Cheapest Bank in South Africa | 6 Affordable Banking Options



Blog, Money
Person taking out their bank card

There’s plenty of hardship in South Africa, and financial stability is at an all-time low, so finding the cheapest bank in South Africa is most welcome. These six banks are the most affordable, and this information will save you from the costs that secretly eat away at your income.

Whether you’re looking for a cheap bank that makes online grocery shopping easy or simply want to save on transaction fees, here are all the best options.

Next Read: Some of these banks even work closely with the top medical aid schemes. When you’re done here, consider getting a medical insurance quote.

How We Determined the Cheapest Banks in South Africa

This 2023-based analysis reveals the cheapest available accounts across all the banks in South Africa. Although fees change yearly, the increases across all banks should stay level in comparison.

To find the ultimate winners, we took each bank’s pay-per-transaction account and calculated the total cost using the following sum profile:

  • The monthly account fee
  • A deposit of R1,000 at an ATM
  • A R1,000 cash withdrawal from the bank’s ATM
  • A R1,000 cash withdrawal from another bank
  • Send R1,000 cash via the app to withdraw at an ATM
  • One non-immediate EFT to someone with the same bank
  • One non-immediate EFT to an external bank
  • One external debit order
  • One airtime purchase
  • One electricity purchase
  • One home ATM balance inquiry
  • 20 SMS transaction notifications

ThymeBank logo

1. TymeBank

The EveryDay Personal Account is worth raving about, with ‘the sum’ amounting to a mere R40. This bank is truly the jewel of them all in banking fees, with many free transactions and low prices.

TymeBank Monthly Fees

This Visa debit card has no monthly fees, including the app and internet banking usage. There’s also no cost to opening the account and getting a card. Do you need a 12-month bank statement? That’s also free, via the app and internet banking.


You can withdraw at any South African bank’s ATM at R10 per R1,000 (or part thereof).

With TymeBank, there is a flat R3 fee when you withdraw cash from the till point at supporting retailers like PnP and Boxer.


It costs R10 per R1,000 to deposit cash at a TymeBank ATM. Cash deposits at Pick n Pay and Boxer till points amount to R7, no matter the amount. You also get one free retailer deposit a month.


All EFTs, no matter the bank, are costless. There’s an immediate transfer cost of R7 per R1,000 (or part thereof) but caps at R35. This is a unique way of charging you, but it may not be helpful if you plan on transferring medium sums of cash regularly, such as R3,000 a time.

You can also do a cardless cash transfer for withdrawal using SendMoney at R7 per R1,000.

TymeBank Other Fees

Here are some other essential fees:

  • SMS transaction notifications: R0.50/ free if using email or app
  • Insufficient funds/incorrect PIN: R3
  • External debit orders: Free
  • Prepaid purchases: Free
  • Utility purchases: Free
  • Home ATM balance check: R3

Capitec logo

2. Capitec

Climbing the ladder with a R64.50 ‘sum’ is the Capitec Global One account. This bank truly offers bang for your buck, claiming second place.

Capitec Monthly Fees

The Global One account costs R7 a month, but opening and getting a card is costless. The fee may initially deter you, but Capitec offers a top-rated, exceptionally user-friendly banking app.


An at-home ATM withdrawal charges you R9.40 per R1,000. At another bank kiosk, it will cost 10.50 per R1,000. At a supporting retailer’s till point, you can withdraw cash at a flat rate of R1.75.

You can also send a cardless cash withdrawal, which costs R9.50 per R1,000 or R16 between R1,010 and R3,000.


Cash deposits at ATMs are R1.40 per R100 and R4 at a branch. Cash for loan repayments is free.


Transfers are R1 for Capitec-to-Capitec and naturally instant. Payments to other accounts amount to R2, or R7.50, for immediate clearance. Capitec has the cheapest instantaneous EFT rate.

Capitec also offers PayShap at the following fees:

  • Free for R100
  • R150 for amounts up to R1,000
  • R3 for up to R3,000

Capitec Other Fees

Here are a few more everyday fees:

  • SMS transaction notifications: R0.30/ free app & email notifications
  • Insufficient funds: R8.50
  • External debit orders: R3.50
  • Prepaid purchases: R0.50
  • Utility purchases: R1
  • Home ATM balance check: Free

Top Tip: Capitec also offers some of the best prices for online loans in South Africa.

Nedbank logo

3. Nedbank

Not many South Africans consider Nedbank as low-cost, but the MiGoals Account prices are a pleasant surprise.

Nedbank’s ‘sum’ amounted to R67, a considerable R27 difference from TymeBanks’s, yet remains a fair price worthy of third place. The sum did not include a cardless cash withdrawal, as it isn’t possible with a MiGoals account.

Nedbank Monthly Fees

To open an account, getting a card is cost-free, as are your monthly account and online banking fees. If your account reaches a negative, the overdraft fee is R55 for the month.


If you’d like to withdraw cash, you’re looking at R10 per R1,000 for Nedbank ATMs, with an additional R10 flat rate if you use another SA bank’s ATM.

Want to save on withdrawals? Nedbank charges a set R2 for point-of-sale (POS) withdrawals at participating retailers, including the Shoprite/Checkers group, OK stores, Usave, House & Home, and Pick n Pay.

If you’d like to send a cardless cash withdrawal using a cellphone number, you will need a MobiMoney or eligible account.


