Ryanair launches its own prepaid MasterCard

Pre-paid MasterCard holders will have to pay admin fees when booking tickets online with Ryanair.

Cardholders of pre-paid MasterCards have so far managed to avoid the £6 booking fees that debit card users have to pay when buying tickets from the airline but from 1 November the £6 booking fee will apply to pre-paid MasterCard bookings too.

Ryanair is introducing its own branded pre-paid MasterCard, the Ryanair Cash Passport, on 4 October and will waive any fees on this new card until 31 March 2012. 

From April, aside from Ryanair bookings, there will be a 50p charge on all UK transactions. Other charges also apply for withdrawing cash from a cashpoint (£2) or bank counter (£4), and a £2.50 inactivity fee applies after six months. 

Super complaint

Ryanair's card charging practices came under scrutiny earlier this year after Which? launched a super complaint against card surcharges, which the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) upheld – though no government action has followed.

Debit card surcharges 'must be banned'

Ryanair insists that the fees it levies are 'booking' fees rather than card fees and these are avoidable. Stephen McNamara, spokesperson for Ryanair, says: "Ryanair's £6 admin fee will not apply to any bookings made with the Ryanair Cash Passport but the fee will initially be taken and passengers will then be reimbursed with a £6 Ryanair travel voucher."

The airline's tactics have once again come under criticism from the industry with Steve Endacott, chief executive of holiday company On Holiday Group, calling Ryanair "hardnosed".

"You have to assume that Ryanair lawyers have found the required loop holes to get around the consumer protection laws that insist on a zero cost payment option and do not consider the OFT to have any teeth at all," he says.

"It's left to consumers to fight this on their own by saying enough is enough and boycotting Ryanair until it stops thinking they can con customers with low lead prices and then hit them with every imaginable extra cost under the sun."


Your Comments

I do not understand why people complain about Ryanair,if you pay the extras for booking ect. the end price in most cases is very reasonable.If you are not happy with the final price you can try and find a cheaper fare

This is interesting, you get a £6 voucher to spend on a flight, however they charge £5 for using a voucher (see their terms.)

For the record i love ryanair and have had 4 holidays with them with my family and for 3 of us to lanzarote it has never come to more than £60 all in - yes I avoid the charges and carry only hand luggage, but you get what you pay for and the flights have always been on time.

I hope they do stop with the fees but if this keeps the bottom fare low then so be it.

Where are all those customers you say in Joanna's newsletter, are complaining about Ryanair? So far 100 per cent of your readers seem to have no problem with it. Free world - don't travel with Ryanair if you don't want to. Plenty of alternatives. In all honesty if it were not for Ryanair and EasyJet the major international airlines like BA, AF,LH,AZ etc would still be fleecing customers as they did for many years. Good luck to low cost carriers - they are providing a great service.Why not comment for example on BA's outrageous "fuel surcharges" to/from USA,Australia and other long haul destinations. A much bigger rip off and sites like yours stay shamefully silent...

I simply refuse to fly with this tacky airline.

People are attracted by the advertised price and then, once suckered into the booking process, are surprised by the end cost.

I'm all for competition and driving costs down but the good old consumer needs to wise up to this nonsense and realise that they're being fleeced by a company that doesn't seem to care about it's own staff, let alone it's customers.

It doesn't take much research to find dissatisfaction amongst Ryanair employees. They're finding their terms and conditions squeezed for every last penny. Take a look at www.pprune.org and see for yourself. Personally, when I fly, I like to do so in the knowledge that the crews are well resourced, adequately paid and generally happy in their work. Extrapolate that as you will. I'm not saying that Ryanair are unsafe, but I am troubled by the consistent stream of complaints from passengers and crews that seem to emanate from this particular 'lo-cost model'.

Just my opinion but I will always seek an alternative, even if it means paying a little but more. This is not always the case by the way; if you need to book quite close to your travel date, I bet you'll find the 'locos' aren't quite as low as you think. In other words, don't assume that because you are booking with a supposed 'cheap fare airline' that the ticket price will automatically be lower than anywhere else.

I just think they should quote a transparent price for the fare and say 'that is the price' instead of all this messing about trying to make it look cheaper than it is. If their fare is the most competitive then people will buy the ticket anyway, it is just a nuisance trying to work out what the true price is all the time. Personally I have never actually flown with them - all the negative publicity has put me off!!

I was looking for information about Mastercard Prepaids and Ryaniar and this link was useful


Hope it helps you too!