9 Best Bank Accounts For Low-Income Earners South Africa 2021


If you’re a low-income earner you’re probably concerned about transaction costs and monthly fees eating up your hard-earned money compared to getting benefits.

That said, in this comparative guide, I compared 9 bank accounts that have low or no monthly fees and more importantly low transaction costs because after all, that’s where the bulk of your charges will usually come from.

Bank Account:Monthly Maintenance Fee:Minimum Account Balance:Transaction Fees Compared:Learn More:
African Bank My World AccountR0R0R14.40VIEW
Capitec Global One AccountR5R25R20.60VIEW
FNB Easy Pay As You Go AccountR4.95R0R20VIEW
Bank Zero AccountR0R0R21VIEW
TymeDigital AccountR0R0R21VIEW
Old Mutual Money AccountR4.95R25R21.90VIEW
Standard Bank Access AccountR5.80R20R21.45VIEW
Absa Transact AccountR4.90R20R23.10VIEW
Nedbank PAYU AccountR0R0R27.15VIEW
*Table compares low-income earner bank accounts. Transaction fees are calculated based on 7 common transaction fees, see tables below for details.

Monthly Maintenance Fee

Just as a general rule of thumb, the more savings you’re willing to keep in your account the more likely the bank will waiver the monthly maintenance fee.

That said, I searched for banks with the cheapest fee but just try to remember that most of your fees will come from transaction costs, so if you had to choose, choose the bank with the lowest transaction fees.

Transactions costs

Nothing worse than getting unexpected steep transaction costs. To help you avoid going through that stress, I laid out some more important and commonly used transactions so that you can get an idea of which bank is cheaper, and how much you’ll pay in transactions per month.

IMPORTANT: When transacting, always use automated methods and avoid using manual transaction methods. The more manual the process the more expensive it’s going to be. If you’re not sure what I mean, here’s an example:

  • Use EFT when sending or receiving money instead of bank cheques. Cheques are notoriously expensive. To give you an idea; Absa prosperity account charges R75 to cash a cheque, and only R10 to so an EFT.
  • Draw money through a till point (point of sale) or an ATM. Avoid drawing money from the branch itself. Using the same example as above, Absa prosperity account charges R75 to draw money from the branch, compared to only R2 if you draw money from an ATM or a till point.

Now I’m just using Absa as an example here, but this holds true for all bank accounts. The more manual the transaction, the more you’ll get charged. So just following these tips alone will drastically reduce your transaction costs.

Right, now that you know how to transact with a bank as cheap as possible, now it’s time to dive into the different banking options with the lowest fees.

01. African Bank My World Account

Monthly account maintenance fee: R0

Minimum account balance: R0

Transaction fees

The table below shows African Bank fees. I’ve included a “total” row so that you can easily compare it to all other banks.

Transaction:Fee:
Purchases card machineR0
Payment to African Bank account EFTR0
Payment to another bank EFTR0
Cash withdrawal at till point (PnP/Shoprite/Checkers/Boxer)R2 per R1000
Cash withdrawal African Bank ATMR6 per R1000
Cash withdrawal Other ATMR6 per R1000
SMS notificationsR0.40
Total Fees:R14.40
Table sums up common African Bank Account fees.

Learn more about this bank account here.

02. Capitec Global One Account

Monthly account maintenance fee: R5.00

Minimum account balance: R25

Transaction fees

The table below shows Capitec Global One fees. I’ve included a “total” row so that you can easily compare it to all other banks.

Transaction:Fee:
Purchases card machineR0
Payment to another bank EFTR1
Payment to Capitec account EFTR1
Cash withdrawal at till point (PnP/Shoprite/Checkers/Boxer)R1.20
Cash withdrawal Capitec ATMR8 per R1000
Cash withdrawal Other ATMR9 per R1000
SMS notificationsR0.40
Total Fees:R20.60
Table sums up common Capitec Global One bank account fees.

Learn more about this bank account here.

03. FNB Easy Pay As You Go Account

Monthly account maintenance fee: R4.95

Minimum account balance: R0

Transaction fees

The table below shows FNB Easy fees. I’ve included a “total” row so that you can easily compare it to all other banks.

Transaction:Fee:
Purchases card machineR0
Payment to FNB Easy account EFTR0
Payment to another bank EFTR0
Cash withdrawal at till point (PnP/Shoprite/Checkers/Boxer)R0
Cash withdrawal FNB Easy ATMR8 per R1000
Cash withdrawal Other ATMR12 per R1000
SMS notificationsR0
Total Fees:R20
Table sums up common FNB Easy Account fees.

