Star Alliance, one of the world's most renowned airline alliances, connects travellers to destinations worldwide. And with a plethora of credit cards available in Australia affiliated with Star Alliance airlines — including one linked with the alliance itself — earning rewards and discounts on your next trip has never been easier.
What to compare when choosing a Star Alliance credit card
There are several important factors to consider when comparing Star Alliance credit cards.
- Airline coverage. Consider which airlines you're most likely to fly with and whether the card you're considering earns points you can redeem on those airlines.
- Sign up bonus. The fastest way to significantly boost your points balance. Check what you need to do to trigger the bonus since it can involve spending a lot within a relatively short time.
- Annual fee. Do the benefits of the card outweigh the cost of the annual fee?
- Ongoing interest rate on purchases. If you don't pay off the balance in full, the value of any points earned diminishes quickly. Lower rates are better, but having no balance is best.
- Travel perks and benefits. Which perks align with your travel needs? Would you be able to replace an existing insurance policy with one that comes with a card?
Consider what benefits are most important to you and compare cards based on those factors. For example, a card with a generous rewards program and a wide range of airline coverage may be the best fit if you're a frequent traveller.
Pros and cons
- Flexibility. With so many airlines in the alliance, Star Alliance is powerfully flexible when it comes to redeeming points for flights.
- Travel perks and benefits. Common features include airport lounge access, overseas travel insurance, and even flight vouchers.
- Annual fees. Expect to pay an annual fee, which can be quite high depending on the card's package of features.
- Higher interest rates. Credit cards that earn rewards are not typically known for their low rates. Avoid carrying a balance.
Are Star Alliance credit cards only beneficial for frequent flyers?
Not necessarily. While these cards are beneficial for those who frequently travel, they can also be a great option for infrequent flyers who want to earn rewards as they spend and save up for a special trip.
Is Virgin Australia a Star Alliance member?
No. Virgin Australia is no longer a Star Alliance member, although they have several partner airlines that are in the alliance.
Is Qantas part of Star Alliance?
No. Qantas is a member of the oneworld alliance. However, some oneworld airlines (like Cathay Pacific) have partnerships with airlines in Star Alliance.