Ulster Bank Current Account Fees

From April 19th 2019 – Ulster Bank will be changing the way they apply admin fees and will also begin charging transaction fees in some cases

Ulster will now charge most customers (see below for exceptions) €2 a month  admin fee. This fee cannot be avoided by keeping you balance above a certain amount.

Ulster will also charge transaction fees on accounts that do not keep their balance over €3000 during a month.

Transaction fees:

  • Contactless   : 1c
  • Debit card purchase (or refund) :  20c
  • Automated transactions (DD, Standing order, etc ) : 20c
  • ATM cash at any bank : 35c
  • In branch transactions  : 80c

The first charges will be applied to accounts on 7th June 2019 and each month thereafter.

See more details of other bank’s  Current Account Charges in Ireland here

Example of Ulster Bank Charges from April 19th  (Monthly)

Someone who uses the account like this … (and doesn’t keep the balance over €3000)

  • Contactless card 13 times
  •  debit card 24 times.
  • 10 automated transactions (6 direct debits , 2 standing orders , 2 online transfers)
  • cash out at an ATM 5 times a month
  • withdraws cash in branch once a month.

Will be charged  €9.48 a month in transaction fees and €2 a month admin fee. A total of €11.48 a month or €137.76 a year.


History of Ulster Bank Charges

For a long time Ulster Bank was the only bank that had a current account without any fees – but from July 1st 2013  – Ulster Bank began charging a €4 per month “maintenance fee” on current accounts. A waiver was applied to this charge in one of 2 possible ways :

a) If you kept a balance of  €3000 or more  in the account during the charging month.

OR b)  if you lodged at least €3000 into the account each month.

 From September 1st 2014 the admin charge at Ulster Bank could only be avoided by maintaining a balance of at least €3000. The €4 per month charge was the only charge – there were no further charges for transactions as  there is at Bank of Ireland or AIB.

See more details of other bank’s  Current Account Charges in Ireland here


Some Ulster Bank customers will not be charged fees – these   include :

Customers over 66 years of age or customers who hold a joint account where one party is over 66 years of age

Customers holding the following accounts –

Private Accounts
ufirst  and ufirstgold
Service Account
Student & Graduate Account
Adapt Account
Foundation Account {NOTE : This is a basic account with no credit facilities , service card or chequebook, only available if you don’t already hold a payment account in the  Republic of Ireland.} 
Savings Accounts


pay packet

 

Euro Sterling Exchange Rate News

Sterling Euro Exchange Rate Today : February 13th 2019 9.00 am

1 GBP = 1.138 EUR

1 EUR =  0.878 GBP

As expected we are seeing volatility in exchange rates as the UK Parliament continues the Brexit debate.
There will now be a meaningful vote on the direction of Brexit in Parliament on 27th February. The move helped the pound and it rose against the Euro slightly yestaerday. Suspicions are building that Theresa May is running down the clock in the hope of pushing her deal through a Parliament.The alternative is that she will extend the deadline to continue negotiations. Either should ensure a softer Brexit, which is more pound friendly.

According to a recent Bank of England Brexit analysis,  if the UK goes through a “disorderly” Brexit , Sterling could fall by 25% under a worst-case scenario.  This could see the Pound  fall to parity against the Euro.

See Today’s  Exchange Rates Here


With so much  uncertainty in the currency markets at the moment –  it could get quite stressful for people or businesses planning large Euro / Sterling exchanges in the next few months.   We are in a period of high volatility which, depending on your timescales and budget, could cause problems if you are not properly prepared.

Using a Currency Exchange specialist  can remove some of the uncertainty by allowing you to fix an exchange rate as much as 12 months in advance of your transfer.  For good deals on currency exchange for large amounts –  for personal money or for businesses – see our page on how to get the Best Exchange Rates

 

money transfers

You might also be interested in this information about  Transferring  Money between Ireland and the UK

If you are just looking to buy some Pounds for a holiday  – take a look at our page about the best place to buy Sterling in Ireland

 

Current Bank Account Charges in Ireland

Most of the main banks in Ireland have some sort of transaction or admin charges on current accounts.  The big two banks , AIB and Bank of Ireland made over €1 Billion profit between them in the first 6 months of 2018 – probably helped by fees such as these and also the large amounts of cash some customers keep in their current accounts to try and avoid fees.

