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bahn.de payment question

by Drako31 Online Now May 6, 2013 at 3:38 AM

Hello!

Can I purschase tickets online at bahn.de by a DEBIT card instead of a CREDIT card?
As far as I see its not possible which is really inconvinient.

OK I may ask my friend to buy it for me with a credit card, but then they have another stupid rule:
I must identify myself on the train with a credit card along with my ticket???
(they require to specify a credit card number for identification during the online purchasing process)

May I then at least use my own DEBIT card number for identification? Or does it also have to be a credit card?

Jesus Christ...

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25 Answers
  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by leics Online Now May 6, 2013 at 3:51 AM

    The rule is not stupid, imo. How else can you prove that your eticket belongs to you and is not one you accessed/hacked from someone else's account?

    It may well be that DB *will* accept debit card payment: you won't know until you try as there is no real indication one way or the other. 'Credit card' may just be a shorthand term rather than an absolute.

    But if that does not work why not use the Paypal option?

    bahn.com/i/view/overseas/en/...

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by leics Online Now May 6, 2013 at 4:20 AM

    Kirsty, DB makes it clear that you have to provide the card you used to pay in order to use the etickets:

    >Your train ticket is only valid with an identification card.
    You have to carry the card you chose during the booking process with you on the train for fare controls.
    A provisional BahnCard never serves as an ID card.

    bahn.com/i/view/overseas/en/...

    I suppose it's up to the individual guard/inspector whether he/she would ignore that and accept other ID but I suspect not. When I used an eticket they put my card into a machine to check it.

    The eticket arrives pretty much as soon as payment is accepted so you can see why they check. The card used might have been stolen or fraudulently used or whatever....

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  • Re: bahn.de payment question

    by K_V_B Online Now May 6, 2013 at 4:27 AM

    You can just buy a ticket from ta ticket vending machine at the station. They accept debit cards.

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  • Re: bahn.de payment question

    by K_V_B Online Now May 6, 2013 at 4:33 AM

    It is actually not needed for the credit card used to book the ticket to be present when the ticket is used for travelling. It is perfectly possible for one person to buy a ticket for another person after all.
    What you need to do when buying a ticket is mention how the person travelling will identify him/herself. That means that if you buy a ticket from someone else you will need to ask them their ID or Passport number.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by leics Online Now May 6, 2013 at 4:35 AM

    I think you mean the person who buys the ticket must give the ID/passport number of the person who will actually use that ticket?

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by gwened Online Now May 6, 2013 at 5:07 AM

    yes the buying is incidental, the person getting the ticket must show ID, that the name on the ticket match the name on the ID, and the debit card is use for buying on anywhere as is the only one I have lol!

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  • Re: bahn.de payment question

    by Drako31 Online Now May 6, 2013 at 6:25 AM

    I have just improvised a dummy purchase. Guess what?

    "Unfortunately, no payments can be made via PayPal at this time. Please select another payment method."

    Ok. So obviously I wish to buy the cheapest tickets online far ahead. That is why I will not buy them at the station on the travel day, and cant do it now because I dont live in Germany/EU.

    I think they said that the ID CREDIT CARD NUMBER doesnt have to be the credit card used for the payment, and you can type some other credit card number for the ID - the one that you will have with you - please correct me if Im wrong.
    And I REALLY DON'T WANT to type my DEBIT CARD (that I will use on ATMs, and stores) number information anywhere online. I use internet debit card only for paying online. Those are MY RULES. :)

    So - thats it? No bahn.de travelling for me eh?
    No other NORMAL options available (like in any other country railways system)?

    Why on earth is not my passport ID sufficient?
    And why do they discriminate other countries personal IDs?

    PS I WOULD try to buy the ticket but the schedule aint available yet for my dates.
    And I was hoping that someone already tried to use Internet debit card to buy tickets from bahn.de

    After all...if they dont accept Internet debit cards...my friend will do it for me with his CREDIT card that he uses for internet....but this ID thing is just what pisses me off.

    ...Dear German buses, I'm looking at you...

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  • gwened's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by gwened Online Now May 6, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    "the ID CREDIT CARD NUMBER doesnt have to be the credit card used for the payment, and you can type some other credit card number for the ID - the one that you will have with you - please correct me if Im wrong."

    the credit/debit card number to buy does not have to be shown as long as the ticket name and the ID you give to the inspector if ask is the same. The buyer can be anybody is the traveler that the thing must match.

    Cheers

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  • Re: bahn.de payment question

    by K_V_B Online Now May 6, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    Drako31 wrote:
    So - thats it? No bahn.de travelling for me eh? No other NORMAL options available (like in any other country railways system)?

    Why on earth is not my passport ID sufficient? And why do they discriminate other countries personal IDs?

    I don't know of any railway (normal or otherwhise) that allows you to purchase tickets on-line using a foreign debit card. The infrastructure to make this possible is simply not there. So I don't really understand why you want to make this appear as a big failure by Deutsche Bahn.

