Ryanair are notorious for using extra, hidden charges to hike up seemingly bargain-priced flights and bump up their profits. Although they are not the only budget airline who employ this tactic, they are one of the worst offenders, with John Fingleton, chief executive of the Office of Fair Trading, branding them "childish" and "puerile" for their charging schemes.
The reason Ryanair and other cheap flight providers charge these extra fees is so that they can keep their advertised prices as low as possible in order to attract customers. While these hidden charges are not part of the advertised price, they are an important source of revenue for Ryanair and other cut-price airlines.
One of the most irritating of these charges - and the one which customers object to most strongly - is the Ryanair credit card charge. If you pay for your flight by credit or debit card, Ryanair will charge you an additional fee just for taking your money .
The current charge is £5 per person per flight, which might not sound like much, but if you're a family of four booking a return flight, that's an extra £40 added to your bill. And if you fly with Ryanair a lot, you'll pay this charge time and time again.
Mastercard prepaid card
reason they are able to do this is because they do offer a payment option which doesn't incur the charge - predictably, however, they have chosen one of the most obscure types of payment card which most people have never heard of.
The only way to avoid Ryanair credit card charges is to use a Mastercard prepaid card. Strictly speaking, Mastercard prepaid cards are not credit cards at all, as you have to load money onto the card before you can use it. They are mainly used by people with bad credit ratings who are not eligible for a credit card or by people who want to purchase items online with the temptation to overspend that credit cards offer.
As there is no credit check required to apply for a Mastercard prepaid card, getting your hands on one is relatively easy, and well worth doing if you are a frequent budget flyer who wants to avoid Ryanair credit card charges.
There are a wide range of Mastercard prepaid cards available, with each one offering different rates and charges. To help you choose the one that's right for your individual needs and circumstances, we've created this site which gives you full information on the leading Mastercard prepaid cards so you can make an informed choice and get the best deal possible.