Ryanair introduces branded 'cash passport' to UK consumers

Ryanair, the low-cost airline, launched its branded pre-paid MasterCard "cash passport" to UK consumers today (11 October).

Ryanair: airline launches its cash passport
Ryanair: airline launches its cash passport

The payment card carries the airline's branding and a picture of a Ryanair plane. It is supported by digital promotional activity across www.ryanair.com and through direct marketing activity through Ryanair's emails sent to consumers.

The marketing activity uses the strapline: "The smart way to carry your cash abroad".

The cash passport card launched in Ireland two weeks ago and chief executive Michael O'Leary claims Ryanair has already sold 10,000 cards. He said the airline was currently in talks with Mastercard about joint marketing activity for the European launch.

The card allows consumers to avoid paying fees of up to £10 for using a credit or debit card to book flights with the airline, in addition to offering a secure way to carry money abroad, make purchases, and make ATM withdrawals.

The new card carries a £6 purchase fee that is reimbursed to consumers with a £6 voucher for the airline, and a £2.50 "inactivity fee" if it is not used for six months.

O'Leary said that the outcome of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigation into card surcharges from budget airlines, spearheaded by a super-complaint submitted by consumer champion Which?, would not create "any change whatsoever" to its process of charging fees to consumers.

He said: "There is an impression created abroad that it would be an end to debit and credit card fees on Ryanair's admin fees. It won't."

O’Leary claimed that Ryanair was the only airline to have a dedicated section of its website detailing its individual charges and instructions on "how to avoid them".

He said: "Please stop saying that we have a range of hidden fees when we could not be more upfront about our fees, the list of fees, and how the hell to avoid paying the optional fees."

Follow Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith on Twitter @LoullaMae_ES

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