You’ve finally graduated and landed yourself a job, and you’re loving the flexibility that comes with earning your own money. But before you know it, the money has run out and you’ve been hit with a whopping amount of bank fees. We took a look at some of the best bank accounts available for first-time earners.
When you’re a student, a pay-as-you-go bank account is the easiest, simplest and cheapest option. However, when you start earning an income, you are suddenly swiping your card more often, you have several debit orders and you make many more cash withdrawals for larger amounts. A pay-as-you-transact bank account can suddenly become rather expensive!
For example, if you used Nedbank’s Ke Yona pay-as-you-use option, your monthly bank fees would add up as follows:
- Four tillpoint withdrawals at R3 each: R12
- Four debit orders at R5 each: R20
- 10 tillpoint purchases at R3 each: R30
- Four fuel purchases at R3 each: R12
Total bank fees for one month: R72
You could choose the Nedbank Ke Yona bundled bank account, on the other hand, which is tailored for “high frequency” bank users. A monthly fee of R49 a month includes the first eight transactions and you are required to maintain a minimum balance of R50.
Other banks offer bank accounts specifically aimed at graduates. For example, Standard Bank offers you private banking, prestige banking or elite banking.
Private banking is aimed at professional graduates such as accountants, doctors or engineers and costs R132 a month. Prestige banking is aimed at graduates who have an undergraduate degree with honours and costs R179 a month. Elite banking is aimed at those with a three-year degree or diploma and costs R95 a month. Although these monthly bank fees seem steep, they include perks such as unlimited electronic transactions, which includes electronic account payments and inter-account transfers.
First National Bank
The First National Bank (FNB) Easy Account costs just R4.95 a month and includes free card swipes and free withdrawals at participating stores such as Pick ‘n Pay, Shoprite and Checkers.
Absa Flexi costs R15 a month. However, transactional costs seem high. For example, you pay R3.95 plus R1.30 per R100 for a cash withdrawal at an Absa ATM. When you look at the cost of a bank account, make sure you check all the additional fees that may be incurred as these quickly add up.
Capitec’s Global One bank account is the second-cheapest offering at R5 a month. However, you are charged R5 per withdrawal at a Capitec ATM and R8 if you make withdrawals at any other bank’s ATM. If you make a cash withdrawal at the tillpoint of a participating store such as Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Checkers or Boxer, expect to pay a fee of R1.25.
What to look for in a bank account
When you’re choosing a bank account or a banking package, there are several questions you need to ask to ensure that the fees you pay are appropriate for your banking use.
- Look at your last three bank statements to determine an average number of transactions carried out on your bank account each month.
- Make a comparison of different bank accounts, their monthly fees as well as the number of transactions you are allowed.
- Check for bank accounts that offer you a rebate on fees if you maintain a minimum monthly balance. The minimum required balance will vary between accounts and could be as much as R10 000.
- Take into account the banking channels you use and then base the bank account or package you choose accordingly. For example, if you only transact online, consider an account that charges you a flat fee for unlimited electronic transactions.
- Accessibility. You are more than likely going to be charged higher fees if you use a different bank’s ATM to withdraw cash. Look at the ATM network around your office and your home, and bear this in mind when you make your choice.