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Booking Renfe train tix from US

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B
posts: 2
Booking Renfe train tix from US

Yes...Seems everyone has a similar problem. Trying to book 2 tickets from Madrid to San Sebastian for April. Price for each ticket is 21.90E and when I go to purchase them with 3 different cards, I get an error message. Amex, & 2 different Mastercards. What am I doing wrong? What can I do to make it work? Thanks for any help. The step by step guides I found while Googling provided no helpful explanations.

España
posts: 4,500
reviews: 2
1. Re: Booking Renfe train tix from US

Try purchasing from www.petrabax.com if you have reached the end of your tether. They may have the tickets at the same price plus a booking fee. It doesn't hurt to look.

Madison, Wisconsin
Destination Expert
for Madrid
posts: 7,695
reviews: 19
2. Re: Booking Renfe train tix from US

Have you registered with Renfe? More than anything that is helpful on multiple tries because your original information is saved and you don't have to continue to reenter basic info.

Have you registered to secure your Master Card or Visa?. Amex is not a good card to use, and many stores will not accept it in Spain or the US as a matter of fact.

Here is the site for Mastercard SecureCode:

http://www.mastercard.us/securecode.html

Have you notified your credit card company that you are transacting business with a business in Spain? (call phone # on back of card)

Consider trying at a time where few people from your part of the world might be using the system but things will be up and running in Spain. You don't indicate your nationality or place of residence so I can't be more helpful on that score.

Good luck! We have used the Renfe site, and just when I am about to give up and try a more $$$ website, such as petrabax, I strike gold. BTW, Petrabax, makes it appear like the price is cheap enough, but at the last step adds a large service fee. If you don't mind, pay it.

London, United...
posts: 10,719
reviews: 189
3. Re: Booking Renfe train tix from US

Did you read the guide "How can I buy Renfe tickets online?" >>>>> Top of right hand column >>>>>>It seems to have helped lots of folks.

Torremolinos, Spain
Destination Expert
for Torremolinos
posts: 10,228
reviews: 4
4. Re: Booking Renfe train tix from US

Petrabax charges and fees are now shown on the first screen price, nothing is added at any further stage.

One of the joys of the internet is that people can look at the various alternatives and then make an informed choice - for many US visitors on here these days that seems to be Petrabax simply to save all the RENFE hassle.

RENFE do assure us they are changing their payment processing system, it's a shame they haven't done so yet.

B
posts: 2
5. Re: Booking Renfe train tix from US

ended up paying $45 each for 2 tix via Petrabax. Renfe had prices at $28 each for tix. Meh. Pissed the system did not work but the hassle just wasn't worth it. Petrabax was prompt with their response and quickly emailed me my tickets. Pretty impossible to travel 5+ hrs in the US by train for less than $45 so I'm not too upset. RENFE does have to get their stuff together though.

Madison, Wisconsin
Destination Expert
for Madrid
posts: 7,695
reviews: 19
6. Re: Booking Renfe train tix from US

If you're happy, we're happy. You have the ticket. Everything is fine, but for the record you paid 60% more than what RENFE is charging. Your time is probably worth that. We are retired, and ours isn't.,

Los Angeles
posts: 1,520
reviews: 29
7. Re: Booking Renfe train tix from US

I just went through this ordeal yesterday and today. First, CapitalOne told me it did not work with Verified by Visa, so scratch that card! Then Chase told me everything was fine with my account on their end but it still wouldn't work. After 3 phone calls to Ally, finally, I was able to make it work with my Visa Debit Card. The first person told me there were no holds, but it still wouldn't work, so I kept pressing and they confirmed they were denying the transactions. Then they could remove that "card-level" hold whatever that means and finally it worked.

So, moral is, keep calling your card issuer and demanding they look into it. Agree it's a pain, though, and seems unnecessarily so. I've bought tickets in Italy's train system a few times and I always thought they were the worst, but this was much more stressful. But, I snagged a 20.50 euro deal for Granada to Madrid in May instead of 68, so it was worth it :) I'm hoping now that the holds are removed I can purchase the other 4 tickets I want to before my trip, LOL

Malaga, Spain
Destination Expert
for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid
posts: 33,841
reviews: 2,230
8. Re: Booking Renfe train tix from US

debstah:

Congratulations on being persistent and winning!

Los Angeles
posts: 1,520
reviews: 29
9. Re: Booking Renfe train tix from US

I'm too cheap and stubborn to give up when there's that kind of bargain at stake ;) And it's not possible without your guide, which is invaluable. so thank you!

Madison, Wisconsin
Destination Expert
for Madrid
posts: 7,695
reviews: 19
10. Re: Booking Renfe train tix from US

In giving my trouble-shooter hint, I did not mean to bypass, in any way, the excellent guide written and updated in a timely manner by Benny Malalga.

With dabstah, I would like to thank Benny for his continual service to Trip Advisor and its readers.

And debstah, I also am too cheap and too stubborn, but stubborn/persistence wins the day in this venture with RENFE