credit card payments markups switzerland
Accounts & Cards

Markups for Credit Card Payments in Switzerland Explained

February 20, 2023 - Ralf Beyeler

In the past, many stores, online shops, and travel agencies, and most airlines, charged customers who chose to pay by credit card a markup in addition to the price tag. This article explains the current situation in Switzerland, and reveals some of the markups charged in the past.

Until recently, being charged a markup when you chose to settle a payment using a credit card was a relatively common occurrence in Switzerland. These markups were particularly common at shops, online shops, airlines, and travel agencies.

Are merchants allowed to charge you markups? US payment giants Mastercard and Visa include non-discrimination clauses in their contracts which prohibit their partner merchants from adding a markup on the standard price tag when customers pay using Mastercard and Visa cards. The merchant acquirer banks who provide payment services to merchants are supposed to enforce this clause on behalf of Visa and Mastercard. The Swiss Competition Commission banned these kinds of clauses in 2002. However, it lifted the ban in 2015.

The European Union (EU) forbids merchants in its partner countries from passing on the costs of Visa and Mastercard payments to customers by way or markups. But there is currently no similar law in Switzerland.

Markups for credit card payments are generally discouraged

Switzerland’s biggest merchant acquirer, Worldline, requires merchants which use its services to agree not to charge markups. Other Swiss merchant acquirers may include similar clauses in their contracts.

Table: Markups charged for credit card payments in the past

This table shows the credit card payment markups which were charged by popular merchants in the past.

Merchant Markup for credit card payments
Air Berlin 7 to 18 euros 2% Visa, Mastercard: 2%
Diners: 3%
Easyjet 1 to 2% Visa, Mastercard: 2%
Diners: 3%
Hotelplan travel agencies 1.50% CHF 20
Kuoni Up to CHF 5000: CHF 50
Above CHF 5000: CHF 100 2% to 2.5% 2% 1.6% to 1.9% 2.50%
Swiss Flights within Europe: CHF 11
Other flights: CHF 22
After June 2016: 1.65%, maximum CHF 30
TUI Suisse Hotels, beach holidays: 1.5%
Holiday homes: CHF 25


Swiss continues to charge higher fees for card payments

There are Swiss companies which do charge higher fees when you pay by credit card. For example, Switzerland’s leading airline Swiss offers a 5-franc discount to customers who pay with less expensive payment methods. Swiss stressed to that this is not a markup for credit cards, but a discount for select payment methods. It also stressed that Swiss adheres to contractual obligations.

Small businesses bear the brunt of credit card costs

The fees charged to merchants by acquirers like Worldline, Nets, and Sumup when they accept credit card payments are still shockingly high. These merchant fees can make equal 2 to 3 percent of the transacted amount. A part of these charges – 0.44 percent, on average, for payments at Swiss merchants with Swiss credit cards – is made up of interchange fees which go to the issuers of the cards used by customers. On top of the merchant fees, shops also have to pay for the necessary point-of-sale equipment and an Internet connection. You can find detailed information in the guide to accepting card payments.

More on this topic:
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Interchange fees explained
Credit card costs for merchants explained
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Expert Ralf Beyeler
Ralf Beyeler is the telecom expert at and also covers other areas of personal finance.
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