Hack to avoiding Ryanair's booking fee

Posted by admin | Posted in Travel money saving | Posted on 05-05-2010

Did you know that if you’re going on holiday and thinking of using Ryanair, it may be worthwhile you taking out a prepaid credit card just to book the flight with? I know that might sound a little crazy specially if you already have a regular credit card, but there’s a reason behind it.

Ryanair is pretty famous for offering bargain basement flights, but we also all know that they charge you extra for anything they can get away with – want a meal, or a drink, or extra luggage – then you pay extra. They also manage to sneakily make their £5 booking fee an extra charge by making sure that they offer one method that doesn’t incur a fee so that they can charge the fee on all the other options. That one method? A prepaid credit card!

The booking fee that’s charged is per person per flight, so if there’s a group of you booking, and you’re flying out and back you’ll be paying £5 per person each way, and this of course can add up. By using a prepaid Mastercard (yes I’m afraid it has to be a Mastercard one), you avoid this fee, so even though you may pay an annual fee for the card itself and for some a small fee per purchase, it can often still save you a chunk of cash.

There are various companies that offer Mastercard prepaid credit cards and not surprisingly Ryanair is one of them. They all vary slightly in how they work however, so you’ll need to look at the options a bit to make sure that you choose the one that’s going to save you the most – particularly if you’re only getting the prepaid card for the purpose of buying your Ryanair tickets. Ideally you want to find one which has as low an annual fee as possible, which you can load money onto either cheaply or free of charge, and that has a low transaction cost so that you’ll save as much money as possible. If you’re planning on using it to safeguard you while on holiday as well, or for other purchases then your choice of card may vary as your criteria will be slightly different, but do check out all the options you can before you choose.


Alan runs a money saving website showcasing all the different prepaid credit cards on offer in the UK. Visit the website at http://prepaidcreditcardsuk.org.uk/ for full details about this hack.

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