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Accounts & Cards

How to Use Swiss Credit Cards to Save on Car Rentals

June 26, 2023 - Daniel Dreier

Many people in Switzerland pay for car rentals using credit cards, either online or when collecting their car. But many travelers are not aware of the money-saving benefits they can get when booking rental cars with Swiss credit cards.

Credit cards have become a popular way to pay for car rentals. This is partly due to the fact that many car rentals are now booked in advance online, and partly because many of the big-name rental agencies request credit card information as collateral in place of a deposit.

But consumers that charge car rentals to their credit cards often pay more than necessary because they aren’t aware of the discounts and benefits which they are entitled to. In Switzerland, a number of credit cards from major issuers give you discounts at rental car companies. Additionally, some cards provide complimentary rental car insurance when you use them to pay for car rentals.

Here, moneyland.ch lists the discounts for four major rental car companies that you can get with certain Swiss credit cards.

1. Avis

  • Postfinance: If you have a PostFinance credit card, you can get a discount when you use your card to pay for Avis car rentals. An Avis Worldwide Discount code is displayed on the back of your card, and you can use this discount code to claim your discount when making bookings. To automatically get discounts for online bookings, use the link to Avis provided on the Postfinance website.
  • Bonuscard: Visa Bonus Card credit cards entitle you to discounts of up to 25 percent at Avis. That also applies to Visa Libertycard credit cards. If you book car rentals with a Bonus Card Gold, a Bonus Card Exclusive, or a Libertycard Plus, you also benefit from a complimentary rental car collision damage waiver.

2. Europcar

  • UBS: UBS credit card users benefit from discounts at Europcar, paying up to 5 percent less with a Basic UBS Credit Card, up to 15 percent less with a Classic or Gold UBS Credit Card, and up to 20 percent less with a Platinum UBS Credit Card. Additionally, when you use the UBS Gold or Platinum credit cards to pay for car rentals (at any rental car company), you are automatically covered by a collision damage waiver (up to 10,000 Swiss francs per claim). Unless you need more coverage than that, you can turn down the collision damage waiver offered by the rental car company and save the money.
  • Topcard: Cards issued by Topcard also include discounts for Europcar (up to 15 percent with the Classic and Gold cards, and up to 20 percent with the Platinum card). The Coop Supercard credit card also gives you a 15-percent discount at Europcar.
  • Migrolcard: The Migrolcard from Migros gas stations may be a gas card rather than an all-round credit card, but presenting this card entitles you to discounts of up to 15 Prozent on standard car rentals from Europcar.

3. Hertz

  • Viseca: If you use a Viseca credit card, including those provided by cantonal, regional and Raiffeisen banks, you can get up to 15 percent off standard rates when you use your card to pay for Hertz car rentals. Use the Hertz discount code printed on the back of your credit card (look for the Hertz logo) when making bookings. Viseca Gold and Platinum cards also include a rental car collision damage waiver.
  • Cornèrcard: Cornèrcard offers Hertz discounts to holders of many of its credit cards, including the Cornèrcard Classic and Cornèrcard Gold. Using an eligible Cornèrcard credit card to pay for Hertz car rentals lets you score discounts of at least 15 percent in Switzerland and up to 10 percent on foreign car rentals. This also applies to Swiss Diners Club credit cards, as well as credit cards from other banks (Baloise Bank SoBa, for example) that are issued by Cornèrcard.
  • American Express (Swisscard): With an American Express Gold you can get up to 10 percent off standard rates for Hertz car rentals. With an American Express Platinum Card you automatically receive Gold Plus Rewards Five Star status at Hertz (discounts of up to 5 percent), and you also benefit from a collision damage waiver when you pay for car rentals with this card.

4. Sixt

Conclusion

Sticking to a single rental car company just because your credit card gives you a discount at that company is not always the best-value option. But in many cases, claiming your credit card discounts can help you save on rentals. Make sure to compare the discounted price with other rental car offers in case a better deal is available elsewhere.

It is also important to note that the discounts advertised by rental car companies and credit card issuers normally apply to the regular price you pay at the counter. They may not apply to prepaid offers, online bookings, and special promotional offers.

If you rent cars fairly often and always use the same big-name car rental company when you rent vehicles, it could make financial sense to get a credit card that entitles you to discounts at that rental car company. The rental car benefits provided by credit cards are shown on the “info” pages of each product in the moneyland.ch credit card comparison.

More on this topic:
Compare car insurance premiums now
Compare Swiss credit cards now
How to get cheaper car rentals
Car plans in Switzerland explained
Swiss car insurance: Is underinsured motorist insurance necessary?

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Editor Daniel Dreier
Daniel Dreier is editor and personal finance expert at moneyland.ch.
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