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MoneyMatters: Which bank is costing you more than it should?

Is your bank costing you more than it should?
Is your bank costing you more than it should?
You’re a Taboo, having a jol. Your favourite bottle of champagne runs out. The night is still young. You dash to the bar, to swipe for another bottle. Your black/titanium bank card declines. Dejected, you do the walk of shame...

You’re a Taboo, turning up. Your favourite bottle of champagne runs out but the night is still young. You dash to the bar, to swipe for another bottle… But your bank card declines.

Dejected, you head out.

Whenever one thinks about cutting back on our spending, we look at obvious things like downgrading satellite TV subscriptions, cancelling gym membership and other similar examples.

We hardly think about hidden costs, like the costs of a bank account, or a credit card account. I think one of the reasons we seldom think about it, is because most banking fees are hidden and complicated – sometimes you don’t even know exactly how much you pay each month.

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Add to that, the fact that the marketing departments at all the Big4 have realised that South Africans are crazy about the colour of our bank cards. We think, the blacker, the better.

They promise us a few peaks, like non-existent or incompetent private bankers, claiming that your private banker will always be available to you at any hour of the day, just a click away or a call away. Hands up if you want to move some R100k to your offshore account at 3am?

Actually, a few clicks on the online banking platform can get the job done, at 3am actually, just make sure you’re not drunk. Not convinced if a Private bank can do it. So why are you paying R4800 per annum for exactly? A black card?

Have a look at this table below, and choose wisely.

  FNB ABSA Standard Bank Nedbank Capitec
Entry Level Easy Account R4.95 Transact Account R4.95 Access Account R4.99 Pay-as-you-use Account R5 Global One) R5.50
Gold Gold cheque R100  Gold Account


 Elite Banking R100 Savvy Plus Account R100
Platinum Premier Cheque


Platinum Account R159 Prestige Banking R190 Private Wealth (Gold Package) – R84
Private Clients Private Clients


Private Banking (Marhaba Package) R335 Private Banking R325  




Private Bank Private Wealth


Private Banking (Exceller Package) R399 Private Banking Signature R425 Private Wealth (Platinum Package) R363
Teen Banking Mega U Account


(sum)1 Account


Student Student Silver


Student Achiever Account R4.99
Graduate Professional Banking Account R199 Professional Banking (Young Professionals) R149
Seniors Encore Gold R65 Prosperity Account


Consolidator Current Account



The table above is by no means all inclusive, but it demonstrates one thing, our banks complicates banking.

If you look at only the monthly fee charged, some banks may look like there are cheaper than others. But once you look deeper into their complicated pricing models, you’ll realise that you’ll also be charged for SMS, balance check, email, statements, breathing the air conditioned air in their branches, etc.

You will ultimately end up paying much more that the R5 they have openly disclosed.

There’s a famous saying stuck in my mind, it goes something along the lines of, ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.’

Banking should be simple, and basic. Not a race to accumulate points by jumping hoops with your money. You just need a place that can securely keep your money for you, and help you send it around to pay for your bills and groceries.

Another function of a bank is to pay you if you choose to lend them money, instead of borrowing from them. Again, we South African don’t do very well in the savings arena. But people who do borrow banks money should get maximum reward for it.

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So, again, before you lock up your hard earned money in some 32 days’ notice account, have a look at what the different banks will pay you for keeping your money with them. Capitec pays interest of between 7% and 10% for short and long term savings. I couldn’t find any bank to match that.

Finally, your salary should not be used to determine the color of your bank card, or which bank account you should use. Find a bank account that meets all your banking needs with the lowest fee.

Use the savings to pay for your own airport lounge, or spoil yourself with a bottle of good champagne, at Taboo.

Author: Paul Mamakoko

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