Ryanair dumps Visa Electron as free payment method

Ryanair, the world’s most hated airline, is to make MasterCard Prepaid cards the only form of free payment for consumers booking flights on its website from the end of December, dumping VISA electron in the process.

Until now, Visa Electron cards have been the only fee-free payment method with the carrier, but from 31 December that will switch to MasterCard Prepaid cards. Visa Electron will now carry a €5 administration charge.

Ryanair claims that MasterCard Prepaid cards are more widely available across Europe, with Visa Electron unavailable in Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands and Portugal.

It follows news that financial services brands such as Abbey and Travelex are to discontinue their Visa Electron products in 2010. However, Halifax and Bank of Scotland (BoS) have said they will continue to offer Visa Electron cards.

More to follow soon…

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14 thoughts on “Ryanair dumps Visa Electron as free payment method

  1. YOU CANNOT GET A MASTERCARD PREPAID WITHOUT HAVING TO PAY EITHER A MONTHLY FEE OR TOP UP FEE SO WHATEVER YOU DO ONE WAY OR ANOTHER IT IS NOW GOING TO COST EVERYBODY MORE TO BOOK WITH RYANAIR.

  2. I strongly object to being required to pay to pay. So have a good a meal and a few pints before you board! then use their facilities. or don’t. it doesn’t matter. you’re on the plane with it.

  3. I think it’s a good move.

    Most people flying Ryanair are younger ones, except for the case they have a monopoly which they sadly have on some routes. In continental Europe (I know it for Germany and the Netherlands) younger people do very often own such a prepaid card because they won’t be easiely given a “normal” credit card, except for the case they have enough money on ther account so the bank can be sure the monthly bill will be paid.

    Maybe Ryanair doesn’t know about that?

    I guess the charges they have to pay to MasterCard will be no different to the ones for “normal” cards..

  4. Actually,the Visa Electron is widely used in Portugal and beeing issued by most Banks. In the oher hand the pre-paid Master card is only issued at the moment by 1 Bank.

    Ryanair has just opened its 1st Base in Portugal and also started its 1st domestic flight…so at the moment there is an “madness” among people about it. Even so,alot have been cought up in the scambles of ryanair,and WORD is starting to spread!!

  5. It’s Ryanair, as soon as most/or many of their so called ‘well trained passengers’ will use mastercard prepaid they’ll – surprisingly – change their policy again.. And I think this is also why they changed it this time.

    It’s the only airline company in the world chargeing their frequent flyers competing the companys loyality scheme (surprisingly still ‘Ryanair Visa’)

    Trying to escape their charges is like competing in a lottery.

    It’s the little fees that make the “big” fare (and create the income of that company)

  6. It’s my understanding that Ryanair has to have a free booking bit of plastic because if they didn’t their ads in the UK and online would have to include their add-on charges upfront before the passenger books anything.

    This would be a bit of a turn off for the airline because their prices would then be shown not to be the bargains they claim when potential passengers check out flight prices online.

    Their up-front prices (as you all know) really don’t bear any relation to what passengers actually pay when they click the final keystroke.

  7. Hello Robin,

    You are spot on there. If they don’t offer a free payment method, all up front charges MUST be displayed in any advertising they do.

    Suddenly that “£189 return fare to Dublin” doesn’t look so attractive eh!

    Regards,
    IHR

  8. I wonder from which city this ‘cheap’ 189 pound return to Dublin is. I have booked a return Amsterdam -Dublin flight in the last week of February, for 150 euro all in from the ‘high fares’ airline Aer Lingus. I have a small bag, which I will not check in but take into the cabin, though. Also: the euro is less than the pound.

  9. I telephoned the Office of Fair Trading and they said that RYANAIR will still be operating (once Electron is gone) a free to book facility & the loop hole seems to be that it is a charge from MASTERCARD that will be made per transaction/enrollment fee or whatever. It is not a RYANAIR charge.

  10. I strongly object to being required to pay to pay. So have a good a meal and a few pints before you board! then use their facilities. or don’t. it doesn’t matter. you’re on the plane with it.

  11. I think it’s a good move.

    Most people flying Ryanair are younger ones, except for the case they have a monopoly which they sadly have on some routes. In continental Europe (I know it for Germany and the Netherlands) younger people do very often own such a prepaid card because they won’t be easiely given a “normal” credit card, except for the case they have enough money on ther account so the bank can be sure the monthly bill will be paid.

    Maybe Ryanair doesn’t know about that?

    I guess the charges they have to pay to MasterCard will be no different to the ones for “normal” cards..

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