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Banking

Ulster Bank takes on Revolut and N26 with its new Black credit card 

Daragh Cassidy

Daragh Cassidy

Head Writer

Ulster Bank's new credit card set to shake things up.

We’re huge fans of N26 and Revolut here at bonkers.ie in case you hadn’t noticed! Both these fintechs offer their customers a host of novel features and services that put the other banks to shame. And on top of this they charge no foreign exchange fees when you use their cards for paying abroad.  

Both N26 and Revolut have been signing up customers at a superquick pace so it was only a matter of time before the traditional banks upped their game.

And that’s what Ulster Bank has done with the launch of its new Black credit card, which seems to have been inspired by some of the fintechs’ best features including zero foreign exchange fees when using your card abroad and the ability to lock and unlock your card, as well as restrict certain types of spending, easily within the app. 

And on top of that, you’ll get 0% interest on purchases for the first six months and 0% interest on balance transfers for 12 months too. 

Key features

  • No foreign exchange fees when customers use the credit card outside the Eurozone (usually 2%)
  • 0% interest on purchases for the first six months
  • 0% interest on balance transfers for 12 months
  • Competitive interest of 13.90% (16.10% APR), second lowest on the market 
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay ready
  • Contactless enabled
  • Ability to lock and unlock the card, as well as restrict certain types of spending, within the Ulster Bank mobile app 
  • No removal of 0% offer for minor errors such as late or missed payments or going over the credit limit (though customers may still be charged a late payment fee)

    Do any fees apply?

    As with any card, annual Government stamp duty of €30 applies. You’ll also be charged €8.50 if you go over your credit limit or fail to make the minimum repayment on time, though this is fairly standard for a credit card.

    However there’s no monthly or annual fee, meaning the card is a great choice for anyone who likes to travel and spend outside the Eurozone.       

    Who is the card available to?

    The card is available to both existing Ulster Bank customers and non customers, meaning you don’t have to have a current account with the bank in order to apply for the credit card. 

    However you do need to be earning over €40,000 a year to get this card, meaning those on more average wages won't be able to apply.

    Finally, you need to be over 18 years of age and resident in the Republic of Ireland too. 

    Any catches?

    We’re pleasantly surprised to be able to say that there are no real catches with this card. 

    There’s no monthly fee or sneaky charges and the lack of foreign exchange fees is a boon for those who love to travel to the UK, the US and further afield. 

    For example, if you went on a shopping spree to New York and spent $2,000 (around €1,800) you’d be charged €36 in fees with Ulster Bank’s other credit cards and almost €50 with any of AIB’s Visa cards. But with the Black card you’ll be charged nothing.  

    We also love the fact that you can easily lock and unlock your card within the app. So if you think you’ve lost your card after a wild night out and start to panic, you can quickly put a temporary freeze on your card as opposed to cancelling it and dealing with all the hassle that that entails. Should you happen to find your card the next day (or maybe the next hour!) you can just unlock it again and all will be good. 

    If you’re switching from another credit card and transferring a balance, the 0% offer will obviously be of appeal and the 12-month interest-free period for balance transfers is up there with the best in the market. 

    The 16.10% APR is not quite the most competitive on the market (that honour goes to AIB’s Click Visa card) but it’s still low by Irish credit card standards and if you pay your balance in full and on time each month this shouldn’t be an issue.  

    Compare the whole market

    Although this credit card is among the best out there it may not be right for your particular circumstances.

    For example, if you spend over €5,000 a year on your card and are a frequent traveller, the Bank of Ireland Aer credit card might be for you, whereas if you're looking for the cheapest rate on the market then AIB's Click card offers a 13.80% APR.

    And if you're a fan of earning cashback, then Avantcard's Reward+ card allows you to earn up to €12 a month. 

    You can compare all cards and features across all lenders on bonkers.ie right now with our credit card comparison service.  




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