Skip to main content

Best Savings Accounts in Ireland (2023)

Walter Dunphy| Updated September 27th, 2023

Irish savers have been earning negligible interest on their savings for well over a decade, but now finally, Banks, investment brokerages, and fintech companies are starting to offer decent interest rates to their Irish customers again.

In this blog post, we will look at the highest yield savings accounts available right now in Ireland so that you can make the most out of your savings.

After reviewing all of the savings accounts in Ireland right now, we consider Wise to be the best option for anyone who wants to earn a good interest rate (3.19%) and at the same time have easy access to their funds.

Comparison of Savings Accounts in Ireland (EUR)

Bank/Provider Interest Rate Limitations
Lightyear 3.25% No limits
Wise 3.19% No limits
Interactive Brokers 3.136% Zero Interest on Deposits < €10k
BUX Zero 2.75% Up to €25,000
Trade Republic 2.00% Up to €50,000
Allied Irish Bank 2.00% for 12 months 2% interest only on deposits of €1,000 per month, 0.10% on excess
Bunq 1.56% No limits
State Savings Up to 1.50% Products have a fixed term anywhere up to 10 years.
Trading 212 1.25% No limits
Bank of Ireland 1.00% Only on balances up to €14,999, 0.01% interest on excess

Interest Rates last updated 20 September 2023.

Lightyear

Interest rate on offer: 3.25% on Euro balances.

How often interest is paid: Interest is accrued daily and paid on the 1st of every month.

Limitations: There are no restrictions or limits on the interest you can earn with Lightyear.

Safety: Not covered by a deposit guarantee scheme, but safeguarding is in place for customer funds.

While your funds are not covered by a conventional deposit guarantee scheme when you hold them with Lightyear, they do have to safeguard customer funds. Uninvested customer funds are stored separately from Lightyear’s business funds with regulated EU credit institutions and money market funds. The primary institutions where Lightyear holds uninvested customer funds are ABN AMRO Bank in the Netherlands and AS LHV Bank in Estonia, and in BlackRock money market funds rated AAA/mmf by Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch.

Co-founded by former Wise employees, Lightyear sets out to be a platform that allows you to invest your money globally without unnecessary barriers and with a simple, fair, and transparent pricing structure.

Wise

Interest rate on offer: 3.19%.

Fees: It is free to receive money into your Wise account, but there are fees if you want to transfer or convert the cash you have on your account, starting from 0.43%.

How often is interest paid: Any interest you earn during the month will be paid at the beginning of the following month.

Limitations: There are no restrictions or limits on the interest you can earn with Wise.

Safety: You are not covered by a deposit guarantee scheme when you are using Wise, but Wise does have some safeguards in place for customer funds on European accounts, which segregate customer funds into a mix of cash in leading commercial banks (JP Morgan Chase) and low-risk liquid assets (Money Market Funds with BlackRock and State Street).

The primary target market of Wise is people looking to send and receive money internationally in a cost-effective way.

When you have funds sitting in your Wise account, you have three choices. You can hold your funds in cash, stocks, or interest. If you decide to switch your money to ‘interest,’ these funds will be invested in government-backed short-term loans and bank deposits. The interest earned (2.46%) is then passed on to you.

Interactive Brokers

Interest rate on offer:  Up to 3.136% on IBRK Pro on Euro balances.

Fees: IBKR allows one free withdrawal request per calendar month. After the first withdrawal, there is an €8 fee for all subsequent withdrawals within the month.

How often is interest paid: Any interest you earn during the month will be paid at the beginning of the following month.

Limitations: No interest paid on balances less than €10k.

Safety: As an Irish investor, you will interact with IBRK’s Irish subsidiary Interactive Brokers Ireland Limited (IBIE). There is an investor compensation scheme for Irish investors that will cover your investments to €20k.

Interactive Brokers is a renowned online brokerage firm that offers individuals and institutions a wide range of investment and trading services.

One of the key features that sets Interactive Brokers apart is its advanced trading platform. Known as Trader Workstation (TWS), this platform offers a comprehensive suite of tools and analytics to assist traders in executing their strategies effectively.

