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Compare current accounts in Ireland

How to compare and choose the best current accounts in Ireland to suit your lifestyle and financial needs..

N26 Bank Account

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€0

Monthly Fee

  • Euro IBAN account
  • 0% foreign currency fees
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Compare current accounts in Ireland

Name Product Maintenance fee Fee period ATM transaction fee
Wirex Standard
€0
Monthly
2% per withdrawal

Get a Welcome Bonus of 1,000 WXT when you sign up with Wirex through Finder.

Benefit from an array of digital payment features, including a free prepaid Wirex card and unlimited fee-free transfers at interbank rates - with zero monthly subscription fee.
Revolut Premium
€7.99
Monthly
€1 + 2% per withdrawal
A combined current account and IBAN account with unlimited free currency conversions and international transfers in many currencies.
bunq Easy Green Personal
€17.99
Monthly
€2.99 per withdrawal
An account with an exclusive stainless steel card. Help the environment – a tree will be planted for every €100 you spend.
Revolut Plus
€2.99
Monthly
€1 + 2% per withdrawal
Enjoy purchase, event ticket and returns protection, plus other innovative features with this lower-priced subscription plan.
VIALET Current Account
€0
Monthly
€2 + 2% per withdrawal
An IBAN account you can use to manage your money and spend in over 200 countries worldwide, fee-free.
Revolut Metal
€13.99
Monthly
€1 + 2% per withdrawal
A premium account with an exclusive Metal card featuring insurances, cashback, concierge service, cryptocurrencies and more.
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If you receive a salary, wages or even a benefit, a current account is important to have. There are different kinds of accounts that cater to different needs, but all current accounts are suitable for day-to-day transactions such as paying bills, shopping online, making in-store purchases or mortgage and loan payments.

This guide will take you through the current accounts available in Ireland, the features and fees these accounts come with as well as how to open an account.

How do current accounts work in Ireland?

A current account is a bank account that you can use for everyday banking transactions and for managing your money. You’ll be able to:

  • Receive your salary or wages into this account
  • Make one-off payments to other accounts
  • Set up direct debits and standing orders for bills and loan payments

As part of your Irish current account, you’ll receive a debit card that can be used to withdraw money from ATMs or make payments in-store or online. Some banks also offer cheque books with their accounts.

Most traditional banks will allow you to manage your money in three ways:

  • Online banking
  • By visiting a branch
  • Telephone banking

Several banks also have mobile apps that allow you to take care of all your banking needs from wherever you are, making dealing with finances simple and relatively stress-free.

As well as having the option to open a current account with a bank that has a physical presence in Ireland, you can also consider digital banks.

What features do the best current accounts in Ireland offer?

Current account features can differ from bank to bank, and what may be worthwhile to one person may not be beneficial to another. Some of the features that might appeal to you when looking for the best current account could include:

  • No or low fees. The best current accounts come with few fees or ways to avoid them, so check how much you’ll be charged for an account.
  • Reward schemes. Reward schemes, including cash back, are often seen with credit cards, but they are now becoming more common with current accounts. If you choose a current account with a reward scheme you can benefit from exclusive deals and discounts and cashback on bills, purchases and mortgage payments.
  • Overdraft. An overdraft facility is useful for times when you have a bill due or you need to take the cat to the vet urgently but your salary or wages is still a few days from arriving in your account. You can choose an amount that you can overdraw your account by, but you are usually charged extra fees for the privilege.
  • Preferential interest rates. Some banks will offer better interest rates for mortgages and personal loans to customers that have their current account with them. This is beneficial if you are considering taking out a loan at some point in the future.
  • Mobile payments. If you are keen to use Apple Pay, Google Pay or Fitbit Pay, some banks allow you to set this up using your current account.
  • No foreign transaction fees. Making purchases in foreign currency usually incurs extra fees, but some accounts will not charge you for this.
  • Mobile banking app. You’ll be able to carry out simple day-to-day transactions and keep an eye on your balance on the go. This is especially helpful if you’re a frequent traveller.
  • Direct debits and stand orders. This is a standard feature of all current accounts but vital if you make regular payments to a number of people or companies every month.
  • In-branch transactions. If visiting a bank branch in person is important to you, then a current account from a traditional bank is likely to appeal to you more than digital banks, where all transactions are carried out online.

Are there any fees and charges I should be aware of?

Banks in Ireland charge fees in one form or another for the main current accounts offered. The typical fees that you can expect to see include:

  • Maintenance fee. A bank charges this fee for running the account. It can range anywhere from €0 through to €72 annually at permanent tsb. KBC waives this fee if you lodge at least €2,000 a month.
  • ATM withdrawal fee. You can be charged each time you withdraw money from an ATM, depending on your bank. Some banks include free ATM withdrawals, while others charge somewhere between €0.25 and €0.60.
  • Chip and pin fee. Using the chip and pin on your debit card for purchases is free for many banks including Bank of Ireland but AIB and Ulster Bank charge €0.20.
  • Online banking transactions. Making a money transfer through internet banking is often free, but AIB and Ulster Bank charge €0.20.
  • Direct debits and standing orders. You may be charged for stop payments to set up standing orders or direct debits, to process a cheque or to cancel or amend a transaction.
  • Contactless payments. Some banks, including Ulster Bank, charge you for making contactless payments.
  • Mobile wallets. You may be charged when making a transaction through Apple Pay, Google Pay, Garmin Pay or payments with other mobile wallets.

