Is there any free banking or how can I save on banking charges?

Q – I’m trying to make some savings in the new year, particularly on bank charges. How can Isave on these? Is there any such thing as free banking anymore?


A- Most banks offer a restricted form of free banking. Here’s a brief summary:

  • Permanent TSB: Lodge at least €1,500 a month and you get “fee-free” banking with no minimum balance required. Interest on credit balances is 1%
  • AIB: Avail of maintenance and transaction-free banking if you maintain a minimum balance of €2,500.
  • Ulster Bank: The monthly maintenance fee is waived if you lodge €3,000 monthly or maintain a balance of that sum in your account.
  • EBS (Money Manager): You get five free withdrawals if at least €1,500 is lodged every month (ie, your wages) or you maintain a balance of at least €500.
  • BOI Golden Years: No quarterly current account fees for the over-60s only.

You can compare the cost of bank accounts (and energy, TV and broadband suppliers) on www.bonkers.ie.

A handy tip is to use a debit card instead of a credit card and get cash back when making purchases. You save on ATM charges and the other annoying interest and charges that accrue on credit cards. Stamp duty is also €2.50 on debit cards compared to €30 on credit cards.

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