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So the big banks have credit cards. The little banks have credit cards. Credit unions and building societies have credit cards. Even supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths have credit cards. But what about airlines?
When it comes to credit cards, alliances with airlines is nothing new. Just look at all the frequent flyer credit cards on the market. Many of the big banks – and smaller providers – offer airline branded credit cards that allow cardholders to earn frequent flyer points for that airline’s rewards program.
For frequent flyers, these cards simply make sense. Cardholders can earn rewards points on their everyday shopping, and on flights they book using their credit card. Many frequent flyer cards also offer special perks, such as airport lounge access, free in-flight entertainment and priority boarding.
So, nothing new then. But, unlike other airlines, Jetstar has cut out the middleman. Instead of offering a rewards program via a bank-branded credit card, Jetstar offers its own range of credit cards. With a basic and a platinum card on the table, Jetstar seems to provide some pretty decent features. But are these cards any good?
The Jetstar Mastercard is Jetstar’s basic card. First off, let’s take a look at its purchase rate. While it probably couldn’t be described as a low rate card, the Jetstar Mastercard’s purchase rate certainly isn’t eye-watering.
Its purchase rate is much lower than many frequent flyer cards – including its sister card, the Jetstar Platinum Mastercard. Why does this matter? This is a tricky one. The reason you would want a credit card with a low purchase rate would be to save money on interest.
If you retain a balance on your card, then you want a card that attracts the lowest possible interest rate. But, if you tend to retain a balance on your card, then a rewards card may not be the best choice. By paying out in interest, you may negate the value of any rewards you receive.
Okay, so if you happen to use your card to buy flights – and earn rewards points – you may not be able to pay off the balance straight away. We always recommend that you pay off the balance as soon as possible. But, at least any balance left unpaid on a Jetstar Mastercard would accrue at a lower rate of interest than some frequent flyer cards.
Frequent flyer cards often charge higher annual fees than standard cards. Why? Because they are offering the opportunity to earn rewards on a rewards program, credit card providers tend to charge cardholders more for the privilege. That’s one reason why it pays to be a big spender if you choose a frequent flyer card.
The Jetstar Mastercard actually has a reasonable annual fee. Still unsure? Just make sure that you are getting more back in rewards and features than you pay out in your annual fee.
What about that rewards program? The Jetstar Mastercard allows cardholders the choice of two rewards programs. The options? There is the Jetstar Dollars program and the perhaps better known, Qantas Frequent Flyer program.
As the basic version, the Jetstar Mastercard earns rewards at a slower rate than the Jetstar Platinum Mastercard. However, this may work to the advantage of some cardholders – especially when you take into account the lower annual fee.
If you choose to collect points on the Jetstar Dollars program, with the Jetstar Mastercard, you can earn 1 Jetstar Dollar per $100 spent on eligible purchases. This is capped at 500 Jetstar Dollars.
If you opt for the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, you can earn 0.5 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases. This is capped at 25,000 Qantas Points. Choosing this card and this rewards program also incurs a Qantas Frequent Flyer Rewards annual opt-in fee of $30.
What else do you need to know? Unlike the Jetstar Platinum Mastercard, the Jetstar MasterCard doesn’t offer too many frills outside its rewards program. Cardholders can enjoy up to 55 days interest free on purchases – as long as the balance is paid in full by the due date.
Aside from the various MasterCard Privileges and Jetstar extras offered on both cards (which we’ll talk about later), there’s not much left to know about the Jetstar Mastercard. Both cards have a minimum annual salary requirement of $30,000. The Jetstar Mastercard, however, has a maximum credit limit (on opening) of $50,000, whereas the Jetstar Platinum Mastercard’s credit limit reaches $100,000.
Again, let’s start out with the purchase rate. The Jetstar Platinum Mastercard features a significantly higher purchase rate than its more basic counterpart. With this higher purchase rate, it becomes even more important to pay off the balance before interest starts accruing. If you happen to retain a balance, you will find it harder to make the rewards program worth your while.
Similarly, the platinum card has a significantly higher annual fee than the basic version. This should also be taken into account when thinking about how much value you receive from your rewards. However, for that higher annual fee, you do receive a few extra platinum perks. For some cardholders, these perks can make paying extra worth it.
For your higher annual fee, you can earn more rewards as you spend – with a higher annual cap as well. If you opt for the Jetstar Dollars program, you can earn 1 Jetstar Dollar for every $50 spent. This is capped at 2,000 Jetstar Dollars.
If you choose to earn on the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, you can earn 1 Qantas Point for every $1 spent on eligible purchases. This is capped at 100,000 Qantas Points. Unlike the Jetstar Mastercard, there is no Qantas Frequent Flyer Rewards annual opt-in fee.
With a platinum card, generally comes platinum perks. The Jetstar Platinum Mastercard is no exception. These perks – as with many other platinum cards – are centred around ‘complimentary’ insurances.