    How do I choose the best current account?

    Here’s a list of considerations to start prioritising what your ideal current account looks like:

    Current account type

    While most people qualify for a standard current account, you may be eligible for a student current account, graduate or over 60s account. These accounts usually come with certain benefits or lower fees to match your situation.

    Fees

    Make sure you check what fees you will be charged for holding your account and spending your funds. Also, see if there are any ways to avoid fees.

    Will I have regular deposits into my account each month? Regular monthly deposits of a certain amount, such as your salary, could mean that your account fees are reduced or even waived. KBC is one bank that offers this feature, with all day-to-day banking charges free if at least €2,000 is lodged every month. You’ll need to make sure that these deposits continue otherwise your fees will increase, however you may still be charged a maintenance fee.

    Can I keep a minimum balance in my current account? Another way to avoid banking fees is by keeping a certain amount in your account at all times.

    Some current accounts may charge fees but offer you a number of benefits or rewards in return, so weigh up everything the card offers. Also, many bank accounts offered by digital banks come with little or no fees, so make sure to check out these as well.

    Rewards

    Some current accounts in Ireland offer rewards such as cashback. If you want to get rewarded with cash or other benefits just by spending your money, take a look if a rewards program is on offer. Remember to see what fees are charged by the card to decide if the rewards program gives you enough value.

    ATM fees and access

    Different fees are charged for different banking transactions such as ATM withdrawals in Ireland or overseas, over the counter withdrawals, contactless payments, chip and pin payments and direct debits. Some accounts may offer certain transactions for free such as all contactless payments with the AIB current account, or a limited number of ATM withdrawals, so you should check these details to find an account that will charge as little fees as possible for your banking habits. For example, An Post charges an ATM withdrawal fee of €0.60 while online banks such as Revolut and N26 only charge you a fee when you withdraw over a certain amount per month.

    Mobile payments

    Do you want to enjoy convenient spending by using your mobile? Check whether the current account you’re looking at comes with mobile payment solutions such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. You can also check if other payment options such as Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay if you have these devices.

    Branch banking and online banking

    Think about how you like to bank. Do you enjoy being able to go into a branch or are you happier conducting all of your banking on your computer, phone or tablet? Most traditional banks such as Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank let you bank in-branch, while digital banks such as N26 and bunq only allow you to bank online and on your smartphone.

    With there being less need to visit a branch these days, your best current account should be able to be managed online or by phone. Check that you can have access to your money through internet banking and if a mobile app is available.

    Other banking products

    A current account is likely not the only banking product that you will need, and you may be interested in opening a savings account, applying for a credit card or taking out a mortgage at some point. It’s worth checking these out before deciding on a current account provider as you could get extra benefits or discounts on mortgage rates by having all your accounts in one place and building a relationship with that bank.

    How do I open a bank account in Ireland?

    To open a current account in Ireland you’ll need to first decide on the bank that you wish to join. From here, you can either make an appointment to see somebody in your local branch or check on the website to see if you can apply online or through a mobile.

    You will need:

    • Identification
    • Proof of address

    Banks including Bank of Ireland and KBC have an application form that you can fill in from each respective website to save you the hassle of leaving home.

    Some banks such as AIB allow you to open an account through an app on your mobile without needing to go into a branch or speak to anybody on the phone. AIB requires you to:

    • Be aged between 16 and 65 years
    • Be living in the Republic of Ireland
    • Hold an EEA Passport
    • Not hold any accounts with AIB

    After registering your details on the app, you verify your identity through video chat and are sent an address verification code.

    If you would prefer to open an account online, check the eligibility criteria of your chosen bank and which documents you’ll need such as an extra form of photo ID or your PPS number.

    How do I switch current accounts?

    Each bank will have its own switching process however, generally the process is as follows:

    Step 1. Decide on the bank you’d like to switch to and make sure the bank is happy for you to open an account with it.
    Step 2. Provide your ID and proof of address and request a switching pack.
    Step 3. Decide on a switch date. This is the date that switching current accounts will happen. It’s best to pick a date when there are no payments or direct debits due to be paid out of your account.
    Step 4. Complete, sign and return the account transfer form and any other forms that you receive in the switching pack.
    Step 5. Let your old bank know if it should close your account once all money is transferred over or if you would like to keep it open.
    Step 6: Your new bank will issue you with a new direct debit card and your account will be ready to use no later than 10 working days after the switch date.

    Switching from one Irish current account to another is processed through the Central Bank’s Switching Code so that all of your direct debits and standing orders are transferred over to your new account and you don’t have extra paperwork or need to worry that payments will be missed.

    If you have an overdraft with your existing bank, you’ll either need to ensure that your new bank agrees to this being transferred over or clear the balance before switching.

    Which current accounts are available in Ireland?

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    Bottom line

    If you’re looking for a current account, the good news is you have plenty of options in Ireland. But the best current account suited to a young graduate just starting out their career won’t be the same as the best current account for a CEO. You’ll need to compare the options that most appeal to your situation. There will be different features and benefits to consider along with potential fees for everyday transactions. As well as the current accounts offered by traditional banks, you’ll also find accounts with digital banks that are worth your consideration.

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