follow all the steps. You can do that on Apple and Android devices, so I do not have to explain every single step. The process is straightforward. And all the questions asked are entirely standard.

You just need to make sure to have your identity documents ready at hand. They will verify your identity during the process through a video call. This video call may take a few minutes.

Overall, you should be able to create a new account from your couch in less than 10 minutes.

Zak as a payment card

Zak is a great bank account. And it also offers a good Visa card for paying abroad for free.

However, it is not the best option for a payment card in Switzerland. That does not mean you should not use Zak. It merely means you should get a second card for your payments in Switzerland.

The reason is simple: you want a little cashback on your payment card. There are two great options in Switzerland currently:

  • Swisscard Cashback American Express with 1% cashback. I am using this card every time it is possible.
  • Cumulus Mastercard with 0.33% cashback. When American Express is not supported, I use this second card.

Both of these cards are free and offer some cashback. Zak’s card is free, but it does not offer any cashback.

So, Zak is an excellent bank account. But you should try to get another credit card to pay in Switzerland.

Zak versus Neon

Neon is another great free digital Swiss bank account. We can make a small comparison of both bank accounts.

These two bank accounts are very similar. Neon has a Mastercard while Zak has a Visa. Neither bank offers a Maestro card.

Both banks offer free purchases abroad in their basic plan. With Neon, you can use the Mastercard for this. And with Zak, you can use the prepaid Visa card. This free service can make a lot of difference. One difference is that the Mastercard from Neon is a physical card, while the Visa from Zak is virtual. If you use your phone a lot, this will not be a problem. But if you are not using your phone regularly, you may prefer Neon here.

Also, Zak offers a system to send money directly to other users of the application. Again, this feature can be practical if you know many people using it. And this is not possible with Neon.

Regarding their mobile applications, I think that Zak’s mobile application is better. It feels more polished and better finished. But this is not a huge difference. And in the end, you will probably spend very little time inside the application. So it should not matter much. But, on the other hand, if you know many people using Zak, some of the collaboration features could be a good selling point.

One advantage of Zak for some people is that it is offered by a standard bank (Bank Cler). A lot of people find this comforting. On the other hand, many people do not want to use digital bank accounts because they prefer big banks. On the other hand, Neon is not well-known and is only a digital bank and a startup.

One small advantage of Neon is that it is available in English. For people coming to Switzerland who do not yet speak any national languages, this could be an essential advantage.

Overall, I believe that both free bank accounts have advantages and disadvantages. Zak and Neon are much better than most other Swiss bank accounts. Being the bank account of a large Swiss bank, Zak could be a better option for a principal bank account.

If you want more details, I made a detailed comparison of Neon and Zak.


Let’s summarize the pros of Zak:

  • Very easy to use!
  • No account management fee!
  • Free purchases abroad with the Visa card!
  • Can send money directly to other Zak users!
  • All the features are available on your phone!
  • You can use Bank Cler offices about your account!
  • Support for eBill!


Let’s summarize the cons of Zak:

  • The Visa card is virtual;
  • Not available in English;
  • No cashback on the credit card;
  • Relatively low limit (10’000 CHF per week);


Who can use Zak?

Every Swiss resident over the age of 15 can open a Zak account.

How does Zak differ from Bank Cler?

Bank Cler is a traditional bank. Zak is a digital bank account proposed by Bank Cler.

What is Zak Illico?

Zak Illico is a special feature that lets you transfer money directly to other Zak users.


Good Swiss Digital Bank

Zak is a good digital bank in Switzerland from Bank Cler. And it is free!

Win 25 CHF when using the JJB3HN code.

If you want a free and good bank account, Zak is a great option! If you are using it correctly, you will have a fully functional bank account. And you will not have to pay any fees!

I am thrilled digital banks are getting better and better in Switzerland. The fact that we can use Zak Prepaid Visa for purchases abroad for free is fantastic. Bank Cler did an excellent job with this new digital account.

And if you know many people using Zak, it could be great to share some expenses easily. You can even plan project spending in groups inside the application.

If you are still using a non-free bank account, Zak is a great alternative! Indeed, you should consider moving to a digital bank account or at least a free bank account.

If you want to open a Zak account, you can use the code JJB3HN to get 25 CHF in your account.

