Bank cards

There are different cards that have different features and services.

  • Debit card
  • ATM card
  • Credit card
  • Prepaid card
  • Lodgement card

Debit card

When you open a current account you will receive a debit card. With a debit card you can withdraw money from an ATM, pay for goods and services and make payments online or over the phone. With a joint current account each person on the account gets a debit card and has their own pin number.

Depending on the value of a transaction you may be able use the contactless option if your bank offers it. You can also use your debit card to lodge cash or cheques to your account via a self-service machine.

Most banks in Ireland issue MasterCard or Visa debit cards and these can be used at many locations throughout the world. You can use our current account Money Tool to see the different fees and charges that come with using debit cards.

When you use your debit card the money is deducted from your account straight away, but it may take two or three days to appear on your statement or move from your pending transactions. You should only use your debit card for the amount of money you have available in your account. If you have an overdraft facility, then you will pay interest when your account goes overdrawn.

You can also use a debit card to set up a recurring payment for a service you may use such as music streaming, bin charges or the gym.

Top Tip
Did you know that under EU and Irish law a business cannot charge you a fee for using your debit or credit card, direct debits and credit transfers when paying for goods/ services when all the parties involved are based in the European Economic Area (the EEA). This applies whether you are buying online or in store. There are certain situations where you can be charged a fee, but the business must inform you of any charges in advance. For example, if you pay your electric or gas bill, top up your mobile phone etc. in a shop, they can charge you a service fee – this is the cost to the shop in providing you with this service. This charge cannot be more than the cost incurred by the shop for providing the service. You can also pay these types of bills in a post office, and you will not be charged a fee.

ATM card

ATM cards are not as common as debit cards and few providers offer them. You can only use them to withdraw money from ATMs and check your balance. The other services that you have with a debit card are not available with an ATM card.

ATM cards may be offered with some child or student accounts.

Credit card

With a credit card, the money you spend is a loan from your credit card provider. Your credit card provider sets the maximum limit you can spend on your card (listed on your statement), which you can spend either straight away or gradually over a period of time. Credit cards can be a convenient and flexible way to pay for things without having to carry cash. They can be used in the same way as debit cards.

For occasions where debit cards are not accepted, for example, hiring a car from some companies, you may have to use a credit card. Visit our credit card section for more detailed information.

Prepaid card

Prepaid cards offer some of the features of a debit or credit card, but they are not attached to a bank account. Depending on the type of card, you can top it up in a shop, online, by debit card or bank transfer.

With a prepaid card you cannot go overdrawn as you can only spend the amount that is available on the card. There are also prepaid gift cards that you can give to someone else and prepaid foreign exchange cards you can use when travelling. As part of the application process you may have to provide proof of your ID and address.

You may decide to use a prepaid card if you can’t get a credit card or don’t want one. If you don’t like using your credit card online or don’t have a current account, then a prepaid card may be an option for you.

There are a number of fees and charges with prepaid cards, some of these include:

  • Purchase fee when you buy the card
  • Top-up fee
  • Monthly service fee
  • Transaction fee
  • ATM withdrawal fee

Fees and charges for prepaid cards can be higher than fees and charges for similar transactions using debit cards, so make sure to check these carefully before getting one.

Lodgement card

Some providers offer lodgement cards that allow you to lodge cash and cheques to your current account using self-service machines in the bank. These are common for businesses that have multiple employees making lodgements on their behalf.

They are also commonly used by landlords to allow tenants to lodge cash to their account for rent without having to give out their account details.

Stamp Duty

ATM withdrawals

Government stamp duty of €0.12 per transaction is applied to ATM withdrawals. The maximum annual fee is €2.50 for ATM cards and €5.00 for combined (ATM and debit) cards. Stamp duty is collected in arrears, so stamp duty for 2019 will be charged on 31 December 2019.

Credit cards

Stamp duty for credit cards is €30 per year. From 31 December 2024 onwards, your card will get billed for the full calendar year. This replaces the prior practice of charging on 1 April for the previous 12 months.

Due to this change, a shorter billing period applies for 2023 only. €22.50 will be taken from your credit card account on 3 January 2024. From January  2025 onwards, €30 stamp duty will be charged annually.

For more information visit Revenue.

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