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Your complete guide to Star Alliance benefits

Sept. 06, 2022
5 min read
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With this behemoth boasting 26 member airlines connecting passengers to 1,300 destinations on more than 19,000 daily flights, chances are that you've flown on a Star Alliance carrier. This year, the alliance is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Singapore with a charity run to honor health-care workers.

Star Alliance has two elite tiers — Silver and Gold. Rumor has it that Star Alliance Silver and Gold are being reevaluated. Still, let's look at all the alliance offers, including its member airlines, status benefits and airline lounges.

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Star Alliance airlines

PATRICK PLEUL/GETTY IMAGES

Here's the list of the 26 airlines that are part of Star Alliance. Juneyao Airlines is a connecting partner of Star Alliance:

  • Aegean Airlines.
  • Air Canada.
  • Air China.
  • Air India.
  • Air New Zealand.
  • ANA (All Nippon Airways).
  • Asiana Airlines.
  • Austrian Airlines.
  • Avianca.
  • Brussels Airlines.
  • Copa.
  • Croatia Airlines.
  • Egyptair.
  • Ethiopian Airlines.
  • EVA Air.
  • LOT Polish Airlines.
  • Lufthansa.
  • SAS.
  • Shenzhen Airlines.
  • Singapore Airlines.
  • South African Airways.
  • Swiss.
  • TAP Air Portugal.
  • Thai.
  • Turkish Airlines.
  • United.

Related: Book this, not that: Star Alliance award tickets

Star Alliance status tiers

United Premier Gold members and higher enjoy special perks when traveling on partner airlines like Lufthansa. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Star Alliance has just two elite status tiers: Silver and Gold. These are the benefits associated with both tiers:

Star Alliance Silver

  • Priority reservations waitlist.
  • Priority airport standby.

North American airline status: United Premier Silver, Air Canada Aeroplan 25K and 35K.

Star Alliance Gold

  • Priority reservations waitlist.
  • Priority airport standby.
  • Gold Track security.
  • Extra baggage allowance.
  • Priority boarding.
  • Airport lounge access.
  • Priority baggage handling.
  • Priority airport check-in.
  • Upgrades to Business First class on the Heathrow Express.

North American airline status: United Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, Premier 1K, Global Services, Air Canada Aeroplan 50K, 75K and Super Elite 100K.

Certain tickets like inter-Europe "Light" fares on Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian may not have access to these benefits. It's worth looking at the Star Alliance benefits page to ensure that your ticket has the benefits you expect before planning a lengthy layover.

Related: Which mileage program is best for getting Star Alliance status quickly?

Star Alliance lounges

United Polaris lounges don't participate in Star Alliance Gold. KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

As a Star Alliance Gold status member, you can visit more than 1,000 Star Alliance lounges worldwide.

Let's look at how Star Alliance lounge access works at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN), one of the airports with the most Star Alliance lounges.

  • KrisFlyer Gold Lounge, Terminal 3.
  • Open for Star Alliance Gold members on any Star Alliance carrier.
  • KrisFlyer Gold Lounge, Terminal 2 (temporarily closed).
  • Open for Star Alliance Gold members on any Star Alliance carrier.
  • Royal Orchid Lounge (temporarily closed).
  • Open for Star Alliance Gold members on any Star Alliance carrier.
  • SilverKris Lounge Business Class, Terminal 3.
  • Open for Star Alliance Gold members on any Star Alliance carrier.
  • SilverKris Lounge Business Class, Terminal 2 (temporarily closed).
  • Open for Star Alliance Gold members on any Star Alliance carrier.
  • SilverKris Lounge First Class, Terminal 3.
  • No access through Star Alliance Gold.
  • SilverKris Lounge First Class, Terminal 2.
  • No access through Star Alliance Gold.
  • The dnata Lounge, Terminal 1.
  • Only for select Air China passengers.
  • SATS Lounge, Terminal 3.
  • Only for select United passengers.
  • SATS Premier Club Lounge, Terminal 3.
  • Only for select Air China and Asiana passengers.
  • SATS Premier Lounge, Terminal 3.
  • Only for select LOT, Ethiopian, EVA, Turkish, Asiana and Air India passengers.
  • SATS Premier Lounge, Terminal 1.
  • Only for select Air China passengers.

It's quite apparent that there are many rules on access for each lounge, so visit the Star Alliance lounge finder for the most accurate information on lounge access. However, there are a few general exceptions to keep in mind:

  • First-class lounges, United Polaris lounges and the Air Canada Signature Suite are not included in Star Alliance lounge access.
  • United elites can only access the United Club when traveling on international itineraries. This is not the case for other airlines; for example, an Asiana Star Alliance Gold member can access the United Club on a domestic United flight.

Related: Gold star: A review of the Star Alliance business-class lounge at LAX

Bottom line

Unfortunately, since the benefits of Star Alliance Silver only kick in if your travel plans don't go to plan, there's minimal value from the alliance's entry-level tier.

Outside of luggage benefits and priority boarding, the best benefit of Star Alliance Gold is access to more than 1,000 business class lounges worldwide. As Oneworld's top tier provides access to first class lounges, it will be interesting to see if that's a benefit that's included in a future iteration of Star Alliance status.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases