Compare Ireland’s Best Credit Cards
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Your complete guide to credit cards in Ireland
Credit cards are a convenient and secure way to pay. Here’s what you need to know about credit in Ireland and how to pick the right card for your needs.
Our expert says
Credit cards are a safe and convenient way to buy now and pay later.
There are several types of credit cards, with a range of features to suit every financial need.
Purchase cards often come with an 0% introductory discount which means you can enjoy interest-free spending for up to 12 months. Reward cards give you cashback when you shop and sometimes the chance to earn travel perks or discounts. If you already have a credit card, balance transfer cards let you move your existing debt to cut interest costs and clear your balance faster.
Our advice is to take your time to understand how credit cards work and what type of card would suit you best. Compare interest rates to find the best deal and check for any extra fees and charges.
The best credit cards have a low APR (Annual Percentage Rate) and a long introductory offer period so you can benefit from interest-free purchases and balances for longer.
Credit cards roundup
Summer credit card spending mixed overall
16/09/2023: The Bank of Ireland’s Spending Pulse report showed that retail and leisure spending was mixed but largely flat during the summer months across Ireland.
A fall in debit and credit card spending in June was followed by a slight uptick in July, but a wet August spelt gloom for hotels, pubs and restaurants, with a 4% spending drop compared to July. Tourist attractions, which traditionally do well in the summer holidays, were the only leisure sector to see a rise as families visited amusement parks and indoor attractions to escape the poor weather.
Debit and credit card spending subdued in June
07/07/2023: Debit and credit card spending dropped 6% in June compared to May, which saw a steep rise. The trend reflects last year’s June figures and is thought to be due to a 5% fall in social spending and the holiday season, which saw spending abroad increase significantly. The Bank of Ireland comments that it expects an uplift in July, especially in the restaurant and pub industries.
Our credit wise tips
A credit card can be a great spending partner when used wisely. Here’s our quick tips for managing your credit card to keep borrowing costs under control.
Don't miss payments
If you miss payments or pay late, you could incur penalties and extra fees on top of interest. If it happens regularly, it may count against your credit record and make future borrowing more expensive. Set up a direct debit and pay at least the minimum payment each month.
Pay your balance in full every month
When possible, pay your entire balance off in full every month. This way you’ll avoid paying interest on the borrowed money and pay off your debt quicker. If you can’t clear the outstanding balance, pay as much as you can afford when the balance is due.
Use for purchases not cash withdrawals
Whilst credit cards are a safe and convenient way to shop online or in stores, using your credit card for cash withdrawals can be costly. You’ll have to pay a cash advance fee and could get charged a higher interest rate.
Consider transferring your balance
If you have an existing card debt, consider a credit card with an introductory balance transfer deal. Moving your balance to a 0% credit card could cut interest fees and pay off your balance more quickly. Make sure you repay the debt within the discount period and avoid using your card for purchases.
Keep an eye on transaction fees abroad
It’s tempting to pay for everything by card on holiday. Paying with a credit card is easy, provides protection and saves juggling new currencies. However, foreign transactions and ATM fees abroad can quickly add up, leaving you with a hefty price to pay on your return.
Use a credit card comparison before you apply
It’s often easier to apply for financial products with your existing bank, but they don’t always offer the cheapest or most suitable deal for your needs. Find out how to pick the right credit card in our complete guide to credit cards and use our credit card comparison to search for the best offers.
What is the Typical APR?
APR is the annual percentage rate and indicates the total cost of credit, including stamp duty. Typical APR is the rate most borrowers are offered based on the average APR charged by issuers.
What is the minimum repayment?
It’s the minimum amount you must pay monthly towards your credit card balance. If you don’t cover it, you’ll be charged late payment fees, pay extra interest and could risk harming your credit score.
What is Government Stamp Duty?
Your card provider is responsible for collecting stamp duty on behalf of the Revenue. Your credit card account will be charged annually in April with stamp duty. It’s currently €30 per year.