Which insurances are on offer? In terms of travel-related insurances, the Jetstar Platinum Mastercard offers Overseas Travel Insurance Cover, Travel Cancellation Cover and Transport Accident Cover. As for retail-related insurances, cardholders can enjoy peace of mind with Purchase Security Insurance and Extended Warranty Insurance.
Another platinum perk on offer is Jetstar’s Platinum Concierge service. Just as a concierge service in a hotel, this Platinum Concierge service is designed to help cardholders with any number of tasks. This could include booking theatre tickets or flights, or it could mean providing advice on which restaurant to try while staying in a certain city.
With both cards, you have the option of choosing to earn Jetstar Dollars or Qantas Points. Which option is right for you? That would usually come down to which airline you fly with most frequently.
Obviously, if you use Jetstar to get around, then the Jetstar Dollar program would be a good choice. This program allows you to swap the Jetstar Dollars you earn for Jetstar Travel Vouchers. These can then be redeemed on flights and holiday products.
Alternatively, if you tend to fly Qantas, then earning Qantas Points would probably offer more value for you. The Qantas Points you earn can be used to book flights, to cover upgrades on eligible fares, or to choose from more than 3,000 products in the Qantas Store.
But before making a decision, it can be a good idea to check the small print. Find out more about each rewards program to make sure it’s the best option for you.
Sick of paying over-the-top booking fees on flights? Booking flights with a credit card used to mean paying a substantial amount in booking fees. Booking flights on Jetstar was no exception. Customers buying Jetstar flights would have to pay $8.50 per passenger per flight in booking fees alone.
Unless they had a Jetstar Mastercard or Jetstar Platinum Mastercard that is. Those lucky cardholders booked Jetstar flights fee free when paying with their Jetstar card. For many cardholders, this was a major drawcard – especially for those flying Jetstar frequently.
Now though, things have changed. Jetstar cardholders can still pay for Jetstar flights with their card fee free, but the standard booking fee has dropped significantly. Regulatory changes mean airlines are no longer allowed to charge enormous booking fees for credit card purchases.
Now, non Jetstar cardholders buying Jetstar Airways flights pay a booking fee of 0.48% when paying with debit card or prepaid Mastercard or Visa. If paying with PayPal, that fee is 0.75%, while paying with a credit card incurs a fee of 1.06%.
It is worth noting that flights booked on Jetstar Asia still have the $8.50 per passenger per flight booking fee for non Jetstar cardholders. On those flights, Jetstar cardholders again book fee free.
Both the Jetstar Mastercard and the Jetstar Platinum Mastercard offer a number of enticing features for the frequent Jetstar flyer. Holidays can be expensive, which can mean they can take some time to pay off. But while you are paying off your balance, interest is accruing.
With a Jetstar credit card you can enjoy a bit more breathing space to allow you to pay off your trip without worrying about interest. How does it work? When you use your Jetstar credit card to pay for any flight or hotel booking of $300 or more at jetstar.com or via the Jetstar call centre, you can enjoy six months interest free.
Want more? How about 10% off selected on board purchases? You can save money simply by using your Jetstar card on board any Jetstar flight. Use your card to pay for food or beverages and you can enjoy 10% of the total bill. Easy.
It’s also worthwhile looking out for any introductory offers that may be available. You may be able to save money on balance transfers, or you may enjoy bonus rewards points. Take a look at what’s on offer to see if there are any intro offers that work for you.
Mastercard offers cardholders an amazing range of great deals with Mastercard Privileges. Both at home and overseas, cardholders can indulge in a wide selection of dining, travel, retail and entertainment experiences. No need to sign up. Just check out the website to find out what’s available.
While Mastercard Privileges are available on both the Jetstar Mastercard and the Jetstar Platinum Mastercard, Priceless Cities is another platinum perk only available on the platinum card. What is Priceless Cities exactly?
Priceless Cities is another feature offered by Mastercard. But this one is slightly more exclusive. In cities around the world, Priceless Cities members have access to a fantastic range of indulgent experiences and offers. From priority seating at select restaurants, to discounted stays at luxurious hotels, to private shopping experiences with personal stylists – Priceless Cities has the lot. To make it work for you, check out the Priceless Cities website.
The credit card market is positively bulging with options. From no frills low rate, low fee cards, to feature-packed platinum rewards cards, there is something for everyone. So, how do you choose the right one? Should you really go for a Jetstar credit card?
Jetstar as an airline has been around for a while now. Established in 2003, Jetstar was introduced as Qantas’s low cost option. Since then, Jetstar has grown and expanded to become “Australia’s no.1 low fares airline”. Jetstar now has a fleet of 70 aircraft, which flies to 39 destinations around the world.
This growth has spawned expansion into other areas. Jetstar now offers packages with Jetstar Holidays – as well as a range of financial products.
Both of Jetstar’s credit cards could work well for frequent Jetstar flyers. If used correctly, they can offer an affordable way to earn points. They also offer an easy way to earn Jetstar Dollars or Qantas Points, with a few fancy perks thrown in to sweeten the deal. Interested? Check out Jetstar’s credit cards in more detail and pick the one for you.
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