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

New Aspire black card goes head-to-head with Capitec (and Discovery!)
A reward of up to R1 500 towards a new pair of shoes each year can now be earned by Aspire (previously Gold) account holders. Image: Jin Lee, Bloomberg

FNB will increase the monthly fees of its Premier, Private Clients and Private Wealth accounts from July 1 following the freeze last year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read: FNB takes R270 million knock on fees (Mar 2020)

The bundle pricing on Fusion Premier will increase from R209 to R219 a month, on Fusion Private Clients from R385 to R399 a month, and on Fusion Private Wealth from R470 to R499 a month. These are increases of between 3.6% and 6.2%. Monthly fees of the non-Fusion products will also increase.

Fees of entry-level Easy Zero (no monthly fee), Easy PAYU (pay-as-you-use) (R4.95pm) and Easy Smart (R59pm) accounts remain the same. Cash withdrawals at ATMs on Easy Zero and Easy PAYU accounts have been reduced from R8 per R1 000 to R7 per R1 000 (up to a limit of R2 000).

Emphasis on value

The bank is focusing on the value offered on its accounts hard, positioning this as ‘three times the monthly account fee’. Rewards via eBucks, free FNB Connect data and bundled transactions are counted as part of this value. It contends that on Premier, for example, clients receive R599 in value.

A major change is that from July, customers will be able to pay their monthly transactional fees with eBucks.

FNB will also retire its clichéd Gold account and replace it with an entirely new product, Aspire (it was the first bank in the market to launch a ‘gold’ account). FNB Aspire at R99 a month is more affordable than the account it replaces (currently R109pm) and is also centred on ‘value’.

Johan Moolman, CEO of eBucks, says “in Aspire, things are changing for the better”.

The way eBucks works on Premier, Private Clients and Private Wealth – with tiering and points levels – falls away.

Very simply, Aspire customers who qualify for eBucks (minimum deposit and three payments/purchases on the app) will earn up to R150 per month in four categories:

  • Shopping at Shoprite/Checkers/USave
  • Shopping at Clicks
  • Fuel purchases at Engen
  • Bus tickets with Intercape
When you spend at one of the partners in a calendar month FNB Aspire Current Account (or standalone Aspire Credit Card) FNB Aspire Current or Fusion Account and minimum savings balance or credit product
R500 R25 in eBucks R25 in eBucks
R1 000 (another) R25 in eBucks (another) R25 in eBucks
R2 000 n/a (another) R50 in eBucks
R3 000 n/a (another) R50 in eBucks
Total potential earn per month R50 in eBucks R150 in eBucks

This equates to an earn rate of 5%.

Fuel rewards

On fuel purchases at Engen, Moolman says Aspire customers will earn a flat rate of 60c per litre until they reach each reward amount (eg. R25 in eBucks) and up to the reward limit (R150 in eBucks).

If they have a vehicle financed through Wesbank and fill up exclusively at Engen, this is doubled-up at the end of the quarter (to R1.20 per litre).

The launch of Aspire – with a black card – comes after Capitec shifted the colour and positioning of its card from gold to black in 2019.

The middle-income market is arguably the most competitive segment in the country and the overdue repositioning of FNB’s account targeting those who earn between R15 000 and R37 500 a month is a clear response to Capitec.

Shoe reward

As part of Aspire, it will also offer customers the ability to earn a shoe reward. In a basic way, this seeks to position its account against the Vitality Money (and broader Vitality) proposition from Discovery Bank.

To get rewarded with up to R1 500 towards a new pair of shoes each year, Aspire customers have to spend at least R4 000 a month (every month for 12 months) and either:

  • Grow savings by R500 a month; or
  • Maintain a savings balance of at least R16 500 each month; or
  • Have FNB Funeral Cover (minimum cover of R50 000); or
  • Have FNB Life Insurance (minimum cover of R400 000).

On its four accounts from Aspire to Private Banking, it will also offer 50% the monthly account fees for spouses and partners from July.

It is incentivising families to do all their banking with FNB by offering additional eBucks rewards, FNB Connect data for children who have FNBy accounts, as well as discounts/rewards for investment, lending and insurance products. These accounts (Aspire, Premier, Private Clients, Private Wealth) will also offer eight free unpaid debit orders.

A number of changes have been announced to FNB’s eBucks programme. These will be detailed on Moneyweb tomorrow.

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Is this an editorial or advertorial? Either way – will not support this bank.

I don’t like this business model of referral business where some if not all of the rewards are funded by partners (effectively an MLM scheme). It is anti-competitive and leads to the consumer losing out on choice of providers.

With the level of automation and technology in the banking sector, I am still puzzled with the number of physical branches and people that work there.

FNB should rather overhaul their app. It’s really looking tired these days.

If you’re on private wealth rather change to Investec… better rates and better service all round

I am just an ordinary account holder, no special titles and I am getting NO increases.

Been with them since the Barclay days 1972, so you see after a while you do get special treatment.

Seems like R8 a litre is gone. I’ve been getting great value on gold but maybe it’s time to look into Investec/Discovery.

Don’t believe the “free FNB Connect data” hook. The documentation they send with your new sim card is meaningless gibberish. Then they try to force you – the customer – to run around doing all kinds of things they never mentioned upfront, to compensate for the fact that their own staff can’t be bothered helping customers.

The sim card they sent me weeks ago still hasn’t been activated. Just a useless piece of plastic from a useless bank.

And really – a “shoe reward”? That pretty much sums up the entire FNB philosophy…

How does the TV advert go now…

“Does your bank crank up its charges at every opportunity ? Mine does !”

Same same, increase fees, increase fees.

I don’t pay fees @FNB if I keep over R50,000 in my bank account.

Banks like to use our money to lend to borrowers and earn more interest than they earn in charges. Nothing wrong with this. We just sacrifice the interest we would have earned on the R50 000, to avoid paying bank charges. At low interest rates, and/or with high charges, it makes sense.

Absa Accounts:

Who knows – what is the difference between an ABSA Gold Value Bundle account and an ABSA Flexi Account?

So now in addition to sponsoring the anc’s bee AND aa crud I must now sponsor your equally abominable “”transformation” goals?…. Bye, bye FNB!

Its amazing how some people can pay R399 and R499 for a lousy service.

FNB is driving you to use their APP more than their website.

So if you doing all the work on the APP… why should you be paying this exorbitant fee? Unless you have a clogged brain cell.

Capitec is value for money!

End of comments.

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