- Reminder of my frugal criteria for choosing a Swiss credit card
- Swisscard Cashback credit card ordering tutorial
- Review of the Cashback's mobile app from Swisscard
- Review of the Cashback's web application from Swisscard
- List of stores that refuse Amex in Switzerland
- CHF 40 welcome bonus for you
"Ah, but if you had asked me, I would have told you that Amex is accepted almost everywhere in Switzerland nowadays!" replied Mrs. MP.
I had just explained her that I had received a lot of feedback from readers on my last article on the best Swiss credit card for 2020 who couldn't understand why I hadn't included the Cashback American Express card from Swisscard in my selection.
Indeed, the latter allows you to get 1% cashback in Switzerland for each of your transactions (in cash moreover) — compared to my Cumulus Mastercard and its 0.33% cashback (which are paid in credits to be used in Migros stores).
For added frugality, when you go to Migros, you can pay with your Cashback American Express card AND show your Cumulus card to earn your Cumulus points (same at Coop by the way).
That'll teach me not to talk about my personal finance geek stuff with Mrs. MP!
So, since I never say no to 150-300CHF more per year, I started an Amex experiment in Switzerland in order to make my own opinion on how this credit card was accepted ("only the stupid one doesn't change his mind", as they say!)
I took the opportunity to make screenshots of the order process, my first use of the Swisscard Cashback mobile app, as well as their web application.
Also, if you decide to order an Amex Cashback, here is a code that will allow us to earn CHF 40 each: "FC40XDREG". Win-win the way I like it ;) (thank you in advance).
Before moving on to the tutorial, I put here a quick reminder of my criteria for choosing my credit cards in Switzerland:
- To be able to withdraw CHF cash free of charge from ATMs, and pay even in small shops that only accept the Maestro — this is handled by my Zak's Swiss Maestro card
- Be free for life (no annual fee) — OK because Amex Cashback is free
- Maximize the CHF cashback I can earn when I buy — 1% cashback with the American Express Cashback, there's no better cashback in Switzerland right now
- Have zero fees for purchases in CHF — OK for the Swiss Cashback Card
- Use the interbank exchange rate (i.e. the exchange value of a currency in a transaction between two banks also called "real market rate") without any exchange rate mark-up — forget about Cashback for that, my solution is a combo of Revolut and Wise, formerly TransferWise (see details in this article)
- Have the least transaction fees when paying in another currency (ideally none) — forget about Cashback for this too, for the same reasons as point 5 above
As with many Swiss credit card companies, you can choose the pair of cards you want: Amex and Mastercard, or Amex and VISA.
Step 1: fill in your personal information
Step 2: online access and choice of payment method of the Amex Swiss Invoice
Remember to check the "Online access cardservice" box so that you can download your invoices in PDF format via their website if necessary.
Step 3: Adding an additional Swiss credit card duo for Mrs. MP
We have all our personal finances in common with Mrs. MP. So if we want to be able to use our credit card whenever we want while benefiting from the cashback every time, we each needed our Amex — free option too :)
Step 4: Enter coupon code for the welcome bonus of CHF 40
If you also order a Swiss Cashback credit card from Swisscard, you can use the blog welcome code "FC40XDREG", and we will receive CHF 40 each (thank you in advance):
Step 5: checking your information
Step 6: upload your identity documents
Step 7: printing (WTF!!!!) and sending of the request
My onboarding was going great until I got to this stage. Proud to have filled out all the forms, you get to this point and then... you have to print... and send the form by mail.... WTF!
Seriously, in 2020, dear Cashback team, you could do much better with a digital signature and a 100% online process. Anyway.
Within two weeks, we received our four Cashback credit cards (1x Amex and 1x VISA for each of us).
Here is the onboarding process screen by screen the first time you use the Cashback mobile application:
In addition to the mobile app, Swisscard also offers a web application for its Cashback credit cards. The functionalities are the same as the app (consultation of transactions and invoices).
The only difference, and not the least, is in the design. Beware, it stings the eyes:
It was the fear of the American Express rejection in Swiss stores that made me ignore this Cashback card in my 2020 Swiss credit card strategy.
So I have been conducting an experiment since last July where I list all the stores that refuse the Amex. And I will continue to keep this list up to date (if you see any online stores/shops that are not below, don't hesitate to leave me a comment with this info).
List of Swiss stores and online shops that do not accept American Express (aka Amex):
- Décathlon stores
- Restaurant Colvert in Yvonand
- Restaurant of the Hôtel de Ville of Yverdon-les-Bains (Gerber-Wyss)
- Pizzeria restaurant Montagny-sur-Yverdon (in front of the Mc Do)
- Échandens bowling
For your information, Migros and Coop accept the Amex wherever we've been.
After realizing that Amex is accepted in many places in Switzerland in 2020, I decided to add the Cashback Amex credit card to my strategy.
Indeed, thanks to the 1% American Express cashback, I think we will be able to earn about 150-300CHF more each year without doing anything. I don't refuse such money :)
Our new 2020 Swiss credit card strategy can be summed up like this:
- Zak's free Maestro card for withdrawals at the ATM and to pay at certain places that only accept the Maestro in 2020 (long live the Vaud countryside :D)
- Cashback American Express credit card from Swisscard for all our expenses in CHF in order to earn the 1% cashback (several hundred CHF per year as far as we are concerned)
- Cumulus-Mastercard credit card for all our expenses in CHF when the above Amex Cashback is not accepted. This is in order to earn as many Cumulus points as possible (CHF 0.01 for every CHF 1 spent in Migros stores, and CHF 0.0033 for every CHF 1 spent outside of Migros)
- Revolut Card for all our transactions in foreign currencies in order to have the best possible exchange rate in Switzerland, up to a maximum of CHF 1'250 per month (otherwise after the FX conversion fees are too expensive)
- Wise, formerly TransferWise Card for all our transactions in foreign currencies for when we have exceeded the limit of CHF 1'250 of our Revolut above
And you, have you been using this strategy for a long time (because you listened to your spouse, not like me...) or do you have another one?
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, you can receive a welcome bonus of CHF 40 when you order your Swisscard Cashback Amex credit card. All you have to do is enter the code "FC40XDREG" during the registration process.