Please sign in to post.

Trouble with renfe.com website accepting credit cards

I've been trying to book an advanced AVE Train purchase from Barcelona to Madrid -- as Rick points out, much cheaper with an advance fare internet PROMO fare, by far! I registered on their website, registered two credit cards, also put RENFE apps on my iPhone and iPad. I've tried buying the tickets with 3 or 4 of my credit cards and they were NOT AUTHORIZED every time. First time said my bank did not approve, next time said the process was interrupted. I called AMEX (the first card I tried using) and they said nothing had even gone thru to them. Anyone else have a problem buying tickets from RENFE on line?

Posted by
1178 posts

Trip advisor has the best tutorial on purchasing RENFE tickets..Check it out. Also be sure to REGISTER with the site at the earliest opportunity. You will see this near the beginning of the site as I recall. ALSO, be sure your card is approved for purchase by the bank before you purchase the tickets. A call to the number on the back of the card will do this. And, your card must be "verified" (by visa in my case) before you make the purchase. Check with your card company as to how to do this.

Remember the tickets can not be exchanged, refunded, etc. But they are the best deal on the system. If you are over 62 you can get a walk up discount when you purchased the ticket by first going to the information desk with your passport and for five euros getting a discount card. It is not as good as the on line discount, but substantial.

The tickets will have the car number and the seat number on them. You luggage will go with you through a limited security *x ray of the suitcase" and be placed inside the car when you enter in one of the luggage racks.

Posted by
8 posts

Exact same thing happened to me several attempts, calling my bank etc. Seat 61 website has suggestions for alternatives.
Good luck!

Posted by
15614 posts

Despite using the tips from Trip Advisor, I have heard from many people who can't get their credit card approved through Renfe. If you've tried everything, then give up. http://petrabax.com/renfe/ is a US site that also book e-tickets with advance discounts. Unfortunately, Rail Europe currently only has the advance discounts available by phone, which adds extra fees to the price.

Posted by
17 posts

Eventually, one of my credit card companies called me to verify that I was the one trying to book this train ticket, that it wasn't fraudulent. After I verified this, they gave permission for the charge to go through, and when I went back to the Renfe website, had no trouble getting the tickets -- for an AVE train from Barcelona to Spain in early August at 40 Euros per ticket. Promo fare was about half the normal fare!

Posted by
47 posts

I am trying to buy tickets with Renfe for 4 days in a row...( we will be there in June). I tried all my cards, called to my banks, cleared everything and registered on site, as it shows on Seat61, but everything is still the same, - my transactions did not go through. I almost lost my patience... what I should do to buy these Renfe tickets?!

Posted by
984 posts

zosialiv,
Did you not read the the guides' advice, and as mentioned above, for alternatives like the agency petrabax?

Posted by
47 posts

Hi Neil,
yes, read the advice, but I would like to save my money and buy with Renfe, because at Petrabox the price of my tickets twice high! We are traveling through Spain, France and Italy and I would like to save some on tickets. Thank you...

Posted by
984 posts

I do not know whether you still have a problem or whether this is mentioned in any guide but www.loco2.com is being touted on a couple of other forums for ease of use and providing the same promotional deals as RENFE.

Posted by
86 posts

When I traveled to Spain with my family two years ago, I booked quite a few train tickets through Renfe, and I remember it being a nightmare. I used all the suggestions mentioned above. Also, sometimes I found one credit card would work to buy tickets for one trip, but then it wouldn't work to buy tickets for another trip. I remember constantly needing to switch the cards I used (and yes, all the cards were verified and the credit card companies called). I had the most success using the Spanish language version of Renfe site. Don't know why it worked better in Spanish than English, but it did. Went to www.renfe.es. It took a great deal of perseverance and involved a lot of frustration, but I ended up buying tickets for 4 different trips. Good luck!

Posted by
4316 posts

I get the same issues too. Per the tripadvisor forum instructions, which are very detailed and helpful, rejections are often because the renfe website cannot effectively communicate with your bank's website. Or the website security protocols are different. Amex is one card noted that will not work on renfe. Certain other bank cards might also just not work at all.

Posted by
300 posts

I ended up getting a virtual credit card number from my credit card company and it worked well. Also used the renfe site. Observed seat61's advice and registered first.

Posted by
7 posts

Has anyone purchased Renfe tickets through the RUMBO.es website (suggested as an alternative on Trip Advisor) similar to Petrabax? Their prices for Madrid to Barcelona were less than Petrabax and even the Renfe website (but there may be a service fee)? Thanks.

Posted by
984 posts

Re: RUMBO and '(but there may be a service fee)?' - Certainly there will. Do the maths. comparison properly if your money matters.

Posted by
1 posts

I just bought tickets yesterday and only my Citi AA Visa worked and the Verified by Visa window did pop up asking for more info including last four of SSN and zip code. But it went thru fine. None of my forex-free Chase cards (Sapphire Preferred, Hyatt, BA) worked even after I called Chase to add a travel notice. Chase said they didn't even see a $1 test authorization come thru from Renfe.

Bummer is that I had to pay Citi's 3% fee, but the tickets had just dropped 24% so it was still worth it.

Posted by
237 posts

Renfe doesn't sell tickets before 60 days on a lot of routes.
Try registering and using the Spanish language part of the site.
I have had luck with that and using a Visa card.
Even if there are 2 of you you can buy the 4p tickets and then you can stretch out.
just did that from BCN to VLC and it was cheaper and more comfortable than buying 2 seats.

Posted by
1 posts

Please help with RENFE website to buy tickets. I am on the IDENTIFICATION page. Under type of document , I clicked on passport. Second box reads DOCUMENT. What should I enter in this box ?. First time I tried, I left it black and jumped to the next box NOMBRE where I entered my passport number. It did not worked. I got a message that personal information is not entered correctly. They do not specify what exactly is not entered correctly. So, I am stuck on this page for hours , trying to enter information differently and no luck. Any suggestion ? I am reading all frustration with the following page which is payment. I can not even get to payment page . I am sure I will be having fun.
Thanks

Posted by
15614 posts

Renfe sent an email today saying they now accept PayPal. That sounded like good news for US residents. I am trying to test a purchase to confirm that the PayPal option comes up at check-out. However, I'm stuck at the same point Alex was, entering ID. It wants 3 fields at the top:

Type of document = passport

Document - sources say this means passport number, and that looks fine

Number - this is the one with the error message and none of the tips address it. It won't accept the same passport number, other random numbers, etc. I've tried many permutations on both English and Spanish versions of the page.

Posted by
237 posts

After you choose passport you do put your passport number but next
Line may be for the name on your credit card.
If you can take a screen shot we may be better able to help you.
I have booked many but only with a Visa.
I do it on the full website. Choosing Spanish as the language has worked best for me.
You can familiarize yourself with the Spanish website translated through google chrome but won't be able to book with the translater.