Payment cards and Digital Banking Pay the right way on vacation

Where will your journey take you? Whether you’re in Switzerland or abroad, with the right payment method, you can start to relax.

by UBS Insights 03 Jun 2022 5 min read

Vacation time at last! A chance to switch off and relax. When it comes to payment methods, you’ll make your stay a lot easier if you prepare before your trip. Our checklist contains tips on the right payment card, UBS Digital Banking and other useful advice.

Planning before departure

UBS Mobile Banking: Whichever payment card you want to use, the UBS Mobile Banking App lets you keep an eye on your spending, adjust your card limit at any time, block a card in an emergency or obtain a virtual additional card immediately if required.

3-D Secure: Whether you want to book your trip with your card or buy an online ticket for a museum on the move: more and more online stores now use 3-D Secure as a confirmation method to ensure even more security. The easiest way to approve payments is to have the UBS Access App installed on your smartphone. Alternatively, you can approve payments using an SMS code. This way, you will be fully protected against attempted fraud.

Foreign currency delivered conveniently to your home: Unfortunately, happy vacationers can sometimes attract thieves. So it’s advisable to take as little cash as possible, with just a reserve for emergencies. If you have a UBS account, you can order around 75 foreign currencies outside of counter opening times – easily and conveniently in UBS Digital Banking, at a UBS Multimat or by telephone – and have them delivered to your home free of charge. The currency is insured against loss and will normally be with you within two working days.

Prepaid card always topped up: Nothing is more annoying on vacation than getting to the checkout only to find that the balance on your prepaid card is too low. The solution? Before you travel, you can set your credit limit in UBS E-Banking so that your card is automatically topped up whenever your balance falls below a certain limit. Or simply add credit via the UBS Mobile Banking App on your smartphone, without having to leave the beach.

Insurance services: Paying for your trip with a UBS Credit Card is not only secure, but also advantageous: you will automatically be covered by accident insurance while you're traveling. Depending on the credit card, you can also benefit from higher insurance sums and other free additional insurance coverage.

UBS Credit Cards at a glance

UBS Credit Cards meet a wide range of needs and offer many additional services. Do you need a new, different or additional credit card? You will find the right solution in our comparison.

Mobile and contactless on the move

UBS TWINT: More and more people and businesses appreciate cashless and contactless payments. If you’re on vacation in Switzerland, you can now make this type of payment in more and more stores thanks to UBS TWINT. This makes it easy to split bills between friends or family members. Have you already installed and activated the app on your smartphone?

Digital Wallets: Register your credit card on your smartphone to make secure, contactless and convenient payments with your phone or smartwatch. With Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay, practical and secure solutions are available for almost every smartphone.

Contactless card payments: You can pay for smaller purchases of up to CHF 80 in Switzerland without entering the PIN code at the payment terminal. This applies to debit, prepaid and credit cards.

Mobile payments: all the options and details at a glance

Do you want to find out which choices are available for making mobile, contactless and secure payments? We’ve put together an overview of all the solutions and details for you.

Opting for the right card

The card with an attractive exchange rate: In addition to the UBS Classic Credit Card, the UBS key4 prepaid card is ideal for globetrotters and frequent travelers. This card makes sense due to the attractive exchange rate and the lack of processing fees for anyone who spends more than CHF 2,400 in foreign currency with their card each year. It makes no difference whether you are shopping in foreign currency online or abroad in person.

The card you can't lose: Our virtual credit card can be ordered in seconds in the UBS Mobile Banking App or UBS Banking. Save it to the mobile payment solution (Wallet) of your choice – including your smartwatch if you wish – and you’ll have it literally to hand for all your payments when you’re on the move.

Debit card for cash withdrawals: It is not advisable to carry too much cash when on vacation. Besides, more and more stores around the world want or even require payment by card. If you run out of cash in a foreign country, the cheapest way to replenish your funds is to use your debit card at an ATM. With the UBS me individual banking package, you have the option of selecting the cash withdrawal module worldwide. This includes four CHF withdrawals from ATMs of other banks and two withdrawals from ATMs abroad per month. Did you know that the new UBS Debit Cards Visa Debit and Mastercard Debit can also be used to make online payments and registered for 3-D Secure?

Always in local currency

One last tip: when paying by credit card, some hotels and stores offer you the possibility to pay the amount in Swiss francs right away. As a rule, however, it makes sense for you to choose payment in the foreign currency, as the conversion applied abroad is often based on a poor exchange rate and you will sometimes also incur fees in the process.