Raisin Bank: an alternative option for Irish savers
Daragh Cassidy
Head Writer

Irish savers have to contend with some of the lowest deposit rates in all of Europe, but there is an alternative option.

It’s still not a great market for savers.

Despite high inflation and the European Central Bank aggressively increasing interest rates over the past two years, the rates on offer from Irish banks to savers remain quite low. In fact rates here are among the lowest in the Eurozone. 

However, there are alternatives for Irish savers and that’s where Raisin Bank comes in...

Who is Raisin?

Raisin is an online marketplace for savings products across Europe. It is based in Germany and says its mission is to enable "savings without barriers".

Through its online platform, Raisin allows Irish savers to easily access savings products from banks elsewhere in Europe where rates are generally better than those on offer here in Ireland.

How it works

Signing up with Raisin is simple and requires just one online registration. Once registered, you can choose from numerous savings products from banks throughout Europe and manage your savings entirely online too.

To sign up, all you need to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Register on Raisin.ie and verify your identity using video identification.
  2. Log in to Raisin's online portal using your login details and start browsing rates.
  3. Sign up to one more savings accounts and deposit your money.
  4. Manage all your savings accounts online from the one Raisin account.

What’s on offer?

With a Raisin account you can browse savings products from numerous banks across Europe and avail of better interest rates for your money.

For example, for someone with €50,000 to put away the best fixed rate is currently 3.50%. This compares to a maximum rate of 3% from the Irish banks right now. And you can get an instant access rate of just over 3% through Raisin too.

You can choose from a range of fixed-term deposit accounts from as short as three months up to five years. And best of all the service is free - Raisin doesn't charge you any fees or commission, meaning your money works exclusively for you.

Is my money safe and is there anything I should be concerned about?

Any money you have on deposit up to €100,000 per bank is covered by the relevant deposit guarantee scheme of the country the bank operates in. 

Raisin also allows you to diversify your savings across different banks and different countries and this can help to mitigate risk. 

However you should still make sure that the bank you sign up to is well run and fully licensed by a reputable financial authority. And make sure you read the relevant terms and conditions before signing up. 

There will also be some slight paper work when it comes to paying deposit interest retention tax or DIRT...

What about paying DIRT?

When you save with an Irish bank, DIRT (which is currently 33%), is automatically deducted from any interest you receive and paid to Revenue on your behalf. So you've nothing to worry about from a tax point of view.

But when you save through Raisin your returns will be paid out tax-free. So you'll need to declare any returns for DIRT on your annual tax return in Ireland. Though this is simple enough and can all be done online.

Some banks in some countries might also charge a withholding tax to non-residents, so this is something to clarify before signing up. However in most cases the withholding tax can be reduced or avoided altogether if you fill in a residency declaration which Raisin will send to you.    

Alternatives to Rasin 

Opening a savings account with Raisin may not be for everyone. 

The good news is that there are plenty more options available if you want to make your money work for you and get a worthwhile return on your savings. Check out our article on alternative savings options for more information.

We also recorded a podcast this year on alternative savings options for consumers if you’d prefer to sit back and listen - you can find that episode here!

Compare savings accounts on bonkers.ie

Remember, if you’re looking to save your money, you can easily compare savings accounts for the best rates Irish banks have to offer right here on bonkers.ie.

We compare savings accounts from all of Ireland’s top financial institutions so whether you’re a monthly or lump sum saver, don’t worry, bonkers.ie will find the best interest rate for you.

Use our comparison tool here to compare savings accounts across the likes of AIB, Bank of Ireland, and more!

Make sure you check out our banking and personal finance comparison page to see how you can lower your other everyday banking costs and get the best return on your money.

Let us know your thoughts!

Have you ever used Raisin Bank? Would you consider taking out a savings account in another European country? Let us know in the comments below.

We’d also love to hear from you on social media!