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Whether you are in your teens, a young adult starting out in the working world, a traveller looking for lounge access or someone over 55, check in on your banking fees and hold your bank accountable for what they are charging you… or move to a different Bank that will help you save money!

 

Johannesburg, South Africa (17 November 2020) – When last did you take stock of your bank fees and how much you are being charged to keep your accounts where they currently are? Well, stop whatever you are doing and get a grip on where your money is going!

Before I go any further, I need to point out that this is not a sponsored post but rather a call-to-action opinion piece… to help get your finances in order and was spurred on after I had a long chat with my mother – Cheryl Macdougall – yesterday.

If you don’t look, then you don’t know!

Banking fees suck. Full stop. High banking fees is one of the reasons I moved from ABSA and RMB to Discovery Bank.

I had been with ABSA since it was United and my mother opened a little savings account for me that soon became my everyday transaction account, but in June 2019 I noticed that I was paying an exorbitant amount of money in bank fees from both accounts that just didn’t make sense to me.

ABSA had become my standard transaction account, and I specifically got RMB for SLOW Lounge access while travelling, but I realised that I was paying a ridiculous amount every single month for benefits that I did not see, or perhaps did not use correctly.

I did a bit of research and came to the conclusion that by moving to Discovery Bank, I would get all that I needed plus I would save R7 200 a year on fees, which would allow me to buy travel lounge access, should I need it.

Problem solved. Happy Guy. Bank Fees don’t get me down anymore.

If you don’t ask, then you don’t get!

And then yesterday, more than a year after I took stock of my banking fees… my mom was chatting to me about how she had noticed that her fees had increased this year by quite a bit too.

She was now paying over R450 every month but couldn’t understand why her fees had gone up, or what exactly she was paying for, so she went to her bank to discuss what was going on.

The teller at the bank was so helpful and pointed out that after 55 years old, you no longer had to pay high banking fees at ABSA. Most banks offer special “pensioner” rates for people over the age of 55 or 60, which include reduced transactional fees and preferential interest rates on fixed deposits.

He immediately changed my mother’s account, and she now pays almost nothing on her fees.

But here’s the thing: if she did not make the bank aware that she was now over 55, then they would have continued to charge her at their normal rates, forever… just like that.

All it took was noticing the fees, asking the right questions and then getting it changed.

How different are the fees across banks in South Africa?

Business Tech published an article, outlining how South African banks compared to each other when looking at the fees.

“The South African banking industry is in a race to zero, largely being run in the entry-level segment.

Of the 14 accounts available to the market, six are zero-rated in terms of monthly account fees – all of which have been launched or made zero-fee in the last year or so.

These zero-fee accounts represent a new push in digital banking, forcing legacy bank accounts (the older entry-level accounts from Absa, FNB and Standard Bank) to compete.”

To see an incredibly informative breakdown on banking fees in South Africa, click here.

So now what?

It’s pretty simple! This entire call-to-action opinion piece is to help get your finances in order, even if it is “just banking fees”, you could land up saving thousands of Rands every year!

So whether you are in your teens, a young adult starting out in the working world, a traveller looking for lounge access or someone over 55, check in on your banking fees every now and then, and hold your bank accountable for what they are charging you… or move to a different Bank that will help you save money!


Sources: Brent Lindeque | Cheryl Macdougal 
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Brent Lindeque
About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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