Comparison of prepaid SIM cards in Switzerland
Discover the main online providers of prepaid cards in Switzerland. Here you will find a non-exhaustive list of prepaid card providers. We have selected both non-binding offers and practical renewable offers at affordable prices.
How do prepaid SIM cards work in Switzerland?
Prepaid-SIM-Karten oder auch Prepaid-Karten genannt funktionieren genauso wie herkömmliche SIM-Karten mit einem Abonnement (Postpaid), aber mit einem wichtigen Unterschied: Sie bezahlen im Voraus für mobile Kommunikationsdienste wie Anrufe, SMS und Internetdaten. So sind Sie an kein Abonnement gebunden und können Ihre Ausgaben für die Mobiltelefonie jederzeit stoppen.
Das funktioniert folgendermassen:
- Buy a prepaid SIM card: You can buy a prepaid SIM card online or in a specialised shop.
- Insert the SIM card: Once you have purchased the SIM card, you need to insert it into your mobile phone. To do this, you need to remove the current SIM card from your mobile phone (if you already have one) and insert the new prepaid SIM card. Some smartphones also have the option of inserting two SIM cards.
- Activate your SIM card: Once you have inserted the SIM card, you need to activate it by following the instructions provided by your phone provider. This may involve either dialling an activation number, sending a text message or filling in an online form.
- Reload your prepaid account: After you have activated your SIM card, you need to top up your prepaid account with your credit card in order to use the mobile communication services. You can do this by buying call credit from your mobile operator or in a shop.
- Use the services: Once your prepaid account is topped up, you can use mobile services such as calls, SMS and data until your credit is used up. If you need more credit, you need to top up your account by buying more call credit.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of prepaid SIM cards?
Prepaid SIM cards or prepaid SIM cards have several advantages, here is an incomplete list:
Spending control: With a prepaid SIM card, you can control your spending by only spending what you have paid for beforehand.
No contract: Unlike mobile phone tariffs, prepaid SIM cards do not require a long-term contract, meaning you can stop using the service at any time without obligation.
No credit check: Unlike mobile phone tariffs, prepaid SIM cards do not require a credit check, making them accessible to all users.
Easy to use: Buying and activating a prepaid SIM card is simple and they are often available in local shops, petrol stations and ATMs.
Ideal for travel or a stay of a few months: Prepaid SIM cards are a popular choice for travellers as they can avoid roaming charges and stay in touch with friends and family at an affordable cost.
Higher costs: The costs for the services on a prepaid SIM card ( calls, SMS, internet data) are usually higher than for a normal mobile phone tariff.
Regular top-up: You need to top up your prepaid SIM card regularly to continue using mobile services. Some providers offer you automatic renewal for your convenience.
No unlimited offers: Prepaid SIM cards usually do not offer unlimited offers, so you have to pay for every minute, SMS and GB of data volume used.
No phone subsidies: Mobile phone providers usually don't offer phone subsidies with prepaid SIM cards, which means you have to buy your phone at full price.
Who are prepaid SIM cards suitable for?
Prepaid SIM cards are aimed at different types of users, here are some examples :
People who want to control their budget: Prepaid SIM cards help you control your communication expenses, as you have to pay in advance for mobile services in Switzerland.
People without credit history or with bad credit history: Prepaid SIM cards do not require a credit check, making them accessible to people without credit history or with bad credit history.
Travellers, expatriates in Switzerland: Prepaid SIM cards are popular with travellers because they avoid roaming charges and can stay in touch with friends and family at low cost.
People who do not use their mobile phone often: Prepaid SIM cards can be an interesting option for people who do not use their mobile phone often, as they do not need a long-term contract and the call credit can be used over a longer period of time.
People looking for a temporary solution: Prepaid SIM cards can be a temporary solution for people who only need mobile services for a limited period of time, e.g. for a short-term professional project or during a holiday in Switzerland.
How do I activate a prepaid SIM card?
To activate a prepaid SIM card, visit your mobile operator's website for instructions or follow the steps below:
Insert the SIM card into your phone or device.
Turn on your phone or device.
Call or send a message to your mobile operator's customer service number.
Follow the instructions to activate your SIM card by providing your personal details and entering the unique activation code found on the SIM card.
Wait until the activation process is complete. This may take a few minutes to hours depending on your network operator.
Once your SIM card is activated, you can start using your phone or device to make calls, send text messages and use mobile data. Remember to top up your account with prepaid credit so that you can continue to use your mobile operator's services.
