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Banking

Which bank has the best credit card?

Daragh Cassidy

Daragh Cassidy

Head Writer

Looking to apply for a new credit card? In this article, we give you a quick and easy-to-understand run through of the main credit cards available right now to help you decide which is best.

Choosing the best credit card can be a difficult task - especially when you have to compare and evaluate all the different features of each card such as APRs, interest rates on balance transfers and cashback rewards to name but a few!

So we've done the hard work for you and searched through all the details to find out how the most popular credit cards really stack up.

Let’s kick things off with AIB.

AIB

AIB offers a total of four different credit cards: the Click Visa card, the ‘be’ Visa or Mastercard, the Platinum Visa card and its Student Mastercard.

None of the cards charge an annual fee but Government stamp duty of €30 is charged each year to all cards.

All AIB's cards offer up to 56 days' interest-free credit and if you pay your balance in full and on time each month you can avoid paying any interest at all. Apart from the Student card, you can also add an additional cardholder for a family member over the age of 16 for free.   

With AIB's Everyday Rewards scheme in conjunction with Visa, you can also earn cashback on your purchases from select retailers.

Check out the rest of the features of each AIB card in the table below:

Click Visa Card

‘be’ Visa/Mastercard

Platinum Visa Card Student Mastercard
Typical APR 13.80% 22.90% 17.00% 20.50%
Annual fee None None None None
Introductory interest rate on purchases No 3.83% for 12 months 3.83% for 12 months 3.83% for 12 months
Introductory interest rate on balance transfers No 3.83% for 12 months 3.83% for 12 months No
Salary requirements €16,000 €16,000 €40,000 n/a
Cashback / rewards AIB Everyday Rewards

Get a lower rate of interest when you spend €5,000 or more in a 12-month period

AIB Everyday Rewards (Visa card only)

Priceless Cities (Mastercard only) 

Get 0.50% cashback on spend between €5,000 & €50,000 in a 12-month period (up to €225 a year)

AIB Everyday Rewards

Priceless Cities
Mobile payments

Google Pay

Apple Pay

Google Pay

Apple Pay

Google Pay

Apple Pay

Google Pay

Apple Pay

Contactless Yes Yes Yes Yes

Key standout features:

  • If you're a big spender, AIB’s Platinum card offers one of the best cashback reward schemes of all cards listed in this article
  • The Click card has the lowest APR on the market
  • The introductory interest rate of 3.83% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers is competitive
  • As a Mastercard holder you'll get access to Priceless Cities, which offers exclusive experiences, priority bookings and special discounts, both at home and abroad. Visit www.priceless.com to register and view current offers

Avantcard

Avantcard is a credit card company based in Carrick on Shannon in County Leitrim. The company acquired Tesco credit cards in Ireland a few years ago and all accounts were transferred over. While not technically a bank, it would be amiss of us not to include them on our list. 

Avantcard has two credit cards, the One card and the Reward+ card. With the Reward+ card, when you spend, you get rewarded. The lender will give you 1.25% cashback on grocery, petrol/diesel, restaurant and entertainment spend up to €12 a month. You can also add up to three additional cardholders for free and still pay Government stamp duty only once.

Their Reward+ credit card comes with a striking design, the features of which you can find below.

Their One card has fewer reward features, but comes with longer introductory discounted interest rates. 

Reward+ Mastercard

One Mastercard

Typical APR

20.60% (The exact APR rate applied is dependent upon your current credit history. For more information, see www.avantcard.ie/credit-card )

20.60% (The exact APR rate applied is dependent upon your current credit history)

Annual fee

None

None

Introductory interest rate on purchases

0.0% for 1 month

0.0% for 3 months

Introductory interest rate on balance transfers

0.0% for 2 months

0.0% for 6 months

Salary requirements

€13,500

€13,500

Cashback / rewards

€30 welcome credit (if not availing of introductory interest rate)

Up to 15% refund of interest paid on purchases every month OR 1.25% cashback on select purchases

Advantages customer rewards programme

None

Mobile payments

No

No

Contactless

Yes

Yes

Key standout features:

  • New Avantages customer rewards programme, offering 100s of discounts and cashback offers from leading retailers, including 4% cashback with booking.com
  • Earn up to €12 cashback a month just by spending on day-to-day items
  • Relatively low salary requirement of €13,500

Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland offers a total of four Mastercard credit cards; the Classic card, the Platinum Advantage card, the Aer credit card in conjunction with Aer Lingus, and its Student credit card.

There is a €7.99 monthly fee for the Aer credit card while the Platinum Advantage card has a yearly fee of €76.18. Government stamp duty of €30 a year also applies to all cards.

The Classic and Aer cards also come with Bank of Ireland's nifty instalment plan feature, which allows you to transfer a credit card purchase of over €500 onto a separate lower interest rate of 6.9% APR and to pay it off in 12 equal monthly instalments. So a handy alternative to a personal loan in many cases.

With all of the bank's cards (apart from the Student card) you can add up to three additional cardholders and still pay Government stamp duty only once.

As a Mastercard customer, you'll also get access to exclusive experiences, offers and benefits in Ireland or when exploring other destinations abroad with Mastercard Priceless Cities at www.priceless.com.

