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 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.
Compare current accounts in Ireland
What's in this guide?
- Compare current accounts in Ireland
- How do current accounts work?
- What features come with current accounts in Ireland?
- What fees are charged with current accounts in Ireland?
- How can I compare current accounts?
- How do I switch current accounts?
- What current accounts are available in Ireland?
- How do you open a current account in Ireland?
- Frequently asked questions
How do current accounts work?
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:
- You can receive your salary or wages into this account
- You can make one-off payments to other accounts
- You can 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
- Visit a branch
- Speak to someone over the phone
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 come with current accounts in Ireland?
Irish current accounts are often relatively similar, but each has its own features depending on the bank. Some of the features that you can find include:
- Overdraft facility
- Mobile payments
- Reward schemes
- Preferential interest rates
What fees are charged with current accounts in Ireland?
Banks in Ireland charge fees in some shape or form for their main current accounts. The typical fees that you can expect to see include:
Ulster Bank€2.00€0.35€0.20€0.20€0.20€0.01Google Pay/Apple Pay
|Banks||Maintenance fee (per month)||ATM withdrawal fee||Chip and pin fee||Online banking transaction fee||Direct debits and standing order fee||Contactless payment fee||Digital wallet|
|AIB||€4.50||€0.35 each||€0.20||€0.20||€0.20||€0.20||Google Pay/Apple Pay/Fitbit Pay|
|An Post||€5.00||€0.60||€0.00||€0.00||€0.00||€0.00||Google Pay/Fitbit Pay|
|Bank of Ireland||€6.00||€0.00||€0.00||€0.00||€0.00||€0.00||Google Pay|
|bunq||€7.99||10 free withdrawals per month then €0.99 each||€0.00||€0.00||€0.00||€0.00||Google Pay/Apple Pay/ Fitbit Pay|
|KBC||€0.00 by maintaining balance of €2,000||€0.00 by maintaining balance of €2,000||€0.00 by maintaining balance of €2,000||€0.00 by maintaining balance of €2,000||€0.00 by maintaining balance of €2,000||€0.00 by maintaining balance of €2,000||Google Pay/Apple Pay/Fitbit Pay/Garmin Pay|
|Monese||€5.95||First €900 withdrawal free then 2%||€0.00||€0.00||€0.00||€0.00||Google Pay/Apple Pay|
|N26||3 free withdrawals then €2.00||€0.00||€0.00||€0.00||€0.00||€0.00||Google Pay/Apple Pay|
|Revolut||€0.00||First €200 withdrawal free then 2%||€0.00||€0.00||€0.00||€0.00||Google Pay/Apple Pay|
These fees are typical for the main current account that a bank offers, but accounts for students, graduates or seniors usually have fewer fees to compensate for a lower income. Some providers will also waive fees for a variety of reasons such as maintaining a minimum amount in your account at all times or making a certain number of transactions. Check the specific waivers that may apply to your account. If you’re looking for a lower fee account, you can compare no fee current accounts here.
How can I compare current accounts?
If you’re looking for the best current account, ask yourself the following questions to compare your options and find the right one for your personal circumstances:
- What type of account holder am I? 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.
- 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.
- What are my banking habits? Different fees are charged for different banking transactions such as ATM withdrawals, 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.
- 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. For example, if you have a Personal Current Account with Bank of Ireland, you won’t pay quarterly transaction fees if you keep a minimum of €3,000 in your account.
How do I switch current accounts?
Each bank will have its own switching process however, it will be similar to the below steps:
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.
What current accounts are available in Ireland?
- Revolut. Revolut has an online account that allows you to send and request money, transfer money globally and set up recurring payments. It takes minutes to open an account and you can take advantage of built-in budgeting tools and a spare change saver. You can withdraw money from ATMs abroad and spend in over 150 currencies, but you can only withdraw €200 for free before a 2% charge will kick in.
- N26. While it doesn’t have any branches in Ireland, you can open an account online with N26 in minutes. If you travel regularly, there are no foreign exchange fees when you travel overseas and the mobile app supports Google Pay and Apple Pay. However, even though day-to-day transactions are free and there is no monthly charge to keep your account, you only have a monthly limit of 5 ATM transactions, with each extra withdrawal costing €2.
- bunq. bunq is an international mobile bank that gives you control over your money. You can make transfers, payments or request money through a simple app and keep an overview of your finances for easy budgeting. With the bunq account you can have both Mastercard and Maestro cards for acceptance anywhere you are travelling, plus 10 global ATM withdrawals and Transferwise are included.
