Fed up with your bank's pesky fees and charges for managing your own money? Then look at switching current account and help keep more of your hard-earned cash in your own pocket this New Year.
We're notoriously bad at switching banking products in Ireland so it's no wonder mortgage rates and banking fees and charges here are so high.
But there's still good value to be found if you're prepared to switch.
If you're sick of opening up your current account fees and charges statement every quarter to see all the money that's going to be taken from your account, then look at switching current account provider as there's never been more choice.
How do I switch current account?
There are a few steps involved in switching bank account. It's important to note that if you have an overdraft with your existing bank you’ll need to make sure that your new bank is happy to provide you with one too. Otherwise you’ll need to clear your current overdraft before switching.
- Choose a new provider. Contact your new bank to let them know you want to switch your current account to them. Your new bank will then supply you with a switching pack which will contain all the information about your new bank that you'll need.
- Pick a switch date. You’ll need to agree a date with your new bank for the switching process to start – this is called the switch date. This date should be a time during the month when there’s the least amount of activity on your account so that you don’t miss any direct debits or payments (for most people this is 10 to 20 days after payday). You’ll need to provide proof of ID and proof of address to your new bank as well.
- Complete and return an account transfer form. Your new bank will ask you to complete an account transfer form. They’ll then send this form to your old bank, which will supply details of your direct debits and standing orders to your new bank, to help make the switching process smoother. Any money in your old account will be transferred over to your new account for you. At this stage you’ll need to confirm with your current bank whether you want to fully close your account or still keep it open.
- Downtime. Between your old account being closed and your new bank account being activated, there might be a period of two or three days when you'll have no account. Your new provider will advise you of this. So remember to take out some cash if you think you'll need it.
- Start using your new account. Your new account will be up and running within 10 working days of the switch date you selected and your bank will send you out your new debit card. When you get your new card, download your new account provider's mobile app and register for their online banking.
- Update your employer. Update your employer or anyone else who pays money into your account with your new bank account details as your new bank cannot do this for you.
- Online shopping. If you're a fan of online shopping, and who isn't these days, your old card details will be stored with several sites. Remember to update your banking details with any retailers you shop with regularly online.
What’s the best value current account?
The best value current account for you will depend on several factors such as how much money you’ll deposit into your account each month, how often you’ll use your account and whether you prefer to make payments in cash or by card.
Whether you want access to features like an overdraft facility and mobile payments like Apple and Google Pay will also need to be factored into your decision too.
Use our handy current account comparison service to quickly compare the different account features and charges from all of Ireland’s account providers. Alternatively, check out our more in-depth article on how all the current accounts available in Ireland compare.
How much can I save by switching current account?
If you're a medium to heavy account user who makes two contactless transactions a day, 5 chip and pin transactions, 5 online transactions, and five ATM withdrawals a month, and has 15 direct debits, standing orders and/or lodgements and/or other types of payments presented to your account a month, you could save over €100 a year in fees by switching to the cheapest current account on the market. More if you use your account even more often.
Did you know that you can get a better mortgage deal by switching current accounts? Many banks reserve their best mortgage deals for their current account customers, meaning a lot of borrowers actually pay more than they have to.
The easiest money you'll ever earn is the money that you've saved as they say.
We recently released an episode of the bonkers.ie podcast on the topic of current accounts. In the episode, we took a deep dive into current accounts and analysed providers in Ireland to see who is offering the best value.
If you don’t fancy switching current accounts at the moment but still want to save money, why not check out these 9 simple ways to reduce your current account fees?
As well as current accounts, at bonkers.ie you can easily compare a wide variety of banking products, from savings accounts to personal loans in just a few clicks.
So take the bonkers.ie Switching Challenge and start switching today.