/ 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
Travel_Lite says:
20 March 2012

Latest update from Ryanair re: Ryanair Pre-paid Card (Passport) as of March 20, 2012

‘Do not use Firefox when applying as there is a know issue. Use Internet Explorer or Chrome instead’.

Both of my attempts to apply using the latest version of MS Explorer were met with a “We are unable to continue with your online Ryanair Cash Passport Registration at this time. Please go to http://www.cashpassport.com/ryanair.” message at the very end of the process. Slightly more worrying, I’ve witnessed no indication that the application site is using a secure page on any of the browsers. I’ll give Chrome a whirl but have little faith in this process.

Guest
Travel_Lite says:
21 March 2012

Application update. Now it seems that Ryanair don’t like the card that I’m attempting to use to load the Ryanair Pre-paid ‘passport’ with. The same Visa debit card that has faithfully served for over twenty years, one that is substantially in credit and was used today on Amazon. Could they be objecting to the colour, the sheen (or lack of)…who knows…in their email they refuse to give a reason. Far be it from me to suggest that they are severely restricting the allocation on spurious grounds. All I know is that I’ve switched my business to an alternate carrier.

Guest
Fabio says:
26 March 2012

I am tired of all this extra cost this Company charge to its clients!!
I was buying 2 tickets return (2 people) and they charge us for 4 transactions paying with debit cards or any other method!!! Thsi is simply ridiculous! I understand they want to get money…but the transaction is only one and they should charge only once and not 4 times = £ 24 !!!!
Why the governemnt is not doing anything? Why all the other companies are clear on costs and Ryanair is allowed to do whatever they want??! Disgusting! Is it poosible to do something against this extra costs?
Thanks

Guest
Richard says:
1 April 2012

My wife and I have both failed to get beyond the ‘sorry, can’t complete processing’ error message despite using various browsers and computers. It feels like a con to me. Is there a consumer watchdog I can take this up with?

Guest
john says:
2 April 2012

Stop getting your knickers in a twist !

Email – access_cardservices@mastercard.com and confirm your name, address and last day of the attempt in trying to obtain the card.

They will email you back along with a single page (maybe 2 pages) application form and ask that you complete and return with scanned – Identification and Proof of Address.

Once replied with the docs they will email you back account details

You then top up with the minimum £150 and the card will follow 2 / 3 days later

Could not be easier !

Guest
Rob says:
24 April 2012

Reply to john’s post: Very helpful post, thank you. However after 3 days nobody had contacted me so I then phoned up & spoke with customer services who put me on hold while they searched for the email I had sent. Once they came back to me they had said that they did receive my email & would send it right there & then. So it seems that they may need a little bit of a push. After finally receiving my card i’ve noticed at every little corner of this process is just another way to try & not let you have the card. You need to be persistant with them & do your home work, if your reading here then you’ve already done half the job. The reviews here helped me alot & i hope mine help even further 🙂

Also it worth noting that if when you call them you will be calling from a mobile phone then i advise you to phone them on 01733 457 816 which gives you the exact same service. I found it via http://www.saynoto0870.com a website that have saved me bucket loads by providing alternative numbers to the costly ones (particulary when calling from mobile phones as you will normally get 01 02 03 numbers, as these are normally included in your minutes allowance with your mobile phone provider)

Guest
Wynne says:
2 April 2012

I have used the Ryanair card for one set of transactions and I would now like to cancel it but it is not at all clear how to do this. Can anybody help me please.

Guest
Rob says:
17 April 2012

I have literally just phoned them up to ask them this exact question. Its pretty easy, basically just make sure you spend all the funds on the card then phone up & advise them that you would like to cancel the card & since you have no funds on the card you will not be charged. The operator herself told me this. If you have a remaining balance on the card then i think it was 10 pounds that she said would be taken. So yeah thats quite easy.

In a nut shell – aslong as you use the card every 6 months do avoid the in-activity use then you will be fine. But this now costs 50p, but hey whats 50p every 6 months when you save 6 pound each flight. Its still more that you will be saving.

