Jan 19 2011

Ryanair and Prepaid Mastercards

Category: Aviation,eShoppingTeknovis @ 7:07 pm

Last weekend I needed to book Ryanair flights. I have a Visa Electron card, and I used to use it all the time to avoid the 5€ per flight administration fee. However, Ryanair changed the rules so that the only card that does not attract such a fee is a prepaid Mastercard. This is described in Why is there an administration fee when I reserve my flights?:

As a special offer to Mastercard Prepaid Debit (MP) card holders, Ryanair, will not apply an administration fee to those customers paying by this method of payment.

I am sure that the only reason for this prepaid Mastercard exception is that Ryanair can still advertise the fare excluding the fee, and it is probably the least common card type available.

Anyway, over Christmas I was lucky to receive a gift voucher for use in a large shopping centre (Whitewater). This gift voucher is actually a prepaid Mastercard, so I decided to give it a try.

Unfortunately, it did not work. I got a generic payment failure error instead of the page with my confirmation number and booking details. Perhaps this was related to the fact that I used my home address as the cardholder’s address, even though my address would not be associated with the card.

I was tight on time, so I went ahead and booked the flights using my normal credit card. If I had more time I would follow it up directly with Ryanair.

I have since read a very interesting thread describing how other prepaid Mastercard shopping vouchers have successfully been used. See Prepaid Mastercard No Loading or Purchase Charges (Works with Ryanair).

I will try one of these the next time!

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