Best bank rewards systems in South Africa

South Africa’s banks provide multiple incentives to bank better and spend their money more efficiently, with some offering up to 50% off on international flights.

Completing or signing up for the incentives allows users to upgrade their rewards based on their reward level, which is determined by how well they bank.

For example, similar to how Discovery incentivises users to exercise and drive well through its Vitality products, its online bank does the same for its customers.

Users earn Vitality Money points based on how well they manage five controllable financial behaviours.

These points determine their Vitality Money status, which influences their rewards.

In the case where users receive discounts for domestic and international flights of between 10% and 50%, this discount will depend on whether the user has a Blue, Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Diamond Vitality Money status.

Because the reward systems are so different, it will be difficult to compare the exact return received from the rewards.

For instance, FNB’s eBucks rewards can only be used at certain stores, whereas Capitec’s cash-back rewards are awarded to users in cash.

Thus, the criteria for comparing rewards programmes will be cash-back partners and spending partners.

Cash-back partners refer to businesses where users can earn rewards in the form of points or cash by spending money. Discount partnerships will be included in cash-back partners.

Spending partners are where users can spend the rewards they receive from cash-back partners.

Capitec’s Live Better rewards programme has eight cash-back partners and no specified spending partners. This is because rewards are in the form of cash or discounts rather than a cash-back points system.

The most notable benefit is a R4,000 discount from GetSmarter when paying with Capitec.

Although spending rewards are not limited to a set number of partners, acquiring rewards is. Users can only earn cash-back rewards from four of the partners.

On the other hand, FNB’s eBucks programme has 31 cash-back partners, 21 spending partners, and an additional 10 partners offering discounts and coupons.

However, unlike Capitec, rewards depend on your account’s reward level.

These levels are determined by points, similar to Discovery Bank, which are earned based on spending behaviour.

FNB’s best reward partnership is up to 15% back in eBucks from Checkers, Shoprite, USave, and Spar.

Although this is not the highest return in points, it is the most accessible form of obtaining points because these partners are general grocery stores.

As mentioned above, Discovery Bank uses a spending assessment to determine a user’s Vitality Money status.

A user’s access to rewards depends on their Vitality Money status.

Nothing is earned with spending partners but rather just by spending money. If you do it well, you get rewarded.

It has 20 spending partners and users with Diamond Vitality Money status can get 50% off international and local flights.

Standard Bank’s UCount rewards programme has 23 cash-back partners and 23 spending partners.

Users earn a standard amount of points from partners and can then earn up to 1% extra based on their UCount Rewards tier.

For instance, users will earn 3% back on Zando purchases but can increase this to 4% if they fall within the fifth tier.

Absa’s rewards programme offers elements from both Discovery and Capitec’s models.

Users receive cash rewards, the extent of which is determined by points accumulated using Absa banking products and activities.

Points are calculated at the end of the month, and users are required to complete a minimum of five engagements set by Absa. These include using the banking app and performing transactions.

Absa customers have access to 27 cash-back partners with up to 30% rewards on purchases from Sasol, Woolworths, and Pick n Pay.

It should be noted that cash-back earnings are capped at a specific maximum spend every month, like with many rewards programmes.

Reaching Absa’s maximum rewards tier also isn’t easy, and most clients should expect to achieve tier 4 or lower. This reduces the cash-back earn rate on fuel and grocery purchases to 6.25%, and the credit card earn rate to 0.95%.

Nedbank’s rewards system is far narrower than that of other banks.

Where FNB and Standard Bank have extensive lists of partners, and Capitec and Discovery have specific partners on the cash back or spending side and no restrictions on the other, Nedbank is very limited in both areas.

Nedbank’s Greenbacks programme has six cash-back partners, two of which are Nedbank products—Greenbacks Travel and Avo SuperShop.

Similar to other programmes, users gain access to discounts from certain stores. However, points accumulated can only be redeemed through Nedbank platforms.

Users can earn points by using Greenback-linked bank cards and the Nedbank banking app.

The table below shows the rewards programmes offered by each bank.

