Most of the banks in Ireland now have some sort of transaction fees or admin charges on current accounts.
We have compared current bank account charges in Ireland to find out how much average customers could be paying each year. In 2019 , some Credit Unions began offering current accounts – but they also have admin charges
There are still some banks where you can avoid some or all of these bank fees.
Bank of Ireland, made €748 Million profit in 2019 and €935m in 2018. AIB’s profits were just over €1 Billion in 2019 – all probably helped by these current account fees. Both AIB and BOI will be altering the way they charge from November 2020.
We carried out a comparison of current bank account charges in Ireland to help you see which is the best bank for you if you want to reduce the bank fees 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 N26 , the online bank, which has been available in Ireland for more than two years now. We have not included Revolut because it is not a bank.
Summary of Bank Charges in Ireland
The figures below were checked September 2020.
N26 have no Admin fees on their current account . The only transaction fee is on Irish ATM withdrawals if you use them more than 5 times in a month. (€2 a time) Only 3 free withdrawals are allowed per month if N26 is not your “main” account.
There are no fees with N26 for card spending in foreign currencies.
Based in Germany, N26 is an “online-only” bank that has been running since 2015. They have over 5 million customers and have a full banking licence granted by the German regulator and the ECB. Funds are covered by the German deposit guarantee scheme (€100,000) .
N26 are also regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for the conduct of business rules in Ireland
There are no N26 branches – so you can’t pay in cash or cheques,but you can set up Direct Debits. N26 doesn’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
EBS (Moneymanager Account)
EBS don’t currently charge any admin fees or transaction fees. This is an account with basic features, chequebooks are not issued and overdrafts are not allowed. No Apple Pay or Google Pay.
PTSB (Explore Account)
The PTSB Explore current account has an €18 quarterly account maintenance fee but no day to day transaction charges. The account also offers cash rewards such as 10c for every time you use your debit card. 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 charges a €2 per month admin fee which cannot be avoided.
Plus – if the balance on the account goes below €3000 in any month they will charge transaction fees on top for that month as follows:
ATM withdrawals 35c
Cheque Processing 80c
Debit Card Transaction 20c
Over the Counter and in-branch Machine Transactions 80c
Automated Transactions (Internet/ Direct Debit/ Standing Orders) 20c.
There are rumours that Ulster Bank will be pulling out of Ireland in the next few years.
Allied Irish Bank
AIB charges Admin Charges and Transaction Fees – but both can currently avoided.
They charge an admin fee of €4.50 per quarter. (€18 a year).
AIB also charge the following amounts for transactions :
Automated Transactions (Direct Debit/ Standing Orders) 20c.
Internet or Phone transaction 20c
ATM withdrawals 35c
Machine Lodgements 35c
Cheque Processing 39c
Debit Card Transaction 20c
Over the Counter Transaction 39c
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. AIB propose to remove this €2500 clause from November 28th 2020 – so everyone will pay fees. More Details Here
Bank of Ireland (BOI)
BOI currently charges all current account holders an “admin” fee of €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).
Bank of Ireland Transaction fees:- (up to Nov 2020)
Automated Transactions (Direct Debit/ Standing Orders, Transfers) 10c.
ATM withdrawals 25c
Machine Lodgements 25c
Debit Card Transaction 10c
Internet/Phone Transaction 10c
Over the Counter Transaction 60c
Cheque Processing Fee (per cheque) 60c
BOI Fee Changes: From 23 November 2020 , Bank of Ireland will no longer charge for individual transactions on personal accounts. Instead, all current accounts will have a single fee of €6 per month. (€72 a year). More details about Bank of Ireland New Charges
All KBC fees are avoidable. if you lodge at least €2000 in the account each month.
KBC will charge customers who don’t lodge €2000 at any time in the quarter as follows :
A €6 per quarter maintenance fee
30c for each ATM transaction
30 cent per cheque lodged in the quarter.
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
Credit Union accounts have a monthly Account Maintenance Fee of €4 charged quarterly ( €12 per quarter). There is also a 50c charge per ATM withdrawal once you go over five in a month. If you use the card for spending outside the Eurozone there is a 2% charge, capped at €12.
Comparison of Bank Charges
Figures are based on the following annual transaction scenario:
Debit Card Purchases (Euros) : 365 (1 a day)
Contactless 365 (1 a day)
Debit Card Non Euro Purchases of €100 equivalent each. 12 : (1 a month)
ATM withdrawals: 36 (3 a month)
Online transactions – 52 (1 a week)
Direct Debits 72 (6 a month)
Standing Orders : 12 (1 a month)
Counter transactions – none
Cheques Lodged 0
We have not included any cheque lodgement fees or fees for counter transactions. (BOI , AIB and Ulster will charge extra for these)
Sample Annual Bank Charges
Assuming the conditions for avoiding bank fees were NOT met.
- N26 would charge nothing .
- EBS would charge €12 (just for the non-euro purchases.)
- PTSB would charge €33 over the year (with the 10c reward for twice daily debit card purchases included)
- KBC would charge €55.80 for the year
- Credit Union would charge €72
- BOI charges would be €103.10 over the year (€82 from Nov 23rd)
- An Post would charge €127.20 for the year
- AIB would charge €151.80 over the year.
- Ulster Bank would charge €160.80
Comparison of bank fees IF the requirement for reduced fees is met.
(These figures include the charges for Non Euro Debit card Purchases)
- N26 – Zero charge.(No special conditions to obtain fee-free banking)
- EBS €12 (No conditions)
- KBC (lodge min €2000 a month) €21 for the non euro charges.
- AIB (Min €2500 balance) : €21 (* This will rise to €151.80 from November 2020)
- PTSB €33 per year (Balance level not applicable).
- BOI (min €3000 balance) : €44 per year (* €82 from Nov 2020)
- Ulster Bank (Min €3000 balance) : €48
- Credit Union €72 – no option to reduce fees.
- An Post: €117.60. Fees cannot be avoided by keeping a certain amount in the account.
The best way of getting FREE banking in Ireland (but without a chequebook) is to have an account at N26 and at EBS.
You can use the EBS account for ATM withdrawals, paying in cash and cheques. You can use the N26 debit card to get Apple Pay, Google Pay and fee-free non-euro purchases.
Salaries can be paid into either bank and money transferred between them as required. Having more than one bank account will also reduce the risk of having no access to funds in the situation of a bank or card provider experiencing IT problems.
Note: There is also a government stamp duty of 12c per ATM cash withdrawal at all banks.
If you only use your debit card for ATM transactions, the stamp duty is capped at €2.50 a year. It is capped at €5 a year if you use your debit card for both purchases and ATM transactions. The government Stamp Duty charge on debit cards is applied in January each year.
More details of Debit Card Stamp Duty
There is also a 50c stamp duty charged by the government on each cheque. This charge is payable when a chequebook is issued. ( €20 for a book of 40 cheques). If you have unused cheques your bank should refund you the stamp duty if you send them in. .
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 in the UK 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.