Star Alliance and HSBC Australia have teamed up to launch a credit card, initially only available to Australian customers.
The HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card allows customers to earn points for seven carriers from the Star Alliance.
At the time of the launch, the participating airlines and their respective frequent flyer programmes are Air Canada (Aeroplan), Air New Zealand (Airpoints), EVA Air (Infinity Mileage Lands), Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer), South African Airways (SAA Voyager), Thai Airways (Royal Orchid Plus) and United Airlines (Mileage Plus).
Australian customers can earn Star Alliance points on credit card purchases, which can then be converted to miles/points in participating Star Alliance member carrier frequent flyer programmes. Customers can apply for the card today.
Australian residents will have a chance to fast track to Star Alliance Gold Status in the first year of their account when they spend AUD$4,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days from card approval.
Customers earn one Star Alliance point per AUD$1 spent on eligible purchases in Australia and overseas for the first AUD$3,000 spend per statement period. After that, customers can earn 0.5 Star Alliance points per AUD$1 spent on eligible purchases.
Additionally, there is zero per cent interest for six months on purchases made directly through Star Alliance member airlines’ websites using the credit card, and there is no annual fee in the first year for a limited time only (thereafter it will be AUD$450).
Jeffrey Goh, CEO of Star Alliance, said:
“Star Alliance is delighted to launch this industry-first loyalty product together with HSBC and Visa. This is very much consistent with a key strategy of Star Alliance which is to offer a loyalty proposition that others talk about.
“This unique product is an outcome of strategic discussions with our member airlines for the Australian market. It will offer a new world of loyalty experience with not only the ability to earn points, but also a fast track to Star Alliance Gold Status through everyday spending. Star Alliance Gold Status offers a range of benefits such as lounge access and priority boarding across all Star Alliance member carriers.”
Jessica Power, Head of Wealth and Personal Banking at HSBC Australia, added:
“HSBC and Star Alliance are both globally focused, and this new card is a great fit for Australians who enjoy international travel.
“While many credit cards allow users to earn points, we wanted to provide customers with a way to access all the benefits of airline status privileges through their everyday spending.”
The launch comes following a survey by HSBC Travel and Finance, which found that over half (55 per cent) of Australian adults are planning or considering an overseas trip in the next year. One in three (33 per cent) of those intending to travel overseas would likely use their credit card to pay for flights, and one in four (24 per cent) say they would pay with credit card rewards and points.
The survey also revealed that 96 per cent of Australians would consider tips and tricks to keep travel costs down, with 50 per cent saying they would look to shop around for flight and accommodation deals as a way to save money.
Additionally, 52 per cent are worried about potential airport chaos, with just under half (49 per cent) worried about complications from delayed or cancelled flights.
Ms Power said the new HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card addresses some of these concerns by providing customers with access to priority check-in and baggage handling.