5 Best Banks Account For Pensioners In South Africa


If you’ve been paying a crazy amount of banking fees as a pensioner then it’s time to find a new bank account. In this article, I listed some of the best bank accounts you can use with either low or now banking fees based on a few criteria that I think might interest you.

Before diving into the three ‘criteria,’ I also want you to know that I understand that above all, you want a deal that is simple and easy to understand.

So on that note, I’ll try my best to make this comparative guide as simple to understand as possible so that you don’t get caught out by any hidden terms and conditions and all that hogwash.

Low or no account fees

I’ll be looking at fees such as monthly account, send money, receive money, and other basic transaction fees.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I found that for a bank account to offer no bank account fees they generally need you to keep a large savings balance in the account. So watch out for this.

Better than usual interest rates

Through years and years of experience, our older citizens are a lot wiser with their money. And banks LOVE that! This is why most banks who appreciate this level of maturity will offer our pensioners really good annual interest rates on their savings.

That said, transactional bank accounts are known for having low-interest fees, so I highly recommend you open a savings account that can be linked to the bank account of your choice. Most banks offer this for free, however when you apply make sure you ask first.

BONUS CONTENT: I compiled a list of South African savings accounts that offer the best interest rates here, so make sure you check it out if you’re heavily focused on earning interest.

Perks and discounts

Restaurants often offer pensioners specials because pensioners are loyal customers. The same should be said for banks, if they really appreciate your loyalty then they would offer decent perks and discounts.

That’s it!

These are the three areas I’ll be focusing on during my research. Just a quick note, there is a bit of a trade-off, no single banks will be perfect, however, select which criteria from above are most important to you and choose the bank that really outshines with that specific quality.

For example, if no account fees are really important to you, then select a bank that has zero account fees. In my top list below I’ll emphasize which area that particular bank shines in.

Based those criteria, here’s a table summarizing my top 5 list. If you would like a more detailed description of each bank account then scroll down.

Bank:Monthly Maintenance Fee:Minimum Savings For Max Benefits:Interest Rate:View More:
FNB Premier Select ChequeR0R10,000VIEW
Standard Bank Consolidator AccountR49R5,0000%VIEW
Nedbank OptimumR0R10,000VIEW
Absa Prosperity chequeR50R15,0000.1 to 3.5%VIEW
FNB Encore Gold ChequeR35R10,000VIEW
Best bank accounts in South Africa for pensioners over 55.

How to reduce bank fees by 66% on any bank account?

If you do select a bank account that doesn’t eliminate all fees because you can’t meet the minimum bank balance, then use these tips to help you cut your fees by up to 66%!

Arrie Rautenbach, the chief executive: Barclays Africa Retail Banking recommends that you

  • Don’t get paid via cheques, use EFT instead. It’s a lot quicker and cheaper.
  • Don’t use your branch to draw money, use till points instead (point of sale.) Till points are located at major stores such as Spar, Shoprite, and Checkers to name a few.
  • Don’t pay by writing cheques, use telephone banking instead.

As a quick case study, I’ll show you how much money you could save with ANY bank account using the above method. In this case, I’ll use the ABSA prosperity account.

Get paid via Cheque VS EFT

  • Admin fee for cheques: R75,00 + R2,10 per R100 received plus cheque issued fees.
  • EFT: R10

If you went with the EFT option, you would save over R80!

Draw money via branch VS till point?

  • Branch fee: R75 + R2 per R100 drawn
  • ATM: R2 per R100
  • Till point fee: R2

I included ATM here so you can see that till point fees are is even cheaper than using an ATM if you draw more than R100. Overall, you’ll save over R70!

Send money or pay by writing a cheque VS telephone banking?

  • Cheque issued fee: R200
  • Branch counter: R75
  • Telephone, mobile, online or ABSA ATM: R10

As you can see the difference between writing a cheque, using a branch counter and more automated methods like telephone banking is night and day. You’ll save over R190!

So what’s my point? Regardless of what bank you decide to go with, be smarter with regards to HOW you bank. You could save a ton of money just by just using different methods of payment.

As a rule of thumb, as soon as you need to get a bank employee involved, it will be much more expensive. Electronic automated methods are almost always cheaper.

Now, let’s dive deeper into my top 5 bank accounts for pensioner list.

01. FNB Premier Select Cheque – Best Over 55 Account For Low Fees

With the FNB Premier Select account you’ll pay NO account fees as long as you keep a minimum balance of R10,000 in the account at all times.

You can hold this minimum bank in any one of FNB’s accounts such as savings, or cash investment accounts.

Monthly account maintenance fee: R0

You need to earn: Over R20,000

Annual interest rate:

Couldn’t find information on FNB Encore interest rates. If you’re interested in this bank account, look at some savings accounts you can connect to it here.

Transaction fees:

The below fees assume that you do not hold a minimum balance of R10,000 in your account.