Depositing cash at Nedbank’s ATMs costs R10 per R1,000. At the till of participating retailers, it costs R20 per R5,000, amounting to around R4 per R1,000 – which is a decent saving opportunity. This retailer alternative would bring down ‘the sum’ to R61.


You can send money to another Nedbank account or external bank for only R1. Nedbank instant EFTs are R10 regardless of which bank.

You can send up to R5,000 daily (limited to R3,000/ transaction) using PayShap, which costs R1 for ShapIDs and R7.50 to an account.

Nedbank Other Fees

There are some of the other fees:

  • SMS & email transaction notifications: R0.50/ free app notifications
  • Insufficient funds: R8.50
  • External debit orders: R2
  • Prepaid purchases: R1
  • Utility purchases: R1
  • Home ATM balance check: Free

Top Tip: Nedbank is also a great option if you’re looking to take out an Access Bond.

Bank Zero logo

4. Bank Zero

This financial institution only offers one standard Bank Zero Account, a pay-as-you-transact card. They like to make everyday banking activities accessible, which is in their favour as their ‘sum’ is R78.45, but cash deposit fees vary. In addition, international transactions are free.

Bank Zero Monthly Fees

To open the account costs between R69 and R159 depending on your card delivery, but you don’t pay any monthly admin fees.


Since Bank Zero doesn’t have many ATMs, they charge only R9 per R1,000 for cash withdrawals – and international ATMs cost the same! You can also withdraw at a PnP, Spar, or a Shoprite Group point-of-sale, which levies a mere R2 per transaction.

If you’d like to send a cardless cash withdrawal, called SendMoney, you’re looking at R8.50 per transaction – which is excellent considering that they have the option at a fixed fee.


Deposits aren’t straightforward when it comes to Zero Bank. You can deposit cash at supporting retailers, but their fees aren’t disclosed. However, the cost should be around R19.95. The deposit levy depends on the retailer.


Whether you pay a Zero Bank or another bank’s customer, all EFTs are free. They don’t mention instant transfers on their fees list, which leaves a bit of a grey area.

Bank Zero Other Fees

These are the other essential cost breakdowns:

  • SMS transaction notifications: R1.50/ free email notifications
  • Insufficient funds: R2
  • External debit orders: Free
  • Prepaid purchases: Free
  • Utility purchases: Free
  • Home ATM balance check: Free

First National Bank logo

5. First National Bank (FNB)

FNB’s Easy Zero account amounts to R81.90, which doubles Tymes’, which indicates that SA’s banks are hardly equal.

FNB Monthly Fees

This account has zero monthly admin fees – as the name suggests. To open an account is also cost-free.


At an internal ATM, the fee is R8.50 per R1,000 to withdraw. There’s an additional flat fee of R12 at external ATMs. This R12 levy gets rebated if you deposit cash on the 1st, 3rd, 25th, or 31st of the month. Cardless cash withdrawals (eWallet) are R2 plus R2.40 per R100.


A remarkable feature that helped FNB’s ranking is that you can deposit money at a home ATM up to R1,000 monthly without any fees. After that, it’s R2.40 per R100. You can deposit cash at supporting till points at a flat rate of R19.95, subject to change based on the merchant’s pricing.


EFT payments are R1 across all banks, with an instant transfer costing R8.

PayShap prices are as follows:

  • Costless for R100 (to other accounts)
  • 65 for amounts over R100 (to other accounts)
  • Standard R1 fee (to FNB)

FNB Other Fees

The other fees include the following:

  • SMS & Email transaction notifications: Free
  • Insufficient funds: R9
  • External debit orders: R3.50
  • Prepaid purchases: Free
  • Utility purchases: R0.50 – R3
  • Home ATM balance check: R1.90

Top Tip: Aside from the Easy Zero account, FNB is also one of SA’s best life insurance companies.

African Bank logo

6. African Bank

Last on the list is the African Bank MyWorld Account. This bank is still affordable with a ‘sum’ of R87, making it a close call with FNB.

African Bank Monthly Fees

The account costs R5 a month, which isn’t much of an ask. If you spend more than your means and your account balance falls into a negative, you’ll pay a R69 overdraft fee for that month.


African Bank advertises that they have low ATM withdrawal fees, but they aren’t too great once compared. African Bank ATM prices are R9.50 per R1,000, and other ATMs are R10.50 per R500. However, you get two free till withdrawals at supporting retailers, which costs only R2 afterward.

If you require a cardless phone-number-based withdrawal, there’s a flat fee of R10, no matter the amount.


Cash deposits are R1.50 per R100 at African Bank ATMs – which isn’t too shabby. If you’d like to deposit at a retailer till, there’s a fixed R19 fee.


EFTs sent to native bank accounts cost an impressive R0.50, and external transfers are only R1. If you would like to make an immediate payment, it costs R10.

African Bank Other Fees

There are some of the other fees:

  • SMS transaction notifications: R0.50/ free app & email notifications
  • Insufficient funds: R10
  • External debit orders: R4
  • Prepaid purchases: R1
  • Utility purchases: R1
  • Home ATM balance check: Free

Bar graph showing the cheapest banks in South Africa

Final Thoughts on the Cheapest Banks in SA

You can only truly determine bank charges when you put them into practice, and in-depth calculations go beyond a simple list of fees. This South African bank price analysis aims to mimic a one-of-everything transaction profile to compare the costs of essential daily activities.

Overall, TymeBank was the winner, while the most expensive bank was ABSA.

If you’re looking to stay protected, read our insight on credit insurance in South Africa.

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