Comparing Current Accounts

Comparing and Choosing the Best Current Account for your needs

12th September 2022


credit union current account

With almost half a million customers nationwide now searching for an alternative bank, there has never been a better time to compare current accounts available in the Irish market. Now that Ulster Bank and KBC are closing their doors, individuals are having to consider – many for the first time – a change of bank. In this article, we are going talk you through the factors you may need to consider when comparing current accounts in Ireland.

At one time, it used to be considered quite a chore to change bank accounts, however, we are happy to tell you that this is no longer the case. Changing your current account to another provider right now couldn’t be easier. Here, at Croí Laighean Credit Union we have taken the time to ensure switching to a credit union current account is as easy as 1,2,3. We would like to introduce you to our digital switch form, which can be filled in from the comfort of your home at any time that is convenient for you. There are so many benefits that come from being a member of our credit union, which we welcome you to explore.

Fees, charges and hidden expenses of current account:

Right across the Irish banking system,  there are substantial differences between different providers when it comes to just how much your current account is going to cost you. Some banks will offer you a flat fee that covers most of your basic banking charges, however, it’s important to read the small print here, there could be other costs associated with your account if you go over certain withdrawal limits or breach set caps. Other banks will charge you per ATM withdrawal and for chip and pin transactions, as you can imagine these individual transactions can add up to quite a bit each month. When you choose Croí Laighean Credit Union for your current account, you can avail of the lowest rates in the country, with just a €4 per month maintenance fee and no hidden extras.

Below you will see a table we have prepared, comparing current account providers, with the range of fees and charges associated with the main high street banks and post offices in Ireland.

Current Account Providers Croí Laighean Credit Union AIB Current Account BOI Current Account An Post Current Account
Chip & Pin Transaction Free €0.20 Free Free
Contactless Payment Free Free Free Free
ATM Withdrawal Free* €0.35 Free €0.60
Set Up Standing Order Free €4.50 Free Free
Standing Order Transaction Free €0.20 Free Free
Standing Order Amendment Free €2.50 Free Free


Direct Debit Set-Up Free €0.20 Free Free
Direct Debit Fee Free €0.20 Free Free
Replace Lost or Stolen Card Free Free €5.90 Free
Order Duplicate Account Statement Free €3† €3.80† €5
Monthly Account Maintenance Fee €4 €1.50 €6 €5

*First 5 transactions are free. †Fee applies per page.

As you can see from the above figures, there are more fees associated with current accounts than you may have first considered. It is vital when comparing current accounts to be aware of all of these associated costs prior to making that big switch.

Digital Capabilities of Current Accounts:

We realise that one of the most important aspects of a modern current account is the ability to bank online, through an app or at your laptop. Croí Laighean Credit Union recently conducted a survey of 205 participants to see what the general consensus was when it came to people’s perceptions of credit unions in Ireland. This survey indicated that the most important aspect of a current account today was the ability to easily access and complete transactions online. Croí Laighean Credit Union is on a par with traditional banks when it comes to digital access.

It goes without saying that we offer online banking services, however, we have also taken considerable steps to offer our members a superior range of secure digital products that make everyday banking and borrowing as simple as possible. Our state-of-the-art mobile app is available for users of Apple devices (through the App Store), Android devices (through Google Play), and FitBit (through the FitBit App Store).


Considerable investment has gone into ensuring that our digital services are of the highest quality and are backed up by the tightest security and encryption processes available. We want all of our members to feel like they have the very best services available to them at all times, and we believe our digital capabilities are up there with the best.

In-Person Assistance at our Branches:

Another concern we have come encountered on a regular basis is that of in-person banking. Many of our members value the fact that they can walk into a credit union at any time and talk to a person face-to-face. With more high-street banks closing their doors to the public and opting for a fully digital experience, we are committed to keeping our doors open and welcoming members and non-members at all times. There is simply nothing that beats that face-to-face interaction, particularly when seeking financial advice and guidance, plus we have to admit we love the social aspect of meeting our members and taking the time to get to know you and your families in a more personal setting. A number of our branches are also open of Saturdays, either for a half day or full day, to facilitate members who may work from Monday to Friday. You simply won’t find a more personal service elsewhere!


Many factors make credit unions an incredibly secure place in which to do your banking including:

The Deposit Guarantee Scheme:

As with all financial institutions in Ireland, credit unions are covered by the Deposit Guarantee Scheme, which covers deposits of up to €100,000. If for any reason, your local credit union were to close, your hard-earned cash would be safe.

Registry of Credit Unions:

The Registry of Credit Unions (part of the Central Bank of Ireland), regulates, supervises, and is responsible for credit unions across Ireland. Their role is to protect the savings of members across each credit union in the country and to maintain the feasibility and optimum operation of each branch.

Governed by Members:

As well as being regulated and supervised by the Registry of Credit Unions, it’s important to note that each credit union in the country is governed by its members. This means that each member gets one vote and has a say in the running of the Credit Union.

Top Class Customer Service

For the past 9 years, Credit Unions have won the Customer Service Award at the CXi Awards,  Ireland’s official Customer Experience Awards. It is our mission to always provide superior service, in a setting that is both welcoming and professional, and our volunteers and staff are always delighted to assist in any way they can. Being at the heart of the community and governed by our members means that we truly want to see our local area thrive and grow. We do this by sponsoring local teams and initiatives, providing bursaries to exceptional youth, and supporting our local community in a way that makes a real difference.


Social Responsibility

Whilst this may not be top of your list when comparing current accounts and choosing a new bank, we urge you to look at all aspects of your local credit union. Our commitment to our community and our dedication to providing affordable savings and deposit options to our members means Croí Laighean Credit Union should be the first choice for you. In the past 7 years, Croí Laighean Credit Union has donated over €728,000 to worthy causes, organisations, and groups in our community through our Community Fund, Sponsorship Fund, and School Bursary programmes – something you will never find with a high street bank.

Come and talk with us today about switching your current account, and we will guide you through the many benefits of becoming a member.

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