If you want to consider an alternative, you may also want to look at Neon, another great Swiss digital bank. I have made a comparison of Zak vs Neon for more details. I am personally using Neon.

What about you? What do you think of Zak? Which bank account are you using?

Zak Review [year]: Free Bank Account from Bank Cler - The Poor Swiss

Zak is a free digital Swiss Bank account, from Bank Cler. Save money on your bank account and never pay any bank fees again!

Price Currency: CHF

Operating System: Android, Iphone

Application Category: Bank

Editor's Rating:

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.

32 thoughts on “Zak Review 2022: Free Bank Account from Bank Cler”

  1. The new Visa Card spending limits are too low at 3000.- per month and 2000.- daily, these far too low, can these limits be increased? The virtual cards have been very handy since they dont have a spending limit, just that any given yime it can hold a max of 10k

    1. Hi Deejee,

      Thanks for letting me know, I did not see that the limits were lowered.
      Except in vacations, these limits should be alright no? But I agree that the 2000 daily limit could be a limiting factor when reserving hotels or flights and even 3000 monthly can hurt.

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for the article.
    Any details on cash deposit of CHF at Bank Cler ATM? I suppose this only works if you take “Zak Plus” (and a physical card)?

    Have opened an account & I’m happy so far.

  3. Thank you for your valuable research/information. Understand it better in English.

    I am currently using MasterCard from Viseca directly debit to my Bank Cler Account. Is it better to use Zak instead for daily purchases & purchase of airline tickets/online purchases.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Indra,

      Thanks for your kind words.

      You won’t have any advantage with Zak for daily purchases in CHF since there is no cashback. Zak may be better in foreign currencies since you won’t pay fees with the virtual Visa card.

  4. im a swiss leaving in the philippines can i open a zak account from here,or do i need a swiss phone number?

  5. Hi, Thanks for great bank reviews.

    I have just moved to Switzerland and have a basic question. If I want to pay normal Swiss bills/invoices, does Zak, Neon and CSX all support this? I tried to understand this from your text, but I couldn’t find i.

    1. Hi Anders,

      Yes, they all support this :) You will be able to scan them or enter the numbers manually and pay them from your phone :)
      I’ll make this clearer in the article.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hi,
    seems the invitation code is no longer valid.

    Can you update it? I really would like to use your code to let you get the bonus, and to compensate the wonderful job you are doing with thepoorswiss project.


    1. I have read reviews of Zak app that it crashes a lot. Is it true?
      I am thinking to open an account soon with Zak (once I have my Swiss permit), if they allow people with an L permit to open an account, unlike Neon? That can be great pus for ex-pats who are unlucky to have received an L permit despite a standard work contract.

      Also, I would be happy to use your invitation code, update me if the one above has expired.


      1. I do not think it’s true. At least, the app never crashed for me, but I am not a big user.

        On their website, Zak indicates a B or C permit to open an account. So unfortunately, it seems you won’t be able to open an account there either.

        The Zak code should be working fine.

  7. Hi,
    When you compare Zak and Neon you say that Neon does not have the functionality for directly sending money to other users. Which is true. Meanwhile you can link your Neon account with the TWINT Prepaid app, which offers the same, and even more as you are not limited to users with the SAME app…

    1. Hi Gilles,

      That’s a good point. I did not even know that you could use TWINT with Neon. I never used Twint.
      That just makes it less convenient, but it’s quite practical as well. And Neon said that they will add this feature in the future.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I tried Zak for a few months and then I left, this is why:
    – you cannot transfer more than 5000.- from your Zak bank account without calling them first.
    – the « free » credit card has a 1000.- limit that cannot be upgraded and the bill is withdrawn every month from your account without telling you first.
    – it still does not support « ebill » although they have say it should for more than a year now.
    If you’re a teenager looking for a cheap solution then go for it, if not you might want to look somewhere else

    1. Hi Jocely,

      Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.

      I have heard about this limitation indeed. This could be an issue for people that transfer large amounts. I will make a note of it once I update this article :)
      That’s a good point about the limit with the card. I did not know about it. I will research this and update the article as well.
      I do not mind the bill being withdrawn directly, that’s just easy.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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