These are the interest rates on most of the credit cards available in Ireland.
Figures checked October 7th 2019 (on purchases) APR
- 13.8% AIB Click (Visa)
- 16.1% Ulster Bank Black (Mastercard) (Min €40k Salary)
- 17% AIB Platinum (Visa) (Min €40k Salary)
- 18.25% KBC (Mastercard)
- 19.6% BOI Platinum Advantage (Mastercard) (Min €40k Salary)
- 22.1% BOI Classic (Mastercard)
- 22.53% PTSB Ice (Visa)
- 22.7% Ulster Bank Classic
- 22.9% An Post (Mastercard)
- 22.9% Avantcard
See here for the current Zero Percent Interest Offers on Credit Cards
Some credit cards come with extras – such as free worldwide Travel Insurance with the BOI Platinum card (but you need an income of at least €40k to get one).
The Bank of Ireland Student card also has free travel insurance. Both of these require that you paid for at least 50% of the “fare” with the card.
The travel insurance on both of these is quite comprehensive and covers an unlimited number of trips of up to 120 days each. It is as good as many of the policies that could cost you a couple of hundred Euro a year. As with any travel insurance – if you have pre-existing medical conditions – you will not get medical cover for them while travelling.
The cheapest way to use a credit card is to always pay it off in full every month – and then you pay no interest at all. But – if you don’t manage to pay off the full balance – it’s nice to know which card has the lowest rate of interest before you apply.
Minimum Payment Warning: Paying just the minimum repayment amount each month on a credit card is a costly and lengthy way of paying off debt.
For example – on a credit card with a balance of €2000 and an interest rate of of 19.2% with a minimum payment of 3% of the balance (or €25).
Paying just the minimum off each month would mean it would take 8 years to pay off the balance and you would end up paying a total of €3417.
If instead, you paid a fixed amount of €60 a month – it would only take 3 years and 11 months to pay off. The total repaid would be €2772. (€645 less).
Tip – Try and ensure you have at least two different types of payment card, ideally from two different banks – just in case there are any IT problems or outages with one of them.
In May 2018 – there were issues with Visa payments across Europe and we have seen major problems with Ulster Bank in the past.
If you want the functions of a credit card without the chance to get into debt – then take a look at the prepaid travel card from Bunq
See our article about Visa or Mastercard in Ireland to see which provider issues the different types of cards.