The currency for the Republic of Ireland is the Euro and for Northern Ireland is the Pound Sterling. Proper currency is required when traveling between the Republic and Northern Ireland. You can exchange your current money for Euro or Pounds at the airports, Ireland banks and local ATM machines.
Opening an Account:
You’ll need two documents to open an Irish bank account: one valid form of photo ID and a document to prove your address. Your passport, driving licence or national identity card (if you’re an EU citizen) are all valid forms of photo ID. In order to prove your address, you will need to produce one of the following documents:
- a recent utility bill (less than 6 months old);
- a recent bank statement (less than 6 months old); or
- correspondence from a government department or authority.
Bank of Ireland:
Bank of Ireland is the oldest and largest bank in Ireland. It also has the largest branch and ATM network in the country. You can apply for a personal account online, and you’ll get a visa debit contactless card, online banking and an overdraft facility as standard.
Allied Irish Banks:
AIB’s Personal Current Account is free if you stay €2,500 in credit at all times. You’ll also get a visa debit card with which you can get cash-back at selected retailers. You can only apply for an account in branch, or remotely by filling in and mailing a form. In addition, contactless functionality on your visa debit card is not standard, but subject to status. This means that the bank will decide whether you’re eligible for a contactless card depending on your personal circumstances and financial situation.
Ulster Bank’s bank accounts start at €4 a month, which will be waived if you keep €3,000 in your account at all times or are aged 60 and over. You’ll get a visa debit card, access to planned overdraft facilities and an emergency cash facility which allows you to withdraw money from an ATM using only a code if your card is lost or stolen.
Visa, Mastercard/Eurocard is very widely accepted in Ireland. All hotels, gas stations, supermarkets, shops/stores, pharmacies, restaurants, transport operators, payphones, and others facilities will accept them. Other cards like American Express (AmEx) are accepted also.
Irish Laser Cards, Maestro, Visa Debit and MasterCard debit are widely accepted. Other debit cards, not carrying the Maestro, Visa Debit or MasterCard logos are not accepted. Check with your card issuer that your card is acceptable abroad before you travel.
Note: Non-Irish issued Maestro cards are generally not accepted on-line or over the phone in Ireland, but they can be used in retail outlets and ATMs where the PIN is entered.
ATMs are usually located outside bank branches, convenience stores, supermarkets, petrol stations and even bars.
Before you travel to Ireland, check with your bank that your Credit Card, Debit Card or ATM card is activated for use in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (United Kingdom). Otherwise, you may have problems withdrawing cash.