What is a Jet Card?
You might have seen references in airport lounge magazines or if you frequently travel private by charter jet, friends or jet brokers might have mentioned jet cards. Even if you’ve never heard of them, jet cards could be a smart option for you.
But there are a few questions you’d have before you opt for one of course such as what is a jet card? What are the advantages of having one? How much does a jet card cost? How do you choose the right one?
Here we help you answer the questions you need to ask, the factors to consider and everything you need to know about jet cards.
What Else Do You Need To Know About Having a Jet Card
Simply put, it’s your VIP pass to the skies.
Instead of arranging individual charters, a jet card lets you fly by utilizing either pre-paid hours at a set rate or for deposited funds.
It provides flexibility, fixed rates, and access to a fleet of private jets, tailoring luxury travel to your needs.
Types of Jet Cards
Private jet cards give you access to a world of options and are not based on a one-size-fits-all model.
Just as each journey is unique, not all private jet cards function in the same way. That's why it's important to know the different types.
The two main types of jet cards are fixed-rate and variable-rate jet:
- Fixed-rate cards provide a consistent hourly rate
- Variable-rate cards adjust their rates based on factors like time of day, week, or year
Furthermore, there are a few more notable types:
- Jet-Specific Hours Cards:
These jet cards provide access to a specific jet model or category for a certain number of flight hours.
While some cards offer a starting point of 10 hours, a standard choice is to purchase 25 hours at a fixed hourly rate.
- Deposit or Debit Jet Cards
These are prepaid jet cards.
A specific monetary amount (e.g., $100,000) is 'deposited' to prepay for flights. The cost of charter flights is then deducted from the funds on the card based on the usage.
Understanding these jet card types empowers you to select the one that aligns best with your travel preferences and needs.
Jet cards offer private jet access without the weight and hassle of ownership. This is the main reason driving the rise of this trend in modern travel.
The hourly costs usually surpass fractional ownership rates. To avoid initial capital expenses and ownership commitments, travelers choose jet cards.
Similar to debit cards, jet cards may be prepaid for as few as 25 hours.
Once the hours are used up, you can buy more to ‘top up’. Closing the account is generally a straightforward process all of which makes using jet cards a convenient option for frequent fliers.
Benefits of Jet Cards
Whether you're heading to your dream destination or wrapping up a business trip, your private jet card usually covers you.
Let’s look at some of the benefits that jet cards bring:
Pay for Flight Time
Deadhead hours typically don't end up on your bill. You pay solely for your actual flight hours—no returns you don't need or extra costs
When booking a one-off charter flight, your preferred jet may not be available. That’s where jet cards come in handy.
Jet card membership lets you confirm your preferred jet with a simple tap and secure it immediately.
No Repositioning Fees:
Repositioning fees are typically off the table.
Each flight's cost is pre-set, saving you from budget surprises.
Price Point Options
Private jet card prices are unique. They're based on the company, program offerings, and card type.
From different card levels to tailor-made experiences, you can choose from a variety of options available.
How Much Does A Jet Card Cost Per Hour?
It all depends on factors like the size of the aircraft, how far you're traveling, and the company you're going with.
On average, you might be looking at around $25,000 for 25 hours, and it can go up to over $200,000 for 100 hours.
Different flight times, and varying costs – that's all part of the deal with these cards.
So, before you dive in, take a moment to explore your options. Figure out what fits your budget and aligns best with your travel needs.
Questions to Ask Before Investing in a Jet Card
When deciding to invest in a jet card, there are multiple options out there. It’s important to ask the right questions when choosing.
We’ve got all the questions you need to ask before making the decision. Let’s dive in!
About the Private Jet Card Provider
- Experience Matters: How long has the company been a part of the private aviation landscape?
- Safety First: What are the provider's internal safety benchmarks? Any third-party ratings to showcase their commitment to safety?
- Ownership and Management: Does the provider own, manage, or charter their fleet of aircraft?
- Industry Recognition: Is the provider a member of NBAA (National Business Aviation Association)?
- Pilot Expertise: What's the training and experience level of the pilots?
