business credit card tips guide switzerland
Accounts & Cards

Choosing a Business Credit Card: 10 Key Criteria

April 12, 2023 - Benjamin Manz

Which credit card is right for your business? This guide explains the most important criteria to consider when choosing a business credit card.

There is no single Swiss business credit card which is best for all businesses. But some business credit cards are better suited to the specific needs of your business than others. Here lists key criteria to consider in order to choose the right credit card for your business.

1. Should I use my bank or a third-party card issuer?

In Switzerland, credit cards are offered both by banks, and directly by card issuers. Many businesses obtain their credit cards from the bank at which they already have their business bank account. Some businesses opt for credit cards from a third-party issuer because the benefits and conditions of the cards offered by their banks do not match their needs. The business credit card comparison on can help you make the right choice.

2. Which card issuer is behind the credit card?

The account administration and customer service are provided by the credit card issuer. The issuer also determines most of the features, terms and conditions attached to a card.

This also applies to credit cards provided by your bank, because the credit cards offered by many Swiss banks are issued by third-party card issuers. For example, the credit cards offered by many cantonal banks and Swiss regional banks are issued by the Swiss card issuer Viseca. You can use business credit cards from Cornèrcard and Swisscard regardless of which Swiss bank you work with. Credit cards issued by UBS and Postfinance are only available to companies who use their own business accounts.

3. Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club or Amex?

Visa and Mastercard credit cards are both accepted by many merchants around the world, though there are differences in the acceptance of each from country to country. Some issuers, like Cornèrcard, offer business credit cards in both Visa and Mastercard versions, with all other features being identical. Other business credit cards are offered in Visa or Mastercard versions only.

Card issuer Swisscard also offers American Express (Amex) business credit cards. American Express is not as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercard, but offers unique cardholder benefits. Cornèrcard offers Diners Club International business credit cards in addition to Visa and Mastercard. Diners Club cards are not as widely accepted as Visa and Mastercard cards, but offer a number of extra benefits.

You can learn more in the guide to card payment networks.

4. Business or corporate credit card?

Many credit card issuers differentiate between business and corporate credit cards. As a general rule, business cards are designed for small businesses, while corporate cards are designed for larger companies. The number of business credit cards which can be linked to a single card account may be limited (to 5 cards per account, for example). Corporate card accounts have higher limits or none at all.

5. Credit card or prepaid card?

Businesses which want to avoid unwarranted employee spending can place limits on employee credit cards or use prepaid cards. Prepaid cards generally have lower annual fees than credit cards, but also include fewer complimentary benefits. If you only need a credit card for limited, specific uses, then it is worth noting that there are specialized cards with very specific benefits. For example, there are business credit cards which are designed to simplify purchasing processes and even virtual business credit cards for online purchases and mobile payments.

6. How high are the annual fees?

Swiss business credit cards are relatively expensive. It is common for business credit cards to have annual fees of between 100 and 200 Swiss francs, with the most expensive cards costing as much as 650 francs per year. As a general rule, the higher the annual fee, the more benefits (insurance, special privileges and rewards) a card provides. The annual fee may be waived for the first year as part of a promotional offer. In that case, you begin paying the annual fee from the second year.

Important: Separate annual fees normally apply to each supplementary card. Some issuers charge reduced annual fees for supplementary cards, but fees can still add up (when you have several employee cards, for example). It is possible to negotiate annual fees if your company needs a relatively large number of cards.

7. How high are the foreign transaction fees?

Pay attention to foreign transaction fees: Depending on the card you use, you will pay a foreign transaction fee equal to between 1 and 2.5 percent of each purchase from foreign merchants. Most Swiss credit cards also charge foreign transaction fees when you pay for purchases from foreign merchants in Swiss francs (which is best avoided because of dynamic currency conversion fees).

In addition to foreign transaction fees, you also pay hidden fees in the way of exchange rate spreads. Cards from Swiss Bankers do not have foreign transaction fees, but use a significantly poorer exchange rate. If your business regularly uses credit cards to settle charges in specific currencies such as the euro or U.S. dollar, getting a credit card denominated by that currency can be a good idea - ideally in combination with a foreign currency account in the same currency. This can help you avoid foreign transaction fees. Most Swiss card issuers offer euro and U.S. dollar business credit cards in addition to Swiss-franc-denominated cards.

8. Which account-management and accounting tools are offered?

Whether or not a credit card comes with online tools, accounting tools and options to import purchase records into your company's bookkeeping software is also important. Various options may be available depending on which card issuer and account you use. It can be beneficial to get informed about the tools available before you apply for a business credit card.

9. Do you need complimentary travel insurance?

Many business credit cards include complimentary travel insurance as a benefit. But the specific coverage provided varies broadly between cards. If you or your employees frequently travel for business, it is worth checking which travel insurance is included with a credit card. Travel accident insurance, which pays a benefit if a cardholder is killed or permanently disabled, comes as a benefit with many business credit cards. But only a handful of cards offer luggage insurance and/or comprehensive rental car collision damage waivers.

You can compare the individual insurance coverages provided by Swiss business credit cards using the business credit card comparison on

10. Which additional benefits could your company benefit from?

In addition to insurance coverage, business credit cards may include various other special privileges and benefits. As with insurance coverage, the more special privileges a card provides, the higher the annual fee will normally be. If you do not need special benefits, you can save money by opting for a cheaper credit card. Special privileges which come with some business credit cards include reward programs, memberships, discounts, cheaper car rentals, airport lounge access, travel consultation, and travel booking services. Some cards have the option of embedding you company logo on your cards or even customizing the card design.

Some cards are compatible with mobile payment services like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

More on this topic:
Business credit card comparison
Business loan comparison
Business account comparison

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Expert Benjamin Manz
Benjamin Manz is CEO of and an independent expert on banking and finance.
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