How can I top up a prepaid SIM card?
To top up a prepaid SIM card, visit your provider's website where everything is clearly explained to you, or you can follow the steps below:
Check the balance on your prepaid account by entering the appropriate USSD code or using your provider's mobile app.
Buy a prepaid top-up card at a shop, petrol station or online.
Scratch the grey area free to reveal the unique top-up code or follow the online instructions.
Select the USSD recharge code from your phone or follow the instructions to recharge in your mobile operator's mobile application.
Enter the unique recharge code when prompted.
Wait until the confirmation of the top-up is displayed on your phone or in your operator's mobile application.
Your prepaid account will be topped up with the amount corresponding to the top-up card you purchased. You can now use the prepaid credit to make calls, send text messages and use mobile data. Remember to top up your prepaid account regularly so that your service is not interrupted
Are there any restrictions on services such as international calls or internet access with prepaid SIM cards?
Yes, prepaid SIM cards may have restrictions on services such as international calls or internet access depending on the mobile operator and service plan you choose. Always check the telecommunication terms and restrictions of your SIM card before making a commitment.
Some prepaid SIM cards may restrict international calls or charge higher rates than domestic calls. Similarly, some plans may restrict or charge extra for mobile data usage or internet access.
It is important that you check the restrictions and charges for your prepaid SIM card plan before you buy it so that you can be sure it meets your communication needs. You can usually find information on tariffs and restrictions on the mobile phone provider's website or mobile phone app.
If you need internet access or want to make international calls, it may be better to choose a prepaid SIM card plan that offers unlimited options or preferential rates for these services. Some prepaid SIM card plans also offer mobile data packages for regular use over a certain period of time (between 7 and 30 days), which can be cheaper if you use your mobile phone intensively.
Are prepaid SIM cards cheaper than standard mobile service contracts?
In general, prepaid SIM cards can be cheaper than standard mobile service contracts, especially if you don't need a lot of mobile data, calls or SMS.
With prepaid SIM cards, you only pay for the services you use, which can be very advantageous if you only use your mobile phone occasionally or have a limited budget for your mobile service. The rates for prepaid SIM cards are often cheaper than the rates for standard service contracts, and there are usually no monthly fees or long-term commitments. In Switzerland, many providers now offer SIM cards that are valid for 30 days and include unlimited calls, SMS and internet data, which is handy for anyone staying in Switzerland for a few weeks.
However, if you use your mobile phone intensively, a standard mobile phone contract may be cheaper for you, as it can include a flat rate for mobile data, calls and SMS at a fixed monthly price, which can be cheaper than the rates for a prepaid SIM card if you use it intensively. Incidentally, there are also mobile phone tariffs without a contract (still make sure you give two months' notice), which are perfect for people who are only staying in Switzerland for a few months.
So it's important to compare the different offers from mobile phone providers to find the one that best suits your needs and budget.
Can I keep my current phone number if I switch to a prepaid SIM card?
In Switzerland, it is possible to keep your current phone number when you switch to a prepaid SIM card. Number portability is a legally guaranteed right in most countries, including Switzerland, which allows consumers to keep their phone number when they change their mobile operator or type of package.
To keep your current phone number when switching to a prepaid SIM card in Switzerland, you usually need to follow the steps below:
Buy a prepaid SIM card from the provider you want to use.
Contact the customer service of your new provider and request the porting of your current phone number by providing the required information.
Wait until your number has been ported to your new prepaid SIM card. This may take a few hours or days, depending on your provider.
It is important to note that number porting can sometimes incur additional costs. Therefore, be sure to check the terms and conditions of your new provider before porting your number. Also, make sure that your current provider does not charge you an early termination fee if you cancel your contract before the end of the contract period.
Can I use a prepaid SIM card abroad?
It is perfectly possible to use a prepaid SIM card abroad. However, the conditions and tariffs may vary depending on the mobile phone provider and the country you are in.
Before travelling abroad with a prepaid SIM card, you should visit your mobile operator's website to find out about international roaming rates and the conditions for using your prepaid SIM card in the destination country.
More and more providers are offering international roaming options. It can be worthwhile to activate this option so that you can also use your prepaid SIM card abroad. You will then be allocated data packages or calls from abroad, which is much more interesting in terms of the tariff than being charged per minute or per internet data used.
It is also important to note that using mobile data abroad can be very expensive. Especially if your prepaid card does not take internet data into account. It is therefore advisable to deactivate mobile data and use Wi-Fi whenever possible to avoid unnecessary costs.