Learn more about this bank account here.

04. Bank Zero Account

Monthly account maintenance fee: R0

Minimum account balance: R0

Transaction fees

The table below shows Bank Zero fees. I’ve included a “total” row so that you can easily compare it to all other banks.

Transaction:Fee:
Purchases card machineR0
Payment to Bank Zero account EFTR0
Payment to another bank EFTR8.50
Cash withdrawal at till point (PnP/Shoprite/Checkers/Boxer)R2
Cash withdrawal Bank Zero ATMR9 per R1000
Cash withdrawal Other ATMR9 per R1000
SMS notificationsR1.50
Total Fees:R21
Table sums up common Bank Zero Account fees.

Learn more about this bank account here.

05. TymeDigital Account

Monthly account maintenance fee: R0

Minimum account balance: R0

Transaction fees

The table below shows TymeDigital fees. I’ve included a “total” row so that you can easily compare it to all other banks.

Transaction:Fee:
Purchases card machineR0
Payment to TymeDigital account EFTR0
Payment to another bank EFTR0
Cash withdrawal at till point (PnP/Shoprite/Checkers/Boxer)R3
Cash withdrawal TymeDigital ATMR9 per R1000
Cash withdrawal Other ATMR9 per R1000
SMS notificationsR0
Total Fees:R21
Table sums up common TymeDigital Account fees.

Learn more about this bank account here.

06. Old Mutual Money Account

Monthly account maintenance fee: R4.95

Minimum account balance: R25

Transaction fees

The table below shows Capitec Global One fees. I’ve included a “total” row so that you can easily compare it to all other banks.

Transaction:Fee:
Purchases card machineR0
Payment to Old Mutual account EFTR0
Payment to another bank EFTR1.20
Cash withdrawal at till point (PnP/Shoprite/Checkers/Boxer)R1.20
Cash withdrawal Old Mutual ATMR7.50 per R1000
Cash withdrawal Other ATMR11.50 per R1000
SMS notificationsR0.50
Total Fees:R21.90
Table sums up common Old Mutual Money Account fees.

Learn more about this bank account here.

07. Standard Bank Access

Monthly account maintenance fee: R5.80

Minimum account balance: R20

Transaction fees

The table below shows Standard Bank Access fees. I’ve included a “total” row so that you can easily compare it to all other banks.

Transaction:Fee:
Purchases card machineR0
Payment to Standard Bank Access account EFTR1.20
Payment to another bank EFTR0
Cash withdrawal at till point (PnP/Shoprite/Checkers/Boxer)R1.40
Cash withdrawal Standard Bank Access ATMR7.50 per R1000
Cash withdrawal Other ATMR10.00 per R1000
SMS notificationsR1.35
Total Fees:R21.45
Table sums up common Standard Bank Access Account fees.

Learn more about this bank account here.

08. Absa Transact Account

Monthly account maintenance fee: R4.90

Minimum account balance: R20

Transaction fees

The table below shows Absa Transact fees. I’ve included a “total” row so that you can easily compare it to all other banks.

Transaction:Fee:
Purchases card machineR0
Payment to Absa Transact account EFTR0
Payment to another bank EFTR3.50
Cash withdrawal at till point (PnP/Shoprite/Checkers/Boxer)R1
Cash withdrawal Absa Transact ATMR6.50 per R1000
Cash withdrawal Other ATMR11.50 per R1000
SMS notificationsR0.60
Total Fees:R23.10
Table sums up common Absa Transact Account fees.

Learn more about this bank account here.

09. Nedbank PAYU Account

Monthly account maintenance fee: R0

Minimum account balance: R0

Transaction fees

The table below shows Nedbank PAYU fees. I’ve included a “total” row so that you can easily compare it to all other banks.

Transaction:Fee:
Purchases card machineR0
Payment to Nedbank PAYU account EFTR0
Payment to another bank EFTR5.50
Cash withdrawal at till point (PnP/Shoprite/Checkers/Boxer)R2
Cash withdrawal Nedbank PAYU ATMR8 per R1000
Cash withdrawal Other ATMR10.50 per R1000
SMS notificationsR1.15
Total Fees:R27.15
Table sums up common Nedbank PAYU Account fees.

Learn more about this bank account here.

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