Swisscard launched the Cashback Visa and Cashback World Mastercard on November 1, 2018. The launch closely follows the termination of the Coop Supercardplus partnership between Coop and Swisscard.
Both versions of the new card do not have annual card fees, deliver cash back rewards and are compatible with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. The new cards have already been integrated into the moneyland.ch credit card comparison and can be compared to other Swiss credit cards based on its costs and benefits.
The only no-annual-fee credit card which works with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay
Holders of the Coop Supercardplus and Migros Cumulus Mastercard – the two most popular no-annual-fee credit cards in Switzerland – are not, as of yet, able to use those cards with the Apple Pay and Samsung Pay mobile wallets.
With the launch of the new card on November 1, 2018, Swisscard has introduced the first credit cards without annual card fees which are compatible with these mobile wallets. “That makes the Cashback card from Swisscard the most affordable Swiss credit card for Apple Pay and Samsung Pay users,” according to moneyland.ch CEO Benjamin Manz. While the Travel Cash Card issued by Swiss Bankers also does not have an annual fee, it is not a credit card but a prepaid card. Travel Cash Card holders pay loading fees when they add money to their cards.
The cash back rewards compared
The term cash back describes rewards for using a credit card which are paid out to or can be redeemed by the cardholder. The interactive moneyland.ch credit card comparison accounts for the cash back earned on your estimated average spending and deducts it from the costs of using payment card. No cash back is earned on cash withdrawals, payment of card fees and payment of interest charges.
Compared to reward programs which are based on points, cash back cards are simpler and more convenient because rewards are automatically credited to the card account as statement credits. Points typically must be redeemed for goods, services or statement credits by card users – normally with minimum amounts required to redeem. Because of this, rewards may go unredeemed by cardholders. The options available when redeeming points are generally limited, while cash back can be used anywhere where you can pay with your credit card.
Only a handful of genuine cash back cards are available in Switzerland. The best known are the credit cards and prepaid cards issued by Postfinance and the Travel Mastercard Gold issued by Cembra Money Bank for TCS members. The cash back delivered by these cards is compared below.
The new cash back credit cards from Swisscard come with an introductory offer of 0.5% cash back until December 31, 2019. After that, users earn cash back equal to 0.25% of purchases charged. That is a lower rate than those of the Postfinance cards and the TCS Gold card, but the Swisscard Cashback cards have the advantage of not having an annual fee. They are the only no-annual-fee cash back credit cards currently issued in Switzerland.
Cash back credit card costs compared
The fee schedule of the new Cashback cards from Swisscard is similar to that of the Coop Supercardplus cards, and is also similar to that of the Migros Cumulus Mastercard. All of these cards (Swisscard Cashback, Coop Supercardplus and Migros Cumulus Mastercard) do not have annual fees. All three have 1.5% foreign transaction fees, effective annual interest rates of 11.95%, late payment fees of 30 Swiss francs, paper statement fees of 1.95 francs and cash advance fees equal to 3.75% of the amount withdrawn (minimum 5 francs in Switzerland and 10 francs abroad).
The biggest cost-related difference between the Swisscard Cashback cards and the Coop Supercardplus is the way they reward users. The Swisscard Cashback cards deliver cash back on purchases, while Coop Supercardplus users earn Superpoints on purchases. The moneyland.ch credit card comparison accounts for the introductory 0.5% cash back offer (for the time remaining between the date on which the comparison is used and December 31, 2019), and 0.25% cash back after that.
For the Coop Supercardplus and the Migros Mastercard, the moneyland.ch comparison calculates rewards equal to 0.33% of estimated spending. It is important to note that the financial benefits accounted for by the comparison are only effective if all points earned are redeemed, and the card must be used for all estimated spending – not just purchases from Migros or Coop stores.
Currency exchange rates are another factor which affects the costs of credit cards. Rates recorded by moneyland.ch in the past show that Cembra Money Bank (which issues the Migros Cumulus Mastercard) has at times had better exchange rates than Swisscard, while at other times Swisscard has had the better rates. Exchange rates are subject to change on a daily basis.
It is fair to say that the Cashback credit cards from Swisscard are among the most affordable Swiss credit cards. Additionally, the cash back reward system is more customer friendly than points-based rewards programs.
Differences between the Cashback cards, Coop Supercardplus cards and the Migros Cumulus Mastercard
The most important differences between the Swisscard Cashback credit cards and the other major no-annual-fee credit cards is found in the rewards program (cash back) and its compatibility with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. For customers who prefer cash back or who use mobile wallets, those two differences are advantages.