Current Bank Account Charges in Ireland

Most of the  banks in Ireland now have some sort of transaction or admin charges on current accounts.  Some Credit Unions sarted offering current accounts in October 2019 – but they also have admin charges.

There are still some banks where you can avoid some or all of these bank charges.

The big two banks, AIB and Bank of Ireland, made over €800 Million profit between them in the first 6 months of 2019 – probably helped by current account fees  and also the large amounts of cash some customers keep in their current accounts to try and avoid the fees.

We 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) . (See more about Non Euro Charges here)

We have included the new online bank N26 – which has been available to Irish residents for more than a year now.

The figures below were checked in February 2020.

Summary of  Bank Charges in Ireland  :

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. There are no chequebooks issued, no overdrafts allowed.

N26 –  have no Admin fees on their current account – and N26 only charge Irish customers for Irish ATM withdrawals if they 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”  app based bank based in Germany that has operated in several EU countries since 2015. They now have over 5 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 the 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 withdrawals after you use an Irish ATM more than 5 times in a month. .  Euro ATM withdrawals outside Ireland have no charges and N26 only charge 1.7% fee on Non-Euro cash withdrawals. More on N26 Here

PTSB (Explore Account)
The  PTSB Explore current account has an €18 quarterly account maintenance fee).  There are no day to day transaction fees and  PTSB also offers cash rewards such as 10c for every time you use your debit card to buy something. This reward is capped at €5 a month. You would need to use the debit card 50 times in a month to get the maximum €5 cashback.
PTSB 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 a €2 per month admin fee which cannot be avoided.
Plus – if the balance on the account goes below €3000 in any month – you will also be charged transaction fees on top for that month as follows:

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

Allied Irish Bank  – has 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 charges 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, Transfers)  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     €6 a quarter charge (avoidable).
Any customers who don’t lodge at least €2000 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 week 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.

Credit Union Current Accounts (Members Only)

There is a monthly Account Maintenance Fee of €4 charged quarterly ( €12 per quarter). There is also a 50c charge per ATM withdrawal if you exceed five per month. If you use the card for spending  outside the Eurozone there is a 2% charge  capped at €12.

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 €50 equivalent each. (1 a month)
ATM withdrawals: 70 (5 a month)
Counter transactions 24 (2 a month)
Contactless 52 (1 a week)

Annual Bank Charges – 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 €6  (for the non-euro purchases.)
  • PTSB would charge €46.50 over the year (10c reward for debit card purchases included)
  • BC would charge €59.10 for the  year
  • Credit Union would charge €60
  • BOI charges would be  €114.30 over the year
  • An Post would charge €138 for the year
  • AIB would charge  €153.44 over the year.
  • Ulster Bank would charge €180.62

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

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

EBS   €6 (No conditions)

AIB (Min €2500 balance) :   €28.50

BOI (min €3000 balance)  :   €32 per year

KBC (lodge min €2000 a month)  €34.50

Ulster Bank (Min €3000 balance)  :  €36

PTSB  €46.50 per year (Balance level not applicable)  Could be lower if you pay bills for  SSE or Sky by Direct Debit

Credit Union would charge €60

An Post:   fees cannot be avoided by keeping a certain amount in the account. They would charge €138 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 €1400 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 in Ireland more than 5 times a month … (so just spend with the debit card instead and use cashback in shops if you need cash. )

Tip: The best method of getting FREE banking in Ireland  (but without a chequebook) is to have an account at EBS and also one with N26.

You can use EBS for ATM, paying in cash and cheques.
You can use the N26 debit card to get Apple Pay, Google Pay and fee-free non-euro purchases.
You can pay a salary into either and pay bills from either account. Having money in more than one account will reduce the risk of having no access to funds in the situation of a bank or card provider having IT problems.

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 day to day transaction fees.

Unlike its 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 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

Best Way to Pay For Online Shopping in the UK or USA

See our Comparison of Business Bank Account Charges here

More information on Apple Pay availability in Ireland

More Money Saving Tips