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Private Jet Knowledgebase

What's the Difference? Jet Card Program vs Fractional Jet Ownership

For travelers who demand guaranteed jet availability, a private jet charter simply isn’t an option.

On the other side of the spectrum, whole ownership provides complete control but doesn’t make sense for many private travelers. Jet card programs and fractional ownership programs fall somewhere in the middle. If you need guaranteed jet availability but don’t fly enough to justify the cost of whole ownership, understanding the differences between using a jet card program and purchasing a fraction of a private jet is important.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term

One of the biggest differences between jet cards and fractional ownership is the length and level of commitment. Jet cards offer less commitment and flexibility compared to fractional ownership programs.

// Jet Card Program: A Short-Term Commitment

With the Jet Linx Jet Card, your overall commitment is minimal. There is an upfront cost to becoming a member of the Jet Card Program, but in comparison to the cost of fractional ownership, the monetary commitment is nominal. As a Jet Card member, you pay for hours as you use them. With guaranteed hourly rates on an as-you-need-them basis, the Jet Card program provides a flexible solution that will make sense for you no matter how much or how little you fly.

// Fractional Ownership: A Long-Term Commitment

Even though fractional ownership provides less of a commitment than whole aircraft ownership, owning a share of an aircraft is still a significant commitment. With a fractional ownership program, you’re typically committed to five years of ownership for a fraction of a plane based on how many hours you’ll need to fly. For someone who knows exactly how much they’ll need to fly for the next five or more years, that’s not a big issue, but many can’t predict their travel needs that far into the future.

Things to Consider When Making Your Decision

When weighing your options between purchasing a jet card or a fractional jet share, there are a few major things to consider:

  • Do you want your capital tied up in a depreciating asset?
  • Do you know how many hours you’ll need? Or do you prefer flexibility?

If you prefer to have the convenience of flexibility and would rather not make the costly investment that comes with fractional ownership, the jet card is your obvious choice.

The Advantages of a Jet Card:
  • Short-term commitment
  • Much lower initial investment
  • Only pay for the hours you fly
  • No ongoing expenses

Cost: As You Travel
vs. Recurring

Cost plays a major factor when deciding between a jet card or fractional jet ownership. The main cost with a jet card is typically the hours flown. Fractional ownership includes those hours but also includes the recurring costs of owning a share of an aircraft.

// Jet Card Program: Pay for What You Fly

Jet card programs in general are paid for on an hourly basis. With Jet Linx, you simply pay as you go. We charge for hours as they’re used so you’re not stuck paying for hours you don’t need. Outside of flight hours and the previously mentioned one-time membership fee, there are no other costs.

// Fractional Ownership: Pay for Hours + Recurring Ownership Costs

The cost of fractional jet ownership is significantly higher than that of a jet card program. There are several contributing factors:

  • Buying a Fraction: Upfront, you have to invest a significant amount of capital to own a share of a private jet. Even for a 1/16 share, you’re looking at an initial investment of a few hundred thousand dollars.
  • Hourly Costs: Like a jet card program, you still pay for the hours you fly.
  • Ongoing Management Costs: Whether you’re using your hours or not, as a fractional owner of an aircraft, you’ll be paying monthly management costs for maintenance, staffing, and more.
  • Aircraft Depreciation: Like any other asset, you have to account for value depreciation of the aircraft you fractionally own.
  • Remarketing Fees: There’s also the possibility that after your contract has expired, you’ll be charged a remarking fee to sell your share of the aircraft.

A Jet Card offers a jet service so close to owning your own jet you might forget you are only paying for what you use.

Why Jet Linx?

Our Private Jet Card provides all of the benefits of fractional ownership but with far lower initial costs and no ongoing management costs or remarketing fees. Where we go above fractional ownership is through our pay-as-you-go hourly model. With the ability to only pay for occupied flight time, you don’t have to make any guesses about how many flight hours you’ll need.