Review: This HSBC Star Alliance credit card is your fast-track to Gold status

With the ability to convert points to seven Star Alliance airlines, this is a winning card for frequent flyers.

Overall Rating

By Staff Writers, October 25 2023
This HSBC Star Alliance credit card is your fast-track to Gold status
Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

The information provided on this page is purely factual and general in nature. You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.

FF Program

Star Alliance

Annual Fee

$0 in the first year, $450 thereafter

Interest Rate

19.99% p.a. on purchases
21.99% p.a. on cash

Notes
The Good
  • $0 fee for the first year
  • Free additional cardholders
The Bad
  • Subsequent annual fee higher than some competitors
Added Value
  • Fast track to Star Alliance Gold Status
Fees and interest
Points earned
Lounge access
Overall

Introduction

Most rewards cards only earn you points, but the new HSBC Star Alliance credit card can give you fast-track access to Star Alliance Gold status, which comes with a number of perks to improve your travel experience. 

Star Alliance Gold Status delivers access to over 1,000 airport lounges, priority check in, extra baggage allowance, priority boarding, and priority baggage handling.

Plus, you’ll earn Star Alliance Points, which can then be converted into award miles with any of seven participating Star Alliance member airlines, including Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines.

Sound like a high-flying deal to you? Let’s dive into the details of the HSBC Star Alliance credit card and how it can help you elevate your travels.

This offer is available to Australian residents only. 

HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card Fast Facts

  • Annual fee: $0 in the first year, $450 thereafter
  • Additional cardholder fee: $0
  • Interest rate on purchases: 19.99% p.a. (0% interest for 6 months on flight bookings made directly through participating Star Alliance member airlines, T&Cs apply)
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55 days
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 21.99% p.a. (0% p.a. interest on Balance Transfers for 12 months with 2% Balance Transfer Fee)
  • International transaction fee: 3.0%
  • Minimum income to apply: $75,000 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit: $6,000

Fast track to Star Alliance Gold Status

The HSBC Star Alliance credit card also includes complimentary Star Alliance Gold Status after spending just $4,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of account opening.

Once unlocked, simply nominate the frequent flyer program you want to get Gold Status in – KrisFlyer, Airpoints or MileagePlus? – and you’re all set to enjoy exclusive perks that come with it. That includes priority check-in, priority baggage and premium lounge access.

Plus, you don’t have to be flying on that nominated airline to reap the benefits, it could be on any of the Star Alliance members around the globe, meaning you can step inside the KrisFlyer Lounge one day and an Air New Zealand the next.

Australian cardholders can maximise the benefits by choosing Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, or United Airlines as their nominated status program, as this choice comes with reciprocal gold status perks from Virgin Australia.

Earning KrisFlyer Elite Gold with Singapore Airlines would ordinarily require you to earn 50,000 miles within 12 months, the equivalent of almost two return business class flights from Sydney to London. Instead, you can skip that requirement if you meet the $4,000 minimum spend on eligible purchases within 90 days of account opening.

After the first year, you’ll need to meet a higher yearly spend of $60,000 on eligible purchases in order to maintain Star Alliance Gold, or $30,000 to achieve Silver, which doesn’t include lounge access but still comes with Priority Reservation Waitlist and Priority Airport standby.

Earn now, travel sooner

Thanks to its partnership with Star Alliance, the HSBC Star Alliance credit card delivers a hearty serving of Points every time you make a purchase.

You’ll earn 1 Star Alliance Point – the rewards currency of Star Alliance’s Rewards program – per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to $3,000 per month, lowering to 0.5 thereafter until the next statement period. Though the earn rate is lower than some other cards, it’s quite competitive, up to $3,000 spend per month for a Visa card.

Then, you can convert your Star Alliance points into any nominated airline currency – out of the seven participating airlines – at the following rates:

Frequent flyer program Conversion rate
Air Canada Aeroplan 1000 Star Alliance Points = 800 Aeroplan Points
Air New Zealand Airpoints 1250 Star Alliance Points = 10 Airpoints Dollars
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands 1000 Star Alliance Points = 800 Infinity MileageLands Miles
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 1000 Star Alliance Points = 800 KrisFlyer Miles
South African Airways Voyager 1000 Star Alliance Points = 800 Voyager Miles
Thai Airway Royal Orchid Plus 1000 Star Alliance Points = 800 Royal Orchid Plus Miles
United Airlines MileagePlus 1000 Star Alliance Points = 800 MileagePlus Miles

For example, you may normally choose to redeem your Star Alliance points for KrisFlyer miles if you’re a Singapore Airlines frequent flyer, but choose to redeem for Airpoints Dollars if you’re planning to take a trip across the ditch.

Additional benefits

0% interest for six months on participating Star Alliance member airline bookings

A rather unique perk is the ability to enjoy 0% interest for six months on flight bookings made directly through participating Star Alliance member airlines using your HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card. That can lead to big savings if you pay it back within those six months.

The rate reverts back to the standard variable purchase of 19.99% p.a. after those six months.

