The media free-for-all. Organisations know now is the time to release news customers wont like. There’s a good chance some news is going to slip the net right now for obvious reasons. One news story which hasn’t slipped the net is Allied Irish Bank (AIB) introducing charges for day-to-day banking. Here’s what will be charged for and, more importantly, how you can avoid these charges using Revolut or Curve.
What Charges Will AIB Introduce?
From the end of May, AIB will increase the cost of personal banking for some consumers. Unless you have a student account, graduate account, basic bank account, are over 66 or have a current account with a mortgage, you will now face:
- A quarterly €4.50 maintenance fee
- One cent charge per contactless transaction
- Getting money at an ATM will cost 35 cent
- Over the counter transactions will cost 39 cent
If you’re one of AIB’s affected customers, you’ll be paying considerably more money for having an account. According to Bonkers.ie, the average customer will likely grab cash from an ATM five times in a month, make five chip and pin transactions, 10 direct debits and 31 contactless payments per month. This customer would now be charged €6.56 a month or just under €80 a year.
Speaking about entertainment in the past, I’ve used the term “death by a thousand cuts” and this is just another addition to that whole idea. We’re all slowly having the pennies dragged out of us by services and banks. The good news is that there are free ways we can avoid charges for day-to-day banking.
Avoiding AIB’s Day-to-day Banking Fees
The first way to avoid AIB’s fees is to be a customer with a student account, graduate account, basic bank account, are over 66 or have a current account with a mortgage. However, for the many who don’t fall into these categories, what options are there?
Get a Revolut Account
Revolut is a truly digital bank. They a digital bank to the point where they have no physical buildings or ATMs. This means they don’t have the same running costs. The result is savings passed onto customers. Because of this, I’ve sung the praises of Revolut for many years now.
It’s free to get a Revolut account. Premium membership is an option but it’s far from necessary. There are many benefits to having a Revolut account. I love mine when travelling because I can use my card in local currency. I even used it in South Korea last year, always paying the best live interbank exchange rate at the time of transaction.
Other benefits include being able to pay on websites like Amazon or ASOS in Sterling instead of using their own exchange rates and of course, being able to split bills and transfer money to friends instantly.
But that’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to avoid AIB fees. When you have a Revolut account, you can top up your account instantly using the card of another bank. For me, I have my own debit cards, credit cards and my better halves debit card connected to my Revolut account. This means with the click of a button I can add money from anywhere. By adding your AIB card to your Revolut you can avoid day-to-day banking fees simply by transferring funds into your Revolut account you’ll now have a new card to pay with or withdraw cash where fees are no longer an issue.
Revolut does have some limits on free cash withdrawals, but the savings alone for contactless and chip and pin payments means you could make a sizeable saving. I’ve reached out to Revolut to see if there would still be fees paid every time you top up your account.
Hey @RevolutApp – @AIBIreland is introducing fees for day-to-day banking. My logic would be to link your AIB account to a Revolut account and use Revolut for payments. However, do you know if AIBs fees would lead to a charge every time you top up your Revolut from an AIB card?
— Marty Meany (@martinmeany) March 10, 2020
Sign up to Revolut using this link and you’ll get some sort of benefit. It changes on a regular basis.*
Get a Curve Card
I’m honestly shocked more people don’t have a Curve Card. I find mine extremely handy. In search of the best digital bank, I’ve ended up with many accounts in my name. I have a Revolut debit card, a Bank of Ireland debit card and both KBC debit and credit cards. I use a Secrid wallet so space in there is a premium. I don’t want to be carrying around loads of cards unnecessarily.
Instead, I just have to carry a Curve Card. Quite honestly, I’m not even sure how it works but it’s brilliant. The Curve card itself looks like any regular debit card. The difference is that your Curve card represents another account. Using the Curve app, I link my bank cards to Curve and then select which card I want to pay with.
Instead of carrying four cards, I carry just one.
The benefits of this for me was the fact that me and my partner use my of Bank of Ireland account as a joint account. I leave her with the card but always have the Curve card in my wallet linked to that Bank of Ireland card. It’s great because my Bank of Ireland account doesn’t allow for multiple cards on the account. A handy workaround.
While Revolut is the safer option, my theory here is that when you pay with a Curve card, you sidestep the fees. I’ve reached out to them to see if this is the case.
Hey @imaginecurve – question. @AIBIreland is introducing fees for contactless payments, chip and pin payments along with ATM withdrawals. If I use my Curve card for these actions while linked to my AIB account, would I still pay fees?
— Marty Meany (@martinmeany) March 10, 2020
Regardless, Curve is certainly handy and might be worth having anyway.
Sign up for Curve using this link and you’ll get a fiver, just for signing up.*
Update: Curve responded to my query stating “from our understanding, AIB are going to start charging fees for all transactions that are contactless, POS or ATM withdrawals, regardless of the merchant.
Unfortunately you may still incur these fees when using Curve as we pass on the MCC code to your bank. The merchant category code holds information that allows your bank to see how you’ve paid and if it was a cash withdrawal.”
* This is a referral link. This means, by signing up using this link you’ll get a benefit like a free card, or some money in your account. Generally speaking, it means I’ll get something too. I wrote this article to help you save money, not to promote a product I don’t believe in. I use both Revolut and Curve daily and know they are great services.