Revolut cards not accepted on TUI flights

Their argument is based on Revolut being prepaid. That’s factually wrong. But as I said I am not surprised about statements like this. For 62.5% of Revolut’s existence, the cards were prepaid. And Revolut made its first splash in the industry as a prepaid card. That’s what formed knowledge and experiences of people and businesses.

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Something curious: in Brazil foreign cards are all credit, only Visa Electron and Maestro work like debit here.

On a sale here there’s always the question “credit or debit?” because Brazilian cards can carry both function/application on the same physical card.

Prepaid cards are always credit too, and we have a curious card nicknamed “crébito” (crédito and débito together) that is like a foreign debit card (that passes like a credit here) used only by a few digital accounts because it’s a debit card that works “on-line” (on websites and apps like a credit card, because regular Brazilian debit card doesn’t work freely, only if the card issuer have a direct deal with the store/service).

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Where do the merchants pull this card info from?
I expected Visa/Mastercard to maintain some kind of database of card types. Rather than each merchant having to be familiar with intricacies of card processing.

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Sure, card network providers maintain databases. Mastercard‘s is even public.

But it’s more difficult. Merchants rely on payment service providers. There are various stakeholders with partially competing interests. Regulations, brands, … vary between countries and tourism and travel complicate things. Staff doesn’t necessarily have to know how things work, but they’re dealing with the customer when things don’t work. It is in the merchant’s interest to provide a seamless experience, and training staff is part of that.

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I have somewhere the CSV with all MasterCard BIN, but several payments providers are really slow to update their databases.

Even today I still see some MasterCard cards with BIN starting with 27XXXX being declined was a unknown/invalid card :man_facepalming:t2:

Mostly new issuers here (Brazil) complained so much to MasterCard until they replaced their 27XXXX bin with a tradicional 5XXXXX to fix their declined cards.

Maybe Revolut should follow Bunq and issue debit ‘credit’ cards? I know the workaround Bunq uses is not the proper way but hey it works as a credit card even without a creditlimit and does support offline payments up to €250,- and take deposits.

Of course if Revolut could issue real credit cards in more countries this problem will be solved partial, the best solution is to get those debit cards working on most airlines.

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Bunq’s odd specialty card does not help if the staff outright refuses to accept every card from Revolut. The problem here is that TUI technically does accept debit cards, but they cling to their asessment of Revolut being a prepaid card. It’s likely that the same staff would also refuse a Revolut credit card.

Revolut’s huge and early pre-pandemic success as a prepaid card issuer for frequent travellers seems to make it difficult to change this perception in the industry.

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By what I understood: the problem was the crew refusing the card without trying it on the terminal because in the past revolut card was a prepaid and it wasn’t accepted.

Newer cards are debit and should work but the crew still refuses it thinking it’s a prepaid without trying.

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WizzAir airline isn’t accepting Revolut cards - happened to me 3 times recently on UK-Poland-UK flights. “Is it revolut card sir…yes…you can’t use it sorry”

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It happened to me too with Wizzair, it’s very annoying as it clearly says it’s a visa debit card but they don’t even try it, not sure if we can open a complaint to visa or Mastercard to tell them they should allow it or should Revolut contact them regarding the issue.

Or just don’t buy anything on the plane if they refuse the card.

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yeah felt same, was close to say “no its mastercard”, I bet it would work anyway it’s just their (WizzAir) approach to avoid “issues” with Revolut.

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It doesn’t work if you try. I tried it on a Wizzair flight by tapping my card quickly before flight attendant saw it, and it was rejected.

So likely either POS terminal has some rule, or Revolut still doesn’t support offline transactions even if the card is a normal debit card.

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The cards do work, it’s just poor training, and I’ve seen staff actively move the card machine away from me when going to use revolut Mastercard. It’s stupid practices but neither Mastercard, visa or the providers will do anything.

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Has anyone tried to pay via GPay or Apple Pay on such flights? The staff can’t see what kind of card it is previously. Would be interesting, if such transactions are accepted and if the staff only will reject a previously seen physical Revolut card.

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Cards do work on Tui, the staff just say it doesn’t because that’s what they’re taught.

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This transaction would have failed most likely with mobile payment as well.

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The general issue here is that the times you could pay with any credit card everywhere by just showing the card and signing a payment slip are long gone.

Individual reports of some payment working - or not - are just that, individual experiences that cannot be generalised. Thanks modern technology :smirk_cat:

Issues with a specific payment card and a specific payment terminal and specific staff member can be anything from company policy and badly trained staff to restrictions in certain jurisdictions to misconfigured POS terminals or a badly configured card… or simply your individual offline limits being depleted already… and anything in between.

I haven’t been flying that much for 5 years now, but basically the models of payment terminals varied greatly even on the same carrier and same plane model when I was flying more frequently.

Also “Revolut card” is not a single thing - if you are a long time Revolut member and have multiple cards, you may want to check the configuration of your specific card with a card reader since Revolut’s card configuration varies greatly between cards.

Bottom Line: As usual, just don’t rely on a single card for anything, cash from different countries is also a nice thing to collect :slight_smile: .

In specific cases you might want to ask staff nicely to just try the card, if it works you may have a conversation starter with a flight attendant :wink: - if not, well complaining doesn’t help much usually. Just go on with your life, maybe write a complaint later but does you no good to make a fuzz on a plane.

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I was fortunate when recently flying with TUI to be on a flight only around 1/3rd full. I offered to pay for a beer with my Revolut card and was told it would not be accepted. I told them I was a Revolut beta tester and could they help me test their system? They agreed. My Revolut VISA card was declined by their machine, contactless and chip & pay. Same card via Gpay on my phone was accepted. Same card via Garmin Pay on my watch was accepted.

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So apparently they blacklisted revolut BIN (first 6 digits of a card, that identify issuer/brand/cardlevel) but since using digital wallets it generally got a random/different BIN it was accepted.

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