Cash Passport Compensation FAQs

  • About

    The Compensation Cash Passport Card can be used to pay for goods and services in millions of locations worldwide or to withdraw local currency from millions of cash machines (ATMs) that accept MasterCard.

    There are a number of countries and geographical regions where the use of Cash Passport is currently prohibited. If you attempt to withdraw cash from a cash machine, or use your Card at shops, restaurants, hotels and online in any of these countries or regions, your request will be declined and the reason given as 'Decline, prohibited country'.

    The countries and regions currently affected are:

    Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and Crimea.

    When you receive your Card:

    If you have not already done so, sign the signature strip on the reverse of your Card immediately using a permanent ball-point ink pen.

    You should have read the important advice about using your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and destroyed that panel of the Card carrier.

    Remember to retain the panel containing the Card Fees and Limits/Terms and Conditions.

    Information about Using your Card:

    Your compensation amount available and the Card validity period are noted on your Card carrier. Remember to retain this panel of your carrier and refer to it as you use your Card.

  • Personal Identification Number (PIN)

    It is important to memorise your PIN to prevent unauthorised card use. If you must write down your PIN, disguise it and keep it separate from your Card and in a secure location. You must never allow anyone else to use the Card or PIN.

    Your Card will be disabled and the funds lost if you use the incorrect PIN 3 times within 24 hours.

    If your PIN has been lost, stolen or forgotten, it cannot be re-issued to you and it will not be possible to use the Card at ATMs. The Card may still be able to be used at some merchants who accept mag stripe cards.

  • Withdrawing cash from ATMs

    To withdraw money, insert your Card into the ATM and follow the instructions provided on the screen. You will often be able to see the instructions in the language of your choice. Enter your PIN and the amount you want to withdraw in local currency+

    Your cash will be dispensed in the currency of the country you are in.

    ATMs will typically show the Card balance available to you via your Card converted to the local currency e.g. a Japanese ATM will show you the balance in Yen. This also applies for printed balances. Please remember that amounts will be approximate due to exchange rate fluctuations.

    +Merchant transactions and ATM withdrawals in a currency other than the currency of the Card will be exchanged to the currency on the Card at an exchange rate determined by MasterCard on the day the transaction is processed, increased by 5.75%.

    MasterCard Global ATM Locator

  • Merchant Payments

    When using your Card to pay for goods or services at merchants, e.g. restaurants, hotels and shops, you will be asked to authorise the transaction by using the PIN that you received for the Card or signing a receipt .

    Merchants that accept the Card are required to seek authorisation for all the transactions that you make and a transaction cannot be stopped once authorised. Some merchants may not be able to authorise your transaction if they cannot obtain an online authorisation. Examples include some in-flight purchases, car park vending machines and toll booths.

    The Card may not be used for money transfers (i.e. the sending of funds to a third party) or to access money transfer services, or for accessing or purchasing goods from adult or gambling locations or internet sites and must not be used for any unlawful activity. You must comply with all laws and regulations (including any foreign exchange controls) in respect of the Card, in the country of purchase and/or use.

    Your Card will have been issued in one of three currencies, Sterling (£), US Dollars ($) or Euros (€). However it is possible to purchase goods in any currency. See section on Foreign Exchange Margin, for transactions in currencies other than the currency of the Card.

    Split payments

    Note that requests for amounts in excess of the value left available via your Card will not be authorised. At a merchant location you can combine your Card with another form of payment if the merchant supports partial payments. Notify the cashier before paying and confirm the amount that you wish to deduct from your Card. Ensure that this Card is processed first.

    Pre-authorisation =hotel reservations, vehicle rental and cruise lines

    It is not recommended that you use your Card as a guarantee of payment (usually for hotels, car hire and cruise lines). These companies may estimate the bill, and if you use your Card as a guarantee for the estimated amount, the funds will be temporarily unavailable to access or spend. You can, of course, use your Card to settle your final bill.

