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Did someone say free perks?

Breakfast is disappearing from hotels, security lines are lengthening at airports and while prices are lower than ever – the experience often isn’t what it once was. That is – unless you have elite frequent traveler status. All of those grumblings magically disappear as you enjoy airport VIP lounges, hotel VIP lounges, free breakfasts and other 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…

Virgin Atlantic Instant Status + Fast Track

If you hold middle or top tier with another airline, Virgin Atlantic is interested in poaching your business. 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. If you have status and an upcoming flight, the airline has been offering an instant upgrade to Silver status and a fast track to Gold status requiring half the generally required flying. Gold status grants Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse access on all Virgin flights and benefits when flying Delta.

How To Match

Send an email to customer.relations.uk@fly.virgin.com or flyingclub.admin@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), and perhaps include a recent account statement. You’ll also want to mention any flights on Virgin Atlantic or joint venture routes.

Hertz 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.

Best 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. Download it, follow the instructions and enjoy your very helpful new status.

Turkish 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 domestic US travelers flying on United, and on all other Star Alliance airlines, regardless of cabin.

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. Customer responses are generally very fast and matches are live within a week. One turkish airlines international flight (Europe counts) would extend the status to a full year.

Hilton 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 a Hilton Hotel almost everywhere, it’s a great chain with solid loyalty benefits. Hilton is offering instant 90 days of status match, with reports of some travelers being granted an entire year. Either way, there’s very reasonable criteria to keep your status long after any initial challenge period. Simply stay 4 times to retain Gold or 8 times to retain Diamond within the 90 days to keep the status for a year or more – if it’s not automatically offered.

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…

Delta SkyMiles 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. You’ll get a three month trial of the status you match to from your current program, and then need to fulfill a set amount of flying to keep the status for a year or more. What’s interesting is that if you hold the Delta SkyMiles credit card and spend enough to get the flight spending requirement waived, it’s purely about miles and not 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.

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.

Sixt Car Rental Status Match

Sixt is quickly becoming a fan favorite in car rental. 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.

Emirates 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.

Alaska 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

You can read full details on the Alaska match opportunities here. 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.

Starwood To Marriott Status Match

Starwood officially joined Marriott Rewards in August. Elite Starwood members will be converted into the new Marriott elite status tiers, once they re link accounts. By linking, you’ll get credit for your combined stays between the two programs, which can lead to a higher combined status.

How To Match

This is a no brainer, which will help countless cardholders and elite guests with Starwood secure a great elite status with Marriott for the new year.

Which offers will you take advantage of?

HT: StatusMatcher

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