Time to switch? Turns out sticking with your current account could be losing you money 4 weeks ago

Time to switch? Turns out sticking with your current account could be losing you money

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

Now, who doesn't love a bargain?

Most of us, for the most part, try and save. We do our best to find the most affordable clothing, we'll pull into the garage offering the cheapest fuel and we might even do a 'bulk buy' to save on those non-perishable goods in the supermarket and save in the long run.

Yet, when it comes to banking, plenty of us are quite slow to change our current account even if it means we could make savings.

Whether you're looking to switch current accounts or you're opening a current account for the very first time, be sure to use the CCPC money tool to compare current accounts across banks and spot the savings you could make. The tools are free to use, independent and up-to-date.

Here are a few elements entirely worth taking note of and understanding if you're looking to save money on your current account.

Fees

So, there are regular fees and there are travelling fees.

Regular fees are what your bank charges you for the maintenance of your account; so 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).

These fees are small, but they sure can add up over time, so keep an eye on them. Find out how you can use your account to see how you might save on these fees. For example, do you make a lot of unnecessary ATM withdrawals which are bumping up your transaction fees? Sometimes a small change in your banking behaviour could lead to big savings in your fees.

Also, if you have an overdraft (for any youths reading this, that's when you're in the minus figures, friends) be aware that this can cost you even more in fees, with some banks charging nearly €13 for a returned direct debit (when, for example, your gym tries to take out the money you owe them, but you simply don't have the funds to pay).

Travelling fees are those you could be charged when you're on holidays. Know how much your bank will charge you for taking money out of a foreign ATM and when you make card payments abroad. Don't forget to account for the exchange rate too.

You can check out what fees each bank will charge right here.

Category of Account

Think of it like this — what category do you fall under in terms of age, financial circumstances, etcetera? 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 are unemployed, in a difficult financial situation and would struggle to pay costs on a current account, you may 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.

Your salary 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 CPC's 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 could do with some extra saving encouragement.

Rewards

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 get money off by spending a certain amount. If that spending is something you do anyway, 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.

Well, everyone, happy banking! We're off to make some savings.

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

Check out if switching is worth your while, take a look at the CCPC money tool here.