credit card applying guide

Guide to Applying for a Credit Card

What information should you include in a Swiss credit card application? Learn how to go about applying for a credit card in this guide.

More than 6 million credit cards are in use across Switzerland. Many card users hold more than one credit card. Because each credit card has its own set of costs and benefits, performing a thorough credit card comparison before you apply is recommended. Choosing the right card can help you save money.

Obligatory Copy of ID

Many people pass over comparing credit cards because they underestimate the cost-saving potential of choosing the right card and they overestimate the effort involved in comparing. In fact, comparing credit cards is quick and easy. Applying for a credit card is also relatively simple, although a copy of some ID (passport, ID card, drivers license) is required.

Information for credit check

Entering your personal information on the application is necessary because credit cards fall under consumer credit laws which require lenders to carry out a credit check. Lenders are legally prohibited from approving a credit card application if there is a risk of the applicant becoming overly indebted. In addition to the information which you provide, credit card issuers may also obtain credit records from third parties such as the Zentralstelle für Kreditinformation (ZEK) in order to accurately determine your creditworthiness.

The exact personal information required varies between card issuers. You can find an overview of the information required in the list below.

Credit cards: Personal information

Be ready to provide the following information when completing a credit card application:

  • Your title, surname, given name and date of birth are required by all issuers. Individuals younger than 18 will not be approved for credit cards, although they may apply for prepaid cards.
  • Marital status: This information is required by most issuers.
  • Telephone and email address: Your phone number (fixed or mobile) is normally required, while entering your email may be optional.
  • Residential address: All issuers require you to enter you address in credit card applications. Some may require you to state how long you have resided at your current address.
  • Commune of origin or place of birth: Only a few issuers like Viseca and Cornèrcard require this information.
  • Nationality: All card issuers require you to state your nationality.
  • Residence permit: If you are not a Swiss citizen, you must provide a copy of your Swiss residence permit. Some credit card companies require you to state how long you have held the residence permit.
  • Children: Some issuers like Cornèrcard, Cembra Money Bank, Swisscard and BonusCard require you to list the number of underage children in your care. The exact ages of your children are rarely required.
  • Employer: Entering the name and address of your employer is compulsory on all Swiss credit card applications. Most applications also require you to state how long you have been employed by the listed employer. Only a few issuers expect you to include your employer’s telephone number. In most cases your employer’s phone number can be easily researched by issuers using the name and address provided.
  • Occupation and title: This information is always obligatory.
  • Financial situation and employment status: Most issuers require you to state the capacity in which you are employed (employed, self-employed, intern).
  • Income: Stating your income – typically your annual income – is always mandatory. Some applications may require that you state you nett income as well. PostFinance credit card applications do not require an exact number but let you select an income range (30,000 to 75,000 francs per annum, for example).
  • Personal wealth: You will not normally be required to enter information relating to your savings and other personal wealth. Cembra Money Bank requests information about your personal wealth if you are not employed.
  • Home ownership: Stating whether you rent or own your home is typically required, although this information is not requested on UBS, PostFinance and BonusCard applications.
  • Cost of housing: You will normally have to state how much you spend on renting your home. Exceptions to this rule are card applications from UBS, PostFinance and BonusCard.

More on this topic:
Unbiased credit card comparison
Swiss prepaid cards explained
Credit card foreign transaction fees explained

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The magazine provides accurate, unbiased information on topics related to finance and money. In addition to research and expert interviews, the magazine contains numerous financial guides.