Check out the rest of the features of each Bank of Ireland card in the table below:

Classic Credit Card

Platinum Advantage Card

Aer Credit Card

Student Credit Card

Typical APR

22.10%

19.60%

26.60%

20.20%

Annual fee

None

€76.18

€95.88 (€7.99 a month)

None

Introductory interest rate on purchases

0.0% for 6 months*

0.0% for 6 months*

0.0% for 6 months*

0.0% for 6 months

Introductory interest rate on balance transfers

0.0% for 7 months*

0.0% for 7 months*

0.0% for 7 months*

No

Salary requirements

€16,000

€40,000

€16,000

n/a

Cashback / rewards

Priceless Cities

Free travel insurance

Priceless Cities

Host of travel perks including two free return fares to Europe, when you spend €5,000 or more within a year on your card

Free worldwide multi-trip family travel insurance

Collect Avios as you spend with your card 

Free travel insurance

Priceless Cities

Mobile payments

No

No

No

No

Contactless

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Instalment plan feature

Yes

No

Yes

No

*Choice of 0% on purchases OR 0% on balance transfers

Key standout features:

  • The perk of free travel insurance is a nice sweetener for students looking for a competitive credit card
  • For those who spend big and love to travel, the Aer card has a host of unique benefits
  • Instalment plan a great alternative to a personal loan

KBC

KBC has just two different credit cards at present: the Cash Reward card and its Student credit card. Both are Mastercard.

With KBC, you can avail of up to 56 days' interest-free credit and you'll pay no interest if the balance is paid on time and in full every month.

In addition to Apple Pay and Google Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay are also available. And with KBC, when you spend, you get rewarded. The bank will give you 1% cashback on grocery and online purchases made with the card, up to €10 a month.

Like BOI, KBC offers an instalment plan option, where you can spread the cost of purchases greater than €500 over 12, 18 or 24 fixed monthly instalments at a lower rate of 8.64% variable (8.99% APR).

Check out the rest of the features of each KBC card in the table below:

Cash Reward Card

Student Credit Card

Typical APR

18.25%

18.25%

Annual fee

None

None

Introductory interest rate on purchases

No

No

Introductory interest rate on balance transfers

0.0% for 6 months

0.0% for 6 months

Salary requirements

€20,000

n/a

Cashback / rewards

Get 1% cashback on grocery and online purchases made with the card, up to €10 a month.

Priceless Cities

Get 1% cashback on grocery and online purchases made with the card, up to €10 a month.

Priceless Cities

Mobile payments

Apple Pay

Google Pay

Fitbit Pay

Garmin Pay

Apple Pay

Google Pay

Fitbit Pay

Garmin Pay

Contactless

Yes

Yes

Instalment plan feature

Yes

Yes

Key standout features:

  • With its 1% cash reward, you can save up to €120 a year on your purchases
  • KBC is the only bank to offer digital payments from all the main providers
  • Only bank along with KBC to offer an instalment plan feature

Permanent TSB

Permanent TSB is the only one of Ireland’s five major banks to carry just one credit card option and it does not currently cater to students.

However with Permanent TSB you have the option to choose a monthly payment date for a time that suits you and with its GoRewards programme in conjunction with Visa, you can earn cashback on your purchases from select retailers. You can also add a second card for a family member for free (once they're over 18).

Check out the rest of the features of the Ice card in the table below:

ICE Visa Credit Card
Typical APR 20.70%
Annual fee None
Introductory interest rate on purchases 0% for 3 months
Introductory interest rate on balance transfers 0% for 6 months
Salary requirements €20,000
Cashback / rewards GoRewards
Mobile payments No
Contactless Yes

Key standout features:

  • Get cashback from select retailers with GoRewards
  • Choose a monthly payment date that suits you
  • Competitive introductory rates     

Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank has a total of three different Mastercard credit cards; the Classic card, the Gold card and its Student card.

With Ulster Bank there are no annual fees on any of its cards and you can add an additional cardholder for free and pay Government Stamp Duty only once.

Check out the rest of the features of each Ulster Bank card in the table below:

Classic Credit Card

Black Mastercard

Student Mastercard

Typical APR

22.70%

16.20%

35.00%

Annual Fee

None

None

None

Introductory interest rate on purchases

0.0% for 3 months

0.0% for 6 months

No

Introductory interest rate on balance transfers

3.9% for 12 months.

0% for 12 months



No

Salary requirements

n/a

€40,000

n/a

Cashback / rewards

Priceless Cities

Priceless Cities

Priceless Cities

Mobile payments

Apple Pay

Google Pay

Apple Pay

Google Pay

Apple Pay

Google Pay

Key standout features:

  • Substantial 12-month long discounted interest rate on balance transfers
  • No foreign exchange fees on the Black credit card - the only card currently with this feature   

    Who wins?

    If you're looking for the cheapest rate on the market then AIB's Click credit card wins hand down. But if you're looking to transfer over a balance then Ulster Bank's Black Mastercard is a good choice as it charges 0% interest for an entire year as well as 0% for six months on any new purchases.

    However if you're really good with your spending and clear your balance in full each month, then the interest rate will be less important to you. In this case, Avantcard's Reward+ Mastercard is a good choice as it offers €30 welcome credit as well as the ability to earn up to €12 cashback a month just by spending on day-to-day items. Not bad we say! 

    The point is that there's lots of choice out there at the moment. So if you're not happy with your current credit card provider, then switch! 

    Compare and switch

    You can compare and switch credit card providers right now on bonkers.ie.

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