Orange Cash Prepaid Mastercard review. Very promising benefits at the beginning but disappointing at the end.
Once upon a time I was looking for a prepaid Mastercard so I can pay for Ryanair tickets without this ridiculous charges. After analyzing few options I’ve chosen Orange Cash . Mainly because it was free (apart from initial fee, which also can be avoided when taking card in store), no monthly fee and no online transaction fees. Plus, as a Pay As You Go Orange customer I could benefit from it: for every £1 spend I earn 1 point. And then I can exchange points for free minutes, text, vouchers .
But after few months of using it I can say that this reward scheme sucks. Why? Simply because Orange doesn’t tell you everything. You can find out about limitation of a particular reward only after you buy it. Of course you will remember those disadvantages after your initial purchase. I was hoping that with this scheme I can have a virtually “free” phone. By earning as many points as possible and then converting these points for rewards that I can use to top-up. But I’ve failed.
Here are the things they aren’t telling you:
Your Orange Cash reward has been applied. You can chat for free for 20 minutes in the UK until 23:59 on 03/02/12.
After receiving this text everything is clear. You can use those minutes only for UK mobiles and landlines. Forget calling special numbers and friends/family abroad. But also, and most annoyingly they expire. What!? Nowhere on Orange Cash website or T&C or benefits description it says that they have an expiration date!
Your Orange Cash reward has been applied. You can now send 150 free text messages in the UK until 23:59 on 03/02/12.
Another beautiful example similar to above. Texts only to UK mobiles and they expire after a month.
After trying the first two options I thought “free credit” must be the thing I need. It was more expensive, in terms of points necessary to redeem this reward, than for example free minutes. I was hoping that it will revitalize my air time and even if I top-up for a tenner I’d get usual Magic Numbers (very cheap calls to selected Orange mobiles). I was so wrong:
Your Orange Cash reward has been applied. You now have 5 free credit to use on calls to UK landlines and mobiles until 23:59 on 03/02/12
What I got was not the proper top-up I (wrongly) expected. I’ve received some kind of credit that went to my Orange Extras balance. Again I can use it for a month only for UK mobiles and landlines. Not much different from free minutes reward but requiring more points.
Orange shop vouchers
So far 700 points went down the drain (earned by spending 700 pounds via Orange Cash card). I’ve chosen the last option – redeemed another 500 points for £5 voucher. Here’s what I got:
Get £5 off your shopping and any Orange store by 05-Apr-12. Simply show this voucher number 00000000 to the sales advisor. T&Cs at orange.co.uk/orangecash.
Again we have an expiration date, but not so bad: three months instead of usual one. But here comes the best part. When I took it to Orange store in Canary Wharf even the manager had no clue what to do with it as he saw it first time in his life. Of course I couldn’t use it for my top-up and had to pay usual way. When I come back after lunch one member of staff was able to figure it out. But she also said that it can’t be used to top-up only to buy phones or accessories. Why I’m not surprised?
I’m hugely disappointed. I was hoping that I’ll be able to use those rewards for top-ups but it is impossible. But objectively speaking it is still a good deal. You can still save on Ryanair’s “card processing fee” £5 per person per single trip. And also if you text a lot or call only withing UK those free minutes, texts, “credit” will prove very useful.
thanks for the details
Thanks for taking the time to give us the details of this cards rewards and how it works. Like you I was thinking this would enable me to have my phone for virtually free. Unlike you I only call folks in the UK so I guess in my case it will be almost true too.
I do not have “anytime” calls on my landline, so I hope with this to get some daytime calls and calls to mobiles for free.
I shall not be bothering with the “ВЈ5 credit” option though, as that seems a waste of time and money.
also a suggestion
I have no idea if this works properly or not. But a search on MSE’s international callchecker threw up a few companies that you are supposed to be able to use your mins on and then pay them.
It is worth a look, type “mse international callchecker” in google and I am sure you will see what I mean.