- Monese. Another online option, Monese enables you to open a EUR and GBP account in minutes with little documentation. You can make withdrawals worldwide and use Google Pay and Apple Pay for contactless payments. There are three account types to choose from ranging from €0 to €14.95 a month, with each offering different allowances for foreign currency transactions and fees based on your banking habits.
- Bank of Ireland. Even though Bank of Ireland does not have mobile payments available, you can earn cashback through its Live Life Rewards scheme. There are fees for all transactions, even contactless payments are €0.01 each, but these disappear if you keep a minimum of €3,000 in your account apart from the current quarterly maintenance fee of €5. Bank of Ireland also offers accounts for students, graduates and seniors aged 66+. From 23 November 2020, a new monthly €6 maintenance fee will replace all the above charges mentioned.
- An Post. An Post’s Smart Account has a monthly maintenance fee of €5, with €0.60 ATM withdrawal fees and high foreign exchange fees. You also have the chance to earn either 5% or 10% cash back by using your An Post card at partner businesses such as Lidl and SSE Airtricity, and for certain direct debits from your account.
- AIB. With AIB’s personal current account, you can take advantage of no fees if you keep a minimum balance of €2,500. However, from 28 November 2020, you’ll be charged a €4.50 account maintenance fee per quarter regardless of your balance. Debit card holders can enjoy weekly deals and discounts thanks to AIB Everyday Rewards and you can link your card to Google Pay, Apple Pay and Fitbit Pay. AIB also offers accounts for students, graduates and customers aged 66+.
- KBC. KBC’s current account comes with no fees for contactless payments, internet and mobile banking transactions, bonus rates on mortgages and personal loans, and the ability to use your card with Google Pay, Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay. If you have at least €2,000 lodged into your account each month, you can apply for the Extra current account for no fees on everyday banking transactions. You’ll get preferential interest rates if you decide to take out a mortgage and no overdraft set-up fees. KBC also has Student, Teen, Basic and Current Account Plus.
- EBS. EBS’s current account is called MoneyManager, which comes with a Mastercard Debit Card. While there is no overdraft facility, no mobile banking and no access to Google Pay, there’s no maintenance fee nor fees for everyday banking transactions.
- Ulster Bank. Ulster Bank charges €2 each month to maintain the account and charges €0.35 for ATM withdrawals and €0.20 for most other transactions. However, this is another bank that will waive your everyday transaction fees as long as you keep €3,000 in your account. Regardless of your balance, you’ll still be expected to pay the €2 monthly maintenance fee. Ulster Bank Rewards gives you cash back when you use your card at specified Ireland retailers and you can set up Smartphone Payments. The Ulster Bank app has the Get Cash feature, so you can authorise a third party to withdraw money from your account at an ATM by using a secure cash code.
- permanent tsb. When you sign up for the Explore Account from permanent tsb, you can earn up to €5 back each month by using your card in-store or online. There’s a €6 monthly maintenance fee but you can get cashback on your SSE Airtricity and Sky bills, as well as mortgage payments. While there is no Apple and Google Pay facility at the moment, this bank does have its own GoREWARDS scheme. permanent tsb also offers accounts for students and teens.
How do you open a current account in Ireland?
To open a current account in Ireland you’ll need to first decide on the bank that you wish to join and make an appointment to see somebody in your local branch.
You will need to take with you:
- 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 phone 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 what the eligibility criteria of your chosen bank is and which documents you’ll need such as an extra form of photo ID or your PPS number.
Frequently asked questions
More guides on Finder
Switching banks in Ireland
Fancy switching banks? Let your new bank help you make the switch to a new bank account.
How to open a current account in Ireland
Open a current account in Ireland and open one today with this step-by-step guide which includes everything you need to know.
Banks with Apple Pay in Ireland
Check if your bank offers Apple Pay and learn how to set up and use the digital wallet for contactless payments.
Banks with Google Pay in Ireland
Find out whether Bank of Ireland, AIB, permanent tab, Revolut and more offer Google Pay, how it works and more in this guide.
Get a Student Bank Account in Ireland
Get ready for uni with a student account that works for you.
No fee current accounts in Ireland
Compare a range of fee-free current accounts which are available in Ireland.
Ulster Bank Current Account
Switching to an Ulster Bank current account means cash back when you shop and unique perks to make banking much more enjoyable.
Compare online current accounts
Instant spending notifications, fast money transfers and budgeting tools are just some of the benefits to having an online current account in Ireland.
AIB Current Account
An AIB current account gives you flexibility when it comes to managing your money. Find out how you can switch to AIB.
An Post current account
Take control of your money with savings wallets and earn money back for shopping with the An Post Smart Account.