students bank account switzerland

Student Bank Accounts in Switzerland Compared

What should you take into account when opening a Swiss student bank account? Here are moneyland.ch’s tips.

If you are a student, it’s worth knowing that you may be eligible for special offers at Swiss banks. Compared to a "standard" bank account, you get better yield rates and you may also enjoy lower bank fees.

Special offers for students apply to checking accounts and the Maestro or Visa V Pay bank cards (debit cards) and credit cards which accompany them.

Bank offers for students are often packaged with youth banking services, and come with similar terms and conditions.

The marketing logic 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, and it’s worth it for banks to on-board them early.

Student perks 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: As soon as your studies are over (or you hit the age limit), your banking conditions will automatically adjust to the bank’s standard account terms. Comparing current offers for regular accounts no later than a month after completing your studies is recommended.

The reason why it’s a good idea to shop around is some banks have excellent student account offers, but unattractive regular accounts.

Student checking accounts explained

Checking accounts, which are often referred to as private accounts, salary accounts or giro accounts in Switzerland, are designed primarily for managing regular cash transactions.

One of the main benefits of opening a student checking account is that you enjoy higher yield rates than those offered by standard checking 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 (Maestro for example) are waived. Some banks add on additional student benefits, such as free cash withdrawals at all ATMs nationwide.

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

Student savings accounts compared

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 by moneyland.ch lists the best available offer taking your year of birth and student status into account.

Package deals for students

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

Better still, credit cards for students generally come with no annual fee. Unfortunately, there are no privately funded retirement accounts (Swiss pillar 3a accounts) offering student perks as of yet.

Tip: Use the moneyland.ch combined bank comparison tool to find the best package deals for students, taking all aspects (checking and savings accounts, debit and credit cards) into account.

More information:
Bank packages compared
Savings accounts compared
Private accounts compared
Credit cards compared

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The moneyland.ch magazine provides accurate, unbiased information on topics related to finance and money. In addition to research and expert interviews, the magazine contains numerous financial guides.