Avoid Ryanair booking charges with pre paid mastercard by FairFx

Ryanair, the World’s most hated airline, have now scrapped the Visa Electron as a free payment method and are now only accepting pre-paid Mastercards.

About 20m people took out a Visa Electron card to take advantage of the perk that allowed them to avoid the £5 fee levied per passenger per journey for bookings made with a credit or debit card. Now the scumbags have taken this perk away.

The change means two adults taking return flights will have to pay £20 in charges, even if the flights are booked on the same card in the same transaction. Only customers paying with a pre-paid MasterCard will escape the fee.

We took a look at a few providers of pre-paid cards and highly recommend the FairFx pre-paid Mastercard for it’s low fees and easy application process:

  • The FairFX Card allows UK residents to own a pre-paid currency card in Euros or US Dollars
  • Unlike most credit or debit cards issued in the UK, because the FairFX card is denominated in a foreign currency, when you use it abroad to pay for goods you won’t be charged any transaction fee
  • There is a low fee of €1.50 or $2.00 for cash withdrawals
  • Because money is stored in Euros or Dollars you won’t suffer from uncompetitive exchange rates when using the card. Card users can typically expect to save as much as 10% on Euro and US Dollar exchange rates.
  • There is no charge for purchases when you’re in the Eurozone or the USA

20 thoughts on “Avoid Ryanair booking charges with pre paid mastercard by FairFx

  1. Ryanair hate me.

    I booked with electron and now book with mastercard.
    I dont book any frills, Dont buy anything on the flights, No travel insurance and dont check a bag.

    Thanks Mick
    Ha Ha

  2. I was going to say the same as Federico .

    David , Ryanair love you , airports and local governments pay Ryanair millions to pass certain passenger number targets , so while you are celebrating not buying that packet of peanuts , you have probably just help earn them another 3 Million Euros .

  3. I do not think there is any inconsistency in being contemptuous of Ryan Air and still using them. They organise local monopolies where I come from (South of France) and run away, eg from Montpellier, as soon as any competition (eg Easyjet), shows up. Then of course you stop using them. But if it is Bezier or Rodez that you need then it is Ryan Air or nowt. So you have to go on using them. But even though you have to go on using them they are still cowards and bullies. And you are perfectly entitled to say so. Perhaps we should start calling them IRAynair.

    With regard to his “puerile” scams, surely O’Leary has cost his shareholders far more money through his incompetent grasp of finance that he can ever win back with his incessant bullying of his customers. Like most bullies – somehow, inexorably, words like despot, Uganda, Zimbabwe force their way into one’s mind – I truly believe he does it just for fun and surrounds himself with sycophants to do the necessary sucking up. I have witnessed a number of incidents that have really made me syc. I guess I have been lucky in that I have managed thus far to avoid being caught personally but I think O’Leary trains his staff to pick on the weak, typically women encumbered with children (and the bottles and bags this inevitably entails), or who are young and cannot understand English properly, or who just look nervous in some way. They tried it on my wife. God knows why as she is tall, smart, French, a Paris Universities sprint finalist and and a bruising cavalry rider. And, having lived in London throughout the IRA offensive against her (as well as, inter alia, children and horses) she gets to white heat in a nano second if anyone or anything Eirish starts to threaten her. So it was a mistake to try their bag scam on her. She tore a broad orange strip off them so loudly and so fast and so quickly mustered support from her countrymen in the queue, doubtless thunderstruck by her command of English expletives, that the slobs had to back down, muttering sullenly. So she marched triumphantly on to the plane to cheers, applause and a shower of well wishers’ visiting cards. I only wish I had been there.

    For myself I am muh sadder and just try to get back at O’Leary by out sneaking him. But he has now landed a good punch. I spent months indolently hacking my way to an electron card only to find out, nice one and I have only just found out, that the fcuk head has switched to MasterCard pre paid. Obviously I should have read this blog before.

    Any way to get finally to the point: has anyone actually successfully used a prepaid FairFx Master card with Ryan Air – other bloggs have said that other prepaid mastercards (Nelly? Neffy?) do not work – the central control codes need to be rejigged or what ever and by the time that gets fixed O’Leary will have jinked away again. So does the FairFx work and if so what is the quickest way to get one. Help please.

    Also what is this new scam about foreign exchange guarantees. Given O’Leary’s documented incompetence in the futures markets you have to believe we could collectively take him here but I guess collective is not something we peons can manage which is why bullies always get to run the cattle wagons. Specifically it seems that if you buy a ticket in sterling they are threatening an FX surcharge, blaming needless to say, your bank. Is this legal for a sterling denominated contract? If so and you pay with a Euro loaded FairFx card does this mean you avoid the FX scam or do you risk being hit twice, ie euros from the card to sterling to make the contract and then back into Euros to meake up what ever it was that O’Leary had decided he wants you to pay. I think I can guess the answer but if someone knows how it works for real I would love them to tell.

