Looking at some hotel loyalty or frequent flyer programs they have huge obstacles to take on to receive a status. While for the hotel loyalty programs it only counts how many nights you spend at their properties, a frequent flyer program wants you to fly a specific number of miles and even set a financial goal on the amount you have to spend on tickets as a second obstacle. To make it even harder to reach a status.
But there are ways, let's call them shortcuts, to get a tier of a loyalty program easier. Not every program is offering it. Some of them never do, other ones only sometimes as a promotion and there are also a few programs which offer it always. Why does loyalty programs offer it? Simple, to sneak customers away from the competition.
The good thing about status matches and challenges is, once you reached a status at one loyalty program either by flying the required miles, sleeping the necessary nights or just as a benefit of an credit card, you have the opportunity to get a status with another program as well. Even without staying a night at their hotels or haven't flown a mile on their airline.
What is a status match?
A status match is when a loyalty program offers you to “match” their program tiers/levels based on your existing status with another loyalty program. By this they allow you to bypass their annual qualification requirements and match you status immediately without any obstacles for a time of 6 to 12 months depending on the loyalty program.
What is a status challenge?
A status challenge is actually the same as a status match but here the loyalty program where you wish to get the status matched is offering to get the status by completing a challenge. Some loyalty programs e.g. match the status immediately for a period of 90 days. During this period they set a goal you need reach. If you reach this goal then they extend the 90 days period. If you don't read the goal which was set then the matched status will expire after 90 days. Other loyalty programs will match the status only after finishing the goal which was set without providing the status during the period of the challenge.
I tried myself already a couple status matches and challenges. 3 years ago Delta Airlines offered a challenge for 90 days. They matched my Miles and More Frequent Traveller status to Delta SkyMiles Silver Medallion status. Unfortunately during that period I was flying only once so I couldn't reach the goal to keep the status. Anyway I still got to enjoy an upgrade and priority boarding on my flight from Miami to Atlanta thanks to the 90 days period I were holding the status. A year later the Spanish airline Iberia offered a status match which was valid for a year. Again my Miles and More Frequent Traveller status got matched, this time to Iberia Plus Plata status ( Oneworld Ruby status ). Here was the same, I was flying only once on a Oneworld carrier during the whole time. It was an American Airlines flight from Miami to Bogota. I added my Iberia membership number and thanks to that my wife and me were enjoying the benefits of the Oneworld Ruby status which were Priority Check-in, Priority Security Check and Priority Boarding. Even for that on time this status match was more than helpful.
Another status match I did was from my Hilton Honors Gold status to the Radisson Rewards Gold Elite status. ( Back then the program was called Club Carlson ) Radisson Rewards is offering always a status match, but not official, you need to kindly ask them. The Hilton Honors Gold status I received because of my Hilton Honors credit card which got the Gold status as a benefit. I sent Radisson Rewards simply an email and a day later I was holding the Radisson Rewards Gold Elite status. I got actually two very beneficial hotel status without staying even close enough nights at there hotels. At Hilton Hotels I didn't even spent one night before I was holding the credit card and the Hilton Honors Gold status.
If you have any questions about matching a status to another status then just leave a comment below or get in touch with me at the contact form at Concierge Desk !