CHEQUE ACCOUNTS – STANDARD
Last updated 20 April 2016
Please note that the prime rate was adjusted in late July 2015 and our rates will be adjusted as soon as the banks make their new rates public.
|Account Name||SIlver Current Account||Smart Account
|Go Account (only available to Pick n Pay staff)||Savvy Current Gold Cheques
|N-5000 Investment Current Account (no longer offered)||Everyday Current Account||Elite (Gold account) or Prestige (Titanium account)|
|Age Criteria (years)||Over 18||Over 18||Over 18||Over 18||Over 19||Over 18||Over 18|
|Minimum Monthly income criteria||R 4000.00||R2 500 & R8 333||R 1,500.00||R 2 500 and R45 833||R 3,000.00||R 3,000.00||Elite: R8 000 p.m; Prestige: R25 000 p.m.|
|Debit/Cheque Card issued||Maestro or Visa Electron debit card||Gold Visa Cheque Card||Maestro or MasterCard debit card||Gold cheque card available; linked to Greenbacks reward programme||Visa or MasterCard Cheque card (Classic, Gold or Platinum)||Pay as u use – free debit card; Plus – Gold cheque card; Bundle – Platinum cheque card||Gold or Titanium card|
|Monthly fee||R21.00 (pay as u use)R55.00 flexi value
|R12.50||R18.00||R120.00||R16.00 (if bal less than R20000)||R35.00||ELITE: Pay as you use;Fixed fee (R95); Rebate – between R85 & R420, depending on balance|
Absa Bank – the following are no longer available to new clients effective 1 January 2014:
Standard fee or Pay-as-you-go on FlexiSelect, Silver, Potentiate and Gold Senior current accounts
Rebate banking on Silver, Gold and Platinum current accounts
Management fee on Silver, Gold, Platinum, Platinum Professional, Islamic cheque, Prosperity and Potentiate current accounts
Easy fee on flexiSlect, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Islamic cheque and Potentiate current accounts
Silver, Gold and Platinum packages
About Cheque Accounts
A cheque or current account is a transactional account ideal for individuals earning a regular monthly income. More sophisticated than a savings account, a current account allows you to transact and manage your finances in a variety of convenient ways, including via your branch, ATM’s or through Internet, Telephone and Cellphone Banking. Additional optional features include a cheque book, cheque card or overdraft facility.
Payments can also be made by using a stop order or debit order. Stop orders are instructions to your bank to pay a company or an individual an amount of money on a certain day each month. Debit orders are the permission you give an organisation to deduct money that you owe it from your account each month.
Writing out a cheque
A cheque is an order, signed by the accountholder, instructing the bank to pay the amount indicated on the cheque to a person or entity named on the cheque. It is important that the cheque is completed correctly, because this determines who is entitled to receive payment, whether the cheque must be paid into a bank account, or whether it can be cashed at the bank by the person paid.
Types of cheque accounts
Banks offer different types of cheque accounts for different types of people or people in specific professions or income groups. For instance, if you have just started work, you will more than likely qualify for an entry-level cheque account. The basic criteria for opening such an account is a good credit record and a minimum total income of about R3 500 a month, although this amount varies from bank to bank.
The next category of cheque accounts is aimed two kinds of people: those with a professional qualification and who are starting their working lives, or people without a professional qualification but who are showing signs of financial prosperity. Some banks offer special cheque accounts to people in specific professions, such as doctors, dentists, engineers and chartered accountants. Most banks also offer cheque accounts with special benefits for senior citizens – for instance, the service fees may be waived. Usually the only requirement is a minimum age of 55 or 60 years and that you have a minimum investment at the bank (about R10 000 or R20 000 depending on the bank).
Unless you apply for an overdraft facility, you can only write out cheques and transact if you have money in your account. An overdraft is a loan from the bank, and you will have to pay a high interest rate to the bank for the use of the money. When you apply for an overdraft, you will be given a limit to which you can draw, say R5 000. If you draw more than this, you may be charged penalty fees as well as interest. In accordance with the National Credit Act (NCA) banks are allowed to charge an additional monthly fee for use of the overdraft.
If you write out a cheque to somebody for more money than you have left in your cheque account, the cheque will “bounce” or, “be referred to drawer” (called a “RD cheque”). This means the bank will reject payment of the cheque and it will be returned to the person you intended paying with the words “refer to drawer” stamped on it. The bank will charge you a penalty fee for attempting to exceed your overdraft facility.
Cheque accounts have monthly fees as well as transaction fees, which can be quite high. Fees vary between banks and also according to the cheque account package you have. Instead of paying for each transaction as you make it, some banks offer different pricing options, such as a fixed monthly fee, which allows you certain number and type of transactions free each month in return for a fixed monthly charge. In other cases, your transaction fees can be waived if you maintain a certain minimum balance in your account.
To reduce bank charges, try not to use cheques as a form of payment, rather transfer money electronically into somebody else’s account, using either ATM’s, internet, telephone or cellphone banking.
Generally cheque accounts pay low or no credit interest. Debit interest on the overdraft is based on your risk profile and link to prime.
Cheque Account packages
When considering which bundled account would suit your pocket best, consider your own transaction profile. Work out how many transactions you do on average each month and establish what kind of transactions these are. Then check what packages the different banks can offer you based on your salary and credit profile.
If you choose a bundle package account, make sure that you understand not only what the package includes but also what it excludes, so you are not faced with increased fees at the end of the month.
And don’t just compare the cost of the package – some may be more expensive but, depending on the number of transactions that are included, the average cost per transaction on one package may be lower than on another, and depending on how you use your account, may be more suitable for your needs.
If the bundle package fee that a bank offers you depends on you having a home loan with that bank, you will also have to take into account the home loan rates you can get at the other banks. It is no use saving a few rand a month on your bank account if it entails incurring many more rands in interest on your home loan each month.
Be aware that it is not difficult to switch banks. If you are dissatisfied with your own bank’s service, other banks may be willing to take on your business and may even carry the costs of switching your accounts.
Also, keep your bank advised when your salary changes. If it has increased, you might find you are offered preferential interest rates on, for example, your home loan, but if it has decreased, the bank could help you look at ways to reduce your debt efficiently.
Credit interest rate – interest paid to you if you have credit in your account
Debit interest rate – interest you pay the bank if you are in debt to the bank
Monthly management fee option – pay a fixed monthly fee and receive certain transactions free
Fee rebate option – maintain a minimum balance (specified by the bank) in your account and receive cash back
Penalty fees – fees payable for any wrongdoing on the account (ie bounced cheque, over-the-limit etc)
Senior fee concessions – some banks offer fee discounts/options for seniors