Birdwatching
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How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:17 pm

Every time I book a flight with Ryanair and several other LCCs, I notice how a "VISA Electron" card would have saved me the payment fee of 5.00 Eur.

My bank does not issue VISA Electron cards, only regular VISA. The VISA web site refers me to a list of banks in Germany, but none of them seems to be issuing the Electron card.

My questions: What is a VISA Electron card to begin with, why is it different than a regular credit card, and why do the LCCs favor this card?

And how do I get one here in Germany?

Thanks for any info!

Soren  santahat 
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
 
JJJ
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:20 pm

It's a visa debit card.

Maybe in Germany it's marketed under a different name (Visa Cash, Visa Debit, etc.).
 
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moo
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:24 pm



Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):
What is a VISA Electron card to begin with, why is it different than a regular credit card, and why do the LCCs favor this card?

A VISA Electron is a '"no credit" debit or credit card', which means that funds are guaranteed to be available when the VISA network grants permission for the transaction - a normal VISA Debit or Credit card does not guarantee that funds are available when the transaction is permitted, meaning the network can OK a transaction which will take you overdrawn.

Thats the difference - Electron won't ever take you overdrawn, it will refuse the transaction first.

The reason LCCs favour the card is firstly because it has lower per transaction costs (or even none at all, dependent on their contract with VISA), and its not widely issued, so they can offer a 'transaction fee free' payment method (which most countries require a vendor to do - at least one of their payment methods must be fee free) safe in the knowledge that most people will be using something else.
 
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moo
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:25 pm



Quoting JJJ (Reply 1):
It's a visa debit card.

No, a VISA Debit card is something different, it is *not* VISA Electron under a different marketing name.

See above for how they differ.
 
signol
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:26 pm

First up, I don't know how to get one in Germany.
In the UK, they are a simple debit card (not credit) that only the base level current accounts have. Most accounts have Maestro or Visa Delta. With Electron, each transaction is checked before it goes through, rather than giving the user a day or so credit, so it is better for the banks to give them to high credit risk customers. Perhaps a new account, with the most basic card, will give you an Electron card? I used a dormant current account, and asked my bank to "downgrade" my card to Electron...

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
JJJ
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:54 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 3):
No, a VISA Debit card is something different, it is *not* VISA Electron under a different marketing name.

In Spain a visa electron is exactly that. There's no other visa debit card.

I know the UK has separate visa debit and visa electron, but that's not usually the case in continental Europe.
 
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moo
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:01 pm



Quoting JJJ (Reply 5):
In Spain a visa electron is exactly that. There's no other visa debit card.

That just means they don't offer the VIsa Debit card in Spain - it doesn't mean what you said earlier.

If you have a card branded 'Visa Debit', its the same as the Visa Debit card in the UK.
 
JJJ
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:17 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 6):
That just means they don't offer the VIsa Debit card in Spain - it doesn't mean what you said earlier.

What I said is that 'Visa electron' is how Visa markets their debit cards in a number of markets and that maybe the name is different in Germany.

The UK is very specific in the sense that two types of visa debit cards coexist. That's not the case anywhere else.

What you said about how a visa electron works in the UK is the definition of debit card mostly everywhere else (i.e. funds must be available and every transaction is electronically checked).
 
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moo
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:49 pm



Quoting JJJ (Reply 7):
What I said is that 'Visa electron' is how Visa markets their debit cards in a number of markets and that maybe the name is different in Germany.

The UK is very specific in the sense that two types of visa debit cards coexist. That's not the case anywhere else.

What you said about how a visa electron works in the UK is the definition of debit card mostly everywhere else (i.e. funds must be available and every transaction is electronically checked).

Thats all very well and good, but thats not what I am saying.

VISA has several brands for its cards, including among others -

VISA Debit (previously know as Visa Delta)
VISA Credit
VISA Electron

VISA Debit and VISA Electron, while both offering debit card functionality (VISA Electron also can be issued as a credit card, with the aforementioned transaction limitations still in place) are different brands, with different requirements and systems.

VISA does not cross brand between VISA Debit and VISA Electron, or in other words they never refer to a VISA Electron as a VISA Debit. If you have a VISA Debit branded card, it is the same as a VISA Debit branded card anywhere else. If you have a VISA Electron branded card, it is the same as a VISA Electron branded card anywhere else.

It is not a simple case of 'how they are marketed', as how they actually work is different - they are actually different products.

If a VISA Electron Debit card is being marketed, then its a VISA Electron Debit card. If a VISA Debit card is being marketed, then its a VISA Debit card and will work differently to a VISA Electron Debit card.
 
signol
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:33 pm

It appears that Bank 1 Saar offers an Electron card account:

http://www.bank1saar.de/index.dante?...IDJDEEMAKHEHADBAKCO&aid=13087&dph=

There appears to be a 50EUR charge for the account per year, or 15EUR for students. It would help, though, depending on how many times you fly!
Also note that Easyjet charge a card fee, as do Travelodge budget hotels in the UK, but are free for Electron users.

