Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

Student bank accounts in Ireland

Get ready for uni with a student account that works for you.

Student accounts often come with great incentives and rewards, so it can pay to shop around. Interest-free overdrafts and round-the-clock banking are just a few of the benefits of these types of accounts.

Here’s how to make the most of your student status, while understanding the main fees linked to these accounts.

Compare student bank accounts

1 - 8 of 8
Name Product Mobile view decorator Current Accounts Maintenance fee Fee period ATM transaction fee
Revolut Standard
  • Maintenance fee

    €0

  • Fee period

    Monthly

  • ATM transaction fee

    €1 + 2% per withdrawal
€0
Monthly
€1 + 2% per withdrawal

Sign up to Revolut through Finder and receive a free trial of Revolut Premium for 3 months.

Enjoy no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees up to €1,000 per month and hold an array of currencies in your account.
Wise Multicurrency Account
  • Maintenance fee

    €0

  • Fee period

    Monthly

  • ATM transaction fee

    €0.50 + 1.75% per withdrawal
€0
Monthly
€0.50 + 1.75% per withdrawal
Wise (formerly TransferWise) is an international account with over 50 currencies, instant and very convenient money transfers, a card to spend in any currency, bank details to be paid in 30 different countries and multi-currency direct debits.
N26 Bank Account
  • Maintenance fee

    €0

  • Fee period

    Monthly

  • ATM transaction fee

    €2 per withdrawal
€0
Monthly
€2 per withdrawal
Benefit from no monthly fee, no currency conversion fees and a raft of in-app budgeting features to help you save.
Revolut 18
  • Maintenance fee

    €0

  • Fee period

    Monthly

  • ATM transaction fee

    2% per withdrawal
€0
Monthly
2% per withdrawal
Revolut 18 (formally Revolut Junior) has a separate app, account, and prepaid debit card that lets children manage money with the help of their parents. Plus fee-free ATM withdrawals up to €40 each month.
SWIRL Prepaid Mastercard
  • Maintenance fee

    €0

  • Fee period

    Monthly

  • ATM transaction fee

    €1.50 per withdrawal
€0
Monthly
€1.50 per withdrawal
A secure, prepaid card that lets you manage and spend your money globally. Use in-store and online at over 30 million locations worldwide.
Monese Starter
  • Maintenance fee

    €0

  • Fee period

    Monthly

  • ATM transaction fee

    €1.50 + 2% per withdrawal
€0
Monthly
€1.50 + 2% per withdrawal
A dual currency account with no foreign currency fees up to €2,000 per month. Features include budgeting tools and multilingual support.
Nuri
  • Maintenance fee

    €0

  • Fee period

    Monthly

  • ATM transaction fee

    €0
€0
Monthly
€0
Invest in cryptocurrencies and enjoy up to 3% interest per year on Bitcoin deposits with this digital bank account
AIB Student Account for 2nd Level Students
  • Maintenance fee

    €0

  • Fee period

    Monthly

  • ATM transaction fee

    €0
€0
Monthly
€0
A current account for students aged between 12 and 18 years, who are in part time or full-time second level education. If you apply for a debit card, AIB will cover the annual Government Stamp Duty.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Student accounts vs regular current accounts

A student account is a bank account that lets you manage your money day-to-day. So, in many ways, it’s not that different from a regular current account. Both accounts will give you a debit card and you can make and receive payments, including via direct debits and standing orders.

However, a student bank account is set up to help you with student life. Such accounts will offer some handy benefits and extras. Ultimately, it’s in a bank’s interest to tempt students as it is seen as a chance to sign up new customers for life.

Which banks offer current accounts for students?

Bank of Ireland Student Accounts

There are a few Bank of Ireland student accounts to choose from depending on your circumstances:

  • 2nd Level Current Account. This comes with a contactless Visa Debit Card if you’re over 14 (you can also get one if you’re under 14 with parental consent), mobile banking and online banking.
  • 3rd Level Current Account. Suitable for full-time 3rd level students studying for undergraduate or postgraduate qualifications. You can apply online and you won’t be charged fees on things like lodgements and debit card transactions while you’re still studying.
  • Graduate Current Account. Designed for those that have graduated in the past 3 years. You won’t be charged fees for a range of banking activities including debit card transactions, withdrawals at Bank of Ireland ATMs or branches and contactless payments.

