Best Student Bank Accounts South Africa

Top 6 Best Student Bank Accounts in South Africa 2019

We compare the best student bank accounts on offer to students in South Africa. Aside from lower bank fees, students can benefit from a number of perks when opening a bank account such as special deals, vouchers and freebies. Use the below guide to find out which student bank account is best for you!

In order to choose the best account for you, you should look at those with perks that reflect your lifestyle. If you often go to the cinema to unwind or frequent the gym every week, selecting the SA student account that provides discounts to these activities may be the best choice. However, remember it’s not all about the discounts and perks, you should also consider any banking charges, fees and limitations which also may effect your day-to-day banking needs.

Here are the top 6 best student bank accounts currently on offer in South Africa:

# FNBy Account

The FNB Youth Account is available for students and school kids.

FNB Student Account

For students above 18 years old, a transactional account is available. For school kids under 18 years of age, a savings account can be opened.

Features

  • Low opening deposit of R100.
  • Free internet banking.
  • Unlimited swipes.
  • An interest rate of up to 6% annually.
  • Monthly product discounts and coupons delivered on the FNB banking app.
  • eBucks Travel perks for accountholders over 18 years old.
  • Up to 1GB of data through Connect purchases.

Requirements

  • Must not be older than 25 years old.
  • Must be a full-time student.
  • Passport or a bar-coded South African ID.
  • Proof of residence, i.e. utility bills or phone statements received within the last three months. Proof of registration or admission to tertiary school can also be submitted as an alternative.

Fees

  • For under-18 FNBy accounts:
    • No monthly fees
    • ATM cash deposit fee of R0.95 for every R100 deposited.
  • For over-18 FNBy accounts:
    • Monthly fee of R10.
    • First R3 000 deposited is free of charge. After that, an ATM cash deposit fee of R0.95 for every R100 deposited will be in effect.
  • Over-the-counter cash withdrawals cost R70 for the first R3 000. After that, R1.90 for every R100 worth of transactions will be charged.
  • ATM withdrawal costs R1.90 for every R100 worth of transactions.
  • Over-the-counter cash deposits will cost R60 for the first R3 000. After that, R2.10 for every R100 worth of transactions will be charged.

 

# Standard Bank Student Achiever

The Student Achiever will provide you with basic banking needs at a flexible rate ideal for full-time and part-time students.

Standard Bank Student Achiever Account

Aside from account perks, you’ll also receive the following benefits monthly:

  • Free subscription to Varsity Vibe which features exclusive student discounts on partner stores and services.
  • Up to 50% discount on Siyavula subscription which is an online practise platform for high school math and science subjects.
  • Up to 250MB or R25 worth of airtime from Standard Bank Mobile.

Features

  • 10 free-of-charge electronic debit transactions per month, including electronic transfers, cash withdrawals, and prepaid airtime purchases.
  • Unlimited SMS and email notifications.
  • Unlimited ATM transactions including balance inquiries, withdrawals, and cash deposits.
  • Unlimited use of electronic payments, card swipes, and fund transfers.
  • Unlimited use of mobile, online, and telephone banking services.
  • Low-interest rates on Standard Bank student loans.

Requirements

  • Must be 16 to 24 years old.
  • Must be a full-time student pursuing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. If you’re working part-time, you must be earning less than R3 000 per month.
  • Passport or a bar-coded South African ID.
  • Proof of residence, i.e. utility bills or phone statements received within the last three months. Proof of registration or admission to tertiary school can also be submitted as an alternative.

Fees

  • Monthly fee of R9.99 for the first R1 350 ATM cash withdrawals. After that, ATM withdrawals will cost R1.85 for every R100 worth of transactions.
  • Customers over 23 years old can be charged up to R96 on certain transactions.
  • SMS notifications on accounts with a balance below R100 will be charged R2.60 monthly.

 

# ABSA Student Silver Account

Compared to other student accounts in South Africa, the Student Silver provides the most benefits to its customers.

ABSA Student Silver Account Card

The Silver Student account offers unlimited transactions all covered by the monthly service fee; you won’t have to deal with banking costs for each transaction. Other non-basic transactions not covered by the Student Silver plan are charged at standard bank rates, though.

Here are the main perks you can receive monthly with a Student Silver account:

  • 100MB worth of data.
  • Food vouchers that can be redeemed at Debonairs, McDonald’s, Nando’s, or Steers.
  • Up to 30% discount on gym memberships.
  • Discounted meal vouchers.
  • Travel voucher worth R150.

But there’s a catch to these perks. The student must complete at least five transactions (debit or credit) per month, and two of them must be prepaid transactions.

The Student Silver account will also give you access to Absa’s student loan. This can help finance your tuition or pay for books if needed.

After four years of maintaining the Student Silver account, you’ll be automatically upgraded to a Gold Graduate account.

Features

  • Unlimited SMS and email notifications.
  • Unlimited ATM transactions including balance inquiries, withdrawals, and cash deposits.
  • Unlimited use of electronic payments, card swipes, and fund transfers.
  • Unlimited use of mobile, online, and telephone banking services.
  • Statement of account can be mailed or sent through email.

Requirements

  • Must be 18 to 27 years old.
  • Must be a full-time student pursuing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.
  • Passport or a bar-coded South African ID.
  • Proof of residence, i.e. utility bills or phone statements received within the last three months. Proof of registration or admission to tertiary school can also be submitted as an alternative.

Fees

  • Monthly fee of R26.
  • ATM transactions are all free of charge.

 

# Absa MegaU Account

For those looking for a SA student account suitable to teenagers, consider the MegaU account from Absa.

