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How to Avoid Greyhound’s Prepaid Ticket Fee and Save Money on Bus Tickets

Hands holding a Greyhound bus ticket

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Extra fees are painful but sometimes unavoidable. Paying extra for bags beyond the bus’ luggage allowance makes sense. Paying extra for someone else’s ticket makes a lot less sense.

However, Greyhound’s Prepaid Ticket Orders apply a fee in that exact situation. So, if you head to a Greyhound station to buy a bus ticket for your child to travel home from the holidays, you can expect a hefty $18 fee to be added to your total. 💸 Sounds like one less gift under the Christmas tree for your favorite child.

We at Wanderu care deeply about saving you money on bus and train travel, which is why we’re sharing this insider tip for avoiding the unnecessary fee on Greyhound bus tickets.

What is the Greyhound Prepaid Ticket Fee?

Greyhound is the largest bus company in the United States and offers bus routes throughout the country. When you’re booking a ticket for someone else, there’s a good chance Greyhound has a bus on the route you’re looking for.

There are two ways to buy a Greyhound ticket: in person or online. If you book a ticket in person at the station and are not the passenger, Greyhound considers this a “Prepaid Ticket Order,” and charges a gift ticket fee.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You buy a prepaid ticket order in person at whichever Greyhound station is convenient for you. The total will be the cost of the ticket plus an $18 fee.
  2. You will receive a confirmation number, which you should share with the person who is traveling.
  3. The traveler can pick up a copy of the ticket in person at the departure station of their trip. They will just need to provide a photo ID (or a password you set up upon purchase) and the confirmation number of the ticket you bought.

Buying a Prepaid Ticket Order incurs a non-refundable Prepaid Ticket Order fee of $18. The $18 fee is per transaction (not per ticket), so you only pay it once, even if you’re buying multiple tickets. But that is still a good chunk of change.

How to Avoid Paying the Fee

Unnecessary fees? No thanks.

The easiest way to avoid paying the Prepaid Ticket fee is to book the Greyhound bus ticket with a credit card online on Wanderu or on the Wanderu app.

On Wanderu, you can search and compare all of the ground travel options available for the traveler’s route. You might even find a cheaper ticket offered by another bus company!

Even if the person paying is not the person traveling, a Prepaid Ticket fee will not be applied for Greyhound tickets purchased on Wanderu. But you still get the same ticket on the same bus!

Buying a Ticket for Someone Else on Wanderu

Booking on Wanderu means you don’t have to worry about Greyhound’s Prepaid Ticket fees.

So if you’re booking a Greyhound ticket for someone else, booking on Wanderu is the way to go. There are two Greyhound ticket delivery options to choose from on Wanderu: will-call or print-at-home tickets.

If you select the will-call option, the traveler will pick up their ticket from the Greyhound desk at the station by providing their photo ID and the confirmation number (sent via email after purchase).

If you select the print-at-home option, you’ll receive a PDF of the Greyhound ticket sent to the email address you provide. The traveler should dig out an old printer 🖨️ or head to an office store to print this PDF. They’ll then show a paper copy of the ticket to board the bus. (If you’re against paper waste, consider booking with one of the bus companies that offer mobile tickets).

When booking a trip for someone else, there are just a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Enter the email address where you’d like the ticket to be sent. This can be your email address or the email address of the person who will be traveling. (If you provide your email address, you can forward the ticket email to the traveler.)
  • Make sure the passenger name you provide matches the name on the traveler’s photo ID.
  • Make sure to enter the billing name and billing address of the person paying for the ticket in the corresponding fields. These fields should contain the information of the cardholder who is paying for the trip.

When you complete your purchase, a confirmation email with the ticket’s confirmation number will be sent to the provided email address (along with the ticket PDF from Greyhound, if you selected a print-at-home ticket).

And just like that, you saved 18 big ones. It’s up to you whether you use those funds to buy a coffee to give to the traveler when you pick them up from the bus station. 😉

More Tips to Save on Travel

Saving you money on bus and train travel is kind of our thing. Now that you know how to avoid unnecessary Prepaid Ticket fees on Greyhound, check out these money-saving articles to learn even more insider secrets to save on travel:

And you’ll always find the cheapest travel deals by searching on Wanderu, where we compare hundreds of bus and train companies to get you the best price.

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About the author
Bryn Culbert

Bryn Culbert

A planner at heart, Bryn loves nothing more than researching and creating a detailed travel itinerary. She is partial to quirky museums, hole-in-the-wall coffeeshops, and overstuffed bookstores in the cities she visits.
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