AIB gets "A" grade for student account

Banks have always been keen to capture students as customers as they will traditionally stick with them for life. John Cradden

Of course, that's not so true now thanks to how relatively easy it is to switch banks, so your choice of bank as a student is no longer as significant as it once was.

Not so long ago, banks were offering sign-up incentives like free flights, interest-free travel loans and even cold, hard cash, but these offers have fallen by the wayside, according to Simon Moynihan of price comparison site bonkers.ie.

"But times have changed, and banks are offering much more rounded accounts to students that allow them to do the bulk of their banking online and with their mobiles.

"All accounts are free of maintenance and transaction fees, there are interest-free overdrafts, low-cost loans and rewards programmes."

Moynihan nominates AIB as the bank that has thought hardest about students this year with, among other things: fee-free banking, a contactless debit card and a clever sign-up offer. "AIB have recognised that starving students need to eat, and their sign-up incentive is 20pc off JUST EAT every week for the entire college year."

He adds that "they are also offering a range of credit options that could really help students through the lean university years", including an interest-free overdraft with up to €1,500 credit and a Mastercard with a low initial rate. There's also a contribution charge loan of €3,000 a year for four years at 8.45pc APR, with the option of interest-only repayments.

However, it might be wise to avoid debt, unless you really have to.


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