Get the best savings account

Nicolette Dirk compares the market to see which bank accounts offer you the lowest charges and offer the highest interest rate.

Arrie Rautenbach, head of retail banking, at Absa says saving is a great way of ‘storing’ money safely and putting it away for emergencies or short-term goals, however this takes discipline and patience. “With a savings account your capital is secure, it can be accessed relatively easily and, typically, you will earn a modest rate of interest in return,” says Rautenbach.

FNB research revealed that there are three main reasons why people save: emergencies, retirement and for their children’s education.

Aneesa Razack, head of strategic growth at FNB Savings and Investments, says the only manner in which to comfortably survive and provide for yourself and your family for these goals, is by saving for them. “By starting to save early in your life you not only enjoy the benefit of earning interest on interest (compound interest) but you also steer clear of incurring unnecessary debt when it comes to emergencies,” says  Razack.

How do you choose a savings account?

Rautenbach says when it comes to choosing a savings account you should first decide what savings account will best suit your financial plan towards your short-term goal. Then you can choose a saving solution that best suits your needs and budget.

Razack says that in addition to this you need to understand whether you can actually afford the account; what the interest rate is that you’ll earn as well as the monthly charges that may be applicable on the account.

“Identifying what you are saving for will determine whether you opt for an account that gives you immediate access to your money where you earn a lower return on your money or whether you open an account where you invest your money for a longer period with the benefit of earning a higher interest rate and paying no monthly fees,” says Razack.


Absa Savings Accounts

Name of account Club Account TargetSave MoneyBuilder
Minimum Balance R50 R100 R20
Access Type Designed for groups of people, for example clubs, stokvels, or burial societies, who require a simple and convenient way to save money and do transactions without restrictions. Minimum 6 months savings required – you set the target of when to stop saving. Immediate access.
Interest Rates potential Up to 3.80% Up to 3.60% Up to 3.90%
Monthly Admin fee FREE FREE FREE


To consider: Absa’s TargetSave account may have the highest required amount needed to open this savings account, but you have the freedom of setting the target when to stop saving according to what you want to save for. The MoneyBuilder may give you a higher interest, but you will likely only see this if you increase your additional deposit amounts.




FNB’s Savings Account

Account Money Market Investor 7 Day Notice Deposit Flexi Fixed Deposit Effective Rate Fixed Deposit
Minimum balance/deposit R10 000 R50 000 R100 R10 000
Access Type Immediate Access to Money Access to money after placing a notice Access to a portion of your money No access for a fixed period
Interest Interest rates are tiered based on the amount invested. 

Competitive interest rates paid on balances of R10, 000 or more.

Interest can be capitalised or paid out

Interest rate increases twice. One after 32 days and another after 64 days. 

Interest rates are tiered based on the amount invested.


Interest can be capitalised or paid out

Interest rate is linked to the prevailing Prime lending rate.  

Interest rates are tiered based on the amount invested.


Interest can be capitalised monthly or paid out

Earn a fixed rate of interest for a fixed period. 

You have the benefit of a higher rate because interest on interest is built into your rate and only paid at maturity.


Preferential rate if over 55 years old, for an investment of 12 months or longer

Fees                    No monthly fees apply No monthly or transactional fees apply No monthly or transactional fees apply No monthly or transactional fees apply


To consider: With the Flexi Fixed Deposit account you only need R100 to open the account and the interest rate is linked to the prevailing prime lending rate which is now 9% (since March 2014). But your interest rates are tiered based on the amount invested. If the amount is low your returns therefore won’t be much.





Nedbank’s Savings/Investment Options

Account JustInvest Money Trader Easy Access Deposit Green Savings Bond Save4me
Minimum balance/deposit R5000 R50 000 Capital is secure Minimum investment of R1000 Interest rate on balances as low as R50
Access Type Minimum of 24 hour notice Account offers a 24 hour access Minimum of 24 hour notice Your funds are fixed for the duration of the investment 24 hour notice period required
Interest Interest rates are tiered based on the amount invested. 


