/ Travel & Leisure

Ryanair says use our card or pay up. We say no thanks

Tail of a Ryanair airplane

As we work on a hat trick of successes to get rid of surcharges, Ryanair delivers the third iteration of its free payment method – a Ryanair Cash Passport. Get one, or pay £6 per person extra – sound like a good deal?

Ryanair always justifies its admin fee (or surcharge) for paying by credit or debit card because it has a free alternative to avoid the £6 per person charge.

First came the Electron card. Ah yes, let me just call my teenage niece to borrow hers as I haven’t been offered an Electron card in the last decade.

Pre-paid MasterCards

Then came the standard pre-paid MasterCard. I now understand the pros and cons of owning a pre-paid card but I confess I don’t have one, nor would I invest in one just to purchase flights.

So with just 25% of its customers using a pre-paid card to purchase Ryanair flights, they’ve taken it one step further by producing their own branded version – the Ryanair Cash Passport.

There’s a £6 charge for it – but don’t worry, you get a £6 voucher to spend with Ryanair in return. Having checked their in-flight menu, that gets me a hotdog and a bottle of water. That’s a big enough reward – no?

So if you want to avoid a fee for the privilege of paying, you’ll need a Ryanair Cash Passport. Ryanair brands it as ‘a convenient and secure way to carry money abroad, make purchases and make ATM withdrawals’.

But be warned, from April 2012 you’ll be charged 50p per non-Ryanair transactions (and a £2 to withdraw money at an ATM).

Amend the Payment Services Regulations

So will I be investing? No thank you. I’m hanging on to my cards and waiting for the government to ban debit card surcharges and cap the charge applicable to credit card surcharges.

We know the public agrees and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has backed our campaign. We now have to wait patiently for action.

There are two ways Ryanair could be challenged about this in the near future – through price transparency issues which the OFT could challenge. There’s a legal process which needs to take place before the OFT can take enforcement action so watch this space.

And then of course there’s the government’s Mark Hoban who could change the Payment Services Regulation to ban debit card surcharges. This would result in fewer consumers being cornered into needing a company’s own payment method when they could use their debit card for free!

Do you feel forced into purchasing a Ryanair Cash Passport to avoid a payment surcharge or will you be waiting for the government to take action? I know where I stand.

Comments
Guest
Andrew says:
10 September 2012

Thanks John I will try again nexttime, had to use debit card this time

Guest
Michelle says:
3 November 2012

And now to top it all off, we’ve been notified that we won’t be able to save £6 card charge any more even if we use Cash Passport. BUT …… wait for it …..I CANNOT just close my account and withdraw the money that is still on the card. However I claim the money back – it will cost me. Anybody know how I can get my money out and close the card down without incurring further costs? Please help – I HATE this company. Have sent them message upon message but no reply.

Guest
Simon says:
4 November 2012

I’m in the same situation. I only got the card to avoid the admin charges. I have £88 still on the card, but will get charged using it for any transactions I make. Ryan Air say that if you spend £2,000 on your Cash Passport you’ll earn one return flight – BUT you have to spend that £2,000 in one calendar quarter, how many people are likely to spend £2000 in 3 months?

Guest

Hello Michelle and Simon, this sounds interesting (but also very annoying). Do you know when the change came about?

Guest
Simon says:
4 November 2012

This was the email I received yesterday:

Dear Cardholder,
Firstly we would like to thank you for purchasing a Ryanair Cash Passport card. We have seen thousands of our cardholders benefit from the offer of avoiding the admin fee charge on Ryanair.com since the launch of the card on 1st October 2011. We thank you for your continued support.
It is with regret that we write to inform you that, as a result of decisions by the UK Office of Fair Trading, Ryanair Cash Passport card users will no longer benefit from avoiding the £6 admin fee for transactions made on Ryanair.com from 1st December 2012. While we are disappointed at this development, Ryanair is obliged to honour the decisions of the UK Office of Fair Trading.
We are committed to providing you, the cardholder, with further updates on card promotions and intend on notifying you shortly on our planned changes in the card offering.

Guest

Hello Simon, if you’re able, would you be able to forward this email to us at conversation.comments@which.co.uk Thanks, Patrick.

Guest
Michelle says:
4 November 2012

Patrick, it’s effective from 1st December 2012.

Guest
travel_lite says:
5 November 2012

I am now,so pleased that Ryanair made the application so arduous Yippeee…not burdened with their odious card! (but feel sorry for those who are).

Guest
Simon says:
5 November 2012

Patrick – I’ve sent you a copy of the email as requested.