Ulster Bank are increasing charges from April 19th – but there are a still a couple of  banks where you can avoid some or all of these bank charges.
We have carried out a comparison of current bank account charges in Ireland  to help you work out which is the best bank  for you if you want to reduce the bank charges you pay.
(We have included some charges for non Euro debit card purchases – which is fairly common now with online shopping in the UK etc)

We have included the new online bank N26 – which has been available to Irish residents for more than a year now.
We have also included the upcoming increases to charges announced by Ulster Bank that take effect from April 19th 2019

The figures below were checked  in February 2019.


Overview of  Bank Charges :

EBS (Moneymanager Account)
EBS don’t currently charge any admin fees or transaction fees .  This is an account with basic features – it might be ideal for people on lower incomes. No chequebooks are issued , no overdrafts allowed and contactless payments are not available.


N26 –  have no Admin fees on their current account – and they only charge Irish customers for Euro ATM withdrawals if you use them more than 5 times in a month.
There are no fees with N26 for card spending in foreign currencies.

N26  is an “online only”  bank based in Germany that has operated in several EU countries since 2015. They now have over 2 million customers and are operating on a European Passport (a banking licence granted by the German regulator and the ECB). They are covered by the German deposit guarantee scheme and are  regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules.
N26 have no branches  – so you can’t pay in cash or cheques. But you can set up Direct Debits.  They don’t charge any fees for non Euro purchases using their debit card. But be careful with ATM usage – there is €2 charge for  €Euro withdrawals when you use an ATM more than 5 times in a month. This can be avoided by getting cashback in shops . They only charge 1.7% fee on Non Euro cash withdrawals. More on N26 Here


PTSB (Explore Account)
The  PTSB Explore current account has a €12 quarterly account maintenance fee  ( €48 a year)  but no day to day transaction fees.  But – PTSB also offer cash rewards such as 1oc for every time you use your debit card to buy something. This reward is capped at €5 a month.
So you would have to use a debit card 40 times a month to cancel out the account charges. They also offer cashback on payments of bills to specific companies by direct debit.  More about the PTSB Cashback Current Account here.


Ulster Bank
Ulster Bank currently charge  €12 per quarter maintenance fee  (€48 a year) on current accounts  –  but this can be avoided  if  you keep an account  balance of at least €3000 . Ulster Bank currently have no day to day transaction charges.
From April 19th Ulster Bank  will start to charge €2 per month (€6 per quarter) admin fee which cannot be avoided.
If the balance on the account goes below €3000 in any month – you will also be charged transaction fees for that month as follows:

ATM withdrawals  35c
Cheque Processing 39c
Debit Card Transaction  20c
Contactless 1c
Over the Counter and in branch Machine Transactions  80c
Automated Transactions (Direct Debit/ Standing Orders)  20c.


AIB  – have both Admin Charges and Transaction Fees  – but they can both  be avoided .
AIB  charge the following amounts for transactions on current accounts:
Automated Transactions (Direct Debit/ Standing Orders)  20c.
ATM withdrawals  35c
Machine Lodgements 35c
Cheque Processing 39c
Debit Card Transaction  20c
Over the Counter Transaction  39c
They also charge an admin fee of €4.50 per quarter. (€18  a year)

All the above fees can be avoided at AIB by keeping a minimum of €2500 in the account at all times . But – going below €2500 at any time in a quarter will result in charges being applied for the whole quarter.


Bank of Ireland – have a €5 quarterly charge and transaction fees too  if you don’t meet certain criteria.
Bank of Ireland charge all current account holders an “admin”  €5 per quarter  (€20 a year) . This charge cannot be avoided.

On top of this – unless you keep at least €3000 in the account you will be charged transaction fees too. (No fees on Golden Years, Graduate, 3rd Level student or 2nd Level student current accounts)

BOI Transaction fees :-
Automated Transactions (Direct Debit/ Standing Orders)  10c.
ATM withdrawals  25c
Machine Lodgements 25c
Debit Card Transaction  10c
Contactless 1c
Internet/Phone Transaction 10c
Over the Counter Transaction  60c
Cheque Processing Fee (per cheque) 60c


KBC Extra Account    €6 a quarter charge (avoidable).
Any customers who don’t lodge at least €2500 a month at KBC will  be charged the maintenance fee and also will be charged

  • 30c for each ATM transaction and
  • 30 cent per cheque lodged in the quarter.
  • No other transaction charges.

