November 7, 2023

A Complete Guide to Purchasing a Jet Card

November 07, 2023

A Complete Guide to Purchasing a Jet Card


What is a Jet Card?

Private aviation is transforming the way busy professionals travel. Gone are the days of waiting in long TSA lines and being crammed into crowded airliners. The freedom and flexibility of private jet travel is now within reach for many through jet card membership programs.

But with over 50 jet card providers to choose from, how do you find the perfect program for your needs?

Jet cards provide guaranteed access to private flights in exchange for upfront deposits or monthly fees. Unlike fractional ownership, jet cards come with no long-term commitments. You only pay for the private flight time you need.

The ideal jet card program offers availability, flexibility, exceptional service, and value. Availability means access to aircraft on short notice, especially during peak demand periods. Flexibility allows you to fly one-way, direct, and change plans mid-trip without penalties. Top-notch service means working with an expert team that handles every detail proactively. And value means competitive pricing and maximizing every dollar spent.

When comparing jet card options, prioritize safety records, operator credentials, and crew experience. Customized offerings to fit unique travel patterns are also important. The premier programs provide access to a diverse guaranteed fleet, from Light Jets to Heavy Jets capable of long-range flights.

At Jet Linx, we offer clients unparalleled availability through our guaranteed Jet Card program. Our large national fleet of over 100 aircraft ensures access even during the busiest travel days. Customers enjoy personalized service, thoughtful amenities, and consistent standards across all 20+ Jet Linx locations – or wherever you may need to takeoff or land.

A Jet Linx Jet Card offers a guaranteed highest standard of safety, guaranteed availability (for all sizes of private jets) and guaranteed round trip rates. Our clients enjoy VIP treatment, member-only perks, and lifestyle benefits that are unmatched in private aviation. Jet Linx makes enjoying the benefits of private aviation easy.

Questions to Ask Before Purchasing a Jet Card

About the private jet card provider:

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • What are the internal safety standards and what third party ratings does the provider have?
  • Does the provider own, manage, or charter their aircraft?
  • Is the provider a member of NBAA (National Business Aviation Association)?
  • What level of training and experience do the pilots have?
  • In what areas of the world are they authorized to fly?
  • What is the clientele base like? Business class, luxury travelers, or high-profile individuals?

About the jet card program:

  • What jet card products are offered and what kind of passengers do they cater to?
  • What kind of aircraft are available with the jet card?
  • What are the initiation fees and annual renewal fees?
  • Is there an offer of guaranteed availability at the contracted rate?
  • Are rates fixed or dynamic? How long are rates locked in for?
  • How much advance notice is needed to book a trip? What about cancellation policies?
  • How many peak travel days are there per year? What about blackout days per year?
  • Is it possible to access multiple aircraft at the same time?
  • Is there an interchange fee for upgrading or downgrading?
  • Will the jet card ever expire? Are flight fund deposits refundable?
  • Is there a minimum flight time per trip? Is taxi time included in daily minimum flight time?
  • What minimum liability and risk coverage is provided?

Traveling with your jet card:

  • What is the flight service area?  
  • Does the provider fly internationally?
  • Can I choose my preferred FBO or airport?
  • Is there Wifi and is it included? 
  • Is catering provided at no additional cost?
  • Are flight attendants included in the price?
  • Are pets allowed on flights?
  • What is the policy for unaccompanied minors?
  • What inflight emergency medical support is there?
  • What is customer support like?

Jet Card Comparisons: Determining the Best Jet Card For You

It’s important to know how jet cards offer flexibility in terms of features and benefits to match your travel needs. While jet card pricing is often a differentiator, it should not be your sole determining factor. Consider some of the following factors below when selecting a jet card program.


From boutique operators to conglomerates, the size and strength of a brand can translate to a vastly different flight experience. Smaller operators may offer less in terms of aircraft options and you may deal more directly with aircraft owners. Larger organizations offer more variety in aircraft and a more consistent experience in terms of service and delivery. 

No matter the size or stature of a jet card program, you should look for a company that offers transparency. Responsible operators should be ready and willing to disclose pertinent information upon request. Finding an operator that you can easily and efficiently communicate with is important.


Jet Linx offers guaranteed fixed hourly rates because they provide a consistent, predictable cost to Jet Card members while remaining competitively priced. At the expense of predictability, other companies offer dynamic market-rate pricing, which is more of a gamble for customers as there’s no way to predict if hourly rates will rise or drop. You must decide whether you prefer stability or paying market price.


Jet card companies can be regional, national, and global. Jet Linx offers 20 private Base locations nationwide and has the authorization to access 5,000 airports domestically and 180 countries worldwide. Wherever you need to go, Jet Linx can take you there.


