Is Your Bank Ripping You Off With Their Fees?
Each bank has its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to value-for-money. Here is a look at the different account fees at SA's banks.
May 19th, 2017 by Megan Ellis
Wading through the price lists of different banks to see which offers the best value can be a daunting task.
From savings accounts to credit cards, each bank has their own strengths and weaknesses.
Luckily for you, CompareGuru has done some of the legwork to summarise a comparison of fees across our local major banks.
See the different categories and comparison tables below:
Different banks use different names for their bank account packages. For this table, we compiled all the Gold Cheque Account packages for different banks.
Nedbank, this is named a Savvy Plus account. In Standard Bank’s case, this is called an Elite Banking account.
Capitec only has one type of transaction account though, which was included in the table.
|Monthly cost||R98||R5.50|| R65
(Free with min balance of R10 000)
|Minimum salary needed||R10 000 pm||N/A||R7 000 pm (R84 000 pa)||R3 000 pm||R5 000pm|
|What’s free?||Internet/cellphone banking
Internet debit orders
EFT between linked accounts
|Certain Internet/app transactions
Loan repayment deposit
Free withdrawals at certain supermarkets
Unlimited card swipes
Unlimited debit orders
Four Nedbank ATM withdrawals
|Cheque/debit card swipes
4 ATM cash withdrawals
3 ATM deposits
|Benefits||Lump-sum death benefit,
Discount for balance over R30 000
|Access to Global One card programme||eBucks Rewards Programme||Nedbank Greenbacks Rewards Programme
Nedbank Affinity Programme
|UCount Rewards Programme|
Depending on the benefits and transactional fees of an account, you will need to weigh up more than just the monthly service fee. Some banks are expensive with few rewards or free benefits. Others are cheap in terms of monthly fees but come with many extra transactional costs.
To decide which is best for you, look at both your budget and your needs.
If you qualify for a gold cheque account, you will likely qualify for a credit card at the same bank. However, like with transactional accounts, credit card account fees vary between banks.
The table also shows that the banks with the cheapest transactional accounts aren’t necessarily the cheapest for credit cards. This goes the other way too – the bank with the most expensive cheque account doesn’t necessarily charge the most for a credit card account.
Again, Capitec only offers one type of credit card account, but was included among the gold credit card accounts at other banks.
Have a look at the different fees and benefits below:
|Minimum salary needed||R4 000 – R20 000 pm|| R3 000
|R7 000 pm (R84 000 – R299 999 pa)||R8 334 pm (R100 000 pa)||R5 000|
|What’s free?||Online/mobile banking
Credit card purchases
|Online and ATM transactions||Unlimited swipes
Online/cellphone balance inquiries
|All transaction fees
|Benefits||Up to 57 days interest-free credit on specific transactions
Personalised interest rates
Bidvest Travel Lounge discounts
Automatic basic travel insurance
| Up to 55 days interest-free credit
No currency conversion fees for international payments
|Up to 55 days interest-free credit
Travel insurance for travel tickets bought using card
eBucks Rewards Programme
|Up to 55 days interest-free credit
Up to R1-million automatic basic travel insurance
Greenbacks Rewards Programme
| Travel insurance for travel tickets bought using card
UCount Rewards Programme
Unlike the cheque account fees, most credit card accounts across South Africa’s major banks are in a similar price range – between R30 and R50 per month.
It is with these accounts that value-for-money becomes an important factor, as well as qualification criteria. You should also find out the interest rate tiers charged for your credit card.
Savings accounts across banks are significantly more diverse than other types of accounts. This is because customers are increasingly looking to savings account alternatives which have higher interest rates and returns.
In order to compare fees and benefits, we took a look specifically at tax-free savings accounts – the one common denominator across banks. Each bank offers different interest rates on their savings accounts though, depending on the amount deposited.
However all accounts are subject to the same laws – a maximum total deposit amount of R33 000 per year, and a lifetime deposit maximum of R500 000 (due to their tax-free nature).
Here are the results:
|Minimum deposit||R1 000||N/A||R1 000||R50||R250|
Cheque deposits at ATM
|Monthly or weekly stop orders
Internet banking inquires
| ATM balance inquiries
Internet banking statement
|Benefits||Interest rate between 4% and 6.5%
Immediate access to money
|Earn interest from R1
Interest rates between 5.35% to 8%
Limited to investment term
|Interest rates between 6.15% and 7.4%
No age restriction
|Interest rates between 6.25%and 6.75%
Zero fees or commissions
Interest can be paid on a monthly basis
| Interest up to 6.75%
Immediate access to money
As you can see, most banks don’t charge you to open or have a tax-free savings account. But this doesn’t mean they don’t come with costs. Most of these accounts carry costs for any deposits or transfers, as well as for different forms of statements.
Even with facts and figure comparisons, consumers should always do research and read the fine print on terms and conditions to look for extra costs for accounts.
For example, for Capitec’s tax-free savings account, a penalty of R300 applies if you draw money before the investment term is complete. Furthermore, any money withdrawn from the account cannot be put back for most tax-free savings accounts.
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