The most affordable current accounts

Which current account out of the major banks offers the cheapest charges? Do you get any interest on balances? Nicolette Dirk surveyed the best transactional accounts offered by the major banks including Absa, FNB, Nedbank, Standard Bank and Capitec.

Absa Current Accounts

With Absa’s Transact Account you pay a monthly fee of R4,50 and no opening balance or minimum balance is required. You get full electronic banking functionality that includes internet banking, cellphone banking, telephone banking and Absa ATMs.

There is no charge for the online subscription and you get internet, cellphone and telephone banking free.

The Flexi Account is a full-service transactional account that gives you full access to internet and cellphone banking.

Key benefits associated with this account include free funeral cover for clients aged between 18 and 65 years, personal health advisor, legal assist, discounted doctor’s network and missing assist.

Monthly administration fee is R14,00 and you don’t pay subscription fees for internet, cellphone and telephone banking.

  

First National Bank

With FNB’s Easy Account you pay a monthly fee of R4.20 and receive:

 

  • Free inContact SMS notifications for transactions above R100 on the account.
  • Free subscriptions to Online and Cellphone Banking.
  • Free card swipes for purchases at retail stores.
  • Free cash withdrawals at till-points in stores such as Pick n Pay, Checkers and Shoprite which means customers  don’t have to stand in queues at ATMs.
  • Free transfers between linked accounts.
  • Free stop orders.
  • A free savings account, called a Savings Pocket, linked to the transactional account which offers credit interest dependent on the balance in the account.

“Clients earn 4.7% per annum on a R10 000 balance.  Transfers into and out of the savings account are free of charge and there are no monthly fees that erode the savings,” says Jo-Ann du Plessis, head of pricing, FNB Core Banking Solutions.

 

Nedbank

“For clients who want a basic, secure pay-as-you-transact bank account, we would recommend the Nedbank Ke Yona Plus account,” says Moira Sharp, product specialist manager for pricing analytics at Nedbank.

The Ke Yona Plus account costs only R5 per month and this includes free funeral cover to the value of R2000 and access to free SMS Banking. Clients are able to easily transfer amounts to and from their linked JustSave account(s).

 

Capitec Bank

According to Charl Nel, spokesperson for Capitec Bank their transaction account is built on a savings account platform, and not on a current account platform. For the Transactional account you pay a monthly premium of R5.

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

 

Standard Bank

With the Standard Bank Access Account you pay as you bank and there aren’t any monthly admin fees and you get free cell phone banking and free balance enquiry with your cellphone banking.

However, if you go one step up with Standard Bank’s Access Account Plus you pay a monthly fee of R59 and get:

•             Unlimited electronic transactions.

•             Unlimited card swipes.

•             Unlimited cash-back at till points.

•             R2 000  death    benefit.

•             Free cellphone banking.

•             Unlimited pre-paid electricity recharges at Standard Bank ATMs and on cellphone banking.

•             Four free Standard Bank ATM withdrawals.

•             Unlimited transfers to other Standard Bank account holders.

•             Two free Standard Bank ATM deposits.

•             Free stop orders to any Standard Bank savings and investment account.

 

Moneybags says:

Despite many current accounts charging a low account fee, charges for deposits, statement fees and balance enquiries could push your monthly costs up. Some banks charge a standard fee for these services so it is a good idea to opt for this, especially if you do many transactions in a month.

Always check the key benefits you get with your account. Many people will for instance take out funeral cover, without realising it is covered by their current accounts.

Keep a check list on hand on all the stores and institutes where you can swipe/draw money for free on your current account.