Top 4 Star Alliance credit cards

Top 4 Star Alliance credit cards

The Best Star Alliance Credit Cards for Travelers

If you’re a frequent traveler and a fan of Star Alliance airlines, there are various credit cards available that can help you earn rewards and flight benefits. Star Alliance is one of the big three global airline partnerships, consisting of carriers like Air Canada, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, and United Airlines. So, whether you’re looking to earn miles or get flight perks, co-branded credit cards and transferable points cards can be your ticket to a more rewarding travel experience.

The Power of Star Alliance Credit Cards

When it comes to booking award flights on Star Alliance airlines, there are multiple ways to earn miles. While eligible flights are an obvious option, co-branded credit cards that are affiliated with Star Alliance airlines offer additional opportunities to earn miles and enjoy flight benefits. These cards can be especially useful in accelerating your rewards accumulation and enhancing your travel experiences. Additionally, transferable points credit cards can also be a great option for earning rewards.

So, let’s dive into the best Star Alliance credit cards you can open in the US and explore the perks they offer.

Best Star Alliance Credit Card Reviews

Best all-around Star Alliance card: United℠ Explorer Card

The United℠ Explorer Card is a well-rounded credit card that offers a host of benefits. By simply spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months, you can earn 60,000 bonus miles. These miles are valued at around $780 in flights according to Insider’s valuations. If you frequently fly with United Airlines, this card is a no-brainer.

One of the standout features of the United℠ Explorer Card is the free first checked bag benefit. Not only do you save $35 one-way per checked bag, but this benefit also extends to one companion when you pay for your fare with the card. So, a round-trip flight with a travel buddy can help you save a significant amount of money. Furthermore, the card provides priority boarding and offers discounts on inflight purchases.

In addition to these benefits, the United℠ Explorer Card grants you access to United Club airport lounges. You receive two single-use United Club passes annually, allowing you to enjoy some quiet time, free snacks, and even alcohol while waiting for your flight. This is a great perk for a card that has an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95.

The card also offers $100 in statement credits every four years, which can be used towards Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS applications. These programs provide expedited security and customs clearance, making your travel experience smoother and more efficient. Plus, the United℠ Explorer Card includes valuable travel coverages such as primary rental car insurance and trip delay insurance.

Best card for United Club airport lounge access: United Club℠ Infinite Card

For those who value airport lounge access, the United Club℠ Infinite Card is your best bet. With an annual fee of $525, the perks offered by this card are even more extensive than its sibling, the United℠ Explorer Card.

In terms of welcome offers, you can earn 80,000 bonus miles by spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months. According to Insider’s valuations, this is worth about $1,040 in travel. The card provides free first and second checked bags for both you and a travel companion, saving you up to $280 round-trip. It also offers priority check-in, security screening, boarding, and baggage handling on United Airlines flights, ensuring a seamless travel experience.

Furthermore, the United Club℠ Infinite Card provides expanded award availability and a 10% discount on coach saver awards for United Airlines flights. Inflight discounts on purchases like food and beverages are also available. One of the standout benefits of this card is its complimentary United Club membership, which grants you access to United Club lounges and some Star Alliance-branded lounges whenever you fly United or one of its partner airlines.

To add to the already impressive benefits, the United Club℠ Infinite Card offers up to $100 for either TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS applications every four years. Additionally, you’ll receive a yearly $189 reimbursement for CLEAR®, a program that allows you to skip the TSA security line. For avid travelers, these benefits can greatly enhance your journey.

Best Star Alliance card to book travel other than flights: Aeroplan® Credit Card

If you frequently find yourself on Air Canada planes, the Aeroplan® Credit Card is the perfect companion. By spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months, you can earn 75,000 points. Additionally, if you spend $20,000 on purchases within the first 12 months, you receive an additional 25,000 points. According to Insider’s valuations, these points are worth $1,500 in flights.

To start with, the card offers a free first checked bag on Air Canada flights for you and up to eight companions on the same reservation. Furthermore, by meeting spending requirements each calendar year, you can enjoy Aeroplan elite status and a reimbursement of up to $100 for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS applications every four years.

An interesting perk of the Aeroplan® Credit Card is the ability to redeem points for various travel expenses at a rate of 1.25 cents each. This includes airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and more. In other words, your points can be used for a wide range of travel-related expenses. The card also provides travel insurance benefits such as trip delay insurance and baggage delay insurance.

Best Star Alliance card for a companion certificate: Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®

For those who fly Lufthansa at least once per year, the Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® offers enticing benefits. By spending $3,000 on purchases and paying the annual fee within the first 90 days, you can earn 80,000 award miles. The card comes with an $89 annual fee, but the perks make it worthwhile for Lufthansa enthusiasts.

With this card, you’ll receive two free Lufthansa Business Lounge Vouchers after each account anniversary. These vouchers allow you to enjoy the comfort and amenities of Lufthansa lounges at a discounted price. Additionally, there’s a companion ticket available after each account anniversary, allowing you to bring a friend along for just the cost of taxes and fees when you book a paid economy ticket on Lufthansa.

The Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard® also offers a fast-track to Lufthansa elite status. Once a year, you can convert award miles into status miles at a 5:1 ratio. This provides you with an opportunity to enjoy elite benefits by meeting specific miles transfer thresholds.

While this card may not appeal to everyone due to its specific airline focus, it remains a valuable option for those who fly Lufthansa regularly.

Flexible Rewards Cards – The Best Star Alliance Cards of All

While the above credit cards are exceptional choices for Star Alliance enthusiasts, it’s worth noting that some of the best cards for booking Star Alliance flights are those that accrue transferable rewards. These cards, although not specifically affiliated with Star Alliance airlines, offer generous welcome bonuses and higher return rates for everyday spending.

Let’s take a look at some of these flexible rewards cards:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Offers 60,000 bonus points, transferable to Air Canada Aeroplan, Singapore Airlines, and United Airlines.
  • Bilt Mastercard®: Accrues points transferable to Air Canada Aeroplan, Turkish Airlines, and United Airlines.
  • Citi Premier® Card: Provides 60,000 bonus ThankYou® points, transferable to Avianca, Eva Air, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, and Turkish Airlines.
  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card: Offers 75,000 bonus miles for transfer to Air Canada Aeroplan, Avianca, Eva Air, Singapore Airlines, TAP Portugal, Thai Airways, and Turkish Airlines.
  • American Express® Gold Card: Provides 60,000 Membership Rewards® points, transferable to Air Canada Aeroplan, ANA, Avianca, and Singapore Airlines.

These cards not only offer higher earnings on everyday spending but also have valuable travel insurance benefits. They can serve as excellent companions to your Star Alliance travels, enhancing your overall travel experience.

Unlocking Star Alliance Rewards

While earning rewards with Star Alliance partners is possible without a co-branded credit card, opening one can provide access to additional benefits such as lounge access, free checked bags, and priority boarding. Depending on your specific travel preferences and needs, the best Star Alliance credit card for you may differ.

It’s important to choose a card that aligns with your travel patterns and priorities. Whether you opt for a co-branded airline card or a flexible rewards card, remember to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay. By doing so, you can unlock the full potential of Star Alliance credit cards, making your travels even more rewarding.