Flight Centre is to offer interest-free loans through FlexiGroup on travel purchases by approved customers of its retail travel brands Flight Centre, Travel Associates, Cruiseabout, Student Flights and Escape Travel.
Flight Centre and FlexiGroup announced the agreement yesterday morning. A statement said the deal came after FlexiGroup won “an extensive and competitive tender process”.
Flight Centre investors were impressed, sending the travel group’s shares up 5% to AUD 33.25 at 1.40pm (AEST), the Australian reported.
The loans will be provided by FlexiGroup’s subsidiary Lombard Finance. The arrangement is effective immediately.
Escape Travel posted details of a similar or identical deal on its website over a year ago, on 27 July 2015.
“12 Months Interest Free – Book Now, Pay Later!” Escape Holidays headed its offer.
“Did you know you can enjoy 12 months interest free holiday finance on your next getaway?” it continued.
“Going interest free is a great way to make booking your next getaway fit in with your own personal budget and lifestyle. Pay off your holiday early at a time that suits you or pay it off gradually over the entire 12 month period to really space out the repayments and enjoy the benefits only an interest free holiday offers. Alternatively, for those who need a little longer than 12 months, there is the added flexibility to take that little bit longer to pay off your holiday.”
Escape Travel’s statement about interest-free holiday finance on its website says:
Terms & Conditions
Approved applicants only on a Lombard 180 Visa card. Terms, conditions, fees and charges apply including a $99 Annual Fee charged on the account open date and annually on the anniversary of the account open date. Minimum finance amount applies and is valid on holidays over $999. Interest, currently 22.99% p.a., is payable on any balance outstanding after the 12 month Interest Free period. Ask in store for details. Offer commences 24 July 2015 and ends 31 December 2016. Credit provided by Lombard Finance Pty Limited ABN 31 099 651 877, Australian Credit Licence number 247415. Lombard® is brought to you by FlexiGroup®.
Whether those conditions will apply to the new offer and to the rest of the Flight Centre companies remains to be seen.
Written by Peter Needham