Partner Rewards
FNB eBucks
TaxTim 50% back in eBucks
Workshop 17 40% back in eBucks
ARC Cosmetics 30% back in eBucks
Tracker eBucks earned depends on monthly subscription

  • 23% for Tracker Retrieve Premium
  • 11% for Tracker Recover, Tracker Recover, and Tracker Care
Spar, Checkers, LiquorShop, Shoprite, USave, HP Store, iStore Up to 15% back in eBucks
YuppieChef, Koodoo, NetFlorist, NetJewel 2% back in eBucks
LeCreuset 3% back in eBucks
Takealot, Superbalist, Mr Delivery 0.5% back in eBucks
Engen Up to R6 back per litre*
SupaQuick 200 eBucks when you take your car in for a free safety inspection
Users can also earn 1% back in eBucks by using their FNB credit, debit or virtual card.
Spar, Checkers, LiquorShop, Shoprite, USave, HP Store, iStore, Takealot, Superbalist, Mr Delivery, LeCreuset, Yuppiechef. Koodoo, NetFlorist, NetJewel, Autostyle Motorsport, Entrytime.com, Workshop 17, ARC Cosmetics Users can spend their eBucks at these stores.
ABSA Rewards
  • Woolworths,
  • Dis-Chem,
  • Net-Florist,
  • Baby City,
  • Sasol,
  • Food Lover’s Market,
  • Travelstart,
  • Avis,
  • Pick n Pay
  • Touch Down Travel Tech
  • Spotify
  • Roblox
  • PUBG
  • Sorbet
  • Steam
  • Google Play
  • PlayStation
  • Uber/Uber Eats
  • Xbox
  • Ticketmaster
  • Netflix
  • Showmax
Up to 30% cash back
Fidelity ADT 10% cash back
Camelot Spa 5% cash back
McCarthy.co.za 1% cash back (maximum price of R700,000)
Nu Metro 50% off on movie tickets
Users can earn up to 1.15% cash back using their Absa credit or debit, depending on their reward tier.
Standard Bank uCount
TaxTim 25% discount when paying with a Standard Bank debit, cheque or credit card
Dis-Chem Up to 20% back in points
Netstar 12% back on Netstar Plus and Netstar Early Warning systems
Woodford Car Hire, EZ Shuttle, Baby City, Showmax 5% back in points
Olympic Cycles, Zando, Courier Connection, Car Service City 3% back in rewards
Click360, NetFlorist, Tiger Wheel and Tyre, PetBabies 2.5% back in eBucks
Wine of the Month 2% back in eBucks
FreshStop 1.25% back in rewards
KFC, Hirsch’s, Samsung 1% back in rewards
Builder’s Warehouse, Makro 0.75% back in rewards
SweepSouth 0.5% back in rewards
Users can also gain another 1% back in rewards points from each partner based on their rewards level by using their Standard Bank credit or debit card.
Discovery Bank Vitality Money
Fly Emirates, Qantas, British Airways, Airlink, CemAir, FlySafair, Lift, South African Airways Get between 10% and 50% off on local and international flights
Dis-Chem, Clicks Up to 25% back on selected items
Woolworths, Pick n Pay Up to 25% back on selected items
Protea Hotels, Sun International, Southern Sun Get between 10% and 25% off
Tempest, Europcar Get between 10% and 25% off
Shell, BP, Uber Up to 20% off
Capitec Live Better
GetSmarter R4,000 discount on any short course
Educate24 50% off on all courses
Travelsmart R100 off on local flights

R400 off on international flights

Exclusive Books 10% off on the 10th of every month
Shell 20c cash back per litre
Dis-Chem 2% cash back
Dis-Chem Baby City 2% cash back
Cashbuild 1% cash back
Users can also earn 1% cash back by using their Capitec credit card.
Nedbank Greenbacks
Nu Metro cinemas
  • 50% off on regular 2D and 3D movie tickets
  • 50% off on a medium soda-and-popcorn combo
  • 50% off on VIP and Xtreme movie tickets at selected cinemas
Greenbacks travel Up to 30% off when booking on Greenbacks travel
Samsung, Apple Up to 10% off on products when using the Avo SuperShop
Avo SuperShop Up to 2% cash back in Greenbacks and 1% back in AvoPoints
BP 25c back for every litre of fuel
Users can earn up to 2% back in eBucks using their Greenbacks-linked Visa, Mastercard or American Express Card.

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Best bank rewards systems in South Africa