It seems Irish banks really have it in for their customers at present.
Earlier in the month both AIB and KBC reduced the paltry interest rates on their main savings accounts even further and in April Ulster Bank introduced changes to its current account fees which have seen the majority of its customers pay more each month. Then last week the Central Bank told us that we pay the second highest mortgage rates in the entire Eurozone.
Now today comes the news that Permanent TSB is increasing the monthly fee on its flagship Explore current account from €4 to €6.
The new fee will come into effect on 1st August 2019.
Permanent TSB has promised no other changes for now.
This means that apart from the monthly fee, customers can still get all their day-to-day banking for free, meaning there will be no additional charges for things like direct debits, ATM withdrawals, or chip and pin and contactless transactions.
Permanent TSB also has a number of cashback incentives that allow customers to offset most of the monthly fee.
For example, the bank will pay you 10 cent back every time you use your debit card in store or online, up to a maximum of €5 a month. This means that if you use your card just under twice a day, you'll actually pay only €1 a month in account maintenance fees.
And if you’re a customer of Sky or SSE, you can earn up to 5% cashback when you pay your bill by direct debit from the account.
Finally, if you take out a new mortgage with Permanent TSB and pay it from an Explore account, you'll get 2% of your monthly mortgage repayment back in cash.
This all means that the Explore account is still one of the better value accounts on the market at present. But that's probably more a reflection on just how uncompetitive the Irish banking system is at present.
The days of fee-free banking appear to be long gone and even though a line seems to have been drawn under the banking crisis, the banks have all been slow to offer consumers better value.
However if you’re fed up with your bank's pesky fees and charges for managing your own money then look at switching.
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. Switching current account isn't as much hassle as you might think and you can find out more about how to do it here.
N26 and Revolut are two great alternatives to a current account that charge few, if any, fees and you can read our in-depth comparison on both providers here.
And if you are looking to switch, you can compare fees and charges across all providers in seconds with our free and easy-to-use current account comparison service.
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