FNB adds en­try-level ac­count to its re­wards pro­gramme

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PER­SON­AL­FI­NANCE - LOR­RAINE KEAR­NEY

First Na­tional Bank (FNB) changed the rules of its lead­ing re­wards pro­gramme, eBucks, from July 1. For the first time, its en­try-level Easy ac­count (Bun­dle and Pay As You Use, or Payu) is in­cluded in the pro­gramme.

But Easy ac­count-hold­ers do not earn eBucks; in­stead, they get cash back, Jo­han Mool­man, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of eBucks Re­wards, says.

There are still no sub­scrip­tion fees on the bun­dled pric­ing op­tion, and R10 still equals one eBuck. It works like this: There are eight bank prod­ucts you can use to qual­ify for re­wards if you have an Easy ac­count; you need to use at least five to get to re­ward level five. The prod­ucts are: a cheque ac­count, a credit card, loans, FNB Con­nect, a sav­ings prod­uct, as­set fi­nance, in­vest­ments and the bank­ing app. Each of the prod­ucts has dif­fer­ent qual­i­fy­ing cri­te­ria, such as de­posit­ing a min­i­mum of R500 a month into your Easy Payu ac­count, spend­ing a min­i­mum of R500 a month on your Clas­sic credit card, or per­form­ing a sin­gle trans­ac­tion on the app once a month.

Some of the cri­te­ria are a lit­tle steeper: in an in­vest­ment prod­uct, hav­ing an equity trad­ing ac­count with a min­i­mum port­fo­lio hold­ing of R10 000, or in sav­ings, hav­ing a no­tice de­posit ac­count with a min­i­mum of R10 000.

“On the Easy Payu ac­count, with a R500 de­posit you will qual­ify, in that par­tic­u­lar month, for re­ward level one. But we are re­ward­ing in cash, be­cause it is more rel­e­vant and un­der­stand­able to this mar­ket,” Mool­man says.

The cash will be de­posited into your linked sav­ings pocket, which car­ries a 5.5-per­cent in­ter­est rate.

There is a flat rate of cash back for lev­els two and up­wards: R10 at level two; R20 at level three; R30 at level four and R40 at level five – ir­re­spec­tive of how much you spend in the month.

If you have an Easy Bun­dle (which costs R49 a month) or a Clas­sic credit card (R37 a month), and you shop at Check­ers or Sho­prite, you will get back R1 for ev­ery R100 you spend if you’re on level one, all the way up to R5 back per R100 you spend if you’re on level five, to a max­i­mum spend of R4 000 a month. That means you can po­ten­tially get back R240 a month if you are on level five, with a R40 flat rate, and R200 from shop­ping at Check­ers or Sho­prite.

In ad­di­tion, FNB is part­ner­ing with Sho­prite Check­ers on Eez­iCoupons, its coupon discount pro­gramme, Mool­man says. “Us­ing the FNB app, you will get dis­counts on items at the store, which you can then re­deem at the till point. All you need to do is get the app, link to the coupons and it’s done; there is no need to reg­is­ter at Sho­prite Check­ers.”

GOLD AC­COUNT

It works the same way if you have a Gold ac­count, although from this ac­count up­wards you earn eBucks rather than cash. And the qual­i­fy­ing cri­te­ria on some of the prod­ucts to move to the next re­ward level are slightly more oner­ous: you need a Gold cheque ac­count with a min­i­mum monthly de­posit of R5 500, for ex­am­ple, or you spend at least R1 000 a month on your Gold credit card. A sin­gle trans­ac­tion on the app is also a po­ten­tial qual­i­fy­ing cri­te­rion.

You can earn up to 50 per­cent back in eBucks on your trans­ac­tion charges when you send or re­ceive for­eign cur­rency on­line with FNB Forex.

HIGH-LEVEL AC­COUNTS

For the higher end of the mar­ket – from the Premier ac­count up­wards – things are a lit­tle tougher. In­stead of qual­i­fy­ing for a re­ward level based on the prod­ucts you use, you must col­lect points based on “the right bank­ing be­hav­iour on the prod­ucts that you hold”. You need fewer points to jump up a re­wards level – 17 500, in­stead of 18 000, to get to level five.

You can earn points by, among other things, hold­ing a tax-free share ac­count, FNB sav­ings and in­vest­ments ac­counts or an FNB Chan­nel Is­lands 32-day no­tice or fixed-de­posit ac­count.

But in this up­per-in­come seg­ment of the mar­ket, the big­gest change is the use of the bank­ing app. From July 1, if you have a Premier ac­count, you have to per­form at least one trans­ac­tion a month on the FNB app to earn any eBucks at all, no mat­ter what other prod­ucts you have. This means you have to have an An­droid or an Ap­ple phone.

In­ter­na­tional shop­ping is no longer a sep­a­rate cat­e­gory but is in­cluded in the nor­mal shop­ping cat­e­gory, and if you use FNB Forex, you can earn up to 50 per­cent back in eBucks on trans­ac­tion charges.

But you earn less for swip­ing your cheque card when you shop in a brick­sand-mor­tar store: a flat rate of 0.25 per­cent back in eBucks, down from be­tween 0.3 and one per­cent. On­line, you earn a flat rate of 0.5 per­cent, down from 0.6 to two per­cent. But if you use your credit card, you get two per­cent back to shop at a bricks-and-mor­tar store and four per­cent if you shop on­line, although you need to have a Premier cheque ac­count to qual­ify.

You no longer earn up to 15 per­cent back in eBucks on pre­paid air­time pur­chases; in­stead, you get up to 40 per­cent on your FNB Con­nect con­tract or pre­paid air­time, in­clud­ing fixed LTE.

PRI­VATE BANK­ING

The rules are sim­i­lar for Pri­vate Client and Pri­vate Wealth ac­count-hold­ers, but on the for­mer you need a Pri­vate Client credit card to move to level two. You get 15 per­cent back on Gau­train spend, 2.5 per­cent on credit card shop­ping and 5.5 per­cent on on­line shop­ping with your credit card.

If you have a Pri­vate Wealth ac­count, there are re­wards for off­shore sav­ings, and you can get up to 100 per­cent back in eBucks on smart de­vices, three per­cent back on shop­ping and six per­cent back on on­line shop­ping, but, again, you must use the credit card.

“We have 16 years of learn­ing that have stood us in good stead,” Mool­man says. “We are able to teach peo­ple about sav­ings and, hope­fully, get that sav­ings be­hav­iour to stick. We have done ex­ten­sive cus­tomer re­search to come up with our new earn rules, which cus­tomers want to be sim­pli­fied, per­son­alised and rel­e­vant.”

He says the re­wards are funded pre­dom­i­nantly “through be­hav­iour change and lower at­tri­tion rates”.

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