Rates linked to money market conditions with a minimum deposit of R50 000. Interest rate is guaranteed for an investment term of three, six, 12 or 18 months. Interest rates offered are subject to confirmation at the time of receipt of the funds by Nedbank.18 months (6.61%)

24 months (7.20%)

36 months (7.73%)

60 months (8.36%)          



Fees                    No transactional facilities available There are no fees or commissions, except for certain cash deposit fees. For example, there is a fee for cash deposits exceeding R5 000 in any calendar month No fees are charged. No monthly or transactional fees apply There are no fees charged (except certain cash deposit fees)



To consider: With Nedbank’s Green Savings Bond you only need a minimum investment of R1000. The longer you leave your investment, the better the returns due to higher interest rate.




Standard Bank: Core savings and investment offerings

Account AccessSave Contract Save MoneyMarket Call SharePlus
Minimum deposit No minimum opening deposit Select a monthly debit order amount from R100.  Minimum opening deposit of R100,000  Minimum opening deposit of R25,000 
Access type 7 day notice period Have access to 10% of your funds after 12 months.  Immediate access to funds No access for a fixed period
Interest Depending on the balance, interest rates range from 1.90% to 2.60%  Depending on the balance, interest rates range from 3.75% to 4.25% (excluding bonus interest)  Depending on the balance, interest rates range from 4.85% to 5%.  The maximum return that can be earned is tranche-dependent (Historically: previous  2 year tranches were capped at between 20% to 25% and the current 1 year tranche is capped at 12%) 
Fees No monthly fees apply. No monthly management fees or commissions.  No monthly management fees or commissions.  No monthly management fees or commissions. 


To consider: With Standard Bank’s AccessSave , you don’t need a fixed amount to open this account, but you will only get an interest on this amount up to 2,6%. The Contract Save Account is also affordable with a R100 deposit required and you can earn an interest rate of up to 4,25%, depending on the balance.




African Bank Savings Accounts Options:


Rates are quoted on a per annum basis
Type of Account Term Minimum Investment amount Monthly Interest payout Annual Interest payout Semi-Annual Interest payout Interest payout on expiry
Fixed Deposit 3 Months R2 000 + 5.97%   n.a.  n.a. 5.99%
6 Months R1 000 + 6.46%  n.a.   na. 6.54%
12 Months R500 + 7.16% 7.39% 7.26% 7.39%
24 Months R500 + 8.01% 8.31% 8.14% 8.65%
60 Months R500 + 9.80% 10.25% 10.00% 12.58%
Notice Deposit 32 Days R500 + 5.90%  n.a.  n.a. 6.06%
90 Days R500 + 6.20%  n.a.   n.a. 6.37%


To consider: With African Bank’s Fixed deposit the 12, 24, 60 month accounts are the most affordable at R500 but you will receive the highest annual interest pay-out from the 60 month account at 10,25%. It jumps to 12,58% on expiry. For the Notice Deposit accounts you will need only R500 but the 90 Day account’s interest pay-out will be higher.




Capitec Savings Accounts


Transaction/Savings account

Amount (R) 0– 9 999 10 000– 24 999 25 000– 99 999 100 000+
Interest (%) 4.40 4.50 4.60 4.75


Flexible savings account

Amount (R) 0– 9 999 10 000– 24 999 25 000– 99 999 100 000+
Interest (%) 4.40 4.50 4.60 4.75


Fixed-term savings account (single deposit option)

Term (months) R10 000– R24 999 R25 000– R99 999 R100 000+
6 5.75% 6.00% 6.25%
7 – 12 5.85% 6.10% 6.50%
13 – 18 6.00% 6.30% 6.75%
19 –  24 6.50% 6.85% 7.25%
25 –  36 7.30% 7.50% 7.85%
37 –  48 7.80% 8.00% 8.50%
49 – 60 8.30% 8.40% 9.00%


 Fixed-term savings account (multiple deposits option)

Term (months) R0– R9 999 R10 000– R24 999 R25 000– R99 999 R100 000+
6 4.40% 5.15% 5.50% 5.75%
7 – 12 4.40% 5.35% 5.75% 6.00%
13 – 18 4.40% 5.45% 5.85% 6.25%
19 – 24 4.40% 5.75% 6.15% 6.75%


To consider: With Capitec’s Flexible and Transaction accounts you still get a worthwhile 4.40% interest if your deposit amount is up to R9 999. The same applies to their Fixed-term savings account where you can earn 4.40% interest for any amount up to R9 999.


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