How To Avoid Credit Card Fees On Jetstar Flights

By Garth Adams on 28/Apr/2014

Most travellers prefer to pay for their flights with a credit card. And for good reason.

With you use credit to purchase a high-priced trip, you can rack up loads of rewards points and may even benefit from automatic travel insurance. So often, it’s a no-brainer.

But unfortunately, Jetstar has a pesky policy of charging passengers a $8.50-$12.50 AUD fee for every fare purchased with plastic (each way, per person). So that means if you’re a family of four taking an international flight, you’ll be shelling out an extra $100 AUD for the privilege of charging it.

In fact, Jetstar only waives its “Booking and Service” fee if you pay with a Jetstar MasterCard, Jetstar Platinum MasterCard, POLi or direct deposit.And while those methods may be handy, they won’t earn you any credit card reward points.

Fortunately, there’s a little-known trick that you can use to buy a Jetstar flight with your credit card without paying any extra fees.

How gift vouchers can help you beat the surcharge

Dodging Jetstar’s credit surcharge is relatively simple: just purchase a series of gift vouchers with a credit card using PayPal – Jetstar won't charge you any payment fees for these transactions. Then use the vouchers to purchase your flight.

Jetstar sends the gift vouchers immediately to your e-mail, so the process is quick and easy. But it’s always a good idea to check out the terms and conditions before you buy.

Keep in mind that Jetstar gift vouchers are only available in certain demonations ($25 being the smallest), so you may have to pay for some of your trip using POLi or one of the airline’s other fee-free methods. But that’s small potatoes.

Is your credit card travel insurance still valid?

While racking up all those rewards points is great, the other reason some people want to buy a flight with their credit card is to use the automatic travel insurance. So you might be wondering: if I buy my flight with gift vouchers, will my insurance still kick in?

Every credit card has different exclusions for their insurance policies. Therefore, you should always check with your credit card provider to make sure you have coverage before booking a flight. However, several major companies appear to be OK with extending coverage for gift vouchers.

ANZ Platinum – one of Australia’s best credit cards for free travel insurance – states in its policy that if you have no prepaid travel expenses because the trip was given to you or purchased for you, coverage can be activated by calling them.

Commonwealth Bank states in their insurance policy that coverage extends to permanent Australian residents who receive items as a gift from a cardholder.

But if you’re not 100% sure that your credit card provider will cover you, be sure to give them a call before you book a trip.

Want to help other people avoid the surcharge when buying Jetstar flights with a credit card? Tweet this article or share it on Facebook.

By Garth Adams on 28/Apr/2014

Tagged as: jetstar, save money, credit card