Guest
Rob says:
17 April 2012

forgot to mention.. if you cancel in the first 14 days known as the ‘cooling off perioud’ you will not be charged anything & they will transfer any remaining funds to another card which is in your name. personally i would try & spend the remaining balance & pay the 50p fee than letting them waste more of your time giving them your other bank account details as you also have to wait upto 30 days for them to transfer the remaining funds. the cooling off perioud is part of your statutory rights that these companies must abide by

Guest
Fabio says:
2 April 2012

I have the Ryanair card. I had the saem problems you are experiencing to get the card.Their server is not working at all…So any time you try to get the card online, you will have always the same message “sorry..bla bla bla…” So you need to write them and ask for a Manually application. they will reply you within 2 days telling everything is ok and you are able to get your card. You’ll need to pay the minimum £ 150+£ 6 fee from your bank account into theirs…You will get the card in one day. Active it online and all the nextr reloads must be done from your bank account (fast payment). Otherwise if you try to reload online, your fund will pending for a week without going into the Ryanair card. Ridiculous I know…. I had arguments with them over the phone since last friday. Basically if you get the card with the manul procedure you will not able NEVER EVER to reload it online…Only bank transfer…They system are preatty s***t ! the service they offer is s***t! Ryanair is a company that should be fined for all these things…and European Community doent care at all. The last ridiculous thing is that now they charge you for a luggage (Kg 15 only !!! ) £50 return !!! They have introduced high/low season for the luggages fees!!!!!! DISGUSTING!!!!
I still dont understand why they are allowed to do this to their customers…Government must to do something!!!

Guest
Rob says:
24 April 2012

Just received my card today so im quite happy about that 🙂 ..basically i just wanted to write again to say that all though I did the procedure the manual way (furthermore to the post above about not being able to reload online via their website if card was purchased manually) i have just succesfully reloaded my card the online way via their website with no problems. i checked my ryanair’s passport card online account & the funds were there immediately after. this is very good news for those of you out there that wernt able to do this before & could only reload via internet/phone banking, i take it that ‘Cash Passport’ have updated there systems & funny enough before i did all this i was unable to access their website for 20 mins or so as it said the site was under maintenance so they could have just updated that feature then. this now means that because you dont have to wait upto 5 days for payments via internet banking to go through you can simply top up the amount you want right before you use the card.

Guest
Travel_lite says:
2 April 2012

Thank you Fabio. I share your frustration
Whilst Ryanair’s ticket prices might be initially attractive and – after negotiating your way through their website minefield – you might save a few bob over rival airlines I have finally accepted that it simply isn’t worth the hassle and have switched my custom to Aer Lingus. They don’t display the same arrogance (which has filtered down to ground staff level with Ryanair) and use main airports. You can, therefore, stick your pre-paid card where the sun doesn’t shine Ryanair!
PS Thought there was supposed to be a new emphasis of businesses putting customers before profits? Start being honest and up-front Mr O’Leary before more do I as did.

Guest
Travel_lite says:
25 April 2012

Thanks Rob for a helpful update. I too endorse ‘www.saynoto0870.com as a way of getting around the money leeching nasty telephone contact numbers that greedy businesses use. Just enjoyed a pleasurable trip with Aer Lingus and I think that the little bit extra paid was worth every penny.

Guest
Ni-Mo says:
27 April 2012

What a condescending out of touch article. No one cares that you haven’t had a visa electron card in 10 years. If you can take the time to write such a pompous article, you could have filled in the application form on the Halifax website and got one. Electron still gets round the fees on quite a few airlines.

£12 fees might not be must to you and your cat, but to a family of 5 it makes perfect sense to jump though the hoops and save £60 off the cost of the holiday.

Again if you wouldn’t invest in a prepaid card , which is free, to avoid throwing your money away. Then you have more money than sense.

You might want to wait for “the government” to sort out the fees, i’m also waiting for the government to confirm they have made contact with E.T. The rest of us would rather not waste our money in the mean time.

So maybe you could have given some advise about where the cards can be obtained and used.

Guest
Richard says:
28 May 2012

My wife used my Ryan air passport card to purchase 3 tickets which should have saved us the £6 admin fee for 3 tickets (£18 ) and they still ended up taking the £18. Total crooks. Try getting in touch and you will end up deciding that the recruitment office for Al Qaeda is easier.

Guest
Simon says:
30 May 2012

I have discovered another Ryanair trick to rip off their passengers. I’ve just booked a flight from Poland to the UK, the price quoted was 928 Polish Zloty. According to the XE currency exchange rate website that is £169 but using Ryanair’s cash passport I got charged £182.

It’s a good job I didn’t have to add the administration charge on top of that!

Guest
Tomo says:
1 June 2012

Just booked through my own credit card as I’d heard how hard it was to get the cash passport. Am still fuming that the single payment is subject to a charge PER PERSON. No justification for that whatsoever. Where do I sign to help do something stop these extortionists?

