South African credit cards compared

Capitec has launched a credit card offering bringing it in line with the other four big retail banks in the country offering credit accounts – this is how they compare.

The key difference between Capitec’s offering versus the other banks is that it is tied directly to its Global One offering – it is not a separate product.

As such, the credit account does not get its own special set of banking fees, ultimately benefiting from the Global One’s simplified, affordable approach to banking.

However, when comparing the all the credit offerings from the five retail banks, it’s clear that Capitec’s offering is not vastly different to the ‘gold’ accounts offered by Nedbank, Standard Bank, Absa and FNB.

Monthly and once-off fees

Notably, Capitec charges one of the highest monthly rate for its credit account at R50 per month (compared to the R40-45 charged by competing banks on similar accounts). However, it does have the cheapest initiation fee at R100 (compared to R160-R188).

The bank has highlighted that it still offers the highest payback of 5.35% interest per year, which lowers, if not completely covers its monthly fees on any accounts with a positive balance.

Of the ‘gold’ level credit cards (and of credit cards over-all) Absa has the lowest monthly fees at between R25 (for its student offering) and R40 (for gold).

Interest-free payments and interest rates

The other factors to take into account are very much on par with what is already offered in the market – with Capitec offering the same 55 days interest free, and keeping the interest rate within a standard range (between 15% and 18%) determined by an individual’s credit profile.

This is the same as the other banks, who also determine interest rates based on individual profiles. However, Absa again sticks out by adding two days to the standard 55 days interest free payments, taking it up to 57 days across its credit products.

Minimum monthly salary required

Capitec’s minimum monthly salary required to qualify is less clear, with none currently listed. The bank implies that, like with the interest rate, customers will only know if they qualify once an affordability assessment is conducted upon application.

Other banks offer tiered credit offerings, starting from a minimum monthly income of R800 per month (for Absa student accounts) to as high as R125,000 per month (for FNB’s Private Wealth clients).

Capitec only has one credit option available, though it has been noted that those who are “self employed” – including business owners – may not qualify at all.

Maximum credit offered

South Africa’s banks offer maximum credit limits based on an individual’s affordability profile, and is one of the reasons there are so many credit card options available.

Simply put, banking clients that qualify for more ‘premium’ credit products will typically have access to a higher credit limit. With Capitec’s “Global One” and policy of ‘one account, one card’, things are a little different.

The bank currently caps the credit limit at R50,000 – but CEO Gerrie Fourie has noted that this will change when the product settles and as it continues to evolve.

By the numbers:

In the end, what sets Capitec’s credit offering apart is the thing that has always set it apart from the other banks – simplified banking; one card, one account and one set of rules to bank by.

But as a new entrant into the market, it is still finding its feet, and is expected to continue to evolve as its finds its place.

The table below compares all South Africa’s credit offerings from the big 5 retail banks.

Note: All monthly fees presented include the monthly card fee as well as the monthly credit facility fee, and do not take into account bundled options.

Credit Card Initiation Fee Monthly Fee Interest Free (days) Minimum Monthly Salary Required
Absa Student Credit R160 R25 57d R800
Absa Transact Credit R160 R35 57d R2 000
Nedbank Classic Credit R188 R37 55d R3 000
Absa Gold Credit R160 R40 57d R4 000
FNB Gold Credit R188 R43 55d R6 700
Nedbank Gold Credit R165 R43 55d R8 300
Standard Bank Gold Credit R165 R45 55d R5 000
Capitec Global One Credit R100 R50 55d
Standard Bank Titanium Credit R165 R67 55d R25 000
Standard Bank Platinum Credit R165 R67 55d R58 000
Absa Platinum Credit R160 R68 57d R25 000
Nedbank Platinum Credit R188 R68 55d R29 000
FNB Premier Credit R165 R76 55d R29 000
FNB Private Clients Credit R165 R170 55d R62 500
FNB Private Wealth Credit R165 R200 55d R125 000

Read: Capitec has launched a new credit card: everything you need to know

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South African credit cards compared