- Global Reach: Where in the world are they authorized to take you?
- Clientele Insights: Who's their primary clientele? Do they serve business class, luxury travellers, or high-profile individuals?
About the Jet Card Program
- Variety of Choices: What types of jet card products do they offer, and who are they designed for?
- Aircraft Fleet: What kind of aircraft can you expect with the Jet Card?
- Membership Costs: Are there initiation and annual renewal fees?
- Availability Assurance: Do they offer guaranteed availability at the contracted rate?
- Rate Dynamics: Are the rates fixed or subject to change? How long are rates locked in for?
- Booking and Cancellation: How much notice is required to book a trip? What's their cancellation policy?
- Travel Calendar: How many peak travel days and blackout days are there per year?
- Fleet Access: Can you access multiple aircraft simultaneously?
- Upgrading/Downgrading: Is there an interchange fee for adjusting your aircraft choice?
- Expiry and Refunds: Will the Jet Card expire? Are flight fund deposits refundable?
- Trip Duration: Is there a minimum flight time per trip? Does taxi time count in the daily minimum flight time?
- Liability Coverage: What's the minimum liability and risk coverage provided?
Traveling with Your Jet Card
- Flight Area Coverage: What's the extent of their flight service area? Do they offer international travel?
- Preferred Points: Can you choose your preferred FBO or airport?
- In-Flight Amenities: Is WiFi available, and is it included?
- Culinary Delights: Is catering provided at no extra cost?
- Onboard Services: Do they include flight attendants in the package?
- Pet Policy: Are pets welcome on your flights?
- Travelling Minors: What's their policy for unaccompanied minors?
- Emergency Preparedness: What inflight emergency medical support is available?
- Customer Assistance: What's the quality of their customer support?
Key Considerations About Pricing and Costs
When exploring jet card options, it’s important to have a clear financial picture. For that, you need to be clear about certain aspects of the pricing models of the jet card providers.
Here’s what you need to consider:
- Minimum Daily Flight Times: Short flights often require a minimum 60-120 minutes of chargeable flight time.
- Reservation and Cancellation Policies: These vary based on travel days. Lead times range from 0 to 72 hours, and cancellations differ from 10 to 120 hours.
- FBO and Airport Fees: Landing fees and hangaring costs are extra considerations.
- Federal Excise Tax (FET): Watch out for the 7.5% FET that could impact your trip price. It might not always be included upfront.
- Membership and Initiation Fees: Jet card providers often charge membership and renewal fees. Some operators allow substantial initial deposits that act as future flight credits.
- Taxi Time Expense: Some operators factor in taxi time toward daily flight minimums.
- Fuel Surcharges: Fuel surcharges can crop up unexpectedly and raise your flight cost.
- Deicing and Rerouting Charges: Deicing and rerouting can lead to unforeseen expenses. Their inclusion in costs varies among providers.
- Peak Day Surcharges: Peak travel days can spike costs by up to 50%. Rates for these surcharges differ by operator.
- Expiration and Refunds: While some offer no expiration for funds, most jet card programs set 12-36 month time limits.
Jet cards provide the best of both worlds: instant travel flexibility without the complexities of aircraft ownership.
When picking a jet card, remember to evaluate the company, jet card type, hourly rates, your anticipated flight hours, and the provider's track record.
Don’t be afraid. Always delve into the details before signing up.
Enjoy your jet-setting adventures!
How do Jet Cards work?
A jet card resembles a debit card for private jet travel.
It involves prepaying for flights, allowing you to book at a predetermined hourly rate with assured availability.
How Far In Advance Should I Book A Private Jet?
We suggest that you book 1-2 months prior to your departure date.
How Much Does A Jet Card Cost?
Private jet card prices depend on the following factors:
- The company you choose
- The type of card
- The program you prefer
Some companies offer different card levels.
How do I choose a jet card?
Selecting the right jet card involves understanding your specific requirements.
The ideal program should align with your travel needs.
Key factors like pricing, availability, safety, and service are crucial when evaluating different jet card options