Flying a Private Jet

September 14, 2021

What to Consider When Choosing a Jet Card

And How to Determine When It’s Time to Purchase a Used Private Jet for Sale Instead

Corporations seeking to streamline their business travel costs and planning have likely conducted research into the viability of a variety of jet cards and similar private aviation services before delving into the possibility of owning a private jet.

Jet cards allow you to fly with reputable charter companies to nearly any destination around the world at a schedule that’s more convenient than commercial airlines. But not all jet cards are the same, and many include additional fees and charges for their services in addition to your membership in the provider’s program.

At a certain point, a company-owned business jet may make the most sense.

What is a Jet Card?
A jet card is essentially a subscription service for private flights. When you purchase a jet card membership, you receive a set number of flight hours. Each trip you take is deducted from the number of flight hours you purchased.

In general, you pay a set amount for a specific number of flight hours, so the cost of your jet card will vary depending on which company you purchase your membership from and the size of aircraft on which you fly.

For each business trip you need to take, you’ll contact your jet card company to schedule a round-trip flight on your required dates and times. The jet card provider then handles all the details of flight planning for you. You simply show up to the airport, and board the jet.

Can I Fly Whenever I Want with a Jet Card?
Some jet card providers guarantee availability of flights for their subscribers, but some don’t. Some jet card providers also may put limitations on when and where you can travel. Business travelers whose meeting schedules do not fit within the jet card provider’s limitations may need to find alternative transportation.

Before signing up for a jet card for your company, you’ll need to review each provider’s policies and what is included with membership to determine whether they are a good fit for your executive travelers’ needs.

Best Practices for Choosing a Jet Card
Before finalizing any business deal, you’d read the fine print. The same goes for purchasing your jet card.

Carefully review the jet card contracts from the companies you’re considering, keeping an eye out for fees, jet size limitations, date restrictions, expiration dates, or the number of travelers the card covers.

Find out if you need a jet card for each executive leader, or if they can share the flight hours on the card. Ensure you understand the amount of advance notice your executives are required to give before booking flights using the company jet card, as some can be redeemed for flights on short notice, while others cannot.

If you spot any contract terms that may inconvenience your company’s business travelers, then it’s best to look for other jet card companies or better options for private aviation, such as buying a pre-owned jet for sale.

When Does It Make Sense to Buy a Used Private Jet?
If your company is looking into building a fleet of jets for executive travel in lieu of investing in a jet card membership, your best bet is to start looking at preowned jets for sale, rather than new ones. Preowned aircraft can be purchased more quickly than a brand-new one from the manufacturer, and will be much more affordable to buy.

To determine whether your company’s funds are best invested in a business jet rather than a jet card, calculate the total cost of the jet cards for each of your executives. Note that because jet cards restrict the number of annual flight hours, your company may be on the hook for additional flight costs should your leaders need to travel more than anticipated.

If the total annual cost of flying exceeds the purchase price, flexible costs, and fixed costs of jet ownership, then owning a private jet is likely the wisest financial move. As private aviation experts, we advise you to calculate the net present value of jet ownership to evaluate financial benefits and to evaluate the value to your shareholders.

Shopping for a Used Private Jet

After determining that private jet ownership is a better investment for your company and its stakeholders, your next step is to contact a reputable jet dealer or broker to find business aircraft for sale.

You can trust IADA Accredited Aircraft Dealers because they’ve adopted a strict code of ethics and have undergone a rigorous vetting process before earning their accreditation. Only these accredited dealers can list used private jets for sale on, the IADA online marketplace.

Browse business jets online, and contact an IADA Accredited Aircraft Dealer today to get started in private aviation.