No such thing as a 'free' ride

This week Tigerair began offering customers the option to pay for their flights using an interest free repayment option. Those how spend over $250 will have six months to repay their fares, while a spend of more than $500 extends the interest-free period to 12 months. But, before you rush off and start planning your next trip, it’s worthwhile remembering that there’s no such thing as a free ride.

To take advantage of such offers, you will have to make a credit application, or already hold a Gem Visa, Go MasterCard, GE Money or Buyer’s Edge card. Each card will have different fees applicable and if you don’t clear the debt within the required period, you could pay up to 29.9 per cent interest on the outstanding balance.

Tigerair isn’t the only travel company to extend the offer of credit to customers. Escape Travel offers 12-months interest fee repayments on a spend of over $999. Webjet and Virgin Australia offer the same on travel packages with a minimum spend of $250. In fact, a quick Google search of ‘interest free travel’ will unveil a host of options.

TravelPay is another option to hit the market recently. For a $100 fee, TravelPay will ‘kindly’ pick up the tab from your travel agent, which you can then payback over three or five months, with payments taken direct from your credit or debit card. As a relatively new service, you may find it difficult to locate a travel agent that offers the service just yet.

All these options however, begs the question, ‘is travel really that important that we’d go into debt to do it?’ It seems the answer is probably ‘yes’, even if you’re not aware you’re doing. Whether you’re booking travel on your credit card and not fully paying it off the next month, redrawing from your mortgage or even taking out a personal loan, the growing list of options to allow you to travel now and pay later suggest a growing number of travellers will do what they have to, to get you to where they want to go.

Have you every borrowed to travel? Do you think travel is important enough to go incur a debt? Or should people only take a trip if they have the money sitting in the bank to pay for it?

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