Jetstar launches Afterpay on international flights

Posted: 27 April 2018 10:50 am

You can buy now, pay later on flights across Jetstar's entire network.

Late last year Afterpay announced its entrance into the travel world, partnering with budget airline Jetstar to enable customers to purchase their flights and pay them off later.

Since then Jetstar has been floating a pilot programme across its domestic flights on purchases of $200-$1,000.

Now, after months of holding out on expanding the programme, the budget airline has finally rolled out Afterpay across its international flights, enabling travellers to layby flights across its network.

As part of the expansion, Jetstar has increased the limit on purchases, capping it at $1,200 including the Afterpay payment fee. This might not seem like much but, being a budget airline where fares can fall as low as $99 on one-way international flights, it covers most return flights across its network.

Jetstar has also decreased the amount of lead-time required to book your flights to just two weeks. This is a marked difference compared to when it first launched, where customers were required to book at least eight weeks in advance. As Afterpay works on an eight-week interest-free payback model, this meant you were forced to pay your flight back in full before taking off or incur interest charges and late-payment fees.

Now, you merely have to pay a quarter of your flight back before taking off.

It all sounds like a traveller's financial dream come true, but something to be wary of is that unlike with other Afterpay retailers, Jetstar charges you to use this payment method at a rate of 1.5% of the total purchase price. This replaces the pilot programme fee, which was a straight-up $10 charge per booking, making charges cheaper on purchases under $666, though pricier for all other purchases. Also, if you don't pay off your flight during the interest-free period, you'd be slugged with late fees.

This new fee also cements Afterpay as the most expensive payment method on the Jetstar site, with credit cards and Union Pay charging 1.01% of the booking, PayPal charging 0.76%, debit cards charging 0.49% and POLi being fee-free.

While Jetstar might be the first and only airline currently partnered with Afterpay, rival airline Tigerair isn't far behind. It plans to launch with alternate interest-free payment scheme ZipPay by the end of the month on flights across the entire network with the added ability to charge multiple purchases to a total of $3,000 to your account.

There's no word yet how much the payment method will cost to use with Tigerair, but we'll keep you posted when we know more.

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