New Airline Credit Card Waives Booking Surcharges

Though some credit card issuers have suffered criticism for scaling back or eliminating frequent flyer rewards, a new affinity program in Australia could signal a new kind of perk for road warriors. Over the past year, many airlines and travel agencies have added convenience fees for credit card bookings by phone or web. While many credit card merchant agreements prohibit passing the cost of interchange fees and other processing costs directly to customers, flat processing or convenience charges escape those restrictions.

Jetstar, an Australian discount airline owned by Qantas, recently announced an affinity credit card that waives ticketing fees, while earning additional rewards and rebates for cardholders. Travelers can avoid convenience charges when booking Jetstar flights online or by phone and using the Jetstar MasterCard, saving as much as $5 AUS per flight. Company officials told reporters that, if successful, their partnership with credit card issuer Macquarie Bank could extend to Qantas bookings in the near future. With American frequent flyers enduring a host of surcharges, industry analysts predict similar credit card reward offerings to arrive in the United States soon.

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Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.