South Africa’s major retail banks offer a wide range of credit options, from retail brand accounts to alternative options like American Express (Amex), Diner’s Club, or Voyager accounts.
With so many credit options to choose from, it can be confusing to know what you get out of each account, how much they cost, or even whether or not you qualify in the first place.
Although credit cards enable consumers to borrow money against a line of credit, the way they go about it can vary in price dramatically, with the majority of cards requiring that people earn a specific monthly salary to be eligible.
What is commonly shared amongst credit cards is:
- A credit limit that is adjustable on request;
- Up to 55 days interest-free period on select transactions;
- A personalised interest rate.
Comparing various credit accounts is difficult as each account offers its own rewards, bundled options, transactional accounts and interest rates.
Interest rates are determined by each bank’s assessment of individual credit risk profiles. The maximum prescribed limit for interest on credit facilities is the repo rate plus 14% – currently 18.75%.
Outside of these, BusinessTech looked at common fees across banks – namely initiation fees, monthly fees and a minimum income requirement – for comparison.
Monthly fees for credit cards cost on average R131, while initiation fees are slightly higher at R225 on average when opening an account.
Holding the most exclusive position on this list is the Discovery Bank Purple Suite which requires a cardholder to have a monthly minimum income equal to more than R208,000 (or R2.5 million a year).
Discovery Bank, as one of South Africa’s newest banks having launched in 2020, has seen substantial growth over the past two years, with it recently reaching 1 million accounts. The two-year-old bank is now on par with some of the country’s oldest legacy banks, offering four distinctly different credit card accounts.
One of the most affordable credit cards only requires a monthly ‘allowance’ of R800 if the cardholder is a student. The Absa Student Credit Card offers South African students access to credit without transaction or monthly fees. Absa said that the card aims to encourage building a positive credit history among younger generations.
The table below shows the appropriate initiation and monthly fees associated with a credit account alongside the minimum income required to be an eligible cardholder. (Information is sorted in the descending order of minimum income):
|Credit account||Initiation fee||Monthly fees||Minimum income required (p/m)|
|Discovery Bank Purple Suite||R150*||R570||R208 333|
|FNB Private Wealth||R175||R258||R150 000|
|Discovery Bank Black||R150*||R465||R70 833|
|American Express Platinum Credit Card (Nedbank)||R180||R490||R62 500|
|FNB Private Clients||R175||R133||R62 500|
|Absa Private Banking Signature||R175||R185||R62 500|
|RMB Private Bank Credit Card||R175||R258||R62 500|
|Standard Bank Platinum||R180||R103||>R58 000|
|Diners Club Platinum (Standard Bank)||R0||R98||R41 667|
|Discovery Bank Platinum||R150*||R130||R29 167|
|Nedbank Platinum||R180||R90||R29 000|
|SAA Voyager Premium Credit Card (Nedbank)||R0||R2 040**||R25 000|
|Absa Premium||R175||R92||R25 000|
|Standard Bank Titanium||R180||R82||R25 000|
|Standard Bank World Citizen Credit Card||R1 800||R199||R25 000|
|Diners Club Beyond Credit Card (Standard Bank)||R0||R85||R20 833|
|FNB Premier||R175||R92||R20 000|
|American Express Gold Credit Card (Nedbank)||R670||R70||R17 000|
|Discovery Bank Gold||R150*||R80||R8 333|
|British Airways Credit Card (Absa)||R175||R95||R8 000|
|Standard Bank Gold||R180||R60||R7 500|
|Standard Bank Blue||R180||R40||R7 500|
|FNB Aspire||R175||R25||R7 000|
|SAA Voyager Gold Credit Card (Nedbank)||R0||R700**||R6 600|
|Nedbank Gold||R180||R40||R5 000|
|Capitec Global One Credit Card||R100||R45||R5 000|
|Absa Gold||R175||R55||R4 000|
|Absa Flexi Core||R175||R44||R2 000|
|African Bank Black Credit Card||R120||R50||n/a|
* R150 if limit < R2000, otherwise R175
** per annum
Note: All FNB rates are in terms of each card’s FNB Annual Pricing Guide (1 July 2022 – 30 June 2023), and Capitec’s Credit Card minimum income is R10,000 for self-employed clients.
The tax scam to watch out for in South Africa this year
Source: Business Tech