Automatic Telling machines (ATMs)
Withdrawing cash from ATMs is the cheapest way to get cash. The bank will charge you more if you write a cheque or make a withdrawal at the counter. There are two important rules to follow to keep your costs down. Firstly try to limit the number of withdrawals you make. If you withdraw R500 per week it is much cheaper to draw it all at once than drawing R100 per day. The second rule is, if possible, use your own banks ATM, using a different banks ATM will cost you much more in charges.
This is definitely the cheapest, safest and most convenient way to bank. You simply ask your bank to register you as an online client and then you can add all the accounts you need to pay on your profile. Then you can make payments from any computer.
Credit and Debit cards
A credit card is a very useful tool in your banking portfolio. It allows you to buy goods and services at virtually any retail store or service provider. The bank basically gives you a line of credit from which you can borrow money for payment to a merchant or cash can be withdrawn from the card. You get 55 days to pay the card without being charged interest. However if you only pay a portion of the debt back you will be liable for interest charges.
A debit card can be used in the same way as a credit card but the full amount of the purchase is deducted from your account immediately. The only place you cant use a debit card is at a car rental agency and some hotels.
Both debit and credit cards allow the account owner to access their funds electronically. They may both be used to obtain cash from automated teller machines or purchase goods or services using point-of-sale systems. However drawing cash from your credit card is considerably more expensive.
Tips for saving money on bank charges
When possible, use the ATM for your day-to-day transactions. This service is often half the cost of over-the-counter service just make sure you use your own banks ATM to transact. Internet or telephone banking is the way to go, it is safe fast secure and cheap.
Use Internet banking. This is a really cheap and easy way to bank.
Try to limit the frequency with which you use the auto teller. Its cheaper to draw one large amount than four smaller ones. Also check out what your grocery store charges for transactions, this may be even cheaper than using an ATM.
Many banks offer packages of fixed rates, look around for one that will suit and use a consultant to help you get the right mix.
Always handle your account responsibly. If you do not have sufficient funds in your account for a transaction such as a debit order you can get charged as much as R120 by the bank as a service fee.