Jetstar’s new credit card surcharges: cheapest of the major airlines

Angus Kidman 1 September 2016

JetstarNarita_Shutterstock

Credit card bookings now score a 1.06% surcharge.

Like every other airline in Australia, from today Jetstar has to switch from charging a fixed fee for using credit cards to a percentage-based fee that more accurately reflects its own costs. The fees it has announced are the lowest of the four major Australian airlines.

Prior to today, Jetstar charges $8.50 per person per sector for credit card bookings. You could avoid that fee by paying with a Jetstar MasterCard, or by using POLi.

From today, you'll pay a percentage fee on the total booking cost if you use a credit or debit card. Here are the details:

Card type% charge
MasterCard Credit1.06%
MasterCard Debit1.06%
Visa Credit0.48%
Visa Debit0.48%
PayPal0.75%

The free options (using a Jetstar MasterCard or POLi remain in place). Jetstar's PayPal model uses a percentage, while rival budget carrier Tigerair charges a fixed fee for PayPal.

The new surcharges will be a much cheaper option than the $8.50 for most domestic flights, even when you take into account that the percentage applies to the full fare. You'd have to spend more than $800 on a one-way fare for the $8.50 option to have been cheaper -- a possibility with some Star Class fares to overseas destinations, but unlikely otherwise.

One annoyance: flights on Jetstar Asia still attract the $8.50 fee, since they're not covered by Australian regulations. If your flight number starts with 3Q rather than JQ, that's the fee you'll pay (again, you can dodge this by using a Jetstar MasterCard.

Similar changes have been introduced by Qantas, Virgin and Tigerair, while Rex already uses a percentage-based surcharge model. However, the percentages charged by those airlines are all slightly higher than Jetstar.

Airline credit card surcharges: what's changing

Picture: TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock.com

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