student bank accounts switzerland comparison
Accounts & Cards

Student Bank Accounts in Switzerland Compared

February 7, 2023 - Benjamin Manz

Find out what you should take into account when opening Swiss student bank accounts in this guide.

If you are a student, it’s worth knowing that you may be eligible for special offers at Swiss banks. Compared to standard Swiss bank accounts, student accounts generally have lower fees and better interest rates.

Student private accounts and their accompanying debit cards generally have much lower fees than standard private accounts. Savings accounts for students typically have higher interest rates. In the case of bank packages for students, special fees may also apply to credit cards.

Student accounts typically have the same favorable fees and interest rates as youth accounts for teenagers, and come with similar terms and conditions.

The marketing strategy behind these offers is simple: Students operate on a tight budget but have big future earning potential. People with higher education tend to make good bank customers down the line, so it is worth it for banks to on-board them early.

The special terms and conditions for students end either once your education is complete, or when you reach a maximum age. Depending on the bank and offer, the maximum age limit for student accounts ranges from 25-years-old to 30-years-old.

Note: When you are no longer eligible for a student account, your account is automatically converted into a standard private account. This is a good opportunity to compare bank accounts.

The reason why it’s a good idea to shop around when your student account expires is that some banks have excellent student account offers, but unfavorable standard accounts.

Student private accounts

Private accounts, also known as personal accounts, checking accounts, salary accounts or giro accounts, are designed primarily for managing regular cash transactions.

One of the main benefits of opening a student private account is that you enjoy higher yield rates than those offered by standard private accounts. The only catch is that there is a cap on the maximum balance for which you earn a higher "student" interest rate. The cap varies between offers and banks, with limits typically ranging from anywhere between 10,000 and 50,000 francs.

Another perk is that, as a rule, the basic account fee and the fee for your debit card (from Mastercard for example) are waived. Some banks add on additional student benefits, such as free cash withdrawals at all ATMs nationwide.

Tip: The unbiased private account comparison takes your year of birth and your eligibility as a student into account, and lists the best private account offers available to you. By calculating all cost factors, the comparison shows you the total costs of using each account.

Student savings accounts

As a student, you can choose between youth savings accounts or standard savings accounts at almost any Swiss bank. A few banks even offer a special student savings account, which (like a youth savings account) offers higher yield rates than a regular savings account. Money withdrawals from your youth or student savings account are typically limited to anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 francs per month. Prior notice of 3 or even 6 months is required to make a larger monthly withdrawal.

Tip: The savings account comparison lists the best available offer taking your year of birth and student status into account.

Student bank packages

Package deals are the new favorite at Swiss banks. You can now find many combined offers for students which include private accounts, savings accounts, bank cards and credit cards.

The credit cards which come with student bank packages generally have no annual fee. There are currently no special Swiss student pillar 3a accounts which have higher interest, and pillar 3a accounts are not normally included in student bank packages.

Tip: Use the bank package comparison to find the best package deals for students based on all components (private accounts, savings accounts, debit cards and credit cards).

More information:
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Expert Benjamin Manz
Benjamin Manz is CEO of moneyland.ch and an independent expert on banking and finance.
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