A comparison of The cheapest personal bank accounts in South Africa

Choosing the best bank account for you can be challenging, even for those who do not have special requirements or unique needs. New banks entering the South African market such as Tyme Bank and Bank Zero have evened out the fees battle between the big four banks. Whether you’re banking with FNB, ABSA, Nedbank or Standard Bank – this fee comparison might save you some money – but the devil’s in the details.

This article will look at the basics: monthly fees, the number of free transactions included, airtime purchases, cash withdrawal costs and Email/SMS notification fees. At the end of the article, you will find links to all the relevant detailed, fee structures.

Fee Comparison for South African Bank Accounts

South African banks offer the same services but package them differently through bundles or simple pay-per-use models. As we don’t want to keep you reading about bank packages until the political landscape changes, it would be more prudent to take the cheapest bank accounts and compare them.

All banks offer the following: a debit card, EFTs, card swipes and access to their internet banking as standard. However, ATM withdrawals, airtime and deposits might cost you a few Rand. Here’s a breakdown of the monthly fees for retail banks in South Africa:

BankMonthly FeeAirtime Purchases FeeCash WithdrawalsNotification Cost (SMS/Email)
Easy Zero
R0FreeR8.00 per R1 001 from FNB ATM
R12 + R2.30 per R100* from non-FNB ATM
Not Specified
Global One
R 7.50R 0.50R 10.00 per R 1 000.00, free at participating retailers R 0.35 per SMS
Email is free
Standard Bank
R6.95R 0.60R 9 per R 1000 (max R 2000)R 1 / R 1.50
Banking Account
R0FreeR 10 per R 1 000R 0.50
R 5.50R2.50R10 per R 1 000R 1.25 for SMS
R 1 for Email
R 12 for Fax
Bank ZeroR 0R 0R9/R1000 blockR 1.50 for SMS, email is free
BankDebit OrdersElectronic Fund Transfers (EFTs)Cash Deposits at ATMPayShap
Easy Zero
UnlimitedR 1No charge up to R1 000 p.m.
If more, then
R 1.30 per R 1 000
First R 100 free,
If more, then R6 flat fee
Global One
UnlimitedFreeR 1.40 per R 100.00First R 100 free.
If more, R 1 to Capitec, R 2-3 to other banks in SA.
Standard Bank
R 3.50 onlineFreeR 1.40 per R 100R 7.50 per transaction
Banking Account
UnlimitedFreeR 7 per R 1 000 or part thereof at relecvant retailersFree when using a PayShap Id
R3.50 per transaction for external debit ordersR 1R2.50 per R100 or part thereofFree
Bank ZeroUnlimitedFreeRetailer specific pricingNot Specified

FNB Easy Zero Account Fees

FNB Easy Zero Account stands out with its zero monthly fee, unlimited card swipes, and free cash withdrawals at major retailers. It offers InContact messages and balance checks at no extra cost, ensuring transparency and accessibility. Deposits up to R1,000 per month at FNB ATMs are also free, making it a straightforward and cost-effective option for everyday banking needs.

Capitec Global One Fees 

Capitec Global One Account offers a seamless banking experience with its Visa debit card, ensuring convenience without monthly fees for card usage, app access, or Internet banking. The account opens up with no charges, providing a year of free bank statements through the app and internet banking. Card withdrawals from Capitec ATMs are free, and cash withdrawals at retailers like PnP and Boxer incur a flat fee of R3. External debit orders are handled at no cost, while EFT payments are frictionless, regardless of the bank, with immediate transfers at R7 per R1,000 (capped at R35). Deposits are straightforward with various options, including free retailer deposits once a month. Local card payments come with zero fees.

Standard Bank MyMo Fees

Standard Bank MyMo Account combines affordability and accessibility with its R6.95 monthly fee and unlimited card swipes at no extra cost. It allows cash withdrawals at major retailers’ tills without additional charges, along with free InContact messages and balance inquiries through cellphone banking and the app. Deposits up to R1,000 per month at Standard Bank ATMs are also free, adding to the account’s convenience and cost-effectiveness.

TymeBank Fee Structure

Although TymeBank doesn’t have traditional branches, the convenience of handling all your money online and through other channels should not be overlooked. Free card, app, and internet banking usage comes as standard. Opening the account and receiving the card incur no fees, coupled with a year of complimentary bank statements via digital channels. The fee for till point cash withdrawals at partnering retailers is only R 3, making withdrawals easy. External debit orders are handled without charges, while EFT payments are seamless and inexpensive, including cardless cash transfers through SendMoney

Absa Transact Account 

If you’re earning less than R 3 000 per month, then the ABSA transact Account might be for you. It has a monthly fee of R5.50 and a minimum balance requirement of R20. It provides a daily transaction limit of R5,000 for ATM and POS transactions, and access to Absa Online, mobile, and telephone banking services is standard. The account allows unlimited debit card swipes and facilitates receiving eWallet and other payments directly. It also supports sending money to any valid SA cellphone number, buying prepaid services like airtime and electricity, and purchasing lottery tickets. As an added bonus.


It is exceedingly difficult to move from one bank to another – simply because of all the parties that need to be notified of your new account. If you’re doing freelance work or sending invoices (such as rental income), it might be time for all parties to pay into the right accounts.

Therefore,saving R 10 per month might not be worth the effort of moving 1 000 000 000 000 contacts to pay into a new bank account. However, the penalty fees might be worth exploring, as banks charge vastly different amounts for overdrafts, insufficient funds declines and bouncing debit orders.

Happy banking! 

Sources consulted: 

  1. https://www.capitecbank.co.za/personal/transact/global-one-card/
  2. https://www.likemoney.co.za/bank-accounts/capitec-global-one-account/
  3. https://portalfinanca.com/card-capitec-global-one-za/
  4. https://raisingthebar.co.za/capitec-bank-savings-plans-simplified-banking-global-one-account/
  5. https://www.capitecbank.co.za/personal/transact/
  6. https://bank.tymedigital.co.za/
  7. https://tab2.tymebank.co.za/
  8. https://www.tymebank.co.za/personal-banking/accounts/everyday-account/
  9. https://www.fnb.co.za/for-you/easy-zero-account/
  10. https://randstoriches.com/fnb-easy-zero-bank-account-review-2022/
  11. https://www.rateweb.co.za/reviews/fnb-easy-zero-account-review-2024/
  12. https://briefly.co.za/facts-lifehacks/services/181586-how-check-fnb-balance-easy-methods-follow/
  13. https://www.standardbank.co.za/southafrica/personal/products-and-services/bank-with-us/bank-accounts/our-accounts/mymo-account
  14. https://community.standardbank.co.za/t5/Mobile-banking-app/Where-is-my-account-number-found/td-p/5353
  15. https://goodbear.co.za/standard-bank-mymo-bank-account/
  16. https://www.standardbank.co.za/southafrica/personal/products-and-services/bank-with-us/bank-accounts/mymocampaign
  17. https://www.absa.co.za/personal/bank/an-account/transact-account/
  18. https://onlinebanking.help.absa.co.za/en/help/dashboard/where-can-i-find-my-current-account/
  19. https://onlinebanking.help.absa.co.za/en/help/dashboard/where-can-i-find-my-account-information/
  20. https://onlinebanking.help.absa.co.za/en/help/dashboard/how-do-i-verify-bank-account-details/
  21. https://onlinebanking.help.absa.co.za/en/help/transact-hub/how-do-i-verify-bank-account-details/