    Secondly, when ordering using a credit card you do not need to use that card later for identification purposes. When ordering a ticket you can choose what the person travelling will later present as proof of ID. What you need to do is register on the site, and then order a ticket as if it was for another person. 

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  • margsch's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by margsch Online Now May 6, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    When I bought my online bahnde tickets the conductor did look at the cedit card and the eticket and my understanding of the info is that they must match. If I were you I would get a credit card for a relatively small sum, say $500, then do your booking hassle free. You won,t be able to book Hotels without one either. They do have the right to charge a night,s accommodation for noshows so I can understand this.

    There is no financial payment method whatsoever that is totally free of risk but my Bank has assured me that I don,t have to pay for any fraudulant use of my cards. which has happened by the way! Only a month ago there was a transaction for $17,000 on my credit card which was certainly nervewracking until the Bank opened but it was a Bank computer problem.

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  • margsch's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by margsch Online Now May 6, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    I was unable to cut and paste the page but just did a dummy booking and it stated:

    you cannot pay for someone else
    you cannot pay by debit card
    you cannot pay by mobile phone

    so looks like you amend your rules or pay full price. The savings can be substantial so it is worth doing online booking.

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  • Turtleshell's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by Turtleshell Online Now May 6, 2013 at 9:00 AM


    Drako31 wrote: Hello!

    Can I purschase tickets online at bahn.de by a DEBIT card instead of a CREDIT card? As far as I see its not possible which is really inconvinient.

    Debit cards/ bank collection is possible if you have a German bank account, because DB needs a positive credit check, and apparently that's something DB only bothers doing with banks within Germany. That's normal. I would not assume that Japan's railway network is willing to accept the debit card issued by my German bank.

    PayPal is normally accepted. This time not - probably because your ticket is heavily discounted and PayPal's share is too high.

    >> but then they have another stupid rule:

    Carefully with that kind of arrogance. Just because said rule doesn't make sense to *you* the rule could *still* make sense. As a matter of fact, (at least some) airlines do the same: When you pay your ticket using a credit card, you have to have your credit card with you on your day of departure.

    Recently, a passenger of an Iberia flight was denied boarding because he/she did not have the credit card with her through which she payed for the ticket. A German court ruled the practice illegitimate, arguing a credit card was not a travel accessory, she could have identified herself by showing her passport.

    To my knowledge, DB gives you the possibility to use other means to identify yourself, including your passport. It is your pick.

    >> I must identify myself on the train with a credit card along with my ticket???

    Yes, or by some other means, probably because your discounted ticket is non-transferable. This means, DB doesn't want you to sell your unused (but still discounted) ticket to somebody else if you can't take the trip. That's the normal risk of buying a discounted ticket. Hence the ticket sports your name and ID-number or your credit card number. When you purchase your ticket using a credit card, you have already entered a long number. So why bother entering *another* long number (that of your passport) or other data? Hence the credit card number is the default option. And normally, people have their credit cards with them, dont they?

    >> May I then at least use my own DEBIT card number for identification? Or does it also have to be a credit card?

    I think you can now answer your question yourself.

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  • Re: bahn.de payment question

    by K_V_B Online Now May 6, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    The reason you need to identify yourself when buying an e-ticket is to combat fraud. It's easy to make multiple print outs of your ticket. The only way DB can be sure that only one person is travelling on a ticket it sold is to check the identity of the person travelling against what is on the ticket. You can copy e-tickets, but you can't copy yourself...

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  • Re: bahn.de payment question

    by Drako31 Online Now May 6, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Well thanks for all the answers. You've cleared up some things for me.
    Sorry for the arrogance, but they made me furious just because they actually did not give an option for the passport identification. I can pick for ID: CREDIT CARD, german debit bank card, personal ID with a list of countries none of which I am resident of.(they even have a picture of the personal ID as an example)...if they really allow passports as well(though it is not stated anywhere)...then again, I apologize for this and everything is OK. As K_V_B said, I can't copy myself, right.

    I don't know about hotels, but I booked many hostels with my Internet debit card and it never failed. Same for the easyjet. And this card doesnt even have a PIN number...meaning I dont even need the plastic, I could just for example memorize/write down the numbers.

    And I will not take the Internet card with me. I'll use the normal debit card.
    I hope that will not be the problem if I have my passport and printed screenshots/emailed copys of bookings.

    PS By the way, on trenitalia for example, it is sufficient to have the PNR number if I understood well.

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  • Re: bahn.de payment question

    by K_V_B Online Now May 6, 2013 at 2:04 PM


    Drako31 wrote: PS By the way, on trenitalia for example, it is sufficient to have the PNR number if I understood well.

    Trenitalia can do that because it's premium trains have compulsory reservation. DB does not require a reservation, and so has to cope with the situation of people bying train tickets without DB knowing in advance which train they will take. 

