Money Hack: Avoid credit card surcharges with Tigerair Australia

Angus Kidman 7 June 2017

Tigerairhack_Shutterstock738

Make that cheap flight even cheaper.

Credit card surcharges can seem like an unavoidable hassle when you're booking flights online. To be sure, the fees involved aren't anywhere near as bad as they used to be. Following a regulation change last year, airlines have been forced to charge a more realistic fee that reflects the actual cost of card processing. But wouldn't you prefer not to pay a fee at all?Here are two ways to achieve that with Tigerair, and keep that $19 flight as cheap as possible.

The hack

Tigerair has two free options to consider. The first is to use the POLi payment system, which lets you make a payment direct from your bank account, and which is supported by most major banks.

The second is less obvious. Tigerair charges a different percentage surcharge for credit and debit card payments, depending on which card you use. For Visa credit cards, the fee is 1.33% of the total booking value. For Mastercard credit cards, it's 1.25%. For debit Visa cards, it's 0.88%, and for debit Mastercards, it's 0.86%.

Obviously, a debit Mastercard is the cheapest option, but there's an additional trick. If you use a debit Mastercard and book through the official Tigerair mobile app, there's no surcharge at all. We noticed this when Tigerair revised its surcharges in September last year, and assumed at the time that this option would disappear with the next app update. However, as of this writing, it's still listed as a free option on the Tigerair site - so definitely worth taking advantage of if you have a debit Mastercard.


finder money hacks is a bi-weekly roundup of the latest tips and tricks to improve your finances. Check back every Wednesday and Saturday for new hacks.

Picture: Peterfz30/Shutterstock

Latest Flight Deals

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Ask a question
feedback