Can you get to eBucks Level 5 without debt?

FNB has made changes to its eBucks programmeFNB has updated their eBucks reward programme and depending on your type of account, it is worth finding out how these changes affect you or how to change your spending patterns in order to earn more eBucks.

To get more “share of wallet”, Gold account customers must engage with a minimum of five products across eight product areas. These areas include cheque account, credit card, digital banking, investing, family and insurance, save, borrow, car and home.

But what about credit-savvy customers who know that an overdraft facility is a bad financial management tool? Is it possible to get to Level 5 without short-term credit?

As you need to select a product from five of the eight categories, you would have to engage with more saving and investment products if you are not borrowing. Here are a few options:

  • Transact via the Banking App
  • Use your cheque card to make purchases or have three debit orders
  • Deposit R500 per month into a savings account or keep a balance of R7 500
  • Invest R1 500 per month in an FNB Tax-Free Savings Account
  • Take out a life insurance or funeral plan with FNB

If you have a home loan or car finance with FNB you can swap that for one of the above, but keep in mind that even if you have both, it will still only count as one level. A credit card would also contribute to a rewards level so you could have a low limit and pre-pay for your purchases to benefit both from the higher reward level and increased eBucks earn rate on a credit card.

Changes you need to know about

Easy Account holders to get airtime not cashback

Easy Account customers were getting their cashback paid into their savings pocket, but this will now be paid in the form of R15 in airtime across all networks, if you use your debit card at Checkers or Shoprite. Note that you have to have the bundled pricing option and deposit R2 000 into your account each month. FNB says that they noticed that people were mostly using the cashback to buy airtime, so to reduce friction costs it made sense to provide the airtime.

Gold Account holders earn on all cheque card transactions

Gold Account holders will earn eBucks on all cheque card purchases but only up to a maximum spend of R7 500 per month and 20% of monthly spend at Checkers/Shoprite, or the first R1 750, whichever happens first. On the upside, even if you have not yet qualified to start earning eBucks, you can still earn 0.5% back in eBucks on purchases made at Checkers & Shoprite with the FNB Gold Cheque or Credit Card.

eBucks only at Engen

FNB card holders will only be able to earn eBucks at Engen stations as opposed to other fuel stations. Rewards are now paid as a rand value per litre of fuel, as opposed to a percentage of the amount spent. If you make it to level 5, you could earn R4 worth of eBucks on every litre of fuel you buy at an Engen.

Easier reward levels for Premier, Private Clients, Private Wealth and RMB Private Bank

These segments have to earn points to move up reward levels. To reach Level 5, Premier clients require 12 000 points, those on the Private Clients offering require 14 000 points, and Private Wealth  customers need 16 000 points.

It has been made easier to reach reward levels for these clients, but you also need to be aware of changes where certain transactions that used to earn points for reward levels now move to FNB Offers. This is a new reward system to instantly reward customers for reaching banking milestones relevant to their banking profile.

For example, clients used to earn points towards reward levels for auto-payment of their credit card, updating contact details, accepting marketing material as well as double earn on eBucks for online transactions. Now those actions do not add to your eBucks reward level but provide you with rewards on FNB Offers.

All customers in these segments have to use the FNB Banking App to go above Level 2 and there is also a 1 000-point incentive for signing up their children for FNBy accounts. As they are seeing an increase in the number of self-employed clients, the monthly minimum deposit to qualify for eBucks can also be met by a total deposit over six months.

New pricing

July is also when FNB changes its pricing. Pricing changes include:

  • FNB Easy Pay-as-you-use account fee increases from R5.25 to R5.75 per month.
  • FNB Easy Bundle Account cost increases from R53 to R58 per month.
  • The FNBy account for children younger than 18 remains affordable with no monthly fees.
  • The mid-level FNB Gold Account fee remains unchanged at R105 per month.
  • The Premier Bundle account fee which has remained unchanged since 2014 increases from R199 to R209.
  • The Private Clients Bundle monthly account fee which had remained unchanged since 2016 increases from R365 to R385.

The FNB Easy Bundle and Gold accounts offer a combination of free FNB ATM/Slimline, Cash@Till, cardless cash withdrawals and cash deposits to the value of R3 000 and R5 000 per month, respectively. Customers can choose any of these channels to withdraw their monthly cash requirements without paying fees until they reach the limit.

This article first appeared in City Press.

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