In terms of the IBKR interest rates offering, IBRK offers different interest rates on each currency, from USD to ZAR. The highest interest rate you can earn on a Euro balance will depend on how much you have on deposit with Interactive Brokers and whether you have an IBRK Pro or IBRK Lite account. The maximum interest rate on offer for each account type is 3.19% for the IBRK Pro account (for Euro balances).

Unfortunately, you won’t earn any interest on your first €10k of your Euro cash balance with IBRK.

Accounts with a Net Asset Value (NAV) of USD 100,000 or more are paid interest at the full rate for which they are eligible. Accounts with NAV of less than USD 100,000 (or equivalent) receive interest at rates proportional to the size of the account.

This makes it more challenging to determine the interest rate you will receive. Still, Interactive brokers do have a calculator you can use to try and estimate your interest earnings.

If you are interested in learning more, we have a full review of IBRK’s services.

BUX Zero

Interest rate on offer: 2.75%.

Fees: Monthly service fee of €2.99. For a full list of other fees related to their investing services, you can check out this pricing guide

How often is interest paid:  Accrued daily and paid quarterly.

Limitations: Only balances up to €25,000 will be eligible for interest.

Safety: Your uninvested cash is held with ABN AMRO Clearing Bank, which is covered by a deposit guarantee scheme of up to €100k.

Dutch Neobroker BUX Zero is still relatively new to the Irish market; they first launched in Ireland in June 2021. But BUX has grown rapidly across other European markets and now boasts over 1 million customers.

Primarily focused on stocks, ETFs, crypto, and automated investment savings plans, BUX has an intuitive and easy-to-use investing platform suitable for beginners wanting to get into investing.

Aside from their investing services, BUX also offers a decent interest rate on uninvested cash at 2.01%. This was a cheeky marketing dig at their competitor Trade Republic who offer 2.00% on uninvested cash.

Check out our full review of BUX Zero here.

Trade Republic

Interest rate on offer: 2.00%.

Fees: There is a 0.7% fee if you decide to deposit funds to your account with a credit card, debit card, ApplePay, or Google. You can read Trading Republic’s full pricing scheme here, including transaction costs associated with investing.

How often is interest paid: Paid monthly.

Limitations: Only balances up to €50,000 will be eligible for earning interest.

Safety: Your uninvested cash is held with either Solaris SE, Citibank Europe plc, Deutsche Bank AG, or J.P. Morgan SE, which are covered by a deposit guarantee scheme up to €100k.

Trade Republic is a German broker founded in 2015 and entered the Irish market in late 2022. Keen to onboard new customers, Trade Republic was quick to offer customers 2% interest on their uninvested cash.

As Trade Republic is a broker, you’ll have the added benefit of being able to invest in stocks, ETFs, and many other financial instruments, as well as earn interest on your uninvested cash.

Interested in knowing more about Trade Republic? Read our Trade Republic Review.

Allied Irish Bank

Interest rate on offer: Up to 2.00%.

Fees: No fees (Deposit Interest Retention Tax [33%] deducted automatically from Interest earned).

How often is interest paid: Interest is paid bi-annually, typically in April and October.

Limitations: Interest of 2% will only be applied on monthly deposits up to a maximum of €1,000 per month (for a 12-month period); any amounts in excess of this will revert the Online Standard Saver Rate of 0.10%. 

Safety: Your funds are covered under a deposit guarantee scheme of up to €100k.

AIB is one of the few traditional Irish banks to make our list; they recently increased their interest rates on some of their savings products. 

AIB has many savings products available to suit your needs, but just one account that offers a competitive rate of up to 2% is their Online Regular Saver Account. It is disappointing, however, to see the limitations that have been applied to this product.

AIB subsidiary EBS Building Society also has a similar product (EBS Family Savings Account) which also offers 2% interest if you deposit between €100-€1,000 per month for 12 months. This interest rate falls to 0.10% subsequently in year two.

Bunq

Interest rate on offer: 1.56%.

Fees: There are four different personal account types, each with different fee structures (Easy Savings: Free, Easy Bank: €2.99 p/m, Easy Money €8.99 p/m, Easy Green €17.99 p/m).