Not all jet card programs offer guaranteed access – especially for all aircraft sizes. Due to a large and varied fleet, Jet Linx can make this promise, but not all operators can say the same. We know that reliability is important to our clients, and that’s why we guarantee access to private jet aircraft when you need them. There will always be a plane ready to go when you need one, which is a major benefit compared to the unpredictability of chartering a private jet.


Most jet card programs cater to one size category or type of aircraft, but Jet Linx boasts a unique and diversified fleet of Light JetsMidsize JetsSuper Midsize Jets, and Heavy Jets. When your travel plans inevitably change, it’s comforting to know that you have options. With more than 30 different kinds of aircraft, we always have the right jet to fir your unique mission profile. Whether you want a cost-efficient flight or a more comfortable ride, our teams can find the right private jet for your needs.


Private aviation appeals to people because of the ease of access and convenience. Policies for reservations and cancellations range from company to company. Typically, Jet Linx requires 48 hour notice during non-peak travel dates (72 hours for peak travel dates), but we have been known to source air craft within hours of request – although this is not guaranteed.


Jet Linx boasts industry-best certifications from third-party safety auditors that less than 1% of all private aviation companies worldwide can claim. Our ARGUS Platinum Elite rating, WYVERN Wingman PRO and IS-BAO Stage 3 certifications place Jet Linx as industry leaders in safety. Some jet card providers will not go beyond FAA minimum safety recommendations, but Jet Linx makes significant, recurring investments into safety infrastructure and pilot training to exceed required minimums. We are a leader in private aviation safety.


Some jet card providers own their aircraft, some source them from other operators, and some manage and maintain their own fleets. Jet Linx manages and maintains (but does not own) a fleet of 100+ aircraft, meaning that we have full control over mechanics and maintenance, thus providing a higher level of safety and security. 


Jet cards and luxury brands have always played well together and many companies offer partnerships with clothing brands, hotels, resorts, and other luxury providers of goods and services. Jet Linx’s Elevated Lifestyle program locks in partnerships with the potential to save Jet Card clients thousands of dollars when activated.


Daily Flight Minimums: Jet card programs typically enforce a daily flight minimum, charging for at least 60 minutes of flight time regardless of actual trip length. Shorter flights can quickly become costly – opt for a program with a lower minimum threshold or look at per-seat pricing for more flexibility on shorter trips. The minimum flight segment at Jet Linx begins at 1.2 hours for Light Jet and Midsize Jet, but long-haul discounts (4+ hours for a 15% discount, 5+ hours for 25% discount) as well as qualified round trip discounts (15% efficiency discount on qualifying trips) make our Jet Card a competitive option.

Pets: Every jet card provider has different pet policies, both across their fleet and on individual aircraft. At Jet Linx, pets are always welcome on board. We happily accommodate animals with special amenities and seating for their comfort and safety. Not all competitors make pet travel so seamless. Pets always fly for free with us and enjoy complimentary treats and toys.

Service Recovery: Weather and maintenance can disrupt even the best laid plans. Jet Linx guarantees aircraft availability, so we proactively secure backup options if needed. This ensures our Members always reach their destinations on time. Less capable programs, especially the charter market, may leave you grounded. Prioritize jet card providers with robust service recovery protocols. At Jet Linx there is no additional charge for recovery aircraft in the event of a mechanical issue.

Unaccompanied Minors: Age limits for unaccompanied minors vary. Some programs prohibit it entirely. Jet Linx permits children ages five and older to fly alone on day trips, but overnight trips require an escort. Compare policies carefully if you often travel with younger children.

Aircraft Upgrades: Jet Linx’s large, diverse fleet enables easy aircraft upgrades and downgrades at no cost. With ample notice, last-minute changes can usually be accommodated as well. Operators with smaller fleets often cannot pivot so nimbly. Confirm an array of aircraft options before committing to a program. Jet Linx often offers complimentary aircraft upgrades, and enclosed lavatories are guaranteed on all flights.

Wifi & Communication: Ask providers about Wifi availability and any related fees. Some charge extra for inflight connectivity. At Jet Linx, Wifi is complimentary across our entire fleet to keep our Members connected with ease. If we know an aircraft does not come equipped to offer Wifi, clients will be notified far in advance.

How Do Jet Cards Compare to Other Private Aviation Solutions?

There are many private aviation solutions available with pros and cons to each. Major differences in cost, commitment and service remain important when weighing options.

Jet Card vs. Private Jet Charters

With private jet charter, a customer calls an operator, communicates an itinerary (destination, passenger count, and type of aircraft), receives a quoted price and then accepts or rejects the offer. With charter, there’s no commitment involved on behalf of the customer, but this often goes both ways as charter operators don’t know their customers well, thus they do not go above and beyond to provide consistent and reliable service. Private jet charters offer convenience and there’s no commitment involved, but flying with unknown operators and crews can be a gamble when it comes to safety and consistency of service.