AIB Student Account

There are a few AIB student accounts available. And AIB will plant a native Irish tree for every student account opened:

  • Student Account. This account is for part-time or full-time 2nd level students aged 12-18. There are no monthly maintenance fees or daily transaction fees and you can benefit from commission-free foreign exchange. However, you will need to be 16 or older to get the debit card without requiring consent from a parent or guardian.
  • Student Plus Account. This is for anyone enrolling or currently enrolled in any full-time 3rd level course. This includes Irish students or those coming from overseas. It has zero account maintenance or transaction fees, competitive rates on student loans and overdrafts, an AIB Debit Card you can use at home and abroad, commission-free foreign currency and Apple Pay and Google Pay.
  • Graduate Account. An account for anyone that has graduated from full-time 3rd level education within the last 2 years. Or current Student Plus Account holders looking to switch accounts. This account helps graduates transition from student life to working life. And there are no monthly maintenance or transaction fees to pay.

KBC Bank Ireland Student Current Account

The KBC Student Current Account is available to any full-time 3rd level students aged 17+ that are enrolled in an Irish institution for more than 21 hours per week. The duration of the course also needs to be longer than 1 year. The account offers no fees for cash withdrawals in euros, free debit card and contactless payments, a mobile banking app and your choice of mobile wallet: Apple Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay and wena pay.

Ulster Bank Student Account

As Ulster Bank has announced that it will close its operations in Ireland, no new customers will be accepted. The Ulster Bank Student Account is still available for existing customers.

The student account is designed for ROI residents that are 18 or over and enrolled full-time in a 3rd level course, which lasts between 1 and 6 years. Current account holders can access the account online and through a mobile app, take advantage of cash withdrawal through the Ulster Bank mobile app and travel with commission-free foreign money. Students can also pay using a mobile with Apple Pay and Google Pay.

What features should I look for in a student account?

The main features to look for in a student account include:

  • Rewards. Some banks offer rewards with student accounts that can unlock further benefits such as discounts for shopping or eating out.
  • Waived fees. Student accounts often come with waived fees including zero fees for transactions, contactless purchases, ongoing maintenance fees and more. You usually have these fees waived for the whole time you are studying.
  • 0% interest overdraft. A fee-free overdraft lets you spend more than you have in your account without being charged any interest, up to an agreed limit. But the cost of spending more than your agreed 0% overdraft will vary between banks and charges can be high.
  • Foreign currency. Banks can offer students good deals on foreign currency, including 0% on foreign currency transactions. If you’re planning to travel abroad while studying this is a great feature to keep an eye out for.
  • Bundles. Look out for accounts that include access to additional services once you sign up. This can include travel insurance, which can protect you if you’re planning any trips abroad while you study.
  • Customer services. Will your bank be available when you need help and how can you contact it? Also keep an eye out for security features and 24/7 assistance.
  • Digital services. Spend some time to ensure a bank offers everything you need via its app: payments via Apple Play or Google Play are a must for many students to avoid carrying cash.
  • Cash upfront. A cash reward can often prove to be better value for money than other benefits such as discounts.
  • Cashback. Many current accounts offer cashback, which accumulates as you spend on your card. These small cash boosts, which are calculated as a percentage of your spending, typically get paid back into your account.

Some accounts offer both a solid overdraft limit and a range of nice perks. The one you think you’ll get the most out of will really depend on your circumstances and your spending habits.

What fees should I be aware of?

If you’re starting uni, you may be offered some great benefits to switch but make sure you’re fully aware of any fees or charges you could face. Day-to-day banking transactions may have zero fees however, there is a range of charges that are typical with any current account. These include:

  • Foreign exchanges or purchases
  • Overdraft (both arranged and unarranged)
  • Replacement or additional cards
  • Overseas ATM withdrawals
  • Using out-of-network ATMs
  • Returned item fees
  • Outgoing wire transfers
  • Telephone banking transactions

Make sure you check the terms of each account to be fully aware of any other conditions they might have, so that you understand how to avoid penalties in these areas. Additionally, be aware of any changes to your account once you complete your studies. One thing students should be aware of is that they will be charged fees when they no longer qualify for student/graduate accounts. Your bank may get in touch with you about switching accounts but do your own research to avoid a sudden change to your account fees structure.

