Current Account Charges - MABS Investigates

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27th May 2020

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In MABS we receive a lot of great questions. Questions that we know many people want to ask, but don't know who to ask or where to start. This week's question is to do with current account charges and how they compare to other financial institutions.


Online banking, debit cards, contactless payments, EFT transfers...these modern ways of banking are replacing the traditional practices such as cheque books, lodgements and even physical cash. The use of these facilities is certainly more efficient and can be a real benefit, but is this modern way of banking cheaper? How many of us really understand how much we are paying for these transactions?

Read on to compare transaction costs of the main operators across the Irish Banking sector and some tips on how to take control.

A current account is a bank account that allows you to access a range of everyday banking services. These services might be receiving money like your wages or welfare payments and paying money out for goods and services. A bank account can also be used for paying bills by direct debit or standing order.

Most current accounts have a debit card provided to use for buying things in shops and online. Some bank accounts will also allow you to make contactless payments through smart technology. However, it’s important to know that these activities can carry different charges. These will be outlined in more detail later in the blog.

Jargon busting - let's explain bank terms before we begin

Consumer Rights and Protections

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is an independent statutory body with a mandate to enforce competition and consumer protection law in Ireland. The CCPC website provides a comparison tool for all financial products including current account. This tool was used to identify the bank charges that apply in Ireland and to create the comparison table below. If you’d like to do a bit of investigating of your own you can find the tool here.

We will compare how much it costs to withdraw cash, to use our debit cards, to pay bills by standing order and direct debit, and finally quarterly account maintenance. We will compare these charges in all banks offering personal current accounts.

If you currently do not have a bank account, you may qualify for a Basic Bank account with free banking. More information on this can be found here.

Activity

AIB

Bank of Ireland

PTSB

Ulster Bank

An Post Money

KBC

EBS

Revolut

◦N26 Bank GmbH

Withdrawing cash from an ATM

 

35c

25c

No charge

35c

60c

30c

No charge

First €200 a month is free - then a 2% fee is added

No charge for 5 withdrawals and €2.00 for each withdrawal after

Paying with a debit card in shops using a pin

 

20c

10c

No charge

20c

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

 

No charge

Using Contactless payments

 

0c

1c

No charge

1c

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

Direct Debit /Standing Order per transaction

 

20c

10c

No charge

20c

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

 

No charge

Direct Debit set up

 

20c

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

 

No charge

Standing Order set up

 

€4.50

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

 

No charge

Standing Order amendment/cancellation

 

€2.50

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

 

No charge

Unpaid direct debit

 

€10.00

€12.70

€10.00

€12.70

€2.50

€10.00

€6.35

No charge

 

 

€3.00

Unpaid standing order

 

€10.00

€12.70

€10.00

€12.70

No charge

€10.00

No charge

No charge

No charge

Transactions online or by phone

 

20c

10c

No charge

20c

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

No charge

Bank transactions by using a cashier in branch to complete

 

39c

60c

No charge

80c

No charge

No charge

No charge

Not available

 

Not available

Maintaining account per quarter

 

€4.50

€5.00

€18.00

€6.00

€15.00

€6.00

No charge

No charge

 

No charge

 

Bank statement reprints per page

 

€3.00 per page

€3.80 first page, €2.50 each page after

€2.50

€3.81 first page €2.54 second page, no extra charges

€5.00 per page

€2.54

No charge

No charge

 

No charge

 


Some banks offer additional benefits to its current account customers

Benefit

AIB

Bank of Ireland

PTSB

Ulster Bank

An Post Money

KBC

EBS

Revolut

◦N26 Bank GmbH

 

Apple Pay

No charge for Contactless transactions, €0.20 In App transactions

 

Not available

 

Yes, no charge

€0.01 Contactless transactions, €0.20 In App transactions

 

Not available

 

Yes, no charge

 

Not available

 

Yes, no charge

 

Yes, no charge

 

Garmin Pay

 

Not available

 

Not available

 

Not available

 

Not available

 

Not available

 

Yes, no charge

 

Not available

 

Not available

 

Not available

 

Fitbit pay

 

No charge

 

Not available

 

Not available

 

Not available

 

Not available

 

Yes, no charge

 

Not available

 

Not available

 

Not available

 

Google Pay

No charge for contactless, 20c for other charges

 

Not available

 

Not available

€0.01 Contactless transactions, €0.20 In App transactions

 

Not available

 

Yes, no charge

 

Not available

 

Yes, no charge

 

Yes, no charge

 

Cash Back

 

Up to €100

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Yes

Not available

Mobile banking app

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

No

 

Yes

 

No

 

Yes

 

Yes

Rewards programme

 

Yes

 

No

 

Yes

 

No

 

 

Yes

 

No

 

No

No

No


We have not included Credit Union current accounts in the above comparison tables because not every Credit Union is offering a current account product at the moment, but you can find out more here.

How can we get better value for bank charges?

To control or potentially reduce bank charges on our account, it is important to understand how charges are applied. Are changes applied for every transaction that happens? For example, for direct debits, standing orders, cash withdrawals, or just every time you make a purchase with your card or if you have unlimited transactions each month for the same price. This will help you assess how you can reduce your fees.

If your bank charges for each transaction, here are some tips to reduce charges:

You can contact your local MABS office , chat through our live chat or call the MABS Helpline on 0761 07 2000, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 8pm or you can check the MABS News Feed for further updates and guidance.

Follow @MABSinfo on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.

Disclaimer: While every effort is made to make sure this information is accurate and correct, we strongly recommend that you do your own research and make your own informed decision. If you have questions or would like to share your money saving tips, follow us on social media and get in touch.