BA and Debit Cards

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  capetonianm 18 Dec 2017
at 10:13

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  • AisleSeatTraveller

    not usually one to whinge but I found this week’s interaction with BA ridiculous in the extreme.

    Usually fly from the UK to the middle east (dubai) and was planning xmas in the region, therefore my current ticket has a return in january (mother’s 70th birthday) and pay with my UK Business Debit Card (no issues). However, I am now travelling back to the UK for the holidays and attempted to book DXB-EDI and again use my debit card. This is snot possible as BA will not accept my money in this format of flights originating outside the sinking mother country (claiming security issues, regardless of the same features as a credit card (verified by visa)). This is stupid, inconsistent and not what one would expect from an international business.

    Additionally, if travelling WTP from DXB there is no bubbly offered (this is only a ex-LHR service). Again lack of consistency from BA (website needs to say when services / features are available and when they are not).

    Apologies, rant over.


    I have the same problem booking Swiss, Lufthansa or SAA ex South Africa. CC usually gets declined. A quick call (which is inconvenient) to the cc co and the approval goes through. I suppose i should feel grateful they are concerned for my security but it is a nuisance.

    Using my S.A. cc, I get a message popping up where I have to accept the transaction for it to go through. This is a good level of security providing of course your phone is not lost or stolen!

    Some airlines now allow you to pay by bank transfer direct and I find this very useful, though you do miss out on any insurances or points.


    Over the years I’ve continually had problems with BA’s website in respect of not accepting credit cards if point of departure is not the same as the country of issuance the credit card, or the billing address for the credit card doesn’t match the country of departure.

    One might think that as a major international airline they would have a little bit more flexibility in terms of thinking across international borders. Clearly that is too much to expect and it’s one of the reasons that I only travel on them either if there is no realistic alternative or if I can get a very good value fare.

    Once again this results from having their IT department outsourced to people who obviously have little real experience of international travel or the airline industry.


    This maybe a debit/credit card problem not the airline?

    Used debit/credit/visa card to buy a costly hotel (accepted) then called the local major airline to buy a ticket only $200 more and it was not approved (security issues with internet).

    Bank knew had just bought hotel at the same location for the departure.

    They just refuse to approve an internet transaction although it was at the airlines main reservation office so not really on the internet?

    It’s a banking rule not the airline – used another card from an overseas bank with no problem.

    They may consider an additional risk and (English) banks won’t cover the visa insurance?

    On return to home told them to approve the use at specific locations and categorically refused if it involved the internet!


    I may not have explained very clearly what the problem is. The website design is such that if your primary credit card is registered to a billing address in a particular country it’s then not possible when you make subsequent bookings to change the country.

    As I have credit cards with billing addresses in 3 different countries this creates a problem for me.

    In practice I find that the authentication works in such a way that as long as the first part of the address corresponds the country appears to be ignored.


    this not a bank issue, the debit card is regularly used to pay for Saudia tickets between RUH and DXB & British Airways told me I had to use a credit card (which i didn’t have with me at the time)

    the bank has no issue with the use of the card (although did once do a fraud check)


    I have also experianced this, in my case its not large sums, max £300 and usually the taxes and fees element of an avios booking when the dep point is not UK. I got round it by using Paypal which is linked to my credit card, that way i get the card points as well


    Have UK registered credit card, used it to buy BA flights to Asia ( thru UK) from Holland more than once not experienced any problems.


    Filbyemt, my issue is with a UK issued Debit Card (i don’t feel there should be a difference as both credit and debit cards have the same security features and that BA’s position is plane (i know it’s mes-spelt) daft


    A debit card payment problem is pretty much always due to the card issuer or a navigator protection.

    In the former situation, the airline cannot help. The solution is simple provided the card issuer allows international payment from the country where the card holder is. If this is not the case, a simple solution is the use of a VPN.

    In the latter case, it is necessary to remove some of the protections to allow the payment to go through. The typical impediments are pop-up blockers, third-party cookies restrictions, flash restrictions or a combination of these (two to book on AF for instance).

    And there is always Paypal that works wherever you are. And, yes, BA accepts it.


    As a response to Capetonianm.

    Like you I have credit cards registered in 3 different countries, and several of them are stored in my BA Exec Club account profile.

    You are absolutely right that the address / country setting at the time of booking on will default to the country of the first departing flight, and if that country is not one of my “home” countries, then my stored credit card data does not show (and I suspect it would equally be difficult to input a credit card from one of my home countries).

    But to date I have then always been able to go into the country scroll down menu and change it the country I wanted, and by consequence my stored cards from that country would then also appear (or I could type in a new credit card from that home country).

    Slightly related, most (or is it all?) Avios bookings I make do have a GBP cash component. So even if I am flying say from AMS to LHR, I would always choose UK as an address so that I can use a GBP credit card, and avoid the fx charges. To date I have had no problems with this.

    Hope this helps. Safe travels!


    Thanks for that, Magdalena, I have several cards stored but the country is United Kingdom by default, which is correct for two of them.

    On my Irish and Netherlands ones I have been unable to change the billing country.

    The other one is my South African one which appears greyed out like this :

    xxxxxxx,xxxxxxxxxxx, Rondebosch, 7700, South Africa
    (unavailable due to billing country)

    I can’t remember how I entered them in the first place, but one day if I have nothing better to do I might delete them all and start again.

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