/ 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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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 !

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)

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.

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.