SA bank withdrawal fees compared

FNB has announced its banking tariff changes for the 2014/15 period, which are due to kick in on 1 July 2014.

First National Bank is the last of South Africa’s big banks to update its fee structures for the 2014/15 period (the other banks update with prices effective from January 2014).

The bank’s main middle-range account (Gold) has maintained its R100.00 per month fee, while its top-tier Platinum account has increased in price. The group’s entry level Smart Account has also remained flat at R49.00.

While banking fees have increased, FNB’s middle-market offering still compares favourably to South Africa’s other banks, though Capitec’s Global One account remains the most affordable middle-market account in the country.

FNB account fees 2014

Account 2013/12 2014/15 Increase
Smart R49.00 R49.00
Gold R100.00 R100.00
Platinum R135.00 R145.00 7.4%
Petrol Card R13.50 R14.50 7.4%

2014 ATM withdrawal fees

Withrawal fees at FNB ATMs have increased marginally to R6.70 per R500 (from R6.30 per R500 from 2013/14).

Additionally, the bank’s pricing brochure makes no indication of a withdrawal fee cap (which was R25.20 in the 2013/14 period), implying this safety barrier has been removed from its banking products.

The withdrawal fee cap was implemented after a lot of shock from consumers who were met with high charges after withdrawing bigger amounts of cash from FNB and other ATMs.

Further, the number of free withdrawals on FNB’s Unlimited banking plan has been reduced from 6 to 4 free withdrawals.

Withdrawals beyond the free monthly amount will cost a minimum of R6.70 at FNB ATMs (with no maximum indicated), and a minimum of R13.20 at other ATMs.

FNB has been leading the charge for South Africans to move to digital banking for a number of years, effectively discouraging the use of cash for transactions.

Transaction Unlimited Plan
FNB withdrawal 4 Free withdrawals R6.70 per R500 (no maximum)
Other withdrawal R6.50 + R6.70 per R500 (no maximum)

South African withdrawal fee comparison

When comparing the new structure to its competitors, FNB remains the second-most affordable bank in terms of its withdrawal fees, after Capitec.

Excepting Standard Bank and Nedbank, the withdrawal fee increases at native ATMs work out to be higher than South Africa’s CPI, which at the end of the first quarter of 2014 was at 6.1%.

Capitec saw the greatest year-on-year increase in its withdrawal fees at 6.9%, but off of a low base (previously a flat rate of R4.30 per transaction at native ATMs and R7.00 at other ATMs).

FNB has maintained that Capitec’s Global One cannot be compared as middle-market, and that it is most comparable with FNB’s entry-level account, FNB Easy.

FNB Easy carries a monthly account fee of R4.95 and charges R4.55 per R1,000 withdrawn at native ATMs (to a maximum of R9.10), effectively undercutting Capitec by 5 cents. Withdrawal fees at other ATMs carries a flat R9.10 charge.

Nedbank’s fee structure remained the same as last year, while a small increase on Absa’s fees now place the bank at the bottom of the pile, with it costing R16.45 to withdraw R1,000 from its native machines.

Absa also had the biggest increase (4.7%) in other bank withdrawal fees, taking it up to the most expensive rate of R22.45 for a R1,000 withdrawal.

Native ATM withdrawal

Bank Native ATM fee
R1000 withdrawal
2013 cost
Capitec R4.60 R4.60 R4.30 6.9%
First National Bank R6.70 per R500 R13.40 R12.60 6.4%
Standard Bank R3,50 + 1.10% of value R14.50 R14.00 3.6%
Nedbank R3,50 plus R1,25 per R100 R16.00 R16.00
Absa R3,95 + R1,25 per R100 R16.45 R15.45 6.5%

Other ATM Withdrawal

Bank Other ATM fee
R1000 withdrawal 2013 cost %change
Capitec R7.30 R7.30 R7.00 4.3%
First National Bank R6.50 + R6.70 per R500.00 R19.90 R19.10 4.2%
Standard Bank R6,70 + R3,50 + 1.10% of value R21.20 R20.70 2.4%
Nedbank R9,50 + R1,25 per R100,00 R22.00 R22.00
Absa R9,95 + R1,25 per R100 R22.45 R21.45 4.7%

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

The fees are applicable to banks’ middle-market transactional/current accounts.

Note that all the banks offer various packages with price and service plans which may be suited to individual banking habits.

Additionally, each bank – with the exception of Capitec – offers an entry-level saver-type account, which offers reduced rates.

While Capitec does not offer a current account specifically, its Global One account is a transactional account and is integrated with the bank’s other services, including saving and credit facilities.

Banking accounts (Pay as you transact)

Bank Account Monthly Fee
Capitec Global One R5.00
Nedbank Savvy R16.00
FNB Gold Cheque R31.50 (Unlimited: R100.00)
Absa Gold Current R33.00
Standard Bank Elite Gold R54.00* (Plus plan: R104.00)

* Minimum service fee

More on SA banks

Withdrawal fees: SA banks compared (2013)

Withdrawal fees – how SA banks stack up (2012)

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SA bank withdrawal fees compared