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
Birdwatching
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:19 pm



Quoting Signol (Reply 9):
It appears that Bank 1 Saar offers an Electron card account:

Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for! And I'd even qualify for the student price, so after 3 flights a year I'm good. I've done 5 flights in one day, and will do 6 flights in one day in March, so I think it will be more than worth it!

I think I'll give this bank a call tomorrow.

Thanks for your help!

Soren  santahat 
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
 
rojo
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:23 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 8):
It is not a simple case of 'how they are marketed', as how they actually work is different - they are actually different products.

Correct, but you have to dig into history to see why Visa ended up with Visa Debit and Visa Electron. Visa Debit is the result of giving a name to a debit card that has the Visa logo. It is now being used in the US and some other countries to differentiate a Visa Debit Card from a Visa Credit Card. A few years ago, the only way to differentiate them was through the BIN Number, which most people don't even understand (only the POS machine could identify the card). Visa Electron was tested in some countries as the debit card product from Visa. It was developed as a card that only works "Electronically". If you compare a Visa Debit Card and a Visa Electron Card, the way card numbers are printed in each one is different. One has them made up and the other has them printed. This was done to prevent the Visa Electron Cards from being used in manual transactions.

Careful with FR's POS, they don't take all Visa Electron Cards. I have a Visa Electron Card issued in Mexico which can be used internationally and Ryanair does not take it...
 
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ManuCH
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:18 pm



Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 10):
Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for! And I'd even qualify for the student price, so after 3 flights a year I'm good. I've done 5 flights in one day, and will do 6 flights in one day in March, so I think it will be more than worth it!

OK, I have to ask, at the risk of being slightly off topic: what trip are you doing with 5/6 flights in one day?
Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
 
Birdwatching
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:52 pm



Quoting ManuCH (Reply 12):
OK, I have to ask, at the risk of being slightly off topic: what trip are you doing with 5/6 flights in one day?


Doing the Aer Lingus Cardiff A330 flight in mid March with a bunch of other A.netters. You are welcome to join! Getting to Cardiff takes 2 flights and getting back takes 3 flights, and I'm doing them all in one day.

Stranger things have happened, man... just ask PlymSpotter!  Smile He's the master of crazy itineraries.

Soren  santahat 
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
 
Pyrex
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:29 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 2):
(or even none at all, dependent on their contract with VISA),

Actually Ryanair (or any other merchant, for that matter) does not have a contract with VISA, they have a contract with their own bank/merchant acquirer that sets the pricing structure (along with a number of local regulations). VISA only sets the interchange fees (which are the same for a given combination of type of card/type of merchant/transaction and not specific for Ryanair or anyone else), and based on that acquirers are generally free to charge whatever they want.

Germany is a Maestro country, most debit cards there are Maestro, so it might be a bit tough to find (especially given that most banks there are local/regional in nature - they might not be present in your specific area, unless they are on-line banks).
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signol
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:20 am



Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 10):
Thanks for your help!

No worries  Smile If I ever make it to a meet, you can buy me a beer  Smile

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:29 am



Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):
My questions: What is a VISA Electron card to begin with, why is it different than a regular credit card, and why do the LCCs favor this card?

Here's a fact sheet on VISA debit cards offered worldwide. Hope this helps!

Source: http://corporate.visa.com/md/fs/consumer/visadebit.jsp
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
Wolverine
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:35 am

I've got a VISA Card with a limit of 1000€. I got it at the Volksbank in Germany.
Don't know, if it's Electron or another, all I know, it's got that limit, and before payment is made, there will be a check, if enough money is on my account. The costs for this card are 20€ per year.
Face your fears, live your dreams! (No Fear)
 
UN_B732
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:32 pm

In Russia they're very clear about Electron and Classic. Electron is given to pretty much every account, there are some standards for Classic to be issued.. I'm surprised it' s not that way in every country.

Also, MOST online shops don't take Electron.

-a
What now?
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:54 pm



Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 13):
Stranger things have happened, man... just ask PlymSpotter! He's the master of crazy itineraries.

Although on this occasion I'm sticking to 'just' the five flights in one day  silly 

I actually tried to get an Electron card at one point for the same purpose, but they (Halifax) informed me that I needed to be under 18 - I figured that was the same for all the other banks too, but now I'll definitely look at opening up an account just for booking flights with.


Dan  Smile
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signol
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RE: How To Get A Visa Electron Card In Germany?

Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:29 am



Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 19):
I actually tried to get an Electron card at one point for the same purpose, but they (Halifax) informed me that I needed to be under 18 - I figured that was the same for all the other banks too, but now I'll definitely look at opening up an account just for booking flights with.

I used to have a standard Coop current account, with Visa Debit. When I got married, we opened a joint account elsewhere, but we kept our original accounts (me at Coop, her at Barclays). I then called them and asked them to "downgrade" the Visa Debit card to Electron - they were more than happy to do this. I've since saved a packet with it on Ryanair, Easyjet and Travelodge (3 biggest implementers of the "Non-Electron-Tax"!)

Might be worth asking in Coop!

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI

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