FNB is launching the Fusion Premier account which combines your credit card and cheque account into one facility with one card. The benefit is that anytime you use your card, even if you are not accessing credit, you earn eBucks based on a credit card spend rate which earns you more eBucks per swipe.
Personally, I am not sure about the real benefits, and you need to consider your banking behaviour first. Effectively, it combines the features of an overdraft facility with a credit card and you get 30 days interest free on card purchases.
Currently, overdraft facilities tend to have lower interest rates than credit cards, so find out what interest rate you will be charged; FNB’s response is that credit rates are personalised, so will depend on the client.
You will also be spending your own money before spending the credit facility, as you would with an overdraft, but that removes the full benefit of the 55-day interest-free period you receive on your credit card, which savvy banking customers use by swiping their credit cards interest-free and then settling in full at the end of the month.
By combining both your overdraft and credit card facility, it will give you a much higher overdraft availability which could mean you end up in tears if you are not keeping track of your spending.
Remember your next pay cheque would first go to pay the overdraft, whereas if you had a separate credit card you could pay it off over time. You need to think carefully about whether this offering makes sense to you.
While Premier and Private Clients will not experience higher fees, there have been changes to the Easy and Gold accounts.
Pay-as-you-Use Easy account customers will be paying R5.25 per month, up from R4.95, for card transactions and electronic transfers, but will start to pay 40c for their InContact SMS, which seems counterintuitive as it is an important fight against crime.
Ryan Prozesky, CEO of Value Banking Solutions at FNB, says the aim is to encourage customers to migrate to the FNB App which provides payment notifications for free and which will soon have zero-rated data costs across all mobile providers.
This does assume that the customer has a smartphone, which may be an issue in the Easy segment which has smartphone penetration of around 50%.
Easy Bundle clients will be paying R53 (R4 more) per month for their bundle of services and will also have changes to ATM withdrawal limits.
Previously the bundle included free unlimited cash at till point withdrawals and four free ATM withdrawals.
This has been changed to a total cash withdrawal limit of R3 000 per month irrespective of whether you