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Banking News

Credit Suisse: Debit Mastercard replaces Maestro

June 22, 2020 - Ralf Beyeler

Credit Suisse will use the Debit Mastercard as its standard debit card in place of the Maestro card from July 7, 2020. Here, moneyland.ch answers the most important questions.

Swiss bank Credit Suisse is adopting the Debit Mastercard and phasing out the Maestro debit card. Like the Maestro, the Debit Mastercard is a product of US payments giant Mastercard.

1. When can I get a Credit Suisse Debit Mastercard?

From July 7, 2020, all new debit cards linked to private accounts from Credit Suisse will be Debit Mastercard cards. Credit Suisse will not issue new Maestro cards from that date.

2. Will my Credit Suisse Maestro debit card remain valid?

All existing Credit Suisse debit cards will remain valid until their expiry dates. Once your Maestro debit card expires, you will automatically be issued a Debit Mastercard debit card.

3. How is the Debit Mastercard different from the Maestro debit card?

The biggest advantage of the Debit Mastercard is that it can be used to make online purchases. Swiss Maestro debit cards, on the other hand, can only be used for POS terminal transactions.

The Debit Mastercard is not as widely accepted as Mastercard credit cards. Some merchants – primarily car rental agencies and hotels – require credit cards for reservations.

4. How much does the Credit Suisse Debit Mastercard cost?

  • Like the Credit Suisse Maestro debit card, the Credit Suisse Debit Mastercard has an annual card fee of 50 francs. Debit cards are included in Credit Suisse banking bundles at no additional fee.
  • Cash withdrawals at Credit Suisse ATMs are free of charge. Cash withdrawals at ATMs operated by other Swiss banks cost 2 francs per withdrawal. Cash withdrawals at ATMs outside of Switzerland cost 4.75 francs plus 0.25% of the transacted amount.
  • Payments at POS terminals in Switzerland are free of charge.
  • The phased-out Maestro debit card from Credit Suisse has a foreign transaction fee of 1.50 francs per POS terminal transaction. The new Credit Suisse Debit Mastercard does not have a foreign transaction fee.
  • The markup added to currency exchange rates by Credit Suisse still applies to transactions in foreign currencies.

5. Does the Credit Suisse Debit Mastercard compete with Neon, Revolut, TransferWise?

Credit Suisse is removing the foreign transaction fee for debit card transactions. However, in many cases the Credit Suisse Debit Mastercard is still more expensive for foreign transactions than Neon, Revolut and TransferWise. This is because Credit Suisse typically adds higher markups to currency exchange rates.

6. Can I make tap-and-go payments?

Yes, you can make contactless payments at POS terminals with the Credit Suisse Debit Mastercard just as you can with newer Maestro debit cards. Contactless transactions of up to 80 francs do not have to be authenticated.

7. Can I use the Debit Mastercard for mobile payments?

Mobile payment solutions like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are technically capable of supporting the Debit Mastercard. However, the Credit Suisse Debit Mastercard is not currently enabled for mobile payments.

8. Which other Swiss banks offer Debit Mastercard debit cards?

Up until now, the Debit Mastercard has only been offered by the Banque Cantonale de Fribourg and by Valiant Bank. Credit Suisse is the first bank with a countrywide presence which is replacing the Maestro with the Debit Mastercard. It is likely that many Swiss banks will follow suit over the coming months.

9. What is the biggest change for Credit Suisse customers?

The change brings two major benefits for Credit Suisse customers.

 “The most important change is that, unlike the Maestro card, the Debit Mastercard can be used to pay online,” says moneyland.ch CEO Benjamin Manz.

Another positive change is the removal of the 1.50-franc foreign transaction fee for purchases outside of Switzerland.

More on this topic:
Debit Mastercard FAQ
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Expert Ralf Beyeler
Ralf Beyeler is the telecom expert at moneyland.ch and also covers other areas of personal finance.