A credit-card loyalty programme has been launched in the USA that enables members to earn points that can be redeemed for flight hours in fractionally owned business aircraft.

The Stratus Rewards Visa card allows users to accumulate points towards flights on a range of business aircraft operated by leading US fractional provider NetJets.

The loyalty scheme provides one point for every dollar charged to the card, with 195,000 points required for one flight hour in a Cessna Citation V Ultra light jet, rising to 1.295 million points for 1h in a long-range Gulfstream IV-SP. The programme is administered by Marquis Jet, which resells subsets of its shares in Netjets aircraft.

Claimed to be the first loyalty programme to focus on private jet travel as a reward, the by-invitation-only scheme is targeted at individuals with an annual salary greater than $400,000. Membership costs $1,500 a year for the primary cardholder and $500 a year for secondary cardholders, and members can pool points. Small and mid-sized businesses can issue employees with a $75-a-year corporate card to speed up point accumulation for the primary cardholder.

The link with Stratus Rewards is the latest move by Marquis Jet to broaden the market for private jet travel. Under its jet card programme, the company resells shares in NetJets aircraft in 25h increments, with prices ranging from $109,900 for an Ultra to $299,900 for a GIV-SP. Marquis Jet sold more than 1,000 jet cards last year, a 300% increase over 2002. In the fourth quarter, hours flown, cards sold and new owner growth each increased almost 150% over the same period in 2002, according to the company.

Source: Flight International