Choosing your current account

Current accounts are the most common type of bank account and are a convenient and often necessary way to manage your money. A current account allows you to:

  • Keep your money in a secure place and view your balance and transactions on your bank statements or online.
  • Receive payments such as your salary, social welfare, pension and incoming transfers.
  • Pay for things using a debit card, cheques and for transferring money to another account in Ireland or abroad.
  • Pay bills by direct debit, standing order, recurring payment or in-branch with a payment giro.
  • Bank remotely using online banking or over the phone.
  • Get an overdraft facility.

How do I choose a current account?

You can use our current account comparisons to see who provides current accounts in Ireland and check out at their fees and other details. When choosing a current account think about:

  • The fees and charges for the services you use most
  • The location of the provider’s branches and opening hours
  • The availability of cash services in the branches as not all banks in Ireland offer these
  • Phone and internet banking services
  • The cards provided with the account
  • Interest and fees for an overdraft
  • Fees and charges for any missed direct debits or standing orders
  • Digital wallets such as Android pay or Apple pay.
Top Tip
Choose a current account that charges the least for the services you use the most. For example, if you make lots of ATM withdrawals pick a bank that doesn’t charge for this..

Fees, charges and penalties

Some banks offer free or discounted banking if you are a student, graduate, over a certain age or keep a certain amount in your account at all times. However, many people pay fees and charges for the services provided by their bank.

These fees and charges can include:

  • A monthly or quarterly maintenance fee for having the account.
  • Charges for individual transactions such as an ATM withdrawal, transactions on internet banking, transactions in-branch, payments by debit card etc.
  • Fees for setting up, amending or cancelling direct debits & standing orders and processing cheques.
  • Charges for duplicate statements or replacing a lost or stolen debit card

Most banks will charge you fees if you don’t keep enough money in your account to meet your payments.

These fees can include:

  • unpaid standing order
  • unpaid direct debit
  • cheque returned unpaid

You may also be charged interest if you go into an unauthorised overdraft.

What should I think about when opening a current account?

When opening your current account you should always read the terms and conditions fully. Ask questions or explanations of anything you don’t understand. It is important to ask about:

  • The fees and charges and the cost of the services you think you will use most
  • If you can reduce your charges by keeping a minimum balance in the account or another way
  • What services are offered
  • The steps involved if you need to change personal details such as address, phone numbers or email
  • When you will receive your debit card and pin and how to reorder a replacement card if you ever need to
  • Ask how you will receive your bank statements, for example online only, and how regularly you will get them
  • If you plan to use your debit card outside the country, what charges will you pay?

Last updated on 7 August 2019

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