Complimentary insurance cover

Cardholders may be eligible for complimentary Domestic and International Travel Insurances, Purchase Protection Insurance, Rental Vehicle Excess Insurance in Australia, Extended Warranty Insurance and Transit Accident Insurance.

Cover for claims relating to Covid-19 may also be offered under selected circumstances. Please refer to the policy documents to check that you qualify, and that the cover meets your needs.

Easy payments

As with all other HSBC reward cards, the HSBC Star Alliance credit card offers compatibility with Google Pay and Apple Pay, allowing for hassle-free tap-and-go payments wherever you go.

Free additional cardholders

Share the benefits of the HSBC Star Alliance credit card with your loved ones and boost your points earning potential by adding an additional cardholder to your account, at no extra cost.

HSBC Star Alliance credit card: the verdict

With no annual fee in the first year, the new HSBC Star Alliance credit card appeals to frequent flyers seeking more flexibility during their travels with the ability to earn and transfer Star Alliance Points to a choice of seven popular airlines.

Included on that roster is an accelerated path to Star Alliance Gold Status, uncapped point earnings on purchases, and the long list of insurance covers.

Click here to apply for the HSBC Star Alliance credit card.

HSBC Star Alliance credit card: FAQs

Do I get Star Alliance Gold Status benefits when flying with non-participating Star Alliance airlines?

Yes. While you are not able to convert and spend your earned Star Alliance Points on non-participating airlines, you can still enjoy all Star Alliance Gold Status benefits when flying with any of the airlines in the Star Alliance network.

As a HSBC Star Alliance cardholder, what transactions do I earn Star Alliance Points on?

You’ll earn Star Alliance Points on transactions when using your HSBC Star Alliance credit card, excluding cash advances, balance transfers, business expenses, fees and charges, interest free purchases and government payments.

Will the cash advance rate of my HSBC Star Alliance credit card apply to any unpaid amount remaining at the end of the promotional period?

Unfortunately, yes. Unless paid off earlier, the corresponding variable cash advance rate will apply to any unpaid balance transfer amount left at the end of the promotional period.

Important information

Credit provided by HSBC Bank Australia Limited ABN 48 006 434 162 Australian Credit License 232595. Offers available to new, approved HSBC credit cardholders. Fees, charges, terms, conditions and HSBC's lending criteria applies to all credit cards issued by HSBC. Min. spend of $4,000 in first 90 days from account opening. Offer may end anytime. Interest rates are valid at the time of publication and are subject to change. Visit https://www.hsbc.com.au/credit-cards/terms/

* Complimentary Insurance covers: AWP Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177 AFSL 245631 trading as Allianz Global Assistance (AGA) under a binder from the insurer, Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708, has issued a group policy to HSBC Bank Australia Limited ABN 48 006 434 162 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 232595 (HSBC), which allows eligible HSBC account holders and cardholders to claim under the group policy as third party beneficiaries by operation of s48 of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth).

Any advice on insurance is general advice only and not based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs.

The eligibility criteria, terms, conditions, limits and exclusions of the group policy are set out in the Information Booklet available at www.hsbc.com.au/credit-cards/terms/ find out more about Credit Card Terms and Conditions which may be amended from time to time. Consider its appropriateness to these factors before acting on it. You can contact AGA on 1800 648 093. An excess may apply. HSBC does not issue these insurances and does not receive commissions on these policies or guarantee any benefits under this cover.

If during the period of your cover, you (and your spouse/dependents, if they’re eligible for cover) are positively diagnosed as suffering a sickness recognised as an epidemic or pandemic (such as COVID-19) cover may be available under selected International Travel Insurance benefits. The eligibility criteria, terms, conditions, limits and exclusions of the group policy are set out in the Information Booklet available at www.hsbc.com.au/credit-cards/terms/ find out more about Credit Card Terms and Conditions.

Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

The information provided on this page is purely factual and general in nature. You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.

11 May 2023

Total posts 1

There's a massive hack here. The Air Canada Aeroplan status (with full reciprocal rights on Virgin Australia) is valid for "the remainder of the calendar year and the following calendar year". Meaning a 4k spend on a $0 card can net you up to 23 months of Gold Status.

09 Feb 2021

Total posts 11

But do they cancel the status if you cancel the card?  My understanding was that they do.

This would mean you get 11 months free for your 4k spend, but then have to pay $450 for the following 12 months.

05 Oct 2022

Total posts 3

HSBC is planning to launch this in other markets too. Any indication of where the next one will be? (Hoping it's Hong Kong!)

THR
THR

20 Sep 2012

Total posts 76

How exactly does the 6 months interest free on tickets work if you continue to spend on the card? Just leave only that amount spent on tickets outstanding each month?

04 May 2020

Total posts 3

Does anyone think you’d have any success getting Virgin Australia to status match gold from SQ or Air Canada Gold from this credit card?

19 Oct 2018

Total posts 8

One thing that is not mentioned is the GAP between the expiry of your selected airline status and your status obtained during the year with your HSBC Star Alliance VISA card transferring to your selected airline. I am yet to see exactly how big a gap it is but I have email conformation of there being one. I hope they can fix that soon, looks like I will be affected by this gap period. 


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