Private Jet Card or On-Demand Charter: Which Should You Choose?

If you fly private, you will know there are two ways to charter a private jet: on-demand and jet card schemes. In this article, we look at both options to help you decide which fits your needs best and here you can learn more about private jet services:

Private Jet Cards

Private jet card membership are pre-payment cards. They give you guaranteed access to flights, usually on a specified category of plane (e.g., light jet). There are two types:

Flight Hours Jet Cards

These cards allow you to buy flight hours at a fixed hourly rate. Some cards start from 10 hours, but typically, you buy 25 hours. Your flights ‘spend’ those hours.

Deposit Jet Cards 

With this card, you ‘deposit’ an amount of money (e.g., $150,000) upfront. Your flight costs are debited from those funds. Flight pricing can be dynamic or capped.

The Pros and Cons of Jet Cards

Jet cards provide:

  • guaranteed access to aircraft (particularly valuable at peak times and for flights at short notice),
  • premium, personal service and sometimes, additional membership benefit,
  • guaranteed upfront pricing for every flight,
  • cost-effectiveness, as you’re only paying for your flight time.

However, there is a long-term commitment with jet cards, and a large upfront cost for deposit-style jet cards. Category restrictions can mean you have to pay extra fees to charter a plane outside that category. Also, some jet cards have:

  • expiration dates (meaning you may lose unused hours or funds),
  • ‘blackout’ days when they can’t be used (e.g., certain holidays),
  • geographical restrictions (flights outside specified areas may incur fees).

On-Demand Charter 

With on-demand private jet charter, you book and pay for flights as required.

Pros and Cons of On-Demand Charter

On-demand charter gives you:

  • flexibility—you can charter any class of plane suitable for your journey and destination, and fly anywhere where you wish,
  • no long-term commitment,
  • the ability to pay-as-you-go, rather than paying a large lump sum upfront,
  • no lost money due to unused hours or funds.

If that sounds unbeatable, bear in mind that frequent on-demand chartering will cost more overall for frequent flyers, and there’s no guaranteed access to flights. You many not always get the plane you want, when you want—or indeed, any plane at all—if you need a same-day flight, or you’re traveling at a peak time. Also, you will often be paying for pilot wait time, landing and repositioning fees, and even unwanted return trips—not just flight time.

Private Jet Card or On-Demand Charter: Which is Better for You?

Both purchasing methods have big benefits, but some drawbacks. However, it really comes down to what kind of flyer you are. If you fly private for more than 25 hours a year, a private jet card is usually the best, most cost-effective option. This is especially true if you always charter the same class of aircraft. Bear in mind the upfront cost, though, and potential additional expenses for chartering a different class of plane if your card is category restricted.

If you fly less than 25 hours a year and/or need to charter a variety of planes, on-demand charter is normally best. It also avoids long-term commitment and large upfront costs. However, remember that you may have issues accessing planes at short notice or busy periods.

Thinking of Purchasing a Private Jet Card?

With their cost-effectiveness and guaranteed aircraft access, private jet cards are increasingly popular with regular private flyers. However, before you purchase one, compare contenders side-by-side. Check the small print to ensure you select the best private jet card membership for your needs. Here, you can check out the details:

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Libby Austin

Libby Austin, the creative force behind, is a dynamic and versatile writer known for her engaging and informative articles across various genres. With a flair for captivating storytelling, Libby's work resonates with a diverse audience, blending expertise with a relatable voice.
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