  • When a customer calls a private jet charter operator, there’s no guarantee that an aircraft (of any specific type, on any given date) will be available. Even when a jet is available, a maintenance or weather event may put a flight on hold. This means you must begin from scratch and search for more flight options, chipping away at your valuable time. 
  • With a Jet Linx Jet Card, access to a plane of any size is guaranteed when you call at least 48 hours in advance during non-peak travel and 72 hours in advance during peak travel. Our guaranteed availability provides peace of mind, especially for executives that may need to disembark at a moment’s notice. Relying on charter is a constant gamble, but Jet Linx offers certainty when you need it most.


  • When it comes to charter, the hourly rates can fluctuate wildly. Sometimes you’ll receive a good deal, and other times you may end up paying more. Furthermore, private charter operators often charge for additional flight time, pilot wait time, landing fees, and other hidden costs. Another disadvantage is that even when flying one way, charter operators may incorporate the price of the return trip into your quote. 
  • With Jet Linx, you only pay for occupied flight time, and you never have to worry about the hourly rate going up or down. Our guaranteed hourly rates provide certainty and predictability.
Jet Linx Jet CardCharter
Guaranteed AvailabilityWith a Jet Linx Jet Card, there are no unwelcome surprises. Even when weather or maintenance events occur, our large, national fleet size ensures a recovery aircraft will be available.Private jet charters deliver on-demand service but provide no guarantee that a jet of any type or size will be there when you need it. Even when a jet is secured, a weather or maintenance event could put the mission in jeopardy, forcing you to source another aircraft.
Fixed Flight CostJet Linx guarantees the most competitive hourly rates for all aircraft sizes. With no charges for additional flight time, pilot wait time, or landing fees, you will always know what to expect. Jet Card customers are only charged for occupied flight time.Private charter offers no guaranteed hourly rates. Market volatility affects daily pricing. Charter operators commonly charge extra for pilot wait time, landing fees and other hidden costs. One-way pricing typically includes the cost of repositioning the aircraft.
Guaranteed Highest Standard of SafetyWhen you fly with Jet Linx, you are guaranteed the highest standard of safety. Our industry-leading safety certifications require major investments of time, training and capital. Small operators typically cannot make substantial investments to ensure passenger safety.Charter operators rarely exceed FAA-minimum safety standards. Charter operators often source aircraft externally, meaning quality control and safety aren’t directly monitored. Charter operators typically often do not make investments into strong safety programs.
Enhanced Convenience and World-Class ServiceJet Linx offers over 20 locations across the country, managed by team members that offer anticipatory service to Jet Card Members and guests. Jet Linx private terminals come stocked with premium snacks and beverages – all complimentary. Our local teams can arrange ground transportation and accommodations post-flight, and when you return, your vehicle will be washed and parked planeside.Charter operators seldom offer private terminals and high-end customer service is rarely part of the flight experience. You will book your own ground transportation and overnight accommodations. You likely dial a 1-800 number to request service, dealing with different personnel each time.
Consistent Service DeliveryWith guaranteed availability, guaranteed hourly rates, and guaranteed highest standard of safety, our local teams seek to provide consistent world-class service. Jet Linx provides predictability and stability are crucial when traveling. Flying charter is always a gamble in terms of availability, safety, price and service. Operators don’t know personal preferences, and don’t have the infrastructure to provide personalized service to each passenger.

Jet Card vs. Fractional Ownership

Fractional jet ownership eases the financial burden of owning and maintaining an aircraft, but fractional owners are still locked into a long-term commitment with a large up-front investment. Another downside to fractional is that you have access to one type of aircraft, which doesn’t provide flexibility when your mission profile inevitably changes.


On average, fractional jet ownership contracts run for five years. To buy even 1/16 of a private jet means putting down a significant initial investment, plus recurring costs of maintenance, staffing, and more. When depreciation and remarketing fees come into play, the expenses can add up quickly.


With a Jet Linx Jet Card, you only pay for the hours you choose to fly. In a fractional ownership model, you still pay for the hours you fly on top of the costs to maintain your asset. When flying fractional, there is comfort in knowing you will always fly the same jet with the same pilots, but you’re also using a shared asset, so access is never guaranteed.

Jet Linx Jet CardFractional Ownership
Financial CommitmentA Jet Card requires either a small initial fee and a flexible annual agreement with yearly renewal fees, or a deposit for flight hours.Fractional typically involves a hefty initial investment. Contracts typically last for five years. Aircraft depreciation and remarketing fees should be considered prior to purchase.
PricingJet Card Members pay only for the hours that they fly. Jet Linx offers guaranteed hourly rates.On top of hourly flight time, fractional owners must pay their share for maintenance, inspections, staffing and more.
Access to AircraftA Jet Linx Jet Card offers access to aircraft of all size. With a national fleet of more than 100 aircraft and 20+ Jet Linx locations, access to a jet when you need it is guaranteed. With access to multiple categories of aircraft, a variety of different mission profiles can be accomplished.With fractional ownership, you have access to one category of aircraft, limiting the scope of potential mission profiles. Fractional owners share access to a private aircraft, meaning the jet may not be available when it is needed. Maintenance events, weather, or owner trips mean less availability.