Guest
Graeme says:
29 June 2012

As long as we have a weak Government in the UK nothing will ever be changed reagrding these outrageous fees. Forget the EU courts or anyone else. We got stranded in the Canaries due to the Icelandic volcano some time back and Ryanair simply dumped its passengers, unlike other airlines, and left them to starve at the airports. They simply refused to pay compnesation under EU law until we took them to the court in Southern Ireland and then they paid up in full!! So if you have any dispute with Ryanair dont bother taking legal action in the UK and dont bother writing to them or phoning them simply go on line and issue a summons from the Irish courts which costs you 15 euros and then hey presto.These courts get so many complaints about Ryanair they have a dedicated court official dealing with them

Guest
Ken says:
9 July 2012

I have received my card having pre loaded it with over £1000 to pay for 6 tickets. Having checked the Ryanair site before I purchased the card I went in to book the tickets only to find out that the have pulled the rote we were planning to travel on! I now want to cancel the card inside the 14 day cooling off period but can’t get through to their customer services. I have tried calling them over the past 4 days and have hung on for over 20 mins 3 times each day. I am currently hanging on now and have so far been waiting for 49 mins! Has anyone else had the same problem and can you suggest what else I can do?
Thanks

Ken

Ken

Guest
steve says:
30 July 2012

Have got a Ryanair Card Passport and have only been able to make one ticket purchase. When I tried to purchase a second, the transfer automatically crashed. This has happened since, more times than I care to remember. When I phoned customer services and was prompted to enter the card details, the recorded message advised me that my card was not recognised! Opted to speak to an advisor and have now been waiting for 90mins and holding for somebody to answer. Good job it is an 0800 number.
Something tells me that if I held on to the next millenium, I would still be waiting. This whole reloading process is a sham and the obstacles that everybody appears to hitting are there simply to ensure that you cannot avoid the £6 each way so called ‘admin charge’.

Guest
Robert says:
31 July 2012

Hi there,
Have you been a victim of Ryanair’s automatic local currency deduction from your PrePaid Credit Card? If so, this will help ruin their financial system and give you a few CHEAP flights. AND IT IS LEGAL!! Until they wake up to their problem and have to redesign their system

What you do is to get a Prepaid Credit Card. If you live outside the UK all the better. Then all you do is to load it with say a 1000 YEN. Thats about 10 Dollars. Now if you live somewhere that has a more valuable currency, when booking your flight just give the credit card details and Ryanair automatically assumes your Yen are your local currency. SIMPLE AND FEELS GOOD!

It might be good to circulate this on Twitter too. Cause chaos at RYANAIR! AND Mastercard who obviously support their scam. Make them have a wake up day.

Now, if they come back to you and demand further payment, this will be an admission of fraud on previous transactions where they have converted currencies other than your local currnecy at another rate, without your authorisation and also have failed to notify you of the error. This is part of regulations pertaining to credit card transactions.

Guest
john says:
31 July 2012

I have never had a problem with the ryanair cash passport – have booked a number of flights now using it over the last few months.

Called my bank on friday and topped up with £100 – my bank advised that the payment would not go through until monday which was fine. On monday i received an email from Ryanair confirming receipt of my deposit.

You will note i managed to deposit less than the £150 minimum which i always thought i would be able to as they cant really control payments in ?

Guest
Dan says:
6 August 2012

If the government/ OFT bring in a total ban or surcharges, Ryanair will simply increase the price of it’s base fares, or find another way to make you pay a fee.

Ryanair, 905 of the time, is the cheapest airline to get me where I want to be, and personaly, I’d rather have the option of not paying for my bag, rather than just have the baggage fee put in with the cost of my flight in a “one size fits all” type deal.

People bleat on about lack of transparancy and being “rippeed off” I think the non low-cost are less transparent by not breaking down costs and lumping it all together in an inflated price, which usually still works out more expensive than ryanair after all the add ons.

Having a choice of weather to board the plane first, or weather to take a bag, or if I want food and drink on my flight, rather than paying for it all, regardless of if I want it or not, for me, is a better option.

and no, I dont, and never have worked for Ryanair. i just like the fact that they get me where I want to be, on time, at the lowest price. Thatl, for me, is all there is to it.

Guest
john says:
6 August 2012

agreed

Guest
Linda Sloan says:
8 August 2012

Please do be careful. I do fly frequently with Ryanair so decided to get the Cash Passport to reduce the additional charges. First it took several weeks to get the card. I was unable to apply on line (error messages), changed browser etc.. But to no avail. I refused to give up, clearly thinking about the money savings and rang them and made a paper application. Weeks later card arrived & I was able to reload it & book flights. Then came the big problem. I tried to reload my card on line 2 days ago in order to book some flights. I made 6 attempts using 2 different credit cards because it repeatedly gave me the error message “We are sorry, but for security reasons, based on the information you have provided, we are unable to process your Cash Passport order”. When I rang them i was told it was due to an address discrepancy, so I rang my credit card company only to be told that the transactions had been authorised and my account was frozen. In fact £1196 had been taken from my 2 accounts. All I had wanted was to transfer £204 in order to book 3 flights. I have not had the money returned. I was told last night that they are in process of faxing my credit card companies to release the money. So please do be careful…..and government…please stop these card charges.

