Comparison of Bank Charges in Ireland

All the main banks in Ireland now have some sort of charges on current accounts.  There are still ways to avoid bank charges . Here is a comparison of the current account charges so you can work out which is the cheapest bank for you and how to get Free Banking.  The figures shown checked April 2014.

EBS Moneymanager – Cheapest Bank Account
EBS don’t currently charge any admin fees. They charge 30c for an ATM withdrawal or for a cash withdrawal in a branch . If you lodge at least €1,500 – or keep a balance of at least €500 they will not charge for the first 5 ATM withdrawals per month. EBS don’t currently charge for any other transactions.  (Tip - use cashback in shops with your debit card to reduce the need to use ATMs)

Second  Cheapest and easiest to avoidPTSB
The PTSB current account has a €12 quarterly account maintenance fee  but -  if you lodge at least €1500 every month you will not be charged the  fee. They also pay interest of 1% on the first €1500.

Joint Second Cheapest – Ulster Bank
Ulster Bank charge  €4 per month maintenance fee – to avoid this fee you need to either a) Lodge at least €3000 per month or b) keep a balance of at least €3000 .

AIB  - Higher Transaction Fees  but they can still 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
Debit Card Transaction  20c
Over the Counter Transaction  39c
They will also charge an admin fee of €4.50 per quarter.
All the above fees can be avoided at AIB by keeping a minimum of €2500 in the account at all times . Going below €2500 at any time in a quarter will result in charges being applied for the whole quarter.

Bank of Ireland – Impossible to Avoid a €5 quarterly charge
Bank of Ireland now charge all current account holders €5 per quarter . 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 (since August 19th 2013)
Automated Transactions (Direct Debit/ Standing Orders)  20c.
ATM withdrawals  20c
Machine Lodgements 20c
Debit Card Transaction  20c
Over the Counter Transaction  40c
Cheque Issue Fee (per cheque) 20c

KBCminimum €6 a quarter charge  (unavoidable)
KBC only launched their current account in Ireland on September 2nd.
The new KBC  current account has a quarterly admin fee of €6.00 for all customers . Any customers whose daily balance goes below €2000 will also be charged an extra  30c for each ATM  transaction and  30 cent per cheque lodged in the quarter.

Comparison of Bank Charges  – based on the following  monthly transactions:
Cheques issued 1
Cheques Lodged 1
Direct Debits/ Standing Orders : 5
Debit Card Purchases :  40
ATM withdrawals  :  8
Counter transactions 1

Assuming the conditions for avoiding fees were not met…
AIB would charge the most – at €42.84 a quarter (€171.36 a year)
BOI is close behind at €36.80 per quarter (€147.20 a year)
KBC would charge €14.10 for the quarter (€56.40 a year)
Ulster Bank would charge €12 for the quarter. (€48 a year)
PTSB would charge €12 for the quarter (€48 a year)
EBS would charge €7.20 for the quarter. (€28.80 a year)

Comparison of banks current account fees if  the balance is kept above the  limit.

PTSB (€1500 limit)  Zero
AIB (€2500 limit) : Fee  – Zero
Ulster Bank (€3000 Limit)  :  Zero
EBS  (€500 limit)  Fee €2.70 per Quarter for ATM transactions (based on 8 a month) (€10.80 a year)
BOI (€3000 limit)  : Fee €5 per quarter or €20 a year
KBC (€2000 limit)   – Fee €6 per quarter or €24 a year

So – it is still possible to get free banking at PTSB , AIB and Ulster Bank if you can manage to lodge a certain amount or keep your account balance above their limits.
Be careful with AIB because a fall in your balance to just  €2499 for just one day could end up costing you over €40 for one  quarter. (based on sample transactions above).

Tips
1) Keeping €3000 in an account just to avoid fees – means you could be losing out on possible interest of about €30 euro a year after DIRT .  So bear that in mind when working out fees.
2)  There is nothing to stop you withdrawing money and relodging it  to comply with a bank’s minimum lodgement rules. (Applies to Ulster, PTSB and EBS)

3) Heavy users of  Visa Debit cards for shopping could reduce bank transaction fees by getting a prepaid visa debit card. See this article for details   Prepaid Debit Cards

4) Use cashback in shops instead of ATMs to reduce transaction fees (Could result in free banking at EBS)

6 Comments

  1. milan says:

    Hi what does it mean about the PTSB interest 1percent on first 1500eur?

    • Money Guide says:

      PTSB pay 1% interest on all amounts in the currenty account below 1500 euro.
      Not a lot – but if you kept 1500 in it all year it would be €10 interest after DIRT.

      • milan says:

        so if I keep all year balance lower than 1500 than I get more than 10euro?

        • Money Guide says:

          Mo Milan. They pay 1% interest a year on the balance upto 1500 euro. Any balance over 1500 gets no interest at all.
          For example 1000 euro in the account for a yearwould get 1% of 1000 = €10. Less tax = €6.70.
          500 euro in the account for a year would get half that amount.
          Hope this is clear now?

  2. Ken says:

    EBS MoneyManager does not charge quarterly fees rather than admin fees is probably more accurate.