PostFinance will no longer issue credit cards to customers residing outside of Switzerland. All existing credit card agreements with Swiss nationals living abroad will also be terminated by the end of October 2015. PostFinance shared this unwelcome news with its customers in July.
Swiss banks as a whole have begun to redefine their relationships with customer living outside of the country. Many banks have placed new restrictions or raised account fees for Swiss residing abroad. Banks cite the increased regulations and possible legal complications as the reasons behind their introducing these measures.
Recently, PostFinance raised account fees for customers residing outside of Switzerland. The state-owned financial services provider cited “regulatory guidelines” as the reason behind its decision to stop issuing credit cards to Swiss living abroad.
PostFinance credit cards compared
Compared to other Swiss credit cards, PostFinance credit cards perform very well for certain types of customers, including customers who use credit cards outside of Switzerland. However, there are other credit cards with more favorable exchange rates (PostFinance uses UBS currency conversion rates).
But a card’s performance can only really be measured by taking all costs into account. Besides currency conversion costs, expenses and savings resulting from foreign transaction fees, annual card fees and cash back rewards should also be accounted for.
Thanks to relatively low foreign transaction fees of 0.9% and relatively high cash back rewards, PostFinance credit cards, on average, perform very well for use cardholders who use credit cards outside of Switzerland. A quick comparison using the leading Swiss credit card comparison tool by moneyland.ch confirms this.
Alternative: Non-Swiss credit cards
Even the best Swiss credit card is not usually the most affordable option for cardholders who stay outside of Switzerland for extended periods. Credit cards issued outside of Switzerland, such as credit cards from German direct banks, often come with lower costs. Getting a credit card locally in your place of residence also helps you avoid the foreign transaction fees which you pay.