  4. bonjour a tous

    RYANAIR j aime…ca me permet depasser des .we a pris reduits
    lille marseille 2 fois par mois voiture a vitrolle gare 20 euro mensuel

    aie mon electron ne me dispense plus des frais …..alors entre la visa gold
    la master bussines et encore d autres.
    je veux bien mastercard prepaid mais pour un francais ou la trouver ?????


    merci d avance pour des renseignements judicieux

    merci pour le tuyau

  5. OK Guys, Ryanair does not win any prizes for customer service or diplomacy however it does provide a facility that allows you to fly for a relatively small amount. We recently travelled to Denmark and the total return cost (including cc fees, luggage fees etc.) was less than the cost of car hire for six days. O’Leary might be a difficult obnoxious twat at times but his company does provide a product that has some value.
    Kindest Regards.

  6. sorry am I missing the point? This whole website is about hating Ryanair and so I assume to promote not using them and switching to other providers?
    So why are you reviwing cards that make it cheaper to book with Ryanair, weird!

    Get a grip, stop wasting time on daft websites that do not worry Ryanair in the slightest. Either go Ryanair put up and shut up, taking the crap they always throw at their passengers OR go with some one better (there’s lots of them) and yes that may mean paying more money.
    The problem is too many people seem to want 5* service for £20!

    I am getting really tired of this shallow anti Ryanair talk from people who have no intention of stopping using them and just sit and whinge on every flight, in the same way people hate TESCO but cannot live without them.

    Have some balls and stand up for you convictions everyone…………

  7. Dear Chris,

    Yes, you are indeed missing the point.

    Here’s a question for you Chris…do you agree with the £5 per person, per way, credit card charge that adds £40 to a booking of 4 people?

    This charge is a complete scam. There is no justifiable reason for Ryanair to charge this.

    By offering a pre-paid MasterCard on our website, we are enabling people to save this cash.

    Just have a look at Steve’s comment above where he says “I do not think there is any inconsistency in being contemptuous of Ryan Air and still using them”.

    Of course we’d rather people boycotted them completely. We have ourselves. We are now happy to drive to a departure airport further away and happy to pay slightly more on occasion but often the same total cost for an overall experience that is far superior.

    You say “Get a grip, stop wasting time on daft websites that do not worry Ryanair in the slightest”?

    What are you doing on here Chris? And how can you be so sure that Ryanair really are not that bothered about this website?

    As you say, people can either go Ryanair and take the crap or fly with a better airline. We are just providing assistance with making the decision and an opportunity to save a few quid should the choice be Ryanair.

    And come on Chris, £20? Really now. Get a grip.

    Thanks all the same for your thoughts.


  8. when booking with prepaid credit card a fare of £149.73 comes out in euros €186.98 thats an exchange rate of 1.20872 way above todays exchange rate how can you avoid there rate.

  9. I have acquired FairFx sterling and euro prepaid mastercards this week specifically for use with Ryanair and have just tried them both. Sad to say, although no charge is shown when “prepaid mastercard” is selected, after the purchase has been made, I found that the administration charge had been levied in both cases. Sorry! I will query it.

  10. Supplementary: I tried another booking with the FairFx euro prepaid mastercard and this time was NOT made to pay the administration charge. I suspect that on the previous occasions my form-filling program had changed the “prepaid mastercard” entry to a simple “mastercard”; it shows how careful you have to be!

  11. Thanks Bernard, for trying out FairFX and for the tips.

    Sadly, I can avoid Ryanair even less now they fly from my doorstep in England to my doorstep in France.

    Many other airlines also charge for payment by debit card anyway.

  12. It looks as if a Neteller card is even better (100% free)

    Can you pay for a flight given in euros with your sterling card?
    If so, are there any additional charges?

  13. i booked 6 seats on line for a flight leaving at 19.15 pm but when ryan air sent me conformation saying that i had booked a flight leaving at 10am the same day,i know i had`nt made any mistake in the departure times…has anyone else had this problem with this shower of sh.t?

  14. @olive

    Ryanair by default convert any Euro purchase from a UK card into GBP just at the last second prior to payment, unless you untick their sneaky box on the payment screen which confirms you dont want to use their cr*p rate (e.g they convert today @1.12 EUR/GBP but with a FairFX card i get 1.192)

    Here is a link to a picture showing where you need to look:


  15. I’m confused. I have to load the FairFX Mastercard with euros when I purchase it using sterling? This will be the conversion that my current debit/credit card charges? Then when I book a Ryanair flight priced in Sterling it will get converted again from the euros on my card. Surely this will all be costly if not confusing?!

  16. A German court recently passed a law forbidding Ryanair from charging its passengers for payments made using payment cards. It allowed Ryanair to follow its refusal to take cash payments but spoke out against its card payment charges stating that the passengers were “inappropriately disadvantaged” by Ryanairs payment charges and forced Ryanair to reverse its charging scheme.
    The ruling is enforced and no appeals are allowed.
    Berlin. 20.05.2010 BGH ruling # Az. Xa ZR 68/09

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