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.
- Part 1 How credit cards work
- Part 2 Types of credit cards
- Part 3 Credit card costs
- Part 4 Choosing the right credit card
- Part 5 Applying for a credit card
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
Revolut launches credit card for Irish customers
23 February 2023: Revolut is to start issuing credit cards to existing Irish customers. It is the first new credit card in the Irish market for years, and will offer eligible customers interest-free spending for the first three months, as long as they pay the minimum due.
Other perks include cash-back rewards, instant, in-app approval and no additional set-up or usage fees.
Revolut began offering personal loans last year, and will begin issuing Irish IBANs to customers in the coming months.
Irish pub and restaurant goers pull their belts in
1 November 2022: According to the latest Bank of Ireland credit and debit card spending report, pub spending sunk by 28% and eating out was down by 20% during September.
Even fast food outlets have felt the bite with takeaways off the menu for many families. Credit and debit card spending in this sector is down 18% on August.
Across all sectors, credit card spending fell by 8% with young professionals reigning in their leisure spending more than those over 65s.
BOI rolls out bio-sourced debit and credit cards
27 October 2022: Bank of Ireland has started replacing plastic credit and debit cards with bio-sourced cards made from natural corn starch. The unique new cards will be provided to all new customers and existing customers when their cards expire or need replacing when damaged, lost or stolen.
The bank expects to save 17 tonnes of CO2 and 4.5 tonnes of plastic per year once the rollout is complete by 2026.
Ulster Bank gives cardholders six months to close accounts
1 September 2022: Ulster Bank is contacting their 75,000 credit card customers to tell them they have six months to pay their outstanding balance, close their card accounts and move their credit card account to a new provider.
Ulster Bank says credit cards will no longer work from the end of the six-month notice period, this means that cards will stop working from next March.
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 money you’ve borrowed 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 best card in our complete guide to credit cards and use our credit card comparison to search cheap offers.
What you need to know
Common credit card terms you may come across and need to understand.
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.
What is a credit limit?
It’s the amount your credit card provider will lend you. Your credit limit is the maximum amount you can spend on credit and is based on your income, outgoings and credit history.