    Tips, service charges and other variable costs

    When using the Card at certain merchants including bars and restaurants, an additional amount (typically 10%-20%) is automatically added as an anticipated service charge or tip, temporarily reducing the balance on the Card. When the Card is used to purchase fuel at an automated fuel pump, the Card must have a minimum balance of typically between GB£10-£50 or currency equivalent. This is to referred to as ‘tolerance’ and is applied to ensure there are sufficient funds available to cover the final cost of the transaction and to reduce the risk of a negative balance arising on the Card. If your actual service charge or tip is less than the additional amount added or you spend less than the minimum amount when purchasing fuel, it may take up to seven (7) days from the date of the transaction before the difference is available to spend. Only the actual amount of the final bill agreed between you and the merchant will be deducted from the Card.

    Here are the details of the merchant locations where this might occur, and the percentages/fixed amounts that are likely to be added:

    Restaurants (or other eating places): 10%

    Bars (or other drinking places), bars etc.: 20%

    Automated fuel dispensers: GBP10 (or currency equivalent)

    For example, you have lunch at a restaurant and the total bill is US $50.00. You have US $50.00 on your Card that you would like to use and there is a 10% tolerance applied to restaurant transactions. You are required to have an available balance of at least US $55.00 for the transaction to be authorised: US $55.00 ($50 x 10% = $5 + $50 = $55.00).

    Please see the FAQs for further information on tolerance.

  • Returning a purchase

    Each merchant location has its own returns policy, however if you are entitled to a refund for any reason (excluding disputed transactions), for any goods or services purchased using the Card, this will be made to the Card.

    Please remember that your Card is only valid for the validity period noted on your Card carrier. If a refund is made to your Card after the validity period has expired, the funds will be forfeit.

  • Available Balance

    To keep track of the funds remaining accessible via your Card, we would suggest you keep your receipts and remember to include any ATM withdrawal fees. For transactions in currencies other than the currency of the Card, remember that amounts will be approximate due to exchange rate fluctuations+.

    ATMs will typically show the balance available via your Card in local currency e.g. a German ATM will typically show you your balance in Euros so you know how much you can withdraw from that ATM. This rule also applies for printed balances.

    If you have a question about your transactions or would like to know the balance of your Card, please contact us.

    +Merchant transactions and ATM withdrawals in a currency other than the currency of the Card will be exchanged to the currency on the Card at an exchange rate determined by MasterCard on the day the transaction is processed, increased by 5.75%.

    Global ATM locator

    The ATM Locator provides an online guide to the location of ATMs worldwide that accept MasterCard. This website is managed by Mastercard and holds the most up to date information on all MasterCard cash machines around the world

    ++The information provided through the above link is for general information only. The ATM descriptions have been provided to MasterCard by the relevant institutions. It is possible that information may be inaccurate or may have changed. We do not assume responsibility for the accuracy of this information.

  • Global ATM Locator

  • Online Purchasing

    It is possible to use your Card to buy goods from websites or phone/mail order companies.

    However, certain merchants may verify the cardholder’s address before authorising payment. Your address was not recorded when the Card was issued and therefore it is possible that your Card will be declined as payment.

  • Lost or stolen Cards

    In accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the Card (as printed on the Card carrier), in the case of loss or theft of this Card, no refund or replacement will take place.

  • Expired Cards

    The expiry date printed on the front of your Card will be approximately five years, which is in line with standard card issuing procedures.

    However, please note that due to the specific nature of the circumstances in which your Card has been issued, your Card will only be valid for three months from the date it was issued to you.

    The issue date is detailed on your Card carrier and it is important that you note this. After the validity period of three months, any funds remaining via your Card will expire.

    Remember that when your Card expires or you have fully withdrawn your compensation amount, it should be destroyed by cutting it in half.

  • Frequently asked questions

    Why is my card not working?

    Check that you have enough money on the Card for the transaction you wish to make.

    Check your Card carrier to ensure you are using the correct PIN.

