Finding the best place for your hard-earned money



It used to be said that you will change partners before you change banks. And it still seems to be true.
Ireland’s current account change rates are less than 0.1%. The annual divorce rate is around 0.6%.

This is why banks are so eager to capture student business. They know. Get them young and you will have them for life.

The fee structures between banks were similar, which meant that the change didn’t make much sense. However, these days, especially with the advent of virtual banks, switching between checking account providers can save you a bit of money, so it’s worth shopping around. And it is easy.

The Central Bank switching code requires banks to complete the switch within 10 days, which includes the transfer of all direct debits and standing orders. Your salary will not go astray and your mortgage will always be paid.

You don’t even need to do any research. Independent price comparison and switching site recently took a look at the different checking accounts available in the market.

Daragh Cassidy of points out that in addition to the daily fees, you will also be charged for things like bad checks or direct debits, replacement cards, overdrafts and currency.


Let’s start with AIB, Ireland’s largest and most popular bank. AIB has a great mobile app, an extensive branch network and was one of the first banks to introduce both Google Pay and Apple Pay to the Irish market. However, its checking account is expensive compared to all other providers.

“It charges a quarterly maintenance fee of € 4.50, a fee of € 0.35 for each ATM withdrawal and a fee of € 0.20 for each transaction by chip and PIN, self-service deposit, online transaction, direct debit and standing order, ”explains Cassidy.

“These fees are applied regardless of how much you deposit or keep in your account each month. However, contactless transactions are free.

Student accounts, graduate accounts, accounts for people over 66, and AIB’s basic bank account do not incur an overnight fee, nor do those who pay their AIB mortgage from of an AIB current account.

a position

An Post, which launched its smart account in June 2017, is a bit pricey. It has a monthly maintenance fee of € 5 and an ATM withdrawal fee of 60c.

The cash withdrawal fee is reduced to 50c if the money is withdrawn at an An Post branch and you get a free withdrawal at the post office every week. All other current transactions are free.

“No overdraft facility is available with the account, so if you have an overdraft with your existing provider and want to switch to An Post, you will need to clear it first … An Post also has a mobile app. decent and it allows you to easily keep control of your finances and avoid unpleasant surprises with useful alerts for transactions such as direct debits, credits to your account or payment failures ”, explains Mr. Cassidy .


Mr Cassidy says the Bank of Ireland has been slow to innovate in technology. It only recently launched Google Pay and Apple Pay, and the quality of its mobile app and online banking services lags that of AIB. The BOI used to charge a slew of current account transactions individually, but last November it replaced all of that with a fixed monthly account fee of € 6 regardless of use, which should allow most customers to pay a little less each month.


The credit union checking account offers all the features you would expect from a traditional bank: online banking, direct debits, standing orders and access to an overdraft facility. Customers are given a Mastercard debit card, which can be used anywhere you see the Mastercard logo.

The account costs € 4 per month, after which all your day-to-day banking is free. However, you only get five free ATM withdrawals per month. After that there is a charge of 50c per withdrawal.

There is an upfront charge of € 25 for setting up an overdraft and a charge of € 25 each time you renew it, which is similar to most other banks.


The EBS MoneyManager account does not have monthly account maintenance fees or fees for day-to-day banking transactions. There is also no minimum monthly accommodation requirement.
On the other hand, there is no overdraft facility, no mobile application and no access to Google Pay or Apple Pay. But, as Mr. Cassidy points out, if you’re happy with the most basic of services, this is an account to consider and it will cost you next to nothing to manage.


KBC is the only bank in Ireland to offer digital wallets from all the major tech companies: Apple, Google, Fitbit and Garmin Pay as well as Wena Pay from Sony.

And KBC was also one of the first banks to make it possible to apply for and open a checking account online.

The bank’s Extra current account offers free daily banking transactions if you pay € 2,000 per month. There are also no overdraft opening fees and you benefit from preferential interest rates on KBC savings accounts and mortgages.

On the other hand, KBC is a cashless bank and therefore does not offer liquidity facilities. It accepts checks, bank drafts and money orders either by courier at KBC headquarters or customers can deposit them at their local KBC hub.

Digital alternatives

N26 and Revolut are the two digital alternatives to traditional banking. You can open an account in minutes on your phone, and both offer vastly free daily banking services.

There are no monthly or annual maintenance fees with either provider and there are no fees for chip and PIN or contactless transactions. There is no charge for standing orders or direct debits
payments either.

Withdrawing money is a little different. With N26, you get three free ATM withdrawals per month. After that there is a hefty charge of € 2 per withdrawal. Revolut allows you to withdraw € 200 per month or to make five withdrawals. After that, you are charged $ 1 or 2% per withdrawal, whichever is greater. N26 and Revolut both support Apple Pay and Google Pay.


Although there is a hefty monthly maintenance fee of € 6 on the Permanent TSB Explore account, all day-to-day banking is free and you will also earn 10c every time you use your debit card to pay for anything. thing in store or online.

You can earn up to $ 5 per month with this feature alone, which means you can offset most of the maintenance costs each month. The permanent TSB only offers Apple Pay and its app lacks basic features such as fingerprint login.

So which one to choose?

“It’s a close call,” says Mr. Cassidy. “But if you want access to a nationwide branch network, need to be able to deposit money or checks every now and then, and need overdraft, then TSB permanent seems to be a good option.

“However, its digital offering is still poor, so the account is by no means perfect.”

He also points out that for those who are happy with basic banking services, the EBS MoneyManager account is unbeatable in terms of fees.

“However, if you do all of your banking online and prefer card payments to cash, then N26 or Revolut is worth checking out and is an increasingly viable alternative to a ‘traditional’ bank account.


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