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