    Check that the retailer you are purchasing from accepts MasterCard Prepaid. Because of new EU requirements, merchants in the EU/EEA will be able to choose whether or not they wish to accept MasterCard prepaid/debit/credit or commercial cards. Please check with the merchant, as they have to inform you if they decide not to accept all types of MasterCard cards. Merchants will also be expected to display this information prominently at the entrance of the shop and at the till or, in the case of distance sales, this information should be displayed on the merchant’s website or other applicable electronic or mobile medium.

    Your Card has maximum limits on how much you can spend. These limits are shown in the fees and limits section.

    I have lost my PIN and cannot remember the number, what should I do?

    If your PIN has been lost, stolen or forgotten it cannot be re-issued to you. It will not be possible to use the Card at ATMs, however it is still possible to use the Card at merchants, e.g. shops, retail outlets, restaurants etc. where transactions can be authorised by signing a receipt.

    My Card has been lost/stolen, what should I do?

    In accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the Card (as printed on the Card carrier), in the case of loss or theft of this Card, no refund or replacement will take place.

    How can I obtain details of the remaining balance accessible via my Card?

    Some ATMs will be able to provide you with these details (see section on Available balance). 

    How long is my Card valid for?

    Three months from the date of issue. The issue date is detailed on your Card carrier and it is important that you note this.

    An expiry date will be printed on the front of your actual Card, which is in line with standard card issuing procedures. However due to the specific nature of the circumstances in which your Card has been issued, please do remember that your Card will only be valid for three months from the date it was issued to you.

    After this validity period of three months, any funds remaining accessible via your Card will expire.

    What happens if there are any funds remaining accessible via my Card when it expires?

    The funds will expire at the end of the validity period. You should therefore spend any funds remaining accessible via your Card or withdraw these from an ATM displaying the MasterCard Acceptance Mark before the end of the validity period.

    Where is my nearest ATM?

    MasterCard Global ATM Locator

    +The information provided through the above link is for general information only. The ATM descriptions have been provided to MasterCard by the relevant institutions. It is possible that information may be inaccurate or may have changed. We do not assume responsibility for the accuracy of this information.

    Will there be any fees for using this Card?

    Please see the Card fees and limits section for more details. I would like to make a purchase with my Card but do not have enough funds remaining accessible via my Card to cover the entire purchase. What should I do?

    If the merchant supports partial payments, you can combine your Card with another form of payment at a merchant location. You should notify the cashier before paying and ensure that your Card is processed first. Please note that if you use your Card at an automated fuel dispenser or your Card must have a minimum balance. Please see the section on split payments.

    I don’t have as much money available on the Card as I thought. Why is this?

    This could be due to ‘Tolerance’. When using your Card at some merchants (see table below), you may be required to have an available balance greater than the value of the transaction you wish to make. This is because: (i) a merchant may request more funds than you initially authorised to cover the amount of the transaction (e.g. the meal or bar bill) plus an additional gratuity, tip or service charge agreed by you; or (ii) in the case of an automated fuel pump transaction, to ensure there are sufficient funds available to cover the final cost of the transaction.

    The addition of this percentage or fixed amount to the amount of the transaction authorised by the merchant is called ‘tolerance’. Tolerance is only applied to certain merchant categories listed below.

    Bars (or other similar drinking places) 20%

    Restaurants (or other eating places) 10%

    Automated fuel dispensers £10 (or currency equivalent)

    You may also find that you have less money available on the Card than you thought because you have used your Card as pre-authorisation of a final payment. Please see the section on ‘Pre-authorisation - hotel reservations, vehicle rental and cruise lines’ for more information on this.

    How much more than the bill amount do I need to have on my Card for transactions at bars, restaurants, and automated fuel dispensers?

    When using your Card at the merchants listed below a percentage or a fixed amount may be added to the amount of the transaction when it is submitted by the merchant for authorisation. The addition of this percentage or fixed amount to the transaction amount authorised by the merchant is called ‘tolerance’. This means that the value of the transaction plus the tolerance percentage or flat amount is reserved (‘ring-fenced’) from your available balance. The table below sets out the typical percentage or fixed rate that may be added to the value of the transaction.

