Turning a little bit of loyalty into a whole lot of benefits has never been easier. Though most gold plated name tags or fancy sounding titles require a road warriors travel schedule, there are many shortcuts available for anyone to partake in, some without even leaving the house. Here are a few ways to get a shiny metal name tag in no time. The perks? Totally worth it...
First, Why It Matters...
Elite status really does matter. It doesn't guarantee an upgrade every time, but it does guarantee a better experience. You'll skip lines, security cues, get access to airport lounges, even when flying economy, get preferential treatment in delays and cancellations and have things like extra free bags, welcome drinks at hotels and free wifi. It saves money...
American Airlines Status Challenge
It all starts with one, and that's usually the hardest part. Once you have a status with one airline, you can often parlay it into status with many, taking advantage of matches. Before you can match, if you want to get status quickly, you must challenge. American Airlines is one of the few which will grant ANYONE the opportunity to earn status in an accelerated path, in just three months, after paying a minor fee. If you have any upcoming travel on American, or long haul trips which you could take on American, British Airways or Iberia, this could be a brilliant opportunity to get your foot (luggage) in the door.
Amex Platinum Starwood + Hilton + Accor Elite Status
Amex Platinum's annual fee can be well justified if you travel. Almost every hotel chain currently will match the status of another chain with no questions asked. Again, you need a status to start the ball rolling in your eternal quest for loyalty card glory. If you grab the Amex Platinum, whatever region of the world you live in, you'll instantly be granted elite status with a top chain, allowing you to then status match to other chains. Benefits everywhere!
British Airways Discount Business Class Fares
British Airways has one of the easiest systems to earn status, with a single round trip in business class putting you ever so close to elite status. With business fares below $1000 from time to time, it's possible to turn one round trip in style and one more one way in virtually any cabin into a status which helps you earn free bags, priority check in and other important perks. Do it a couple times and you'll nearly hit Silver, their middle tier, which grants you lounge access even when you fly economy!
Hyatt + Hilton + IHG + Club Carlson Elite Status With Credit Card
UK, US, Worldwide, if you grab a credit card from any of these chains, you'll be granted instant status, and if you spend a bit of money, you'll be entitled to a higher status. You literally don't have to leave home.
Once You Have Status Match It EVERYWHERE
Ok, so now you have at least one airline and one hotel status. Match it everywhere. There's a comprehensive list of airline and hotel programs that will match or challenge your status, offering you anything from 90 days of free status with an extension if you stay or fly, all the way to granting you status for nothing for more than a year. Follow these tips to match everywhere!