Travelers now have a major incentive to use MasterCard when purchasing airline tickets, with the debut of a new airfare price assurance program.
In a statement to reporters, company spokesperson Chris Aguas revealed that a MasterCard consumer survey showed 77 percent of travelers worry about timing their purchases to get the best deal on airfares.
The payment processor's solution to that problem, MasterCard PriceAssure, uses technology powered by Yapta.com to track price changes for registered flight itineraries. When the database detects a lower price for the same airline ticket, registered cardholders earn the difference in price as a credit toward future travel, minus applicable change fees.
Aguas detailed how the new service works:
- MasterCard customers, regardless of their issuing bank, can register their cards at mastercard.com/priceassure.
- After enrollment, cardholders can purchase flights directly from preferred, eligible airlines.
- The PriceAssure website can track participants' itineraries, notifying cardholders of even last minute changes in airfare.
- Upon receipt of a price alert, cardholders can request a flight credit directly from an airline customer service representative.
- To save time, PriceAssure can handle the customer service requests and flight credit for a flat fee.
MasterCard PriceAssure costs nothing for cardholders or for issuing banks, making the travel feature a cost-free, risk-free service that can assure travelers will save as much money as possible on airfare. Although some online travel agencies and booking websites offer similar features, the creators of PriceAssure note that their price tracking database works with airlines' own websites.
Eligible airlines include:
- US Airways
- Virgin America
Because the best airline credit cards often reward cardholders with extra bonuses for purchasing directly from carriers, frequent flyers often risk spending more on tickets. MasterCard PriceAssure removes that risk for participating cardholders, allowing them to purchase tickets with confidence that they will get the best possible fare.