The best bank account in South Africa 2021

What best describes the best bank account? The answer is definitely not an easy one. Many times we tend to focus on what best solves our current banking problems.

We then neglect thinking of making a better banking decision today that will positively impact the way we bank in the future.

When choosing a bank account there is a lot to think about before making a decision on which account type to open.

You need to understand the bank that you are going to deal with, it’s history, it’s current financial status, it’s management, it’s systems and how they do business.

If you don’t do your homework and the Lehman Brothers situation happens to your bank, you might not be lucky enough to get some or all of your money back.

Choosing a bank account in South Africa can be challenging considering the number of active products available. It can take months of search and trial and error.

Depending on how much income you earn you can qualify for different types of bank accounts.

Making an informed decision can be a daunting task. You wouldn’t want to make a banking decision that you would live to regret every day.

What you need to know before opening an account

There are banks that charge fees for account opening and closure. However, they there are some that offer great services and don’t charge any fee for account closure or opening.

Choosing a bank account goes beyond account service and monthly fees. Things to adhere to are accessibility, technology, interest rates and client support.

You also need to make comparisons with other banks. To make a comparison you need to know the account type you want.

When choosing a banking account your income matters. Put into consideration how much you earn when opening a bank account.

Different accounts provide different benefits. To benefit fully given your income you must get advice from a banker to assist you.

What we based our study on

There are many types of bank accounts in South Africa. We will focus on the most popular accounts which are gold account, platinum/premier account and private banking.

This article is based on studying bank accounts from the big 5 banks, Discovery and Investec Bank. Looking at the gold, premier/platinum, and private banking accounts we have selected the top account in each category.

The ranking is based on customer support, bank technology, user-friendliness, affordability, service fees, rewards and added benefits.

Best gold account in South Africa 2021

Gold cards are the best way to start your professional banking life. The account is easy to use and doesn’t come with hefty fees.

Normality is what gold accounts succeed on. As the account is simple and has low charges, the rewards are not that much compared to other accounts. You can earn more rewards through shopping rather than banking.

Best gold account is the Capitec global one account

Capitec bank has spent most of its resources to make its Global one account work. It is indeed working in their favour as it is the fan-favourite in the gold account category.

Capitec bank offers the cheapest account for low-income earners that is according to the solidarity research institute.

The main reason for a gold account is to cater to low-income earners. Yet Capitec bank does it so well that it beats every bank that competes in this category.

Competitive advantages

  • Provides the cheapest option for customers that make 12 and 17 transactions in a month.
  • Has cash send option to non-Capitec customers and can send up to R3000. Cash can be redeemed at Usave, checkers, and Shoprite.
  • Charges up to R23.00 on 12 transactions amounting to R2000.00 per month.
  • Charges up to R36 on 17 transactions amounting to R2000 per month.
  • Cost R8 to withdraw R500 at other bank ATMs. The lowest in the country.
  • Charges R8 for R1000 on withdrawals at other bank ATMs.
  • Cost R16 to withdraw R2000 at other bank ATMs. The lowest rate in the country for the same withdrawal amount compared to other banks.

Best Premier/Platinum account in South Africa 2020

Platinum/Premier accounts are designed for young professionals. Better than Gold accounts these offer access to extended services.

Other banks even offer a private banker for the same account. The luxury doesn’t come for free as bank charges are higher than those of a gold account.

There are more rewards earned on this account type and can include travel rewards.

Best Premier /Platinum account is ABSA Premium account

The Absa Premium account comes with a great deal of benefits. This account is suitable for young professionals and it makes banking easy for them.

There is a 24/7 premium line to help with your banking needs. Also, you get a premium chat service for banking, financial, investment and home loan advice.

Competitive advantages

  • Free will for your family when you die.
  • A monthly service fee of R190.00 pm, which is lower than the FNB premier’s R219.00 pm and Standard bank platinum account of R209.00.
  • Comes with a one-card solution to access savings, credit and debit.
  • Your family receives R25,000.00 upon death.
  • There are free retrenchment and disability benefit. Must be less than 70, have your salary declared when opening the account and use Absa app or online banking.

Best Private bank account in South Africa

Private banking is all about prestige. This is banking at a whole new level. Many things get done for you so that you don’t have to worry about banking.

With private banking, you get your own dedicated private banker who is available to you 24/7.

You get only one private banker who will do anything banking-related you tell them to do.

With private banking, you get invites to exclusive events and travel like no other. Investments are closely monitored by your private banker who is qualified in such dealings.

Best Private bank account in South Africa is FNB Private wealth account

With Private Banking, saving may not be the main priority but getting things done is the main objective.

FNB Private wealth account gives private banking experience like no other bank in South Africa.

Competitive Advantages

  • Monthly account fees are waived off up to R499 pm if R100,000.00 is kept int the account.
  • You get free card purchases, eBucks membership, send money and card replacement.
  • Unlimited benefits include prepaid purchases, debit orders, and cash withdrawals.
  • You get access to SLOW lounges nationwide and internationally.


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Lethabo Ntsoane

Lethabo Ntsoane holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Financial Product commentator at Rateweb. He is an expect financial product analyst with years of experience in reviewing products and offering commentary. Lethabo majors in financial news, reviews and financial tips. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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