The art of savvy banking: Mastering bank charges in South Africa
Have you had a thorough look at your bank statement and wondered why you've been charged so much?
Here are five main reasons why your bank charges are always more than they should be — and your bank is probably not to blame.
Exorbitant bank charges explained and how to avoid them
1. Regular Cash withdrawals at the ATM
Most, if not all, banks encourage limited or emergency ATM withdrawals. This is because cash can be withdrawn at till points at prominent supermarkets via cash-back for free, or at less than R2.
2. Bouncing or dishonoured debit orders
It is important to make sure that service provider debits take place on the right date in the month so that you are sure you have funds in your account. Some banks charge R25 for a failed debit order attempt; some charge as much as R250.
3. ATM withdrawals at rival bank ATMs
Although sometimes it is a matter of life and death, the charges can be very high for using a bank other than your own to draw money. Perhaps try and avoid doing this.
4. Over-utilising Cash Send, Send Imali, Ewallet
Yes, as convenient as it is sending these to five people in any given month, plus to yourself on the fateful day, it can accumulate an extra R100 per month added onto your bank charges. Rather use EFT and put money into their bank account that way.
5. Immediate payments
Well, this one is one of the best inventions to the banking industry, but convenience has a heavy price as well. Some banks charge per R100, some start at R40 and some as low as R8. Either way, an immediate payment is an option but if it is not essential, rather avoid it.
In future, withdraw enough cash from the ATM once or twice a month, make sure debit orders go off successfully, avoid withdrawing at another bank’s ATM, limit card-less transactions as well as immediate interbank payments, and you should see an increase of funds in your bank account.
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