Visa Electron no more, new free payment option for Ryanair

Ryanair planes ready for takeoffAs Visa is phasing out the Visa Electron cards, Ryanair will stop accepting them from January 2010. This means that the previous only way to pay for Ryanair flights without incurring a credit card fee will disappear.

Luckily, Ryanair is replacing the Visa Electron payment option with a MasterCard Prepaid selection, which will be free of charge. The MasterCard Prepaid option starts on December 1, 2009, so for the month of December there are 2 fee-free payment options at the airline.

The Visa Electron was always a bit of an anomaly, as many (most?) banks didn't offer the card and European customers often couldn't get one at all in their country. The MasterCard Prepaid options are available globally, so this actually is an improvement for Ryanair passengers, the first real one in quite some time.

As the demand for Visa Electron has waned in the past years, Visa is completely phasing out the card as the features that used to be unique to it is now available on all debit cards from Visa and others. Abbey and Travelex won't offer new Visa Electron cards from 14 December 2009, and January 2010 respectively.



Even more of a reason to use a prepaid MasterCard when traveling, besides the normal safety features of a prepaid credit card. Since if you lose a prepaid card, the highest amount that could potentially be lost is what is loaded onto the card, it's a better choice for traveling.

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What happened is that Ryanair realized they could charge the fee from everyone if they kept a single (and obscure) payment method free. Because that technically means the fees are optional.

So, they picked a method that adds just as much cost (prepaid cards aren't free to get), so people would go ahead and pay them.

At some point, the regulator may actually crack down on this outright cheat.

Jack on 24 February, 2010

those are very sad news. As my bank is not offering prepaid card and ALL banks offer VISA electron, this will make big difference to Ryanair customers. And to me too. And this is not an improvement, something obviously has happened to RYANAIR as otherwise I do not think they would decrease quality of service.

Janis on 24 February, 2010

Yes, that Ryanair fee is absolutely outrageous!

Jack on 06 December, 2009

Also if you forget to cheek-in online you will be charged £40 each per way!(Boarding card re-issue fee)

Chris on 06 December, 2009



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