How often is interest paid: Paid monthly.

Limitations: You can withdraw any amount up to 2 times a month, in real-time.

Safety: Your money is covered under the deposit guarantee scheme up to €100k.

Bunq, proclaiming to be the ‘bank of the free,’ has been a fully-fledged bank since 2014. Although some of their plans can work out quite expensive, Bunq has endless features compared to a traditional bank and allows the environmentally conscious among us to make their banking CO2 free.

If you are interested in giving Bunq a go, they offer a 30-day free trial for new customers.

State Savings

Interest rate on offer: up to 1.5% (10-year National Solidarity Bond)

Fees: No fees

Limitations: Products have fixed terms, and you will have no early access to your funds.

Safety: All products are backed by the Irish State.

Another option open to savers is to go with some of the states’ savings products, which can be viewed on statesavings.ie. The highest interest rate available is on the 10-year National Solidarity Bond, which will give you an AER (Annual Equivalent Rate) of 1.5% over the 10-year term.

The benefit of the State Savings products is that any interest you earn is tax-free.

If you are interested in a unique savings product, you could always check out Prize Bonds. These work like regular savings products, but instead of receiving interest, you are placed in a weekly draw where you could win a top price of €50k, and there are four draws annually where the top prize is €250k. The face value of your deposits is also redeemable at any time.

Trading 212

Interest rate on offer: 1.25%.

Fees: Deposits via bank transfers are free, and up to a cumulative amount of €2k deposits are free when you use Cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc. (0.7% > €2k). There are no withdrawal fees.

How often is interest paid:  Interest is paid to your account daily.

Limitations: There are no limits or restrictions to the interest you can earn.

Safety: Your uninvested cash is held with multiple major EU/UK banks (including JP Morgan and Barclays), which are covered by a deposit guarantee scheme up to €100k

UK fintech company Trading 212, with over €3.5bn in customer assets, has been around a long time and has one of the best services around when it comes to investing. With many innovative features, such as their PIEs and AutoInvest, you can make investing as simple as you like. Since June 2023, Trading 212 has followed many other brokers and has started offering interest on uninvested Euro of 1.25%.

Interested in knowing more about Trading 212? Read our Trading 212 Review.

Bank of Ireland

Interest rate on offer:  Up to 1% a GoalSaver or Mortgage Saver Account

Fees: No fees (Deposit Interest Retention Tax (33%) deducted automatically from Interest earned).

How often is interest paid: Interest is paid annually, typically in March.

Limitations: You will only earn 1% interest up to an amount of €14,999. Any savings in excess of this will just earn 0.01% interest.

Safety: Your funds are covered under a deposit guarantee scheme of up to €100k.

Bank of Ireland, which is Ireland’s second-largest bank, also just makes our list. But Bank of Ireland has been very slow to pass on interest rate rises to depositors and doesn’t have a very competitive offering. The maximum savings rate you can get with Bank of Ireland right now is 1%.

How is Deposit Interest Taxed in Ireland?

If you are an Irish resident, you’ll pay Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) on the interest you earn on your savings at a rate of 33%; if your funds are invested with an Irish financial institution, then this will be automatically deducted before you are paid out your interest income. If the DIRT is not automatically deducted, then this income needs to be included in your next annual income tax return.

You won’t face any further taxes unless you have unearned income of over €5,000 and are between the ages of 16-66. In this case, you will be liable to pay a PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance) charge at a rate of 4% on your unearned income.

Final Thoughts

As the ECB continues to increase its base rate, banks, brokers, and fintech companies are coming under increased pressure to increase the interest rates they offer on deposit accounts.

Investment brokerages have led the way with offers to customers, with traditional banks lagging as usual.

This continues to be a changing space, and we expect many more rate increases in the coming months. Make sure to bookmark investingintheweb.com so you can keep up to date with all the latest rate changes for savings accounts in Ireland.

Walter Dunphy
Contributor

An ACCA-qualified professional with years of experience in creating practical personal finance-related content. Walter's mission is to make personal finance less intimidating and more accessible to everyone.

linkedin
youtube