Five ways to get the most from eBucks

Some tips to maximise the amount you earn…
FNB has added a few new ways to earn points which enable customers to move up reward levels. Image: Moneyweb

The FNB eBucks rewards programme is the largest and most popular among those offered by the country’s banks. Since inception in 2000, it has paid out over R15 billion in rewards, with more than R3 billion paid out in the last two years.

It’s a programme that may seem complicated, but it is centred on changing customers’ behaviour. In changing their behaviour and transacting in certain ways, as well as holding certain of the bank’s products, customers earn points.

These then determine what reward level (from one to five) you are on for the following month. This reward level, in turn, determines your earn rate. To earn eBucks, customers have to qualify by having a regular deposit into their account (this ranges from R2000 for the entry-level Easy account to R60000 for Private Wealth customers).

Read: FNB increases private banking fees, launches new mid-market account

A few years ago, the bank introduced the ability to qualify by having average deposits of a certain amount over 12 months to cater for entrepreneurs whose cashflow may be lumpy. Account holders have to be in good standing.

Here are few tips for customers to get the most from eBucks. It is entirely possible – and quite simple – to earn back at least your monthly account fee in eBucks each month.

At the end of each quarter, or in months with higher than average spend (think November/December), you could easily earn back double or triple that amount. For Premier and Private Clients customers, earning back more than R1000 a month is achievable.

Do the easy stuff to move up levels quickly

In July, FNB added a few new ways to earn points which enable customers to move up reward levels. Three exceedingly simple actions on both Premier and Private Clients accounts can earn you 2000 points a month.

From level three upwards, this could in all likelihood mean the difference between one level and the next…

Read: All the FNB eBucks changes

Visiting “Track My Rewards” under the eBucks menu on the FNB app once a month will earn 500 points.

Another 500 points can be earned from visiting nav» Home on the app once a quarter to “manage your property or use one of the available services”.

It clearly wants to incentivise customers to use its “Smart Budget” tool under nav» Money on the app. Setting up at least 2 categories in the budget and accessing this tool will earn 1000 points.

Make simple changes in behaviour

The whole point of eBucks is to incentivise customers to change their behaviour. This is also why the ways of earning change annually (from 1 July). Over time, the bank has been very successful at shifting its account holders to its digital channels; eBucks has been key to this.

There are strong incentives now to transact via the FNB app rather than the bank’s other channels. The app is more secure than online banking, and this ensures the bank reduces the risk and cost of fraud.

It can then pass some of this value back to customers. Doing a certain number of transactions on the app each month (6 for Premier, 8 for Private Clients, 10 for Private Wealth) will net 2000 points.

Read: FNB cuts out go-betweens with new car marketplace

Following the launch of its virtual card functionality in 2020 and launch of Apple Pay in August, it now incentivises customers to use its virtual cards for FNB Pay (scan to pay or partner wallets such as Samsung Pay and Apple Pay).

Doing a certain number of these transactions a month (using your virtual card) will earn 1000 points. Again, there is a benefit to the bank for shifting customers to these kinds of transactions (which are more secure than using a physical card).

Authorising a monthly auto payment (again, in the bank’s interest) for your credit card where the minimum amount due is automatically paid will earn 1000 points (If you make this payment or settle your card balance ahead of this date, the auto payment is obviously not made).

For those over 60, shopping at Clicks on Wednesdays will earn double the amount back (on level five, this equates to 30%!). Again, a simple change in behaviour.

Put in effort to get to reward level five

The difference in earn rates between levels four and five is material. CreditSpend at specific partners, including Checkers/Shoprite, Clicks and iStore, will earn you 7.5% back on level four and 15% back on level five (within monthly limits).

This means you’ll earn double the amount back if you’re on level five (versus level four). The same holds for fuel spend at Engen where the earn rate is R2 per litre on level four and R4 per litre on level five.

With fuel, the difference between level three and four is even more stark (75c versus R2 per litre, respectively).

Shift your fuel spend to Engen

With its “Double Up on Fuel earn” quarterly reward, customers have the ability to earn additional eBucks on fuel spend. To qualify, customers need to have an active vehicle finance agreement with Wesbank (or Toyota Financial Services or Volkswagen Financial Services), have their financed vehicle loaded on nav» Car (under ‘My Garage’) and have 100% of their fuel spend at Engen.

At the end of each quarter, fuel rewards will be doubled and awarded.

For example, a qualifying customer on eBucks rewards level five who has unlocked this benefit will earn R4 per litre on fuel spend each month and an additional R4 per litre paid at the end of each quarter.

This suddenly becomes material, even in world where work-from-home is more commonplace.

Using a simplistic 100 litres of fuel spend a month, normal fuel rewards for a customer on level five would equate to R400 back in eBucks. The double up reward would equate to an additional R400 (i.e. R1200 paid at the end of the quarter for the previous three months).

Again, being on rewards level five is very beneficial. The 100 litres of fuel spend a month (around R6000 for three months) would equate to a total of R2400 back for a customer on level five across the quarter, if they qualify for double up. A customer on level four will only earn a total of R1200 back.

Use the travel rewards

Depending on your rewards level, you can unlock discounts of up to 40% on flights. The discounts are on various local airlines on bookings made via eBucks Travel (online or via the app). You no longer need to pay a minimum amount in eBucks to obtain the discount.

Bookings made via eBucks Travel on the FNB App (i.e. not online) unlock two additional benefits: up to 40% off Avis car rental (depending on rewards level) as well as bonus Slow Lounge visits for those flights (seven days before/after).

Read: FNB steps up travel rewards as rivals flounder

The bonus visits can be unlocked for the family if all members have qualifying FNB accounts (this includes children).

Beyond the bonus visits, it is important to note that the number of free Slow Lounge visits you get each year depends on your rewards level.

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