Guest
Andrew says:
8 September 2012

I usually buy one way flights as I am never sure when I will return, however I now find out that you cannot book a flight in Euros with the passport card . You can buy everthing else in Euros other than a Ryanair flight with a Ryanair card, I knew there had to a catch but only found it after I had bought
Anyone else have this problem

Guest

I am not sure why you have had a problem.

I have been regularly using the passport card without a problem – i also book flights with a stop off as it lowers the price and so i book say Madrid to London and am forced to book in euros. The booking always goes through without a problem.

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.

Guest

Sorry Simon, wrong email address. It’s conversation.comments@Which.co.uk Thanks!

Guest
Chris Smith says:
14 November 2012

I am a very regular Ryanair traveller. Feel free to feel sorry for me. I have purchased over 100 flights with my cash passport for myself and friends. Massive savings for me and then they blame the OFT. Well done OFT say I. The god thing is all debit cards should in future attract low or nil charges.

I also decided to get a RYanair credit card as it promised free flights if my spend levels were high enough, which they have been. Good old Ryanair sent me a voucher for free flights. I have tried to use this 4 times now without success. When I call them to get a flight they say it is available but their underlying charges for tax and using my card!!!! Were always more than the advertised cost of the flight. Yes no kidding the free flight was more expensive than the full price. Only could Ryanair come up with these freebies.

I’ve sent them an email informing them my credit card in now shredded and in the bin, and told them why. I await their response with baited breath.

Guest
Travel_lite says:
14 November 2012

I think I’d not be taxing my respiratory system awaiting a response Chris.

Guest

Ah, bated breath. No chewing on worms then? 🙂

Guest

I’m sure Simon, Michelle and others were ‘chewing on worms’ waiting to see what we did with their information. Well we published a new Conversation and news story. Join the latest debate here: https://conversation.which.co.uk/money/ryanair-cash-passport-admin-booking-fee-flight-prepaid-card-oft/

‘More than 50,000 people supported our campaign to end rip off surcharges. We want businesses to be transparent and make costs clear to consumers. Companies should show surcharges clearly in the headline price so that people can make an easy comparison and this charge should be a genuine reflection of the cost of processing a payment.

‘Airlines should not use the government’s ban on excessive surcharges as an excuse to push up prices. When the new rules come into effect, we want to see a tough enforcement regime in place to make sure firms are held to account if they flout the ban.’

Guest
Kris says:
5 December 2012

Back to normal for some routes from Poland to Scandinavia. No administration fee in January and February. You can buy the ticket for 20p using any debit card. example: WMI-Rygge 28 Jan total cost 1 PLN this is about 20p.

Guest
Mike says:
30 January 2013

Beware – Ryanair passport is just another one of their cons.
They charge you £2.50 if you don’t use it over a 6 month period.
They charge you 50 pence for each transaction in UK
They also charge your UK transactions at an exchange rate of 1.
You eventually get this back, but it does prevent you from making a transaction that leaves nothing in the passport.
So one way or another they are going to con you out of money.
Don’t get a card and dont fly by Ryanair as they just treat you like cattle.

Guest
john says:
30 January 2013

were these charges not already divulged at the point of application – they were when i signed up !

anyway as they card no longer avoids the booking charge – i cant see many people signing up anymore

Guest
Yippee says:
2 February 2013

It feels great that ryanair are charging admin fees for every single flight. They must be really chuffed that theres no way round the admin fee. The OFT have done a great job (sarcastic tone) I think they should go teach barcelona how to play football. Mayb they’ll put them into administration once they lose every game after their fantastic coaching advice. Is the OFT really this useless…. muppets

Guest

Rob Posted 24 April 2012 at 8:03 pm that you can use the number 01733 457 816 if you are calling from a mobile. He got it from http://www.saynoto0870.com. However, I tried it and the first thing you hear when connected is ‘this number is for reverse charged or collect calls’. I put the phone down in case that means I will be charged an exhorbitant amount for the call. This card is a right royal pain in the a**e and I am cancelling mine. The problem is how to do it with the least penalty! Odious Ryanair.