For frequent flyer hoarders like myself flights present a unique opportunity to pick up a lot of points.
This isn’t just the miles you earn from actually flying but the points you can pick up from paying for your flight by credit card.
When booking flights for my most recent trip to Thailand for both my sister and I, I was excited about the $850 worth of points that I’d pick up for paying for the trip with my credit card.
That was until I attempted to pay by credit card and realised Jetstar was going to charge me $12.50 PER TICKET to pay via credit card. There is no way I’d pay that kind of fee just to earn 800 points- it definitely wouldn’t have been worth it.
The high credit card booking fees seem to be a universal problem with budget airlines worldwide and the method I’m about to show you for avoiding it might also work with other budget airlines. However I’m going to be specifically talking about one of Australia’s budget airlines- Jetstar.
So, how do I avoid the Jetstar Credit Card Booking fee?
There is a simple way to avoid the credit card fee that I stumbled upon when trying to find a way around the Jetstar fee- gift vouchers!
Jetstar offers gift vouchers at intervals of $25, $50, $100, $200, $300 and $500. They’ll let you pay for these via Paypal through which you can via credit card, free of charge.
So let’s say I have a $120 flight to book. I buy the $100 gift voucher using my credit card attached to my PayPal account, get the voucher sent to my own email and then input the code at the checkout.
Unfortunately if you pay for the difference via credit card you’ll still be charged. Thus I’d pay the balance (in this case $20) through POLI which is the only free way to pay for Jetstar flights.
You might be asking why I didn’t just purchase the $200 voucher above and keep the difference for a future flight.
The reason is Jetstar, dodgy as always, will take any balance leftover on your gift voucher. So if you pay for a $120 flight with a $200 gift voucher you will lose the $80 balance and never see it again. It states very specifically on the gift voucher that any balance is forfeit.
Another warning is that you can’t use more than one voucher per transaction to make up the balance. Thus you couldn’t purchase a $100 and $25 voucher to pay for a $125 flight because the system will only accept one.
I find this completely ridiculous, especially when you think about someone that might have multiple vouchers from a birthday or Christmas present. But since when has Jetstar ever made our lives easy?
Thus this method isn’t full proof. I only ended up earning 500 points on my $850 worth of flights because the most expensive voucher available is $500. Thus I purchased this voucher and paid the difference on POLI. But I still had 500 points I wouldn’t have had, had I not discovered this method.
UPDATE: Using Price Beat Guarantee to Avoid the Jetstar Credit Card Booking Fee
If you book through Jetstar’s Price Beat Guarantee you can save 10% and also avoid the credit card fee altogether.
They just don’t charge you to use your credit card when booking through this method.
Find out how to use the Price Beat Guarantee in this post.
Possible other method?
You don’t get charged any fees with Jetstar if you are paying on the Jetstar Mastercard.
If you are thinking of getting this credit card I’d recommend the more expensive Jetstar Mastercard Platinum card, as unlike the cheaper version, it currently comes with 50,000 points for a $150 annual fee which is a pretty good deal!
I’ve been wanting this card for a while but despite the fact I’ve been approved for numerous other cards and have a great credit rating, Jetstar keeps rejecting me for this card. You’ll probably need the kind of income a full time job brings in order to get this one!
Do you know of any other tricks for hacking the system and avoiding fees? Have you used a similar method for another budget airline? Let us know by commenting below!
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