In Switzerland, credit cards generally follow American-Express-style color coding, with platinum representing the high-end credit cards. Swiss platinum cards may use the Visa, MasterCard or American Express payment networks. Issuers which offer Platinum cards in their lineup include Bonuscard, PostFinance, Swisscard AECS, TopCard, UBS and Viseca.
The costs and benefits of all these cards are included in the credit card comparison tool by moneyland.ch. Just select the “Platinum” filter under “Card type” and sort the results by the benefits and costs.
Annual card fees for platinum cards range from between 216 and 850 Swiss francs, making them much more expensive than “gold” and “silver” credit cards.
Platinum cards: fees and charges are just as high
Most of the fees and charges are identical to those you pay with Gold and Silver cards. Administrative fees for foreign currency transactions range between 1.2 and 2.5 percent, with the currency exchange spread adding another 2 percent to the cost of foreign transactions. You can avoid paying foreign transaction fees for U.S. dollar and euro transactions by getting a dollar or euro credit card, both of which are available in Switzerland.
As with most credit cards, getting cash with a Platinum credit card is expensive. Depending on which card you use, the cash advance fee is equal to 2.5 percent to 3.75 percent of the amount you draw at an ATM, with a 5-franc minimum charge for cash advances in Switzerland (typically 10 francs when you make a withdrawal abroad). Debit cards provide a much cheaper way to make cash withdrawals.
Platinum cards: The benefits are the payoff
Because platinum cards do not generally provide lower fees or charges, their value is not found in lower costs but rather in the outstanding benefits they deliver.
For a start, platinum credit cards come with very high payment limits and long lines of credit. If you have excellent creditworthiness, your credit line will be almost unlimited. If you use credit cards to make a lot of purchases every month, the absence of credit limits can give you a lot of flexibility.
Additionally, you normally receive a number of supplementary cards for authorized users free of charge.
But the special privileges and benefits you enjoy are by far the biggest attraction of platinum credit cards. Only a handful of very exclusive credit cards for high earners, such as the Centurion Card from American Express (minimum 150,000-franc annual income required), deliver more privileges.
Platinum benefits include:
- Multiple currencies: Unlike standard credit cards, platinum cards are available in euro and U.S. dollar versions in addition to the standard Swiss franc cards. If you travel to euro-zone member countries or to the U.S. frequently, you can use the relevant card to avoid paying foreign transaction fees.
- Rewards programs: Platinum cards generally come with high welcome offers (bonus points or miles). In some cases, the rate at which you earn rewards or cash back may be higher as well. Additionally, platinum credit cards often include travel or shopping credits as benefits.
- Concierge services: VIP privileges like 24/7 access to a dedicated concierge service and complimentary access to airport lounges are among the most useful benefits provided by platinum cards. A concierge service, for example, can handle many time-consuming tasks such as restaurant or travel bookings, locating difficult to find items or places, finding the best deal on goods or services, ordering and delivering gifts, researching information you need and much more. Airport lounges provide a comfortable place to wait for your flight, and may include complimentary internet access, food and drinks, business facilities like conference rooms and office equipment, rest areas, and children’s play areas.
- Insurance coverage: Platinum cards provide more comprehensive insurance coverage than other credit cards. Travel insurance benefits usually include: trip interruption insurance, trip cancellation insurance, luggage insurance (against theft, loss or damage), luggage delay coverage, flight delay coverage, travel accident insurance and rental car insurance, among others. Purchase insurance coverage you get with most platinum cards includes guaranteed returns, purchase protection (insurance coverage for items you purchase using your card) and price protection (price-matching).
If platinum perks, like enjoying more productive or pleasant airport waits or having a concierge service handle your bookings and online shopping research, are services that you would be willing to pay for anyway, getting a platinum credit card could be more like a practical financial decision than a feel-good purchase.
The broad credit line could also prove practical if you want to use you card for really large purchases (a car, for example) in order to benefit from cash back or shopping benefits.
Prices and benefits vary widely among Swiss platinum credit cards, the unbiased credit card comparison on moneyland.ch makes it easy to filter and sort cards to find the best value credit cards for the perks you want.
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