While a 0% interest overdraft can be a big help in paying up-front for things that support your studies, like books or for transport, remember that your overdraft is not free money: you’re still borrowing and you will have to pay it back to the bank. Banks may increase your overdraft after the first year of your studies; by the time you come to graduate, the amount you owe can be high, for example, around €2,500 or more.

3 money-saving tips for students

  • Budget smartly and you won’t need your overdraft. Going to uni is all about learning new things and gaining life experience. Why not get a head start and get into some good money habits from your first term?
  • Don’t go over the overdraft limit. You might have a nice big 0% overdraft, but if you exceed the limit on that – you’re in trouble. Banks will start charging you for every day you’re over the limit, so watch out.
  • Switch to a graduate account once you’ve graduated. You should aim to pay off the overdraft ASAP. When you’ve finished uni, switch to a graduate account with good rates and terms that will allow you to pay off the debt.

What other ways can I save money?

As a student, there are plenty of savings to be made. Most brands realise that students are on a budget so tend to offer discounts designed specifically for you. If you shop around first, you’ll discover discounts available on many essentials including mobile phone and SIM contracts, broadband deals, utilities, food, fashion and travel. Check in with your student union to find out the best deals local to you.

What is the Student Leap Card?

The Student Leap Card (SLC) is Ireland’s national travel discount card for students.

It costs €10 but will allow you to buy reduced fare tickets for Luas, Go-Ahead Ireland, Irish Rail, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann amongst others. Your travel spend will also be capped each day or week with certain companies in Dublin, enabling you to travel free after reaching the cap.

Travel fares can be discounted by up to 32% with the Student Leap Card.

Visit the Student Leap Card for more details about your travel options.

Can I get the Student Leap Card?

To get hold of a SLC, you need to be a full time student in second or third level education and undertake at least 16 hours of lectures/classes each week.

You may need to provide proof of eligibility such as a confirmation letter from your college or institution.

Visit the SLC website for the full eligibility criteria.

You have four different options for applying for a SLC:

  • Online application and in person verification with agent
  • Online application and Trinity College Dublin online verification
  • Paper application and in person verification with agent
  • Postal paper application

How do I use the Student Leap Card?

Once you have your new SLC, you’ll need to register it on leapcard.ie and top it up with money. Top up options include:

  • Online
  • Payzone agent
  • IrishRail, Lias, Dart and Commuter Rail ticket machines
  • The Student Leap Card app
  • Auto top up

Frequently asked questions

More guides on Finder

  • What is a standing order?

    Confused between direct debits and standing orders? We explain the difference and show you how to create and cancel a standing order.

  • Best bank account for teens in Ireland

    Find out about bank accounts for teenagers, how to choose the right one and how they differ from kids’ prepaid cards.

  • Foreign currency accounts in Ireland

    International banking transactions can be made easy with the help of a multi currency account. If you find that you are consistently trying to manage currencies other than the Australian dollar, then consider banking your money in this type of account.

  • Best budgeting apps in Ireland

    Discover how to save money when you use these handy money-saving apps.

  • Cashback incentives: What is cashback?

    Discover how you can get your money back with a cashback incentive.

  • The A to Z Guide to Bank Fees

    Reads our A to Z guide on all the fees you could be charged on your bank account – and how you can avoid them.

  • Using a debit card abroad

    A debit card with little or no international transaction fees makes it a great option to use abroad. We look at the pros and cons of using a debit card abroad.

  • Banks with Samsung Pay in Ireland

    Samsung Pay is an app that will let you make contactless tap and go payments without using your debit card or entering a PIN.

  • Banks in Ireland

    A comprehensive list of the banks in Ireland.

  • Contactless payments in Ireland

    Making contactless payments are simple. But are they safe and which banks offer tap-and-go technology? Find out in our useful guide.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site