Bank accounts for the rich in South Africa – what they offer

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Discovery’s recent financial results show how it is sizing up in South Africa’s affluent market, accounting for a 20% market share of people earning R100,000 or more each month.

Although some banks have targeted the low to middle income bracket in recent years with low-cost or no-fee accounts like Nedbank’s MobiMoney or Standard Banks MyMo Account, the country’s thinning, but the high income bracket remains a pool lucrative for many banks, including Discovery.

Discovery Bank, which was launched in mid-2019, has the highest bank account access barrier among all other retail banks called “Discovery Bank Purple Suite”.

The qualifying income for a future cardholder is no less than R2.5 million per year, which equates to a monthly salary of just over R208,000.

Discovery’s brochure says the Purple Suite offers features and rewards tailored to high net worth individuals. Rewards include up to 75% off local and international flights, free international travel insurance, unlimited airport lounge visits and faster security screening at OR Tambo or Cape Town International Airports.

Discovery’s interim financial results for the December 2021 period showed the bank continued to gain momentum with 385,200 customers from 287,182 customers in December 2020 – and 830,263 accounts from 540,252 accounts a year earlier.

Competitors for Discovery’s purple suite include FNB’s Private Wealth account, which is aimed at business owners or individuals who earn more than R1.8 million per year or have a net asset value greater than R15 million. rands, and Nedbank’s Private Wealth account, which is tailored to individuals. with an annual income of more than R1.5 million or those with R5 million in investable assets.


What they offer to customers

Bank accounts for high-income earners typically offer attractive perks, focusing primarily on lifestyle, travel, and ease of business perks, such as cheaper or free flights and free access to airport lounges.


Discovery Purple

The Discovery Purple account, for example, requires a monthly payment of R570 and an annual payment of R2,950.

Rewards include 65% off healthy food, 75% off fitness equipment and 100% off gym membership at Planet Fitness or Virgin Active in South Africa.

To maintain qualification for certain benefits such as savings on business class flights, Discovery pointed out that a cardholder is required to maintain a monthly salary of R208,000 for 12 consecutive months.


Private Wealth / RMB ETF Merger Account

A Private Wealth FNB account requires a monthly payment of R529, while FirstRand Bank’s corporate and investment division, RMB has a monthly fee of R499.

FNB and RMB share the same eBucks reward system that saves money on things like technology or travel and accommodation. Some advantages that ETFs and RMB offer their high-income clients include:

  • Private banking advisory.
  • Investments guided by advice.
  • Access to specialized loans.
  • Risk and fiduciary advice.
  • Access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide, with an FNB global debit card and lounge key.
  • Privileged access to a philanthropy center.

Nedbank Private Wealth

The Nedbank Private Wealth Pooled Account is a transaction account with dual card access and a cost of R468 per month.

In addition to year-round, 24-hour service, some of the benefits this account offers cardholders include:

  • A service that can book events on your behalf or arrange flower deliveries.
  • Free access to the airport lounge.
  • Concierge service that includes travel booking assistance.
  • Global assistance with Visa when needed.
  • Discounts and special rates on accommodation and car rental.
  • Access to the Greenbacks program which allows cardholders to benefit from exclusive discounts and the possibility of earning double Greenbacks when you use the card.

Standard bank signature

The Standard Bank Signature account requires a monthly payment of R480 for bundled services and benefits, and an additional R75 to add Family Banking.

Benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Get in touch with your Signature banker by phone.
  • 15% off when you spend over R500 at Wine-of-the Month Club.
  • Lifestyle offers on the Mastercard® Buy 1 Get 1 app powered by Priceless Specials.
  • Earn and spend Lifestyle Rands at over 250 Lifestyle Partners.
  • Exclusive travel deals through Priceless Cities.
  • Our dedicated Signature Travel office is available to assist you with travel bookings, visas, forex and comprehensive travel insurance.
  • 24 Visits per year* to more than 900 airport lounges.
  • Up to 20% off Emirates flights* when booking via Leisure Desk.
  • Up to 15% off Hertz car rentals and a free car upgrade.
  • Up to 15% off Luxury Serviced Apartments.
  • Access an offshore bank account and qualify for UCount Rewards tier points based on your offshore balances.
  • Recover your monthly Standard Bank Mobile airtime account fee*.
  • Free access to the Microsoft Digital Literacy course.

Investec Private Bank

The Investec Private Banking account requires a monthly fee of R555 and includes the following benefits:

  • Earn one Rewards point for every R5 spent on your Investec Visa card, online or in-store.
  • A consolidated view of all your Private Banking and Global Wealth & Investment accounts.
  • Preferential rates on your international transfers.
  • Rates among the best on the market on your cash investments at no additional cost.
  • Online stock trading platform monthly fee.
  • A holistic picture of your finances, globally.
  • Securely upload and save digital copies of your important documents, such as IDs, to Investec Online and the app. Easily access these documents when you need them.
  • International LoungeKey Lounges: Unlimited access to LoungeKey lounges worldwide for Investec Platinum Visa cardholders.
  • International LoungeKey lounges: guest entrance.
  • SAA and Bidvest Premier lounges (South Africa): unlimited access for Investec Platinum Visa cardholders.
  • SAA & Bidvest Premier Lounge (South Africa): guest and child.

Absa Private Bank

The Absa Private Banking account offers the lowest barrier of entry among all banks listed with a monthly fee of R460 or R540 if linked to a Private Bank One or Structured Loan, and rewards cardholders with :

  • Access to Absa’s rewards program with automatic Absa rewards membership, no additional monthly fees, cash earnings [rand for rand] and access to bonus benefits.
  • Brokerage services, including the ability to trade stocks online, waiver of annual administration fees and preferential brokerage fees.
  • Forex Multi-Currency Cash Passport with partial first commission waiver, up to four currencies on one card, and access to funds when traveling abroad.
  • 6 visits per year to LoungeKey affiliated airport lounges.
  • Get more money with an overdraft and pay for unexpected expenses.
  • Access to local Bidvest Premier lounges with your Private Banking credit card.
  • Travel insurance for the account holder and their traveling companions when airfare and accommodation are purchased with your Visa credit card.

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