Linking Credit Card to Bank Account

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  • BenutzernameMoneyland User Questions
  • Status Member
  • Registriert seit1/27/17
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Is there a way I can link a Swiss credit card to my bank account and use it like a debit card?

  • BenutzernameMoneyguru von
  • OrtSchweiz
  • Status Expert
  • Registriert seit8/4/15
  • Beiträge4016

Hi there,

Some Swiss banks – including cantonal banks, Raiffeisen banks, and many regional banks whose credit cards are issued by Viseca – give you the option of linking your bank-issued credit card to your private account at the same bank. This option is sometimes referred to as "direct debit".

Activating this option lets you withdraw money at ATMs directly from your private account instead of getting cash advances which must be settled at the end of the billing cycle. Because money is withdrawn from your account rather than advanced by the issuer, you do not pay the cash advance fee or possible interest charges.

Activating the "direct debit" option, if available, can save you a lot of money if you regularly use your credit card to get cash at ATMs.

Here are a few important points to note if you plan to take advantage of this option:

1. Only cash withdrawals are debited directly from your private account. All purchases you make using your credit card (at point-of-sale terminals or online, for example) are billed at the end of each billing cycle, as is standard with credit cards.

2. Many Swiss banks charge a fee (CHF 2 per withdrawal, for example) when you make withdrawals at ATMs operated by other banks using your debit card or account-linked credit card. Stick to ATMs in your bank's network to avoid paying this fee. Most cantonal banks allow fee-free withdrawals at ATMs operated by all cantonal banks. Raiffeisen banks allow fee-free withdrawals at ATMs operated by Raiffeisen banks.

3. In the case of Visea credit cards (cantonal banks, Raiffeisen and more), direct withdrawals cannot be performed at ATMs operated by Postfinance. Cash withdrawals at Postfinance ATMs are treated as cash advances.

4. If you only use a card to withdraw money within Switzerland, linking your credit card to your private account replaces the need for a debit card. In many cases you can avoid getting a debit card and paying the annual debit card fee, if you use a credit card anyway. However, ATM cash withdrawals outside of Switzerland are treated as cash advances. If you regularly use cards to withdraw money outside of Switzerland, it is advisable to hold a debit card in addition to your credit card because debit cards typically charge lower fees for international cash withdrawals than credit cards.

Annual credit card annual fees are listed in the credit card comparison. Annual debit card fees are listed in the private account comparison.

5. Unlike debit cards, which can be used to withdraw euros at many Swiss ATMs, withdrawals via linked credit cards may be limited to Swiss francs.

Best regards from Moneyguru

More on this topic:
Guide to cash withdrawals