FNB has announced that monthly fees on all individual accounts will not be increased as of 1 July for the 2020-2021 year, on a video call earlier this morning. However, there will be changes to the eBucks rewards system, outlined further below.

CEO of FNB Retail, Raj Makanjee say they are cognisant that customers are facing financial pressure, therefore unchanged monthly account fees and several free transactions will provide relief to many.

The financial impact of COVID-19 has also highlighted some gaps in the way some customers manage their money so we will be giving customers even more value to improve their banking behaviour.

The zero increase in account fees are applicable to Easy, Gold, Premier, Private Clients, Private Wealth and RMB Private Bank. There will be a decrease in the Gold Fusion account, from R109 to R89 and customers to get up to 30 days interest free on credit card purchases. There’s also a rebate offered on monthly fees on Fusion Gold if the account holder has loans.

eBucks changes

1. Smart Spend will be a new section under eBucks that will let you earn more eBucks in real-time. This is based on what account you hold, what reward level you have, and how much you spend, in order to qualify for instant eBucks. This will be above your monthly earnings. This is what it looks like on FNB Premier Accounts:

2. Booster Points is new and will help customers move up reward levels quicker in the month by doing various things, such as supplying KYC docs, view credit status, refer a friend, set up debit orders for a personal loan, pay via FNB Pay a certain amount of times a month. The rewards are anything from 500-1500 points, according to Johan Moolman, CEO of eBucks Rewards. Here’s a list:

3. New rewards partners include Netflix and Spotify where customers earn up to 40% back – tied to rewards level – but only if they use family banking or qualifying spousal accounts. This means if you are an individual, you do not qualify (oh, boo). 

4. There are changes to the Slow Lounge benefits (yes, I know airports are just about opening and most won’t travel for a while), but if you travel for business, it will be most beneficial to you. Slow Lounge visits can be boosted if you book flights directly on the eBucks Travel portal. Here’s what it looks like: 

5. Private Banking customers who enjoyed the free Avis Point 2 Point rides, please note an important change to it. You can only earn these points if you book travel directly from the eBucks Travel portal. Personally not pleased with this, I only book direct with airlines. Also, these points are only to be used for airport transfers as of 1 July. 

6. If you want to get a free FNB Connect SIM card after 1 July 2020, customers can get up to 1GB, 30 voice minutes and 30 SMSes free for the first three months; thereafter it depends on your eBucks Reward level. I think it’s time I get another SIM card, my old one expired.

For those who don’t know, there is a My Benefits tab under eBucks on the FNB app that tracks your rewards and shows you where you are. FNB says there is has been useful for customers to get an overview of their benefits for the months and how to use it immediately.

I asked FNB on the video presentation earlier if I lost out on my Kauai benefit during lockdown as it was out of my control if I’d get it back – the answer was no. I’ve got email from other retailers about honouring expired vouchers in lockdown, but not with FNB.

eBucks is 20 years old this year and has paid out a total of R14.8 billion since its inception and in the last 12 months, it paid out R2.4bn in rewards (fun fact, I joined eBucks in 2000).