Can FlexiGroup Limited’s deal with Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd see it take off?

Interest free travel packages could be a match made in heaven for both FlexiGroup Limited (ASX:FXL) and Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX:FLT).

| More on:
Stress free investing

The market received an interesting update this morning from out-of-favour businesses FlexiGroup Limited (ASX: FXL) and Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT). After a competitive process, Flight Centre will now offer interest-free finance to retail customers for their travel purchases through the brands Flight Centre, Travel Associates, Cruiseabout, Student Flights, and Escape Travel.

FlexiGroup will commit an initial $3 million this year in order to get the arrangement started, and there is an expectation that it could double Flexi’s card business revenues and profits over the next several years.

So What?

The agreement looks like a real coup for FlexiGroup, with interest free travel highly appealing in this age of increasing consumer debt. The partnership with Flight Centre provides a national distribution platform for the product with plenty of upside for FlexiGroup over the next few years as the fees start rolling in.

There’s also upside for Flight Centre because of the uniqueness of the offer (differentiating it from competitors) as well as increased volumes and the potential for eventual replication across its international network – with FlexiGroup responsible for the costs and the risks.

Now What?

Neither FlexiGroup nor Flight Centre look expensive today, although the deal is far more important and relevant to Flexi than it is to Flight Centre. The downside is it will potentially take some time to get volumes going and the nature of the offer requires heavy up-front investment from FlexiGroup (funding people’s holidays) which is then paid back plus fees gradually over a number of years.

There’s also a question over which customer segment interest-free travel will most appeal to. Students and young people are the ones that jump to mind but they’re not necessarily in the best position to take on large debt commitments. However, when you’re on a tight budget the appeal of small regular repayments as opposed to a lump sum rises exponentially.

I expect FlexiGroup to rise sharply today as the announcement looks like great news that adds a viable long-term growth avenue to FlexiGroup – and it won’t hurt Flight Centre’s offering either.

Wondering where you should invest $1,000 right now?

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes could be the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at near dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they could be great buys right now.

*Returns as of May 24th 2021

Motley Fool contributor Sean O'Neill owns shares of Flight Centre Travel Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

More on Investing