Star Alliance Money: What you need to know

When you get elite status through an airline that is part of an alliance, you kind of get two elite statuses. First, you receive benefits from the airline where you obtained your status. However, you also achieve elite status with that airline world alliance.

elite members of United MileageMore, Air Canada Aeroplan and other star alliance loyalty programs receive one of two levels of Star Alliance program elite status: Silver or Gold. However, the benefits of these two levels of elite status are very different.

Here’s a guide to Star Alliance Silver, including some of the easiest ways to earn Star Alliance Silver status.

Star Alliance Silver Benefits

There are only two benefits published for Star Alliance Silver: Priority Reservations Waiting List and Priority Airport Waiting. Unfortunately, none of these are that exciting for most travelers.

  • Priority reservation waiting list gives you priority over non-elite members when a flight is full. This could be useful if you want to waitlist the availability of rewards. But alas, this reservation waiting list benefit expressly excludes travel with award tickets.

  • The priority waiting at the airport perk may be a little more valuable to travelers. Whether you’re trying to catch an early flight or rebooking after a flight cancellation, Star Alliance Silver elites get a higher priority on the reserve list. Again, this benefit is not available to those traveling on award tickets.

How to Get Star Alliance Money

Travelers can earn Star Alliance Silver Elite status with any of the 26 Star Alliance member airlines. Two of these 26 Star Alliance airlines are based in North America, making them the most relevant choices for status.

The best choice for you will depend on the benefits offered by each airline, as Star Alliance Silver offers limited benefits on partner airlines.

Once you have achieved status with an affiliated airline, you will achieve status in the Star Alliance program at the corresponding level.

United MileageMore

United travelers can earn Star Alliance Silver Elite status by earning First Silver elite status in MileagePlus. In 2022, a MileagePlus member must earn 3,500 Premier qualifying points or eight Premier qualifying flights plus 3,000 PQP to earn Premier Silver elite status.

In 2023, United Airlines travelers must earn 5,000 PQP in a calendar year to achieve Premier Silver status. However, you can reduce this requirement to 4,000 PQP if you earn 12 PQF.

Premier Silver Elite status offers more than just Star Alliance Silver status. United Silver elites get free Premier upgrades, free Economy Plus seats with extra legroom at check-in, one free checked bag up to 70 pounds, 7 bonus miles per eligible dollar spent on United flights and more.

Air Canada Aeroplan

Another way to get Star Alliance Silver is from Air Canada. Aeroplan members earn Aeroplan Elite 25K status after earning $3,000 status qualification plus 25,000 status qualification miles or 25 status qualification segments. Aeroplan 25K Elite Status grants Star Alliance Silver.

However, there is an even easier way for US travelers to earn Aeroplan 25K Elite and Star Alliance Silver status. The new cardholders Aeroplan® Credit Card by Chase automatically earn Aeroplan 25K Elite status.

🤓Nerdy tip

You get this elite status for the rest of the calendar year plus one additional calendar year. That means you’ll earn Aeroplan 25K Elite status until December 31, 2024, if you sign up for the card anytime in 2023.

Then you can maintain your Aeroplan 25K Elite status — and Star Alliance Silver — by spending $15,000 on the Aeroplan® Credit Card during the previous calendar year.

New eligible cardholders of the Aeroplan® Credit Card can win a welcome bonus: Earn 70,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Silver versus Gold Advantages

As you can see, there aren’t many benefits to Star Alliance Silver status. Instead, the real benefits are earned when travelers reach Star Alliance Gold. In addition to the two Star Alliance Silver benefits, travelers earn the following benefits upon achieving Star Alliance Gold elite status:

  • Priority check-in at the airport.

  • Priority baggage handling.

  • Gold Track priority security and immigration.

Here is an overview of the benefits for Gold level members compared to Silver.

Priority reservations waiting list

Priority airport check-in

Priority Baggage Handling

Gold Track (priority security and immigration)

Star Alliance Silver recap

Star Alliance Silver does not offer many advantages. This means that it won’t be worth trying to achieve it on its own. Instead, focus on earning elite status which provides more substantial benefits – such as United Premier Silver – which also provides Star Alliance Silver status.

On the other hand, Star Alliance Gold offers many other tangible benefits, including check-in, boarding and access to priority lounges. So depending on your travel style, Star Alliance Gold might be worth seeking out.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022including those best suited for:

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