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The Best Airline Loyalty Programs Offering a Free Status Match

Last updated: September 22,2022
Originally Published: September 23,2022
by Jestan Mendame

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Thanks to Status Match, frequent flyers can get now jump ship from one loyalty program to another without having to repeat the entire process!

Back in the day, earning an elite status the traditional way meant spending hundreds of hours flying and thousands of dollars on a single airline. And if you were to join multiple airline programs, you’d have to do it every single time and spend more money!

In this article, we’ll discuss what Status Matches are (and also Status Challenges) and what airline programs are currently offering this benefit!


Read More:


Getting elite status from an airline comes with solid perks and benefits!
(Image courtesy of Canva Pro)

What Is A Status Match?

A Status Match is a program where an airline will give you a particular status based on the status that you have with your current program.

Each airline offers a different status match program which may or may not be published publicly on the web. In some airlines, you might need to call or email customer service directly to ask for a status match request.

Proof of status from your current program and your recent activities is usually required to apply for a status match. Take note that you also get to keep your status from your current program even after you qualify.

For example, if you have an AAdvantage Platinum Status, you can request a status match from Delta and get a Delta Medallion Gold Status in return. Now, you have two statuses from both AAdvantage and Delta.

Whatever your reasons is for applying for a status match, its main purpose is to allow frequent flyers to easily transition easily to another loyalty program without having to start from scratch.

Status Match VS Status Challenge

A Status Match instantly grants you status once you qualify, but a Status Challenge will require you to complete challenges first before you’re granted a status.

The challenges can be anything, but it’s mostly flying a certain number of miles or spending a certain amount of money in a specific time period.

There are also cases where airlines offer a status match and a status challenge. Basically, the airline would grant you instant status but then also offer status challenges in exchange for bonus perks like a status extension or a status upgrade.

Take note that requests for status matches or status challenges may get denied. Some possible reasons could be that your current airline status isn’t eligible, or your status was obtained through a promotion.

To avoid getting denied, we’ve rounded up a few status match/challenge guidelines below from different airline loyalty programs.


Read More: How To Get A Hilton Status Match


Airlines offer status matches to gain the business of known frequent flyers.
Airlines offer status matches to gain the business of known frequent flyers (Image courtesy of Canva Pro).

Air Canada Status Match

Air Canada’s Aeroplan program offers both status matches and status challenges, but they’re usually limited-time promotions, so you’d have to watch out for them.

In 2021, Air Canada ran a status match promotion for existing U.S. airline status holders. To give you an idea, here’s an example of what they offered before. It might change on the next promotion.

AIR CANADA AEROPLAN STATUS

American Airlines AAdvantage

Delta SkyMiles

Alaska MileagePlan

JetBlue TrueBlue

Southwest Rapid Rewards

Hawaiian Miles

25K

Gold

Silver

MVP

A-List

Gold/Platinum

35K

Platinum

Gold

MVP Gold

N/A

A-List Preferred

N/A

Platinum Pro

Platinum

MVP Gold 75K

N/A

Companion Pass

N/A

75K

Executive Platinum

Diamond

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

SUPER ELITE

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

It also came with an optional status challenge of taking a single-round trip flight in exchange for a status extension.

If you want to stay updated, you can register through the official Air Canada status match website to get notifications on future status match promotions. Alternatively, you can also email them at status.match@aircanada.com.

Alaska Airlines Status Match

You can request a MileagePlan status match from Alaska Air if you have a current elite status with one of the following airline programs below. The status you’ll get will be valid for 90 days starting from the day it was awarded to you.

ALASKA MILEAGEPLAN STATUS

Aeromexico Club Premier

Air Canada Aeroplan

American Airlines AAdvantage

Delta SkyMiles

Frontier Miles

Hawaiian Miles

JetBlue

Southwest Rapid Rewards

United MileagePlus

MVP

Gold

Altitude 25K (Prestige) & 35K

AAdvantage Gold

Silver Medallion

20K

Pualani Gold

A-List

Premier Silver

MVP Gold

Platinum

Altitude 50K

AAdvantage Platinum

Gold Medallion

50K

Pualani Platinum

N/A

A-List Preferred

Premier Gold

MVP Gold 75K

Titanio

Altitude 75K and 100K

AAdvantage Platinum Pro, Executive Platinum, ConciergeKey

Platinum Medallion & Diamond Medallion

100K

N/A

N/A

A-List Preferred & Companion Pass(must hold both)

Platinum, 1K & Global Services

To extend the validity of your status, you can complete a status challenge by flying a certain number of miles on Alaska Airlines marketed and operated flights. Here are the requirements:

  • Fly 5,000 miles to extend your MVP status
  • Fly 10,000 miles to extend your MVP Gold status
  • Fly 20,000 miles to extend your MVP Gold 75K status.

After you’ve earned the required miles, there are two ways on how your status will extend beyond the first 90 days.

If you requested a status match between January to June and earned the required miles, you’ll keep your status through the end of the calendar year. If you requested a start of your status match between July – December and earned the required miles, you’ll keep your status through the end of next year.

You can request a status match through Alaska’s status match page. Just follow the instructions to proceed.

American Airlines Status Match / Challenge

American Airlines usually offers status challenges instead of a status match. You don’t need to have a current elite status with another airline to be eligible; however, there’s an upfront payment in order to participate in the challenges.

