a large white airplane on a runway

Did someone say free travel perks?

Breakfast is disappearing from hotels, security lines are lengthening at airports and while many travel prices are lower than ever – the experience often isn’t what it once was. That is – unless you have elite frequent traveler status. A

s travel rebounds, airlines and hotels are handing out status like crazy.

All of those frequent travel grumblings magically disappear as you enjoy airport lounges, hotel wine hours, free breakfasts and all the major perks along the entire journey. In search of the best travel experience possible – here are ten fast track and elite status match offers to take advantage of, while they last.

Know this first: you don’t ever lose the status you have when you request or complete a status match. A Match or fast track is just an enticement to get you to switch, and in no way a contract or promise. If you don’t like what you get, you’ve always got your original status to fall back on…

intercontinental vietnamIntercontinental (IHG) Status Match + Challenge

IHG has one of the most wide ranging hotel portfolios from budget road warrior accommodations to high end Intercontinental properties which rival any in the world. With big moves and shake ups all over the hotel industry thanks to Marriott Bonvoy, World Of Hyatt and Hilton Honors, IHG Is offering their own lucrative status match opportunity, which is only around for a limited time.

Much like the Hilton match and fast track, this offer gives you 90 days to try the status out, and if you complete a certain number of stays during that introductory period, you can keep the status through 2020. Matches are available all the way up to top tier Spire Elite, which makes this absolutely something worth doing. This match and fast track offer expires July 26th and has limited capacity, so don’t hesitate.

How to Match

We’ve got a dedicated guide to this particular match, with all the extra info you might want to know. If you know it all, like many travellers do, here’s the IHG status match landing page to lock your status in with them right away.

a bed with a lamp and a chair in a roomBest Western Hotels Instant Status Match

Best Western is offering one of the best hotel status match opportunities around. The group will match virtually any hotel status with their “no catch” offer. You can match all the way up to the elusive Diamond Select, the highest tier offered by Best Western, securing fantastic benefits on all stays with free upgrades and welcome gifts on all stays. In addition, this could pair well with some of the other offers mentioned in this post. Just saying…

How To Match

Best Western said “no catch” and they mean it. They’ve made a simple, easy form with all the instructions necessary to match in a flash. The form is now online, so the process really couldn’t be easier and is absolutely worth doing…

the tail of an airplaneVirgin Atlantic Instant Status + Fast Track

If you hold middle or top tier with another airline, Virgin Atlantic is interested in poaching your business. With their new A350’s about to launch to NYC and increased elite benefits when flying on Delta,  there’s never been a better time to give that a serious thought, either.

But before they go flooding their ranks, they want to see one flight booked with the airline. If you have an upcoming Virgin Atlantic flight in any cabin, that should do, but they’ll be particularly generous to those who have a flight booked in Premium Economy or Upper Class.

If you book any flight, the airline has traditionally offered instant silver with a fast track to Gold, but if you book a Premium or Upper Class flight, Virgin has been matching people directly to Gold for one year. After that year, you’d need to complete the regular flying, but it’s a heck of a status to pick up.

How To Match

Send an email to OtherAirlineStatusMatch@fly.virgin.com with with a copy of your competing airline loyalty card, your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club number (sign up if you don’t have one), a recent account statement from your current elite status and a reference number of your Virgin Atlantic booking.

a red car on a dirt roadHertz Instant Car Rental Elite Status Match

Hertz wants your business and you want upgrades on every car rental you book. Sounds fair, right? If you have elite status with a competing rental car company, you can score an instant status match, keeping both your old status while acquiring your newly minted Hertz status. This is a fantastic offer with matches all the way up to Hertz Presidents Circle, which offers guaranteed upgrades on every rental. Not bad, right?

How To Match

Simply email: statusmatch@hertz.com with a copy of your competing loyalty card. A mention of legitimate upcoming trips and why Hertz fits your rental needs certainly never hurts. This is an outright status match, granting extraordinary benefits with no ask attached.

a plane flying over cloudsTurkish Airlines Instant Status + Challenge

Turkish Airlines is offering an extremely viable route to Star Alliance Gold status, with their ongoing offer. If you hold a Star Alliance Gold equivalent status with another alliance, such as SkyTeam Elite Plus or OneWorld Sapphire, Emerald you can receive an instant 4 month match, requiring just one Turkish Airlines international flight to extend the status for an entire year.

