Cheapest bank accounts in SA

New research conducted by Solidarity on the five biggest commercial banks in South Africa finds that Capitec still wins when it comes to the cheapest mainstream account in 2013.

Solidarity’s Bank Charges Report 2013 however, found that the charges of the cheapest mainstream accounts of four of the five large commercial banks in South Africa remained virtually unchanged since 2012.

This was with the exception of Standard Bank, which closed its most competitive mainstream account to new clients after just one year, Solidarity Research Institute (SRI) said.

The research, conducted by the Solidarity Research Institute, compared charges for personal bank accounts offered by Absa, FNB, Standard Bank, Nedbank, and Capitec.

Cheapest account 2012
Cost 2012
Cheapest account 2013
Cost 2013
Capitec – Global One R52.30 Capitec – Global One R52.02 -R0.28 -0.5%
FNB – Smart Unlimited R53.20 FNB – Smart Unlimited R53.20 R0.00 0.0%
Standard Bank – Achiever Electronic R79.40 Absa – Silver Value Bundle R82.00 R0.00 0.0%
Absa – Silver Value Bundle R82.00 Nedbank – Savvy Current R97.00 -R4.10 -4.1%
Nedbank – Savvy Electronic R101.10 Standard Bank – Elite Plus R102.40 R23.00 +29.0%

Solidarity’s research institute found that the cheapest mainstream account in 2013 was Capitec’s Global One Account, at a R52.02 monthly fee for consumers, followed by FNB’s Smart Unlimited at R53.20 monthly.

Absa’s Silver Value Bundle at R82 per month,  was rated third, ahead of Nedbank’s Savvy Current at R97 monthly, and Standard Bank’s Elite Plus account charged at R102.40 monthly.

Bank by bank breakdown

Capitec accounts
Capitec accounts
FNB accounts
FNB accounts
Absa's accounts
Absa’s accounts
Nedbank accounts
Nedbank accounts
Standard Bank accounts
Standard Bank accounts

Withdrawal fees

When it comes to withdrawal fees in South Africa, Capitec also comes out on top with the lowest fees.

The tables below compare the banks’ withrawal fees on pay as you transact rates, which are not subject to bundled products.

Native ATM withdrawal

Bank Native ATM fee
R1000 withdrawal
2012 cost
Capitec R4.30 R4.30 R4.00 7.5%
First National Bank R6.30/R500* R12.60 R11.40 10.5%
Standard Bank R3,50 + 1.05% of value R14.00 R15.60 -10.0%
Absa R3,95 + R1,15/R100 R15.45 R14.85 4.0%
Nedbank R3,50 + R1,25/R100 R16.00 R15.50 3.2%

*Max R25.20

Other ATM Withdrawal

Bank Other ATM fee
R1000 withdrawal 2012 cost %change
Capitec R7.00 R7.00 R7.00
First National Bank R6.50 + R6.30/R500* R19.10 R17.90 6.7%
Standard Bank R6,70 + R3,50 + 1.05% of value R20.70 R22.30 -7.2%
Absa R9,95 + R1,15/R100 R21.45 R20.85 2.9%
Nedbank R9,50 + R1,25/R100 R22.00 R21.50 2.3%

*Max R25.20

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