Jetstar, the low cost subsidiary of Qantas, has launched a new program today. It is not a frequent flyer program (because they are too expensive) but instead a frequent buyer program launched to a branded Macquarie Bank credit card (Mastercard).
For every A$1 spent you get one Jetstar Dollar (jetbucks?) cent, or two on the more expensive platinum card. Like Air New Zealand Airpoints (with Airpoints Dollars), the Jetstar Dollars are used directly to pay fares of that value. However, there are some gotchas:
- vouchers are issued automatically when 100 Jetstar Dollars are accumulated
- vouchers can only be issued in multiples of 25 Jetstar Dollars
- when a voucher is issued you have 3 months to ticket and 6 months to fly it before the voucher expires
- Jetstar Dollars can only be redeemed on Jetstar flights
- earning cap at A$50,000 a year (or A$100,000 a year on the platinum card)
When using the Jetstar branded credit card on www.jetstar.com to make a flight booking the credit card charges are waived.
You can use a mixture of credit card and Jetstar Dollar vouchers to pay fares. It is unclear whether the excess of voucher value over fare is lost or retained for future use (I'm guessing it is lost).
Conversion of Jetstar Dollars to Qantas Frequent Flyer points is planned for next year.
Overall, it is a cheap pale imitation of most frequent flyer or credit card rewards programs. However if you fly Jetstar a lot it may be worthwhile. For more information, check out the Jetstar Mastercard page.