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Cheapest bank accounts in SA

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

More on South African banks

SA bank charges compared

Is Capitec really the 4th biggest bank in SA?

South Africa’s favourite bank surprise

The world’s biggest banks

Banks to reduce branches by a fifth?

Withdrawal fees: SA banks compared

Best and worst banks in South Africa

Gareth is the editor at BusinessTech. Gareth was previously the ICT Editor at BusinessLive/I-Net Bridge. Gareth holds a degree in Journalism from Rhodes University....
Join the Conversation
  • Clint

    The tables are totally messed on my cellphone with rows not lining up correctly. Standard Bank accounts, for example, do not appear on the same line and hence the changes not adding up.

    • The tables of the various banks’ accounts are embedded images and not HTML tables like the bank charges and cheapest accounts sections.

      Most mobile devices should allow you to view the images either by downloading them or viewing them in a separate browser window. Obviously for optimal viewing, articles are best viewed online.

  • Loman

    I would change to capitec bank right now if there was a branch closeby.
    As it is though, i have to drive 320km (160km there and 160km back) to get to the nearest branch.

    If i have to rely on other atm’s to withdraw money (that will cost a lot) and cannot easily deposit it without driving a hell of along way, there is no point in changing.

    • Roland Giesler

      Once you have opened an account, you never have to go back to the branch again in reality. As far a I know you can deposit and withdraw at most PnP & Checkers stores.

      • Loman

        That would work, but PnP and Checkers are as far from me as a Capitec branch.

        If i lived in a town where there is a capitec branch i wouldn’t think twice, but it is just too much of a hassle as it is now.

  • Bradley Muller

    The Comparison on the increase Table is completely wrong…. The table lines don’t line up…

  • Jerry Dead

    Your talking shit! The stats here are correct/ precise! Standard Bank is the worst motherfuckerer in the world! I’m moving on to Capitec, it rules when it comes to bank charges!

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