- HSBC Star Alliance credit card will come with Star Alliance Gold status
- Star Alliance Points will be introduced as the alliance’s own rewards currency
- Earn rates start at 1 Star Alliance Point per dollar spent
Get ready for a new way to earn frequent flyer miles on your everyday spending: Star Alliance and HSBC are launching a co-branded credit card onto the Australian market.
The HSBC Star Alliance credit card will let people earn miles or points in the frequent flyer scheme of seven participating Star Alliance member airlines, although not the full 26-strong roster.
The card will also introduce Star Alliance Points as a singular rewards currency under the also-new Star Alliance Rewards program to act as a ‘base currency’ for earning points before they are converted into the miles or points used by a specific Star Alliance member.
The earn rate will be
- 1 Star Alliance Point for every A$1 spent on eligible purchases up to $3000 per statement period
- 0.5 Star Alliance Points per A$1 spent on eligible purchases beyond $3000 per statement
Every month the HSBC Star Alliance credit card will automatically convert your stash of Star Alliance Points into any nominated airline currency.
The conversion rate will vary between the seven participating frequent flyer programs for the card’s launch:
- Air Canada Aeroplan: 1,000 Star Alliance Points = 800 Aeroplan points
- Air New Zealand Airpoints: 1,250 Star Alliance Points = 10 Airpoints Dollars
- EVA Air Infinity MileageLands: 1,000 Star Alliance Points = 800 Infinity MileageLands Miles
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: 1,000 Star Alliance Points = 800 KrisFlyer miles
- South African Airways Voyager: 1,000 Star Alliance Points = 800 Voyager miles
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus: 1,000 Star Alliance Points = 800 Royal Orchid Plus miles
- United Airlines MileagePlus: 1,000 Star Alliance Points = 800 MileagePlus Miles
Executive Traveller understands users will be able to change their nominated Status Airline, so that for example you could make Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles your standard earning currency but switch to a different rewards current such as Air Canada Aeroplan points during a period of high spending if there is a trip to Canada on the cards.
Complimentary Star Alliance Gold status
The HSBC Star Alliance credit card will also include complimentary Star Alliance Gold status after you spend $4,000 in the first year.
However, to keep that gratis Gold status, HSBC says “you must spend at least $60,000 on eligible purchases in each 12-month period starting from account opening to retain Gold Status.”
That averages out to $5,000 per month, which will be within reach of many high-spending high flyers.
Australians applying for the HSBC Star Alliance credit card will gain the most benefits if they select Gold-equivalent with Air Canada, Singapore Airlines or United Airlines, as this carries reciprocal Gold-grade perks with Virgin Australia such as access to Virgin’s domestic lounges.
If you already hold Gold status with one of the participating airlines you can claim 40,000 Star Alliance Points instead of the card-supplied status.
While almost every airline offers a variety of credit cards in its own market, the HSBC Star Alliance-branded card is the first from any alliance.
Leveraging airline loyalty programs into highly-profitable businesses “is quite the holy grail for most individual airlines,” explained outgoing Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh, so it’s a natural step for Star Alliance to realise a similar revenue stream from its own branded card.
“If we are successful we will be rolling it out to the next market in the course of the year,” Goh noted when the card was first teased in mid-2022.
The card’s annual $450 fee is waived for the first year. Click here to apply for the HSBC Star Alliance credit card.