Image of a woman holding a credit card and a piggy bank for an article on moneysmart comparing savings account options from South African banks

What’s the Best Savings Accounts in South Africa? A Comparison

20/08/2013 • • by Natalie

Putting money into a savings account that is not working for you is just about as good as stuffing it under your mattress.

If you are committed to a monthly savings plan be it for a long term goal or just a security net in case of emergency – you want your bank to be working at least as hard as you are.

Below is a comparison of four savings account options from two of the major banks, Absa and FNB, comparing one no-notice withdrawal savings account and one fixed-term interest account with a 32-day notice period.

 Savings Account Comparison

The Fine Print



Absa MoneyBuilder

Requires R20 start up capital to open the account.

Limited number of free transactions per month.

Card based savings account.

Immediate access to your money.


Tiered interest rate, which means the more money you have in your account, the higher the % interest rate.

Interest rates guidelines are subject to change: 

R50 to R999.0 = 0.80%
R1000 to R 9 999.0 = 1.7%
R10 000 to R19 999 = 2.0%
R20 000 and up = 3.05%


No administration fee.

8 free Absa ATM transactions per month:

-2 deposits
-2 balance enquiries
-2 mini-statements


2 free cash withdrawals per year.

After these are complete you begin to pay fees for transactions.

Transaction fees on a money builder account are notably higher than a current account.

E-statements are free.



Absa TargetSave

Save a certain amount of money every month for at least 6 months.

Need R100 to open the account.

Minimum R100 monthly deposit.

Funds are available on a 32-day notice period for 6 months.

After initial 6-month period funds are available on 10 days notice.


Your interest rate increases for the first 6 months of your 18-month contract.

Interest rate guidelines are subject to change: 

R100 to R9.900 =2.65%
R10 000 = R2.85%
R20 000 = 3%
R25 00 and up = 3.10%

No charge for administration fees.

FNB Savings Account

Need to be a South African citizen over 18 and earn at least R100 000 per year to qualify.

You pay no bank fees if you keep R2 000 in your account at all times.

Can draw money on demand – no notice period.

Get a gold Visa debit card

Tiered interest rate from 0.3% to 4.% depending on your account balance.

R0 -R1 000 = 1.10%
R1 000 – R10 000 = 2.00%
R10 000 – R20 000 = 2.15%
R20 000 – R100 000 = 2.90%
R100 000 and over = 3.40%

No administration costs if you keep over R2 000 in your account

If you have R2 000 or below the monthly cost is R5.80

Card purchases are free

FNB ATM withdrawals are free.

32 Day Interest Plus

Minimum deposit R100

Account balance may not fall below R100. 

Can transfer or deposit money into this savings account at any time.

32-day notice period for withdrawal.

Interest rates increase as money stays in the account.

If you do not withdraw your funds after a certain period of days your interest rate increases:

R100 – R999 =

0.5% (32 days)
0.6% (33 – 64 days)
0.75% (65+ days)

R1000 – R9 999 =

1.55% (32 days)
1.65% (33 – 64 days)
1.80% (65+ days)

R10 000 – R24 999

1.80% (32 days)
1.90% (33 – 64 days)
2.05% (65+ days)

R25 000 – R49 999

2.05% (32 days)
2.15% (33 – 64 days)
2.30% (65+ days)

R50 000 – R99 999

2.55% (32 days)
2.65% (33 – 64 days)
2.80% (65+ days)

R100 000+

2.75% (32 days)
2.85% (33 – 64 days)
3.00% (65+ days)



Online cellphone and telephone banking free.

Cash and cheque deposits are free. 



The bank fees described above were accurate and up-to-date at the time of publishing. This is by no means a definitive guide to choosing a savings account but merely a general overview of what typical savings accounts look like. We recommend you consult with a bank representative to make an informed decision when choosing a savings account that best suits your individual needs. moneysmart cannot be held responsible for any decision made based on the above information.

Please check the relevant banks’ websites for more information on their fees and rates structures.

VN:D [1.9.21_1169]
Rating: 4.0/5 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.21_1169]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

What’s the Best Savings Accounts in South Africa? A Comparison, 4.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

You may also like