An Post Smart Account
This account has a €15 a quarter charge (€60 a year) PLUS other charges as follows :
Cash Withdrawal in Branch  50c (1 a month is free)
ATM withdrawals  60c
Lodgements at branch  50c
This is another account that pays rewards  – such as 5% back on all Lidl transactions of €25 and above using the debit card.


Comparison of Bank Charges  – based on the following  annual transaction scenario:

Cheques Lodged 12 (1 a month)
Direct Debits/ Standing Orders : 72 (6 a month)
Debit Card Purchases (Euros) :  360 (30 a month)
Debit Card  – 12 Non Euro Purchases of €200 equivalent each.
ATM withdrawals  :  70 (5 a month)
Counter transactions 24 (2 a month)
Contactless 52 (1 a week)

Assuming the conditions for avoiding bank fees were not met…

  • N26 would charge € zero  (But you wouldn’t be able to do any counter transactions or cheque lodgements with N26)
  • EBS would charge €24  (for the non euro purchases.)
  • PTSB would charge €54 over the year (10c reward for debit card purchases included)
  • KBC would charge €90 for the  year
  •  BOI charges would be  €150.30 over the year
  • AIB would charge  €185 over the year.
  •  An Post would charge €192 for the year
  • Ulster Bank would charge €211.70

(Figures for Ulster Bank affective from April 19th 2019)


Comparison of banks quarterly current account fees IF the balance is kept above the  relevant  limit.
(These Figures include the Non Euro Debit card Purchases)

N26   –  no charge .(No special conditions to obtain fee free banking)

EBS   €24 (No conditions)

AIB (Min €2500 balance) :   €42

KBC (lodge min €2500 a month)  €42

Ulster Bank (Min €3000 balance)  :  €24

PTSB  €48 per year (Balance level not applicable)  Could be lower if you pay bills for  SSE or Sky by Direct Debit

BOI (min €3000 balance)  :   €68 per year

An Post:   fees cannot be avoided by keeping a certain amount in the account. They would charge €192 for the year  for the above transactions. – But there is the chance of cashback if you shop at Lidl or use SSE for energy. But you would need to spend about €1600 a quarter at Lidl to get enough cashback to cover the fees.

 


With N26  you will only pay a charge if you use an ATM more than 5 times a month … (so just spend with the debit card instead and use cashback. )

Tip: The best way to get free banking (but without a chequebook) is probably to have an account at EBS and also N26. You can use EBS for ATM , paying in cash and cheques and use the N26 card to get the Apple Pay and contactless features and fee free non euro purchases. You can pay salary in to either and pay bills from either account.

Stamp Duty

Note:  There is also a government stamp duty of 12c per ATM cash withdrawal.   This charge is capped at €2.50 a year if you only use your debit card for ATM transactions and capped at €5 a year if you use your debit card for both purchases and ATM transactions. Government Stamp Duty charge on debit cards is applied in January each year.
More details of Debit Card Stamp Duty


Are Irish Banking Customers being ripped off?


In the UK-
bank transaction charges are very rare.  Most of the major banks do not charge fees.

Unlike it’s Irish current account customers – Bank of Ireland’s current account customers in the UK have fee free banking without any extra conditions – as long as they stay in credit !

AIB also operate some current accounts in the UK – and they do not charge any day to day transaction fees or monthly admin fees. They only charge fees when an account is overdrawn .

The banks in Ireland have less competition  – with AIB and BOI having a large proportion of all the current accounts. So they know that they can get away with charging their Irish customers . Maybe more people should complain and switch to a bank that does not charge fees.


More here about ATM Cashpoint Charges in Ireland

Comparison of N26 Vs Revolut

Also – Irish Bank Charges on Card Spending in Non Euro Currencies

See our Comparison of Business Bank Account Charges here

More information on Apple Pay availability in Ireland

More Money Saving Tips

 

Cheapest Broadband Deals in Ireland

Broadband Price Comparison
Prices checked February 10th  2019

A survey of fixed broadband usage in Ireland by COMREG published in 2018, found that the average spend on a landline and broadband bundle in 2017 was €59 a month ( €708 a year) .
Comreg also found that over 26% of households were spending more than €71 a month on phone and broadband bundles. (That is €852 a year)  .


