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Star Alliance and HSBC Australia reimagine airline rewards for consumers with a world-first cr

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Star Alliance and HSBC Australia reimagine airline rewards for consumers with a world-first credit card

  • The HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card1 is a first by a global airline alliance. It brings together seven of the world’s leading airlines on a single credit card platform.
  • Participating member airlines include: Air Canada, Air New Zealand, EVA Air, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, THAI and United Airlines.
  • Australian cardholders are eligible to fast track to Star Alliance Gold Status2 in their first year through spending on everyday eligible3 purchases.
  • The launch comes as a new HSBC Travel and Finance4 survey reveals over half (55%) of Australians 18+ are planning or considering an overseas trip in the next year, with 88% of those travellers agreeing it is important to budget properly for trips given increasing inflation and cost of living.

HSBC Australia and Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, today announced the launch of the HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card in Australia, providing customers with greater choice when earning and using their airline points.

Australian customers can earn Star Alliance Points on their everyday eligible credit card purchases that can be converted to miles/points in participating Star Alliance member carrier frequent flyer programs. The card is the world’s first credit card created with an airline alliance and will be issued exclusively on Visa credit. It brings together seven launch Star Alliance carriers on a single credit card platform.

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.”

At the time of the launch, the participating member airlines and their respective frequent flyer programs are: Air Canada - Aeroplan®, Air New Zealand - Airpoints™, EVA Air - Infinity MileageLands, Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer, South African Airways - SAA Voyager, THAI - Royal Orchid Plus, and United - MileagePlus®.

The HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card provides Australian residents a 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 approval5. Star Alliance Gold Status gives customers access to over 1,000 airline lounges worldwide, priority check-in, boarding and baggage handling, as well as excess baggage allowance on eligible fares and other privileges when travelling on flights operated by Star Alliance member airlines.

Jessica Power, Head of Wealth and Personal Banking at HSBC Australia, said: “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.”

Commenting on the HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card, Riaz Nasrabadi, Visa’s Head of Product for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, said: “Visa is proud to exclusively support this partnership between HSBC Australia and Star Alliance. With international travel top of mind for many Australians, this product will enable access to all the benefits and security of a Visa card together with seamless access to airline privileges.”

Australian overseas travellers becoming savvy spenders

The launch comes as the HSBC Travel and Finance survey finds that Australians who are planning to go overseas in the next year are watching their finances closely and considering how to make their dollar go further including looking at paying for flights with credit card rewards points with.

According to HSBC’s Jessica Power, cost of living pressures mean savvy consumers are examining how they utilise discounts and rewards on everyday spending including their credit cards.

“Our HSBC Travel and Finance survey indicates that while people are prioritising travel in 2023, they are also looking at ways to keep travel costs down, with one in four (24%) Australians who are intending to travel overseas saying they would pay for flights with credit card rewards and points.

“Our survey revealed that 96% of Australians intending to travel overseas said they would consider tips and tricks to keep travel costs down, with 50% saying they would look to shop around for flight and accommodation deals as a way to save money,” said Ms Power.

The survey also found that more than half (52%) of Australians planning overseas travel are worried about potential airport chaos, with just under half (49%) 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.

Customers can apply for the card today.

Key features of the HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card6 include:

  • Fast Track to Star Alliance Gold: Earn Star Alliance Gold Status in the first year of their account when customers spend AUD$4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days from card approval. Star Alliance Gold status is granted through the corresponding status tier in the Frequent Flyer Program (FFP) of the participating Star Alliance Member Airline nominated by the customer as their Status Airline through the Star Alliance Rewards Program.
  • Retain Star Alliance Status Privileges: Earn or retain Star Alliance Gold Status each year when customers spend at least AUD$60,000 on eligible purchases in the previous year. (Or earn Star Alliance Silver status when customers spend at least AUD$30,000 on eligible purchases in the previous year.)
  • Uncapped Star Alliance Points earning potential: Earn 1 Star Alliance Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases in Australia and overseas for the first AUD$3,000 spend per statement period. Earn 0.5 Star Alliance Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases thereafter. Star Alliance Points can be redeemed for Frequent Flyer Points in a customer’s chosen participating Star Alliance Member Airline Frequent Flyer Program. Star Alliance Points do not expire as long as the Star Alliance Rewards account remains active.
  • Book flights Interest Free: 0% interest for 6 months on purchases made using the customer’s HSBC Star Alliance credit card made directly through participating Star Alliance Member Airlines websites.
  • Rates & Fees: For a limited time, no Annual Fee in the first year, AUD$450 thereafter

HSBC Travel and Finance Survey – additional statistics

  • 69% of Australian’s intending to travel overseas said they may need to dip into the savings they collected during COVID-19 to pay for overseas travel.
  • Australians who are planning to travel overseas in the next year expect to spend on average $7,000, with Baby Boomers ($8,500) likely to spend more than millennials ($6,200).
  • Two thirds (67%) of Australian’s who intend to travel overseas expect to spend more on their next trip compared to a similar trip before COVID-19.
  • One in three (33%) of those intending to travel overseas would likely use their credit card to pay for flights, and one in four (24%) say they would pay with credit card rewards and points.
  • 16% plan to get on a payment plan or use Buy Now Pay Later for their flights.
This press release was sourced from HSBC on 15-Nov-2022.