HSBC Star Alliance Card - which airline to use fast track status on?

Hi, looking at applying for the above card. Most important things to me are:

  • VA domestic lounge access
  • VA priority boarding/check in

Looks like United, Singapore and Air Canada are my best bets given they are VA partners for the lounge side.

However it’s not too clear about VA priority boarding/check in, would each program be treated the same here?

A third consideration might be if any of the above programs have a clear advantage over the other? e.g. air canada and united appear to have some benefits in terms of seat selection/upgrades etc. where as singapore doesn’t appear to have this?

Thanks in advance

You are right in that all three would grant you lounge access when flying VA. Mostly, those benefits will be the same for all of the three across the board. Your priority will be the equivalent of VA Gold in this case.

Here’s some things to consider:

  • Singapore points are easy to earn in Australia, so you can easily top up your points balance earned from flying with credit card points transferred in. However, they expire with a hard limit of 3 yrs and cannot be extended.
  • United has space available complimentary upgrades to first(our version of business) class on their flights for all elite members + their own upgrades vouchers system, so if you frequently travel to/in America, you might find this helpful (or even just to score a extra legroom seat for free at check-in)
  • Air Canada has their own upgrade system which you get some complimentary access to for you to upgrade on Air Canada flights so if you want to fly with them, you might be able to score an upgrade with status.
  • Both United and Aeroplan have less exposure to the Australian market and it is harder to top up these two balances. Aeroplan has more buy miles promotions which point hacks has covered in the past
  • Aeroplan wins purely by number of partners and lucrativeness (yay for multi-stop itineraries with free stopovers) in terms of redemption value but United is a close second

Essentially, none of them will give you more benefits on VA over another, but depending on your travel patterns, all three might have their own appeal to you.

Another option to consider is that Virgin lounge access does come with a few credit cards like the AMEX platinum, or the others that give lounge passes and you can of course purchase your own if you would like.


Awesome, thanks so much for your response, has clarified a lot for me.