This status would gain lounge access for travellers on domestic US flights, even when flying on United, which forbids its own elite loyalty members from using airport lounges on domestic flights. What a great opportunity to enjoy absolute airport comfort even on short domestic US journeys in economy…

How To Match

Use the Turkish Airlines online customer portal: here. Send a copy of your proof of ID (passport), loyalty card and a recent frequent flyer statement. You must also join the Turkish program first, so that you can provide a frequent flyer account number. Customer responses are generally very fast and matches are live within a week. One turkish airlines international flight (Europe counts) would extend this comp’d status to a full year.

a deck with a thatched roof and a thatched roof on the side of itHilton Honors Instant Status + Challenge

Hilton isn’t playing around right now. They know there will be winners and losers in the ever changing landscape of loyalty programs and mergers, and they also know their footprint is tough to pass up, with too many hotels where people need to be for work, and some incredible places to unwind where work isn’t on the menu. It’s a great chain with solid loyalty benefits.

Hilton is offering instant 90 days of status match, giving you access to the status right away, with reports of some travelers being granted an entire year. Either way, there’s very reasonable criteria to keep your status long after the initial 90 day challenge period. Simply stay 4 times to retain Gold or 8 times to retain Diamond within those 90 days to keep the status for a year or more.

How To Match

Hilton is so serious about this, they’ve made a dedicated website which you can find here. If you’d prefer a human touch, you can also email HHonorMyStatus@hilton.com. In both cases you’ll need to include your Hilton membership number and a copy of your current elite status with a competing chain. Showing you’ve actually stayed there certainly won’t hurt either…

Invalid request error occurred.delta a350Delta Or United Status Match & Challenge

Delta offers a very interesting opportunity for elites from other airlines to secure great Delta Medallion elite status, all the way up to Platinum. United has virtually the same exact offer. You’ll get a 90 day  trial of the status immediately, and then to keep it, you’ll need to fulfill a set amount of flying to retain the status for a year or more. This is definitely the time to match, since it will last through 2020.

Delta side note: What’s most interesting is that if you hold the Delta SkyMiles credit card and spend enough to get the flight spending requirement waived, this is purely about actual flying miles and not just money. You’ll just need to complete a set amount of flying. Delta has been extremely aggressive with premium economy and business class offers lately, making this very possible.

United is offering matches up to Premier Platinum, which brings upgrades and other highly lucrative benefits. Even though they don’t specifically mention foreign programs being allowed to participate, Qantas, British Airways and other programs are matched.

How To Match

Delta has a dedicated page devoted to this match and challenge opportunity. Although the site specifically mentions competing US airlines, foreign programs such as British Airways, JAL or Lufthansa are eligible as well. Join up for the match here, after figuring out the perfect time to take the plunge.

United has a similar dedicated page, which you can find here. Again, the page talks about Delta matches and American matches, but other elite airline status from around the world is almost always accepted.

a group of cars parked on a streetSixt Car Rental Status Match

Sixt is quickly becoming a fan favorite in car rental, and not just because they rent awesome Mercedes. The company is aggressively taking on new elite members and is offering an easy status match opportunity from virtually all other car rental companies. Simply sign up for their elite program at the level of your choosing, provide proof you should have it and voila – you’re matched.

You can sign up directly for Platinum and it will become effective after you provide proof of your competing status. Platinum provides members with  guaranteed upgrades around the world and a double upgrade in America.

How To Match

Sign up for a new account here. Follow the steps and provide the proof required to secure your new status. It couldn’t be much easier. Once you have your new status, you’ll be eligible for a two level upgrade on US rentals, which is pretty awesome.

a long shot of a restaurantEmirates Skywards Instant Silver Status Match

Emirates has a very fair, instantly beneficial offer for frequent flyers all around the world. The airline will grant a bump up to silver status from almost any other elite frequent flyer status.

Emirates Silver status grants business class lounge access with Emirates in Dubai, and premium check in facilities elsewhere, in addition to a 25% points bonus on all flights and other perks. Like all the other opportunities here, you’re keeping your current benefits, and just picking up something which may prove useful in the future. After all, Emirates business lounge in Dubai is extraordinary.