The status challenge requirements have changed multiple times in the past, but as of 2022, these are the requirements:

 AADVANTAGE STATUS CHALLENGE

Flying Requirements

(EQMs & EQSs)

Revenue Requirements

(EQDs) 

AADVANTAGE GOLD

7,000 EQMs or 8 EQSs

$1,000

AADVANTAGE PLATINUM

12,500 EQMs or 16 EQSs

$2,000

However, American Airlines seems to have paused on offering status challenges lately when it transitioned to the new Loyalty Points program early this year. If you still want to double-check, you can call 888-697-5636 or send an email to AAdvantage.Customer.Svc@aa.com.

An alternative way to earn AAdvantage elite status is through the World of Hyatt Program. American Airlines has partnered with World of Hyatt and has been offering status challenges to Hyatt elite members (check your email or call Hyatt customer service).

Delta Status Match

Delta Airlines has a published landing page where you can request a status challenge. All you need to do is to upload proof of your current status from a qualifying airline. You can check the table below if you are qualified:

DELTA SKYMILES

MEDALLION STATUS

Air Canada Aeroplan

All Nippon Airways Mileage Club 

American Airlines AAdvantage

Asiana Club

British Airways Executive Club

Copa ConnectMiles

Japan Airlines Mileage Bank

JetBlue TrueBlue

Lufthansa Miles&More

Qantas

South African Voyager

Southwest Rapid Rewards

United MileagePlus

Virgin Australia Velocity

SILVER

MVP

Bronze

Gold

Gold

Bronze

Silver

Crystal

N/A

Frequent Traveler

Silver

Silver

A-List

Premier Silver

Silver

GOLD

MVP Gold

Platinum

Platinum

Diamond

Silver

Gold

Sapphire

Mosaic

N/A

Gold

Gold

A-List Preferred

Premier Gold

Gold

PLATINUM

MVP Gold 75K and 100K

Diamond

Exe Platinum, Platinum Pro, Concierge Key

Diamond Plus, Platinum

Gold

Platinum, Presidential Platinum

Premier, Diamond

N/A

Senator, HON Circle Members

Platinum, Platinum One

Platinum, Lifetime Platinum

N/A

Premier Platinum, Premier 1K, Global Services

Platinum

Once your status request is approved, you’ll immediately be granted a corresponding Delta Medallion Status for 90 days. However, you can extend your status beyond 90 days if you meet the required number of MQMs, MQSs, and MQDs below.

Image courtesy of Delta Airlines.

Your status extension will be based on when you applied for the status challenge. If you request a challenge before July 2022 and complete the requirements, your status will be extended for the remainder of 2022 and through January 2023.

If you requested a challenge on or after July 2022 and you complete the requirements, your status will be extended through the entire year of 2023 and through January 31, 2024.

You can apply for a status challenge here on Delta’s status challenge landing page.

United Status Match

United Airlines also offers a combination of a status match and a status challenge. If your current status from another airline program is eligible for a status match, you’ll be granted a MileagePlus status for 90 days.

You better hurry up because United is only offering this for a limited time. Requests received between January 5, 2022, and December 20, 2022, will be the only ones accepted. Check the table below to see if you qualify.

UNITED MILEAGEPLUS

Delta Airlines Medallion

American AAdvantage

Southwest Rapid Rewards

JetBlue TrueBlue

Alaska MVP

British Airways Executive Club

Virgin Atlantic

Premier Silver

Silver

Gold

A-List

Mosaic

MVP

Bronze

Silver

Premier Gold

Gold

Platinum

A-List Preferred

N/A

MVP Gold

Silver

Gold

Premier Platinum

Platinum

Platinum Pro

N/A

N/A

MVP Gold 75K

Gold

N/A

Additionally, you can extend your status if you meet the following requirements below.

Image courtesy of United Airlines.

After applying for a status match and completing the PQF and PQP requirements, you can extend your status beyond the first 90 days. The length of the extension will depend on the time you’ve requested your status match.

If you requested a status match and completed the requirements before July 2022, you will keep your status for the remainder of 2022 and through January 2023.

If you requested a status match and completed the requirements on or after July 2022, you will keep your status for the remainder of 2022, all of 2023, and through January 2024.

You can submit a status match request through the United status match landing page, or you can send an email to premiermatch@united.com.

Southwest Airlines Status Match

Southwest Rapid Rewards also offers a status match and status challenge for flyers, but they don’t have a published chart. You’d have to manually send them a request to know whether you qualify for an A-List, A-List Preferred, or Companion status.

You can send a request here using the Southwest status match landing page or email them at southwest.statusmatch@wnco.com.

Once you’re qualified, you’ll be granted status for 90 days / 3 months with the option of extending it for another 12 months if you complete a status challenge.

As of this writing, they only offer status extensions for the A-List level. You need to complete 3 paid round-trip flights (or 6 one-way flights) booked and flown within the first 90 days after approval.

Frequent flyers can extend the status they go from their status match through a status challenge.
Frequent flyers can extend the status they go from their status match through a status challenge (Image courtesy of Canva Pro).

Get More Perks From Your New Elite Status

Getting an elite status comes with exciting perks and benefits, but if you want to get a full upgraded travel experience, you might want to sign up for the airline’s co-branded cards. Here are some cards that you need to check out:

Bottom line

Airline status matches and challenges are a great way to skip the long and painful process of earning elite status and leverage one status for another.

Most airlines offer them all year round, while some are on a time-limited basis, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled. Also, make sure to time your request properly! Status extensions vary depending on the date on which you requested it.

  • Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • $50 Annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit
  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3x points on dining, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services
  • 2x points on other travel purchases

 

Learn More

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