Virgin Australia announces new credit card booking fees
Virgin Australia has revealed the new surcharges customers will pay when booking flights with a credit card as of September 1.
In May, the Reserve Bank of Australia introduced a ban on flat-rate credit card surcharges in an attempt to regulate excessive credit card surcharges. The ban will come into place as of 1 September, so Virgin Australia has released its new credit card booking fees just in time to prepare for the new surcharge regulation tomorrow. Unfortunately, after comparing the current and new booking fees, the new regime might leave some flyers worse off than the flat-rates.
You can compare the different costs that will apply before and after 1 September 2016 below.
New booking fees that will apply on Virgin Australia flights as of 1 September 2016
|Flight type||Credit||Debit||Paypal||Fee cap|
|Domestic and trans-Tasman||1.3%||0.6%||$5.00||$11.00|
|International short haul||1.3%||0.6%||$5.00||$70.00|
|International long haul||1.3%||0.6%||$5.00||$70.00|
Previous flat-rate booking fees
|Flight type||Credit, debit and Paypal|
|International short and long haul||$30.00|
While the ban of high flat rates on credit card surcharges was designed to curb excessive fees, this may have the opposite impact on some long-haul international flights. For example, while a Sydney to London (Heathrow) business class return flight with Virgin Australia currently attracts the $30 flat rate, the same flight will collect the new $70 fee cap after 1 September. While you would have had to have paid $7.70 on a return economy flight from Sydney to Melbourne worth $245.00, though, you'll only have to pay a booking fee of around $3.19 from September onwards. So, you will make some savings depending on the cost of your flight.
Virgin's new booking fee structure match the rates Qantas announced in July, so you'll have limited options if you want to avoid these higher fee caps on long-haul international flights from Australia.