Star Alliance, the largest of the three international partnership groups which includes United and Air Canada, plans to launch a credit card that’s separate from the co-brand cards issued by its individual member airlines. It’s expected to become available later this year. (HT: @crucker)
It’s not clear who will issue the card, or how points-earning will work since Star Alliance doesn’t have its own currency separate from those of its members. And having miles with member airlines already allows customers to redeem their points across the alliance.
There’s no way Star Alliance outcompetes a given airline in its own market. United won’t allow Star Alliance to offer consumers a better cobrand value proposition than MileagePlus in the U.S., nor is Star likely in a position to do so.
Star Alliance will also add a non-airline partner, suggesting it could be a European railroad. Star Alliance wouldn’t be first to try building in a non-airline travel company, SkyTeam announced Hertz as a car rental member in 2018 the idea here was that Hertz would pay to attract customers in the alliance.
Finally, Star Alliance wants to make bulk purchases of sustainable fuel as a group on behalf of its members and “partner with large multinational corporations” in travel to “get businesses to subsidize airlines’ cost” because airlines are always looking for subsidies.