    Bars (or other similar drinking places) 20%

    Restaurants (or other eating places) 10%

    Automated fuel dispensers £10 (or currency equivalent)

    For example, you have lunch at a restaurant and the total bill is US $50.00. You have US $50.00 on your Card that you would like to use and there is a 10% tolerance applied to restaurant transactions. You are required to have an available balance of at least US $55.00 for the transaction to be authorised: US $55.00 ($50 x 10% = $5 + $50 = $55.00).

    When I use my Card at a bar, restaurant, or petrol station, how long are the funds reserved for and why?

    The amount authorised by the merchant plus the tolerance percentage or fixed amount is reserved from your available Card balance until the merchant settles the final amount (i.e. payment is requested), at which time the exact final amount is debited from your Card, or for 7 days, whichever is sooner. As a merchant may not settle the final bill immediately, tolerance is applied to ensure that there are sufficient funds available when the final bill is settled. You will only be charged for the actual and final amount of the transaction you sign for or validate by PIN.

    As the merchant may not settle (i.e. ask for payment) the final bill within the 7 days and in some cases may take up to 30 days to settle, at which time the funds are debited from your Cash Passport), we recommend that you check your transaction history regularly via ‘My Account’ and take this into account, including the tolerance, to ensure you have sufficient funds available for your spending. Typically, a merchant will submit the settlement request within 24 hours of you authorising the transaction.

    What happens if I do not have sufficient funds available on my Card to cover the value of the transaction plus the tolerance amount?

    If you do not have sufficient funds available in your available balance to cover both the value of the transaction plus the tolerance amount, the transaction may be declined. For example, you have lunch at a restaurant and the total bill is US $50.00. You have US $50.00 on your Card that you would like to use and there is a 10% tolerance applied to restaurant transactions. If the restaurant tries to charge your Card with US $50.00, it will be declined because 10% is added to the transaction amount and there will be insufficient funds to cover US $55.00 ($50 x 10% = $5 + $50 = $55.00).

    Please ensure you remember to take the tolerance amount into account. If you are using your Card at one of the merchant types where tolerance is applied, you may be unable to use the entire balance on your Card, unless you have enough to cover the addition of tolerance. If the merchant supports it however, you can use your Card to make a partial payment, and cover the balance with some other payment method. Just make sure you tell the cashier before you start the transaction and confirm the amount you want deducted from your Card. The cashier should process your Card payment first, and then accept the remainder of the balance in whichever way you want to pay it.

    Why is tolerance applied to Chip and PIN transactions?

    When using your Card at merchants where tolerance is applied, in some locations your Card may be authorised by the merchant prior to you agreeing the final bill, e.g. where you allow your Card to be swiped at a bar to open a tab. The amount authorised by the merchant at this time plus the tolerance amount is reserved from your available balance. This is the case whether your Card only has a magnetic stripe or is Chip and PIN. We do not know at the time how a merchant will process a transaction and whether the merchant will initially authorise the transaction and later ask you to sign for or validate the transaction by PIN, together with an additional charge or tip agreed to by you. Therefore, a tolerance is added automatically where the merchant falls into one of the categories listed below.

    Bars (or other similar drinking places) 20%

    Restaurants (or other eating places) 10%

    Automated fuel dispensers GB£10 or currency equivalent

  • Terms and conditions

    You agree to accept this Card as the method of payment of your compensation. By accepting this Card, you release the airline, its employees and agents against any liability arising in connection with the provision of the Card save any rights you may have which cannot be excluded by law or in respect of lost, damaged or delayed baggage under the notices and conditions of contract printed on your ticket.

    The Card is issued to the airline by the issuer named on the back of the Card. All funds held in respect of the Card are the property of the airline until withdrawn by you.

    Please note that in the case of loss or theft of this Card, no refund or replacement will take place. Your Card will be disabled and the funds lost if the incorrect PIN is used 3 times within 24 hours. The funds are still accessible by signing for your purchase at merchants.

    Funds are available for 3 months from Card issue date, regardless of Card expiry date.

  • Contact Information

    Please contact the airline that supplied your Card. For: BA - Visit www.ba.com/egpc or phone +44 (0)344 493 0787 for customer information.