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  • abalada's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by abalada Online Now May 6, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    DB is currently only accepting IDs which can be electronically read by the handhelds the conductors have to verify the authenticity of the Online-Tickets.

    But you could simply opt not for an Online-Ticket (e-ticket) but for a classical special paper ticket shipped to you. Such a ticket is not personalized at all and no ID of any kind is required to travel on such a ticket. Will however add a shipping fee of EUR 3,50.

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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by Maryimelda Online Now May 6, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    margsch wrote:
    I was unable to cut and paste the page but just did a dummy booking and it stated:

    you cannot pay for someone else you cannot pay by debit card you cannot pay by mobile phone

    so looks like you amend your rules or pay full price. The savings can be substantial so it is worth doing online booking.

     When they say that you can't pay for someone else, I would hope that doesn't apply to other members of the family.  I will be wanting to book train tickets for myself and my son and his family through DB soon.  I can put them all on my Credit Card, right?  Sounds like a stupid question I know, but I really don't want any nasty surprises.  In the past I have only had to book for myself and have always carried the Credit Card with me to present to the ticket inspector and I have never had a problem.

    Also, I will be travelling with two small grandchildren (ages 2 and 3).  I know that they travel free but what about on trains where reservations are compulsory?  Do they qualify for a seat or do we have to hold them on our knees for the entire trip?  If so, I guess we would need to pay for them so that they can get a seat and that's fine too, I just need to know in advance what the requirements are..

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  • margsch's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by margsch Online Now May 6, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    I,m sure you can add other people travelling in your party, the credit card would be to make sure the ticket belongs to you, as others have said, there would be nothing to stop someone printing off 20 copies of the same ticket and handing them out to others. Kate do a dummy booking on bahnde and you will see this message, I put Munich to Berlin and when it prompted me to pay now the next screen had the message about paying at the bottom.
    I would reserve seats for all your group including the children, this can be done quite separately from buying the tickets. There is a choice near the start in the left column saying reserve seats only. This costs about E5 each. You will have your train eticket beforehand so that you know you which train you are travelling on.

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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by Maryimelda Online Now May 6, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Thanks for your advice. What I meant when I asked about reserving seats for the kids was not for the regional trains but for trains with compulsory seat reservations e.g. ICE.
    I will certainly be paying the extra to reserve seats on the regional trains (where that is an option) just to know that we don't have to stand up or split up with the kids. Well worth the money. Just need to know if I should book and pay the full fare for the kids on the ICE trains or similar. Thanks again.

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  • margsch's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by margsch Online Now May 6, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    I don,t think you can reserve seats on regional trains. Even if you were not all sitting together you would surely be able to be nearby, regional trains I have used have sometimes only had 3 passengers in a carriage. The Intercity trains are free for children of a certain age, I think 4 and under. These fast trains are the ones that fill up, one other suggestion would be to choose seats with a table so that the children can play, this will also be on the selecting seats part. It will ask whether you want window seats etc.

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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by Maryimelda Online Now May 6, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    Yes I do understand about the seating options as regards tables etc. I have used DB many times over the years. It's just that this is the first time I have travelled with small children so I just need to be sure what is required. And yes you are right about no reserved seating on regional trains but there are some trains (I don't know how they would be described) that give you the option of reserving seats or not, so in those cases, I will certainly pay the small fee to reserve seats at least for the adults so that at worst, we can sit them on our knees. It can get confusing when you add a couple of kids to the mix but we'll work it out in due course. Thanks so much for your interest and for your input. Much appreciated.

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  • abalada's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by abalada Online Now May 7, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    > I know that they travel free but what about on trains where reservations are compulsory?

    Reservatiions are only compulsory on the very few ICE Sprinter and the night trains.

    > Do they qualify for a seat ... ?

    Yes.

    > If so, I guess we would need to pay for them ... ?

    No.

    In the end not even the seat reservation for the kids will cost you something as you can buy a family seat reservation (2 adults and 1-3 children) for EUR 8,00. Which means that just the 2 (grand-)parents have to pay.

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  • Maryimelda's Profile Photo

    Re: bahn.de payment question

    by Maryimelda Online Now May 7, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Thank you so much abalada. I really appreciate your help.

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  • Re: bahn.de payment question

    by K_V_B Online Now May 8, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    To just repeat: On the DB site you can buy tickets for someone else. You can do this even if you do not intend to travel yourself. In that case however you do need to register on the site, ie, make an account for yourself. That way it is possible for the personal details of one person to be used for payment, and those of another person to be on the ticket.
    (My GF buys tickets for people at here company using the company credit card all the time...)

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  • Re: bahn.de payment question

    by James_0807 Online Now Aug 12, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    They do actually state that using a passport as ID is not valid.

    Why on earth a passport is enough to get around the world by any means, but not enough to get on a train, is a bit beyond me but hey ho, thats what it says. "Note: Passports are not accepted as identification documents."

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