There are substantial savings to be made by switching to a cheaper broadband provider.

  • Someone paying the average price of €708 a year could save as much as €288 in 12 months by switching their broadband and landline to the cheapest provider (cost €420).
  • The 26% of people in Ireland who are paying at least €852 a year could save  €432 in 12 months by switching.

We have compared the prices of some broadband packages to help you find the Cheapest Broadband Deals in Ireland.

cheapest broadband ireland

These are the current six cheapest fixed line broadband and phone bundles with unlimited broadband data and unlimited anytime phone calls to landlines . (All speeds are at least  “upto” 100Mbs  –  actual speed will depend on your phone line in most cases). Any caps on “unlimited” data are shown below.
These deals are usually only available for new customers and may not be available in all areas of the country.

Prices Checked  January 22nd 2019

1.   Pure Telecom have a fibre and phone bundle costing €420 in year one.  This is a saving of €179 in one year compared to the most expensive option on our list. The normal monthly charge is €50 , but it is reduced to €35 for the first 12 months. (“Bill Save” bundle) . Pure Telecom  use the Eircom fibre network – so the availability and connection quality etc. should be the same as Eir . Anytime landline calls are included. Speeds of up to 100Mbs depending on line and location. 12 month contract.

2. Vodafone have a broadband and phone bundle priced at €450 for the first year . With broadband speeds of upto 100Mb  and unlimited downloads ( 1 Tb fair usage cap) and unlimited calls to Irish landlines . Vodafone’s bundle costs €50 a month (reduced to €25 for first 6 months). It is an 18 month contract.  More details can be found on Vodafone bundles at Switcher.ie

3. Eir – currently have a phone and broadband  bundle working out at €459.75  in year one .  With unlimited downloads (Fair usage cap of 1000Gb ) and free anytime calls to Irish landlines and mobiles.
The usual price is €69.98 a month,  reduced to €34.98 for the first 12 months. This Eir bundle also includes free calls to UK landlines and mobiles .   You can see more details of  this bundle and compare it to others from Eir HERE

4.  Sky have a broadband and phone bundle (TV subscription not required)  – with speeds of upto 100mb , unlimited downloads and free anytime calls to Irish landlines and several international destinations. It costs €62.50 a month  with the first 12 months at €37.50 (works out at €500 in year one including equipment charges).

5. Virgin Media  (only available in larger cities and towns )  have a broadband and phone bundle with upto 240Mb speeds , anytime calls to Irish landlines and Irish mobiles, plus 400 minutes to 22 countries abroad . Priced at €59 a month (reduced to €35 for first 6 months) . This would cost €564 in the first year. (12 month contract).
Full Details and option to Sign Up Here

6. Digiweb – have a fibre broadband bundle with speeds upto 100Mbs and  “unlimited” anytime calls to Irish landlines and mobiles as well as UK landlines and mobiles. It costs €49.95 per month which works out as €599.40 in year one.  (There is a limit on calls – but it’s pretty big – 6,000 to Irish/UK landline numbers and 1,500 minutes to any Irish/UK mobiles per month. Anything over that will be charged for.) More Here

 


Broadband Price Comparison Summary (All listed bundles include anytime calls to landlines)

Broadband
Provider

Total
Cost in 1st Year
Normal Monthly Charge Max
Speed
Monthly
Data  Limit
Pure Telecom €420 €50 100Mb “Unlimited”
(1000Gb)
Vodafone
€450 €50 100Mb “Unlimited”
(1000Gb)
Eir
€459.75 €69.98 100Mb “Unlimited”
(1000Gb)
Sky *
€500 €62.50 100Mb  Unlimited
Virgin Media
€564 €59 360Mb Unlimited
Digiweb ++
€599.40 €49.95 100Mb “Unlimited”
(350Gb cap)

Note:All above bundles include anytime landline calls. There may be cheaper bundles with off peak calls – but we have limited our comparison for now to those with anytime calls.

You can check current broadband prices and availability in your area on the very useful Switcher.ie site

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