How To Match

Contact Emirates using their online portal, asking for a match to a similar tier to your competing status. Almost all requests will be moved from Blue (general member) to Silver, and not any higher but again – this is very valuable. If you’re in the UK, there’s also a separate one flight offer going around.

a plane flying in the skyAlaska Airlines Status Match

Many customers are up for grabs in the US, with business travel busier than ever and the airline landscape constantly changing. After all, Alaska swallowed up Virgin America and cut off live TV.

We’ve written about Alaska’s lucrative status match opportunities before, and the generous offers continue. You can match all the way up to the exclusive MVP 75K elite status, earning up to four upgrade certificates, lounge passes and other perks. You’ll also be eligible for complimentary upgrades on all Alaska and Virgin America flights.

How To Match

Alaska has a dedicated status match website taking you directly to the match opportunity online. Statuses granted will last one calendar year or more, giving you plenty of time to jet around the USA in comfort. At the moment, Alaska is only matching people from domestic airline programs like Delta, Southwest, Aeromexico, Hawaiian, United and American.

Which offers will you take advantage of?

HT: StatusMatcher

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Turkish Airlines will not match to One World Sapphire status such as BA Silver, only Emerald. Tried it.

  2. Wait so if we have Gold via Amex platinum > SPG Gold > Marriot Gold we will be Marriot Platinum after August?

      1. Please elaborate, I am intrigued. I currently have Gold via Amex platinum > SPG Gold > Marriot Gold .

  3. Unfortunately Emirates will not match. Please can you update your website when these things are not true as they are a little misleading

    1. Karen. This is where you need to learn manors and data points. Of the thousands of people who read this, thousands have been matched. I myself…have been matched in the last week. Just because it didn’t work for you, does not make it false. Could you have possibly made a mistake with your submission?

  4. Gilbert, I just asked for United Premier Silver based on Delta SkyMiles Silver medallion. I’m curious if Qantas will reciprocate whence United bumps me? Or do I ask for status match with Quantas?

  5. Great post. Just to say Alaska will match status from non US airlines but I think it depends on your circumstances.

    They gave me MVP Gold off the back of BA Silver when I sent screen shots of my BA account and explained I had moved to the US from the UK.

  6. Here is the official answer from Emirates after denying status match:
    But, I’m unable to verify if the blog you mention gives correct information or not, as the blog doesn’t belong to Emirates.
    I confirm that we can review your account to Silver Status based on your Iberia Airlines Silver card.
    For you to get the Silver Tier, you need to complete one of the two flight options below in the coming 12 months:
    • Option #1: Two round trip Emirates flights in Economy class (Flex or Flex Plus fare)
    • Option #2: One round trip Emirates flight in Business or First class
    Once you have completed one of the two options above, your account will automatically be upgraded to the Skywards Tier mentioned.

  7. Looks like Emirates have changed their policy re: instant match. I am BAEC Gold. Contacted Emirates for status match, wasn’t offered instant match. Got a challenge to complete – either 1x return business or 2x return economy.

  8. Wow, it looks like @Max is flirting with the first rule of the points and miles world. Don’t ever tell the airline about the deal, mistake fare, etc. you found on a blog.

    I might add that there are many other programs that are easy to match status to but some like United have very strict rules about how many times in a lifetime or in 5 years, etc. you can do it. I find it is better not to burn a status match/challenge bridge unless you have a specific reason to try and know you can achieve it. There are also promo status matches like the current AA Platinum that you have to start right away so you can’t pick your time. In addition, starting a match in the second half of the year is great but some business travel trends down during the 4th quarter with budgets, holidays, etc.

  9. Don’t bother with Virgin Atlantic.
    I’m Qantas Gold (OneWorld sapphire) – and they have refused to match any VS status. They’ve told me I would start at Red, as they believe Qantas Gold status doesn’t align with their program.

    I should have stuck with One World and had access to BA lounges rather than be stuffed around by a team who don’t know how other airlines status work to gain new customers.


  10. Hello. I really enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for the saundry of useful info. I currently have One World Sapphire(Qatar) then can I go for status match with Turkish?(Star Alliance). Or is there any better option for the Star Alliance match?

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