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24th Oct 2019

Here’s how you could end up saving more by switching your current account

Louise Carroll


Brought to you by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC)

We’re always on the hunt for further savings.

Indeed, it’s entirely necessary. Between the uniforms, the school costs, the weekly shopping and the mortgage, we’re keeping our eyes peeled for ALL the ways we can save our pennies.

There’s one area, however, that’s often overlooked and that’s our current account. There’s a chance you could save money by switching your current account and the CCPC money tool offers the perfect and easiest way for us to find out.

You can simply visit the CCPC money tool and see the charges various banks currently apply to their current accounts.

So, what are you paying for? Here’s what to compare:

Fees (both regular and travelling fees)

Regular fees include quarterly fees (which can come in at around €70 a year in some cases); contactless transaction fees (where every time you tap, you’re charged); and ATM charges (the fee you pay for withdrawing money). It’s essentially what your bank charges you for the maintenance of your account.

These fees are small, but as you can imagine, they certainly add up over time. Find out how you can use your account to see how you could save on these fees. For example, if you’re making a lot of unnecessary ATM withdrawals, check if they’re bumping up your transaction fees.

Or, if you have an overdraft be aware that this can cost you even more in fees, with some banks charging nearly €13 for a returned direct debit.

As for travelling fees — you guessed it! Banks will charge you for taking money out of foreign ATMs and when you make payments abroad. Don’t forget to account for the exchange rate too.

Category of Account

Think of it like this — what category do you fall under in terms of age, financial circumstances, and so on?

Young people, students and elderly people can avail of specific accounts with conditions that are better suited to them. This usually means reduced fees, discounts and even rewards.

If you’re unemployed, in a difficult financial situation and would struggle to pay costs on a current account, you or someone in your family might be able to get a basic bank account. Most of the day-to-day transactions are free on this account and there are no maintenance fees. All banks now offer basic payment accounts and the application process is similar to that of a current account.

A person’s salary for this cannot exceed the national minimum wage over a 12 month period, with providers requiring documentation of proof of earnings. You can find out more details about the basic bank accounts by using the CCPC money tool.

Savings Accounts

Consider opening a savings account with your bank too. Some banks will provide you with access to saving technology to help you keep your saving goals on track. This could be a big bonus if you think you need some extra saving encouragement.


Some banks might also have reward schemes set up with certain businesses and so you could receive cashback when you’ve done the grocery shopping, for example. So, remember that you can save money by spending a certain amount in-store. If the amount of spend required is a figure you typically spend in that store, this could be a really good option for you.

Switching Code

After you’ve done a spot of scoping online, on the CCPC website, and if you think it would be a good option for you to make the switch and change your bank, the Central Bank of Ireland has a Switching Code that’s designed to make the process as quick and painless as possible. Also, each bank must comply with this code too.

Find out how you can easily switch banks here and what fees each bank will charge here. Happy savings, one and all!

Brought to you by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC)