How to Choose a Student Cheque Account in 2024

Choosing a checking account can be challenging, especially for students. While you aim to save money, you’re also wary of […]

student cheque account

Choosing a checking account can be challenging, especially for students. While you aim to save money, you’re also wary of unexpected banking fees. This guide aims to assist you in selecting the ideal checking account tailored to your needs as a student. In the past, students often didn’t require checking accounts until after graduation. However, today’s landscape, with bursaries, scholarships, and organizations like NSFAS utilizing banks for transactions, every cent in your student account is crucial and should be preserved.

Numerous banks offer student checking accounts, but not all are suitable for you. Owning a checking account can bring frustrations such as overdrafts and ATM charges, some of which can be billed without warning on specific days of the month. It’s essential to take control of your banking as a student by choosing the right account. Let’s delve into what you should consider before opening a checking account tailored for students in South Africa.

Avoid fees by understanding what is offered to you

Fees are part of your student cheque account and there are unavoidable to a certain extent. However, there are those that can be completely avoided by simply knowing what action to take. Consider these fees when taking a student cheque account

Overdraft fees

Banks normally put you in an overdraft program when you sign up for a cheque account.

Overdrafts are not good for you as a student but can come in handy when you really need instant cash.

Be careful of the costs that come with taking an overdraft as the interest rates can be very high.

Interest on overdraft can range between 11.75% to 28.25% depending on the bank that you are using.

This interest is too high, especially for a student who is unemployed. Consider taking an overdraft facility that charges less interest.

If you don’t need an overdraft facility simply avoid it. Keep a positive balance on your account to avoid any further costs associated with negative balances.

ATM Fees

Banks normally charge less when using the bank’s ATM to withdraw money. Using a different bank’s ATM comes with hefty charges of about R10 per transaction. That is equivalent to monthly service fees of some student cheque accounts.

Make sure you know how much ATM fees your bank charges for its own ATMs. Also, know how much you will be charged for using other banks ATMs.

This will help you manage and save your money. Always avoid making ATM withdrawals unless necessary. Rather withdraw money at a till or swipe to make payments.

Monthly service fees

Monthly service fees are unavoidable and are fixed. Since they are fixed you will know the exact amount of money that will be charged on your student cheque account.

Your monthly service fees will have to be low. Some banks offer R0 monthly services fees on student accounts.

However, this doesn’t mean that the overall student account package is favourable since it offers R0 on service fees.

You still need to check ATM fees and other fees that the bank will charge.

Branch fees

Banks charge fees for performing certain activities at a branch office. This is because banks want to encourage customers to use online platforms to make certain transactions and actions.

Banks charge for bank statements, balance checks, deposits and other enquiries at a branch.

You will need to check if your bank charges for these activities on their pricing list.

Opt for convinience

We are a digital age and as a student, you need to use a student account that has digital systems in place.

Technology creates convenience as you will be able to do your banking anywhere. Standard Bank, FNB and Absa are some of the banks that offer digital banking.

Consider these when choosing a student bank account :

Mobile app, internet and cellphone banking

You don’t need to go to a branch to get a bank statement or view your balance at an ATM.

These can be viewed on a cell phone or through the use of a computer. This has to be a high priority as you will save a great amount of time by using technology.

With a mobile app, for example, you can download bank statements, check balances, apply for loans, make payments and more.

A mobile banking app should be a top priority when it comes to choosing a student account.

Customer service

Know that should you have an emergency your bank will be able to attend to you ASAP.

There are a number of things that can give you a bad banking experience and these need to get attended to fast.

You can lose a card or your money can be stolen in your account. You will need immediate help with this and you need to ensure that your bank can step up at such times.

Otherwise, should a way of communicating through digital platforms be difficult, then check if there is a branch near your college or university or student accommodation.

How to go about opening a student cheque account

Choosing a bank account as a student can be cumbersome since for many this will be their first bank account.

By using the methods in this article you can rest assured that you will make a great choice and save money.

You can start checking which account is suitable for you. This can be done online by visiting websites of 5 or 6 banks that offer student cheque accounts. Peruse the student cheque account catalogues and make comparisons.

Make a choice and start your application online. You don’t need to go to a branch to open a bank account.

Your student cheque account card will be sent to you. After opening an account you can start transacting. You can start by visiting Absa, Nedbank, Standard Bank or FNB.


Student Cheque accounts are everywhere nowadays. However, are you getting a fair deal on a student account? With Rateweb suggestions, you will get the best value from your bank.

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