Receive money fees:

  • Cheque – R140
  • EFT – Free

Send money fees:

  • Cheque – R140
  • Telephone or EFT/online banking – Free

Draw money fees:

  • From branch – R80 + R2.50 per R100
  • ATM – R2 per R100
  • Through point of sale – Free

Perks and benefits:

With this card, you’ll get access to the eBucks reward program. eBucks a rewards program known for giving cashback on both instore and online purchases, as well as travel benefits such as free airport lounge visits, etc.

Click here if you would like to see the detailed pricing sheet, or click here if you would like to apply for this account.

02. Standard Bank Consolidator – Best Over 55 Account For Low Savings Balance

Monthly account maintenance fee: R49

You need to earn: R8000 per month or have a saving account balance of above R5000.

Annual interest rate: 0%

Transaction fees:

The below fees assume that you do not hold a minimum balance of R5,000 in your account or earn at-least R8000 per month.

Receive money fees:

  • Cheque – R125,00
  • EFT – Free

Send money fees:

  • Cheque – R135,00
  • Telephone or EFT/online banking – R10

Draw money fees:

  • From branch – R55.00 + R1,90 per R100,00
  • ATM – R1.90 per R100,00
  • Through point of sale – Free

Perks and benefits:

No real benefits worth mentioning.

Click here if you would like to see the detailed pricing sheet, or click here if you would like to apply for this account.

03. Nedbank Optimum – Best Over 55 Account For Non Earners

Monthly account maintenance fee: Free

*Only free if you hold a minimum balance of R10,000 in your bank account at all times otherwise it’s R26 per month.

You need to earn: R0

Annual interest rate:

Couldn’t find the annual interest rate on Nedbank Optimum transactional account, however, you can connect your account to OptimumPlus which is a fixed deposit account.

To give you an idea of how much interest you could earn, with a balance of R5000 plus over a 60 month investment period, you’ll earn a 6.0% interest on your total balance.

Transaction fees:

The below fees assume that you do not hold a minimum balance of R10,000 in your account.

Receive money fees:

  • Cheque – R65,00 per deposit
  • EFT – Couldn’t find the information

Send money fees:

  • Cheque – R75,00 plus R2,00 per R100 in addition to cheque service fees
  • Telephone or EFT/online banking – R8.35

Draw money fees:

  • From branch – R75,00 plus R2,00 per R100
  • ATM – R2,00 per R100
  • Through point of sale – R4,30

Perks and benefits:

No real benefits worth mentioning.

Click here if you would like to see the detailed pricing sheet, or click here if you would like to apply for this account.

04. Absa Prosperity cheque – Best Over 55 Account For Interest

If you have over R15,000 in your account then you’ll get a rebate of R510 on your transaction fees. This is the maximum amount you’ll get back, so if you transact a lot make sure you stick to low fee transaction.

Monthly account maintenance fee: R50

You need to earn: R2000 per month

Annual interest rate:

Account Balance:Above R25,000Above R50,000Above R100,000
Interest rate:0.10%0.25%3.75%
Absa prosperity account annual interest rates.

Transaction fees:

The below fees assume that you do not hold a minimum balance of R15,000 in your account or earn at-least R2000 per month.

Receive money fees:

  • Cheque – R75,00 + R2,10 per R100 received plus cheque issued fees.
  • EFT – R10

Send money fees:

  • Checque – R200
  • Branch counter – R75
  • Telephone, ATM or online banking – R10

Draw money fees:

  • From branch – R75 + R2 per R100 drawn
  • ATM – R2 per R100
  • Through point of sale – R2

Perks and benefits:

When you join, you’ll get access to the Absa rewards program.

Click here if you would like to see the detailed pricing sheet, or click here if you would like to see the sales pitch or to apply for this account.

05. FNB Encore Gold Cheque (Over 55)

If you keep a minimum balance of R10,000 in your account at all times then they’ll scratch the monthly account maintenance fee.

Monthly account maintenance fee: R35

You need to earn: Over R24,000

Annual interest rate:

Couldn’t find information on FNB Encore interest rates. If you’re interested in this bank look at some savings accounts you can connect to it here.

Transaction fees:

The below fees assume that you do not hold a minimum balance of R10,000 in your account.

Receive money fees:

  • Cheque – Couldn’t find the info.
  • EFT – Free

Send money fees:

  • Cheque – R140
  • Telephone or EFT/online banking – Free

Draw money fees:

  • From branch – You get 2 free transactions per month, after that it’s R80 + R2.50 per R100
  • ATM – R2 Per 100
  • Through point of sale – Free

Perks and benefits:

Get access to the eBucks rewards program.

Click here if you would like to see the detailed pricing sheet, or click here if you would like to apply for this account.

Your Turn

I’ve tried to make this article as relevant as possible to pensioners, and as accurate as possible. That said, I’m far from perfect so there’s probably a 100% chance that I missed something or got something wrong.

Do you know of any banks for pensioners that deserve to be on this list? Did I get any information wrong in this article? Please let us know in the comments below so we can start learning from each other.

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