Considerations For Other Jet Card Programs

Like any other product, jet cards come with unique benefits and features that may or may not be well-suited to you. The best Jet Card program for you is the one that matches your needs most closely. Some important considerations to make from the beginning are:

  • Safety standards and crew training
  • Your expected time to fly and number of users
  • Your typical mission profile
  • Level of service and privacy you desire
  • Guaranteed access to aircraft and private terminals
  • Length of commitment and Jet Card pricing

How Much Does a Jet Card Cost?

Jet card pricing can be misleading. Even when a clear price or quote is provided, there can be numerous hidden fees involved. As a prospective jet card user, you should search for a transparent operator, willing to explain all costs upfront. Beware of these hidden fees that can bulk up jet card costs:


FET adds 7.5% to your overall trip price. Sometimes this tax is not included in the price of a quote, and each operator handles this expense differently.


Fuel surcharges, when applied, can increase the price of a flight. Not all operators apply a fuel surcharge, and this fee cannot typically be predicted before departure.

Jet Linx communicates current Fuel Surcharge rates when flight quotes are provided.


Jet card providers typically charge a membership fee, plus annual renewal fees. However, some operators allow customers to make larger initial deposits which are then used as credit for future flights.


When necessary, deicing can be time-consuming and costly. Likewise, rerouting and diversion charges can be unwelcome surprises. Depending on the jet card provider, these charges may or may not be included in the cost of a flight.

Jet Linx does not include deicing charges in hourly rates, but diversion costs are included in the price of a trip. Deicing charges are provided at the trip quote level.


Peak day travel surcharges can rise as high as 50%, making travel during holidays and other busy times far more expensive than usual. Most operators charge a wide range when it comes to peak day surcharges.

There are no peak travel fees for Jet Linx Jet Card Members when providing the notice required per the Jet Card agreement. Jet Linx also has the fewest peak travel days in the industry.


Landing fees and hangar costs are all additional charges that jet card users must consider on top of the hourly rate.

Jet Linx includes these fees in the ​fixed hourly rates. The only exceptions may come from events like the Super Bowl, Masters, or Kentucky Derby.


Some operators count taxi time toward the daily flight minimum. This typically adds 12-15 minutes to the hourly rate. 


Just because a flight is only 20 minutes does not mean you will only be charged for 20 minutes. Most operators apply a minimum of 60-120 minutes of flight time, making short trips financially unfeasible.


Jet card operators typically require different reservation lead times based on peak and non-peak travel days. These lead times can vary from zero to 72 hours of advance notice, with cancellation times varying from 10 to 120 hours.

Jet Linx requires a 48-hour notice during non-peak travel and a 72-hour notice during peak travel for Executive Jet Card Members.


Some jet card programs promise no expiration date for funds deposited toward flight hours, but a majority of jet card providers place a 12 to 36-month expiration date on purchased hours.


Luxury brands pair well with private aviation, and as such, many jet cards come with exclusive access to luxury products, events and experiences. 

The Jet Linx Elevated Lifestyle program partners with more than a dozen luxury providers in travel, health and wellness, libations, fashion, and more. Our Members receive exclusive discounts and access to rare experiences – it’s just a perk of being part of our community.

How Does Jet Linx Compare to Other Jet Card Companies?

Jet Linx offers local, personalized service but comes with the power of a national provider. With 20+ Jet Linx locations and a fleet of more than 100 aircraft, our Jet Card program is made for those who seek flexibility and guaranteed access while receiving world-class customer service.

Three Guarantees With Every Jet Card Membership


  • With a large fleet of different size jets, there will always be an aircraft suited to your mission profile. No matter where you are, our team will create solutions to get you from point A to point B safely.


  • Our guaranteed rates are designed to be as competitive as possible, even compared to the charter market or dynamic pricing models. With our guaranteed rates, there are no unwelcome surprises or volatility – that’s great for your peace of mind and your bottom line.


  • Jet Linx remains an industry leader when it comes to safety and security. Smaller operators simply don’t have the time or resources necessary to invest in effective Safety Management Systems. We go above and beyond FAA-required minimums to set the gold standard of safety in the private aviation industry. 

Local Service on a National Scale

Our Jet Card program is the most cost-effective, guaranteed program in the private aviation industry. With a national backbone supporting 20+ Jet Linx locations, we offer intimate, personalized service combined with the power of a national aviation provider.

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