ABSA MegaU

Here are the main perks you can receive monthly with a MegaU account:

  • 100MB worth of data.
  • Food vouchers that can be redeemed at Debonairs, McDonald’s, Nando’s, or Steers.
  • The first lesson for a Kidz activity is free, including Aquatots, MiniChess, Young Engineers, and others.

To qualify for these perks, you must maintain at least R300 in your account per month. Alternatively, you must complete at least four transactions per month, and two of them must be prepaid transactions.

Features

  • Unlimited SMS and email notifications.
  • Unlimited ATM transactions including balance inquiries, withdrawals, and cash deposits.
  • First R500 deposited at an Absa ATM is free of charge.
  • You can earn cash by doing chores with the MegaU app.

Requirements

  • Must be 16 to 19 years old.
  • Passport or a bar-coded South African ID.
  • Proof of residence, i.e. utility bills or phone statements received within the last three months.
  • If you’re under 16, there are additional requirements you must comply with:
    • Original birth certificate.
    • Parental or guardian’s consent.
    • Parents must be Absa customers.

Fees

  • No monthly fees.
  • Basic ATM transactions are all free of charge.

 

# Nedbank Unlocked.ME

Unlocked.ME is another SA student account with numerous perks. It also has lower transaction fees compared with other bank accounts.

Unlocked.me Nedbank

This SA student account provides the following benefits to account holders:

  • Mobile data of up to 100MB for post-paid subscribers of Cell C, MTN, Telkom, or Vodacom.
  • Food voucher worth R30 on Burger King, Debonairs, or Nando’s.
  • Coffee voucher worth R20 on Mugg & Bean or Vida e caffè.
  • Taxify voucher worth R20.
  • A 2-for-1 deal on Nu Metro popcorn and Nu Metro movie ticket.
  • Up to 50% discount on selected laptops.
  • Exclusive fashion, technology, and travel deals.

And these aren’t all Unlocked.ME has to offer. You’ll also enjoy a personalised digital career advise that’s based on your school performance. You’ll also receive exclusive access to a job-hunting platform where you can find more than 500 jobs online.

But to qualify for these benefits, you must conduct at least 5 qualified transactions each month.

You can conveniently open an Unlocked.ME account through the Nedbank MoneyApp. There’s no need for paperwork or signature to sign up. Also, most of the transactions done through the app are free of charge.

Features

  • Unlimited balance inquiries.
  • Unlimited card swipes.
  • No data consumed when using the Nedbank Money mobile app.
  • Access to the CV creation tool where you can apply to the thousands of listed jobs.

Requirements

  • Must be 16 to 26 years old.
  • Must be a full-time student pursuing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.
  • Passport or a bar-coded South African ID.
  • Proof of registration or admission to tertiary school.

Fees

  • No monthly fees
  • ATM withdrawal costs R7 per transaction.
  • No charges on purchases directly made with the card. However, cash withdrawals will incur standard bank fees.

 

# Investec Youth Account

The Youth Bank Account is exclusive only for students whose parents are existing Investec clients.

Investec Youth Account - Mobile Banking

The perks of this SA student account are geared more toward luxury use. Unlike other student accounts in SA that focus on discounts on local products, the Investec Youth account concentrates on reduced fees for international transactions.

Features

  • Access to a separate PrimeSaver savings account.
  • Daily withdrawals are limited to R500 on local ATMs and R2 000 on international ATMs for security.
  • High transaction amounts need authorisation.
  • Unlimited SMS or email notification on every transaction for closer monitoring of expenses.
  • Lounge access to South African Airways lounges.

Investec Youth Account App

Requirements

  • Must be under 25 years old.
  • Birth certificate, passport, or a bar-coded South African ID.
  • Must be a full-time student pursuing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.
  • Proof of registration or admission to tertiary school.

Fees

  • No monthly fees.
  • ATM withdrawal costs R17 per transaction.

 

How Do I Open a Student Bank Account?

For most banks you can apply either via an application on-line or in the bank itself. In order to start an application you will need a minimum of your RSA ID number (or passport details for international residents).

In order to open a student bank account, you must also meet certain criteria set by the bank. These may differ slightly  depending on the bank but the below is a general guideline:

  • Must be a student studying towards a degree or diploma (be able to show proof of admission/attendance)
  • Usually be between 18 – 25 years old
  • Not currently working in a full time job

When you have decided which bank to go for, remember to take along necessary documentation which you will need to provide to the bank employee setting up your account. This includes:

  • A valid South Africa ID
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of admission / attendance at the institution you are studying

 

Tips in Getting a Student Account in South Africa

  • Ask your friends around if they’ve tried any of the SA student accounts listed here. Know what works and what doesn’t for them to give you a better idea of which student account to open.
  • If possible, transact only with the service facilities your bank owns. If you’re banking with Absa, look for Absa ATMs. Withdrawing money from Nedbank, FNB, or any other bank can be costly.
  • Most institutions have banking apps that lets you conveniently check your balance, transfer money, or make payments. Some of them are even free of charge, so make use of them often.
  • Use this chance to practise your budgeting skills. It’s a lifetime skill that you can use once you have a full-time job. It will be easier for you by then to manage your finances, regardless if you’re holding a credit card or handling a loan.
  • Carefully study the benefits each SA student account offers. Some of them may not be that useful to you but you’ll still pay for them with higher transaction fees.

Conclusion

Student accounts in South Africa differ in benefits, fees, and conditions. Decide which one suits your lifestyle best before signing up with them.

If you don’t feel like you’re maximizing the benefits offered by the account, consider switching banks. The experience will help you get a feel which of the banks fit your preference and you can use this knowledge once you’re ready to apply for a standard bank account, a credit line, or a loan.

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