Guiding consumers since 2009

How to choose the correct bank account

By Alina Hardcastle

Do you feel that you have the right bank account that accommodates your needs and lifestyle? First National Bank (FNB) offers a few handy tips to help you decipher whether or not you are making use of the correct products at your bank; or if you need to reconsider where to place your money.

Ryan Prozesky, CEO of value banking solutions at FNB noted: “A bank account should be considered a partner, and choosing the right partner for your lifestyle will go a long way in avoiding frustration, unnecessary costs and wasting time.”

When you’re reviewing your bank account fees, or trying to determine which product to invest in, FNB suggests the following: 

  • Review bank account’s monthly fees - When reviewing monthly bank account fees don’t solely place your focus on the fee alone, but rather what you are able to get for the fee along with the inclusive value offered.
  • Choose an account that fits your requirements - Select an account that compliments your lifestyle. Prozesky advised that if you are someone with basic banking requirements then stick to a bank account with a low monthly account fee, and a pay-as-you-use structure. For customers who uses their accounts more frequently, consider a bank account that offers transactional bundles, this will allow you to perform multiple or unlimited transactions, without incurring extra costs.
  • Savings account – Savings accounts should, ideally, be completely separate to your transactional accounts especially if you want your money to grow. To open up a savings account you require, more or less, a minimum of R500. It’s probably one of the most affordable accounts as you receive interest on your smallest balance; there are no accompanying fees, charges or commissions on deposits attached to saving products; and your original deposit is safe.
  • Rewards on bank accounts – FNB advised customers to learn and take full advantage of their bank account’s rewards and benefits programme. If you understand the programme and use your bank account efficiently you will be able to not just save money, but could actually get back more than you pay in bank fees.

FNB also suggested the following ways to avoid high transaction fees:

  • Avoid high transaction fees- The best way to avoid high transaction fees is to deposit cash at an ATM that allows deposits or even better is to get the funds deposited electronically into your account. Prozesky added: “A good alternative to using cash is to swipe your debit card. Not only is swiping a safer option than carrying cash; but often does not attract any transaction fees.”
  • Make use of electronic banking - Transactions such as looking up balances, drawing a mini statement, pre-paid transactions and making payments can also be done by electronic banking. This is not only economical but convenient as people can make use of banking apps on their smart phone and other devices.

Final tip

“In the end, your bank account should fit comfortably into your lifestyle and offer you services that add value and are cost effective,” stated Prozesky.

Handy tip: You can compare banking accounts on Justmoney, click here.


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