Avoiding booking fees on low cost airlines
If you’re serious about getting the best value from your low-cost airlines then it’s time to reorganise your wallet. As of January 1st Ryanair has ended their Visa Electron “promotion” – meaning that customers paying with a Visa Electron card will now be charged a £5 booking fee per person, per flight – in line with the fees for other credit and debit cards on their site.
Ryanair customers now need to get their mitts on a pre-pay Mastercard – the only card that the airline will accept with no booking fees.
As Ryanair helpfully points out, pre-pay Mastercards are easier to come by than the Visa Electron, BUT – you’re going to have to do some careful dealchecking to make sure you get the card that offers you the best value for money. Whilst you can get a Visa Electron card for free, the majority of pre-pay Mastercards will incur a variety of fees including start up fees, top up fees, transaction fees and monthly fees from their issuers.
Don’t cut up your Electron card just yet though – they are still the only way of avoiding booking fees at bmibaby, flybe and Thompson. Monarch and Jet2 will also let you pay for free when you use a solo card. Easyjet also accepts Carte Bleu – though that’s of limited help – it’s only available in France.