Comparison of Bank Charges in Ireland

Most of the main banks in Ireland have some sort of transaction or admin fees on current accounts.  The big two banks , AIB and Bank of Ireland made over €1 Billion profit each last year – probably helped by these fees and the large amounts of cash some customers keep in their current accounts to try and avoid fees.

There are a still a few banks where you can avoid some or all of these bank charges.
We have carried out a comparison of bank charges so you can work out which is the cheapest bank if you want to Switch Your Bank . We have included the online bank N26 – which has been available to Irish residents for more than a year now.

The figures below were checked  in May 2018..

Overview of 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 and they only charge for Euro ATM withdrawals if you use them more than 5 times in a month.
N26  is an “online only”  bank based in Germany that has operated in several EU countries since 2015. They now have 1 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 , overdrafts are not allowed nor joint accounts – and 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 a 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. But there is only a 1.7% fee on Non Euro cash withdrawals). More on N26


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 – they also offer cash rewards such as 1oc for every time you use your debit card to buy something – But this reward is capped at €5 a month. (You would have to use it 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 charge  €12 per quarter maintenance fee  (€48 a year) –  you can avoid this fee if  you keep an account  balance of at least €3000 . Ulster Bank have no day to day transaction charges.


AIB 
Admin and 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
Cheque Processing 39c
Debit Card Transaction  20c
Over the Counter Transaction  39c
They will 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 . Going below €2500 at any time in a quarter will result in charges being applied for the whole quarter.


Bank of Ireland –
€5 quarterly charge and transaction fees too  if you don’t meet certain criteria.

Bank of Ireland charge all current account holders €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    €6 a quarter charge  (avoidable).
Any customers who don’t lodge at least €2500 a month  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  monthly transaction scenario:

Cheques Lodged 1
Direct Debits/ Standing Orders : 6
Debit Card Purchases :  30
ATM withdrawals  :  5
Counter transactions 2

Assuming the conditions for avoiding bank fees were not met…

  • AIB would charge the most – at €34.86 a quarter (€139.44 a year)
  • BOI is close behind at €24.95 per quarter (€99.80 a year
  • An Post would charge €25.50 per quarter.(€102 a year)
  • KBC would charge €11.40 for the quarter (€45.60 a year)
  • Ulster Bank would charge €12 for the quarter. (€48 a year)
  • PTSB would charge €3 for the quarter (€12 a year) (10c cashback on debit card purchases included)
  • N26 would charge € zero  (But you wouldn’t be able to do any counter transactions or cheque lodgements with N26)
  • EBS would charge nothing (there are no fees)

n26 bank ireland


Comparison of banks quarterly current account fees IF the balance is kept above the  relevant  limit.

An Post:   fees cannot be avoided by keeping a certain amount in the account. They would charge €25.50 per quarter for the above transactions. – But there is the chance of cashback if you shop at Lidl or use SSE for energy. You would need to spend €800 a quarter at Lidl to get enough cashback to cover the fees.

BOI (min €3000 balance)  : Still charge a fee of  €5 per quarter .

PTSB  €3  per quarter (Balance level not applicable)  Could be lower if you pay bills for  SSE or Sky by Direct Debit

AIB (Min €2500 balance) : Fee  – Zero

KBC (lodge min €2500 a month)  Zero

Ulster Bank (Min €3000 balance)  :  Zero

EBS   No charge (No conditions)

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


So  it is still possible to get free banking at EBS  all the time.
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. Who uses cash these days ? 🙂

At other banks  , PTSB , AIB , KBC and Ulster Bank  – you can also avoid fees –  but only if you can manage to lodge a certain amount or keep your account balance above their limits . (or spend with your debit card over 40 times a month at PTSB.)

Be careful with AIB because a fall in your balance to just  €2499 for just one day could end up costing you over €50 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 €25 euro a year after DIRT .  So bear that in mind when working out fees.

2)  There is nothing to stop you withdrawing money and re-lodging it  to comply with a bank’s minimum lodgement rules.

3) If you need cash – use cashback when available in shops when paying with debit cards instead of using ATMs to reduce transaction fees . (Not relevant for PTSB Explore customers who should use their debit card as much as possible.)

Note:  There is also a government stamp duty of 12c per ATM cash withdrawal.  This is capped at €5 per year and was introduced in 2016 to replace a flat rate stamp duty .

 


More here about ATM Cashpoint Charges in Ireland

Also – Irish Bank Charges When Abroad

See our Comparison of Business Bank Account Charges here

 

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