Airline and Hotel Elite Status Match

These days it seems like every company has its own loyalty programs. Achieving elite status on an airline or hotel is an honor worth all the perks and rewards that come with the status. But while we can enjoy the fruits of our labor on a program that we’ve put effort into accomplishing, there always comes a time when another airline or hotel might be preferable to your primary option.

When you’ve come to the crossroad of having to make reservations through another company, you can now take advantage of Elite Status Match. Learn what is Elite Status Match and how your loyalty with one airline or hotel can now go further.

What is Elite Status Match?

Elite Status is the most coveted status in any loyalty program. While programs differ between companies, you can achieve airline and hotel loyalty by having a qualified number of flights, stays, money spent, and other activities that earn you qualifying points for elite status.

Travelers today can realize more flexibility with travel thanks to elite status match. Elite status match lets loyalty members use their status in one loyalty program to automatically upgrade to elite status with another company.

You can find airline and hotel status match programs that want to encourage members of other loyalty programs to get a taste of the benefits of the new company.

Airline Elite Status Match

Are you an elite status member of the United MileagePlus program but want to fly Delta? Or perhaps reached the top tier Gold status for the American Airlines AAdvantage but need to book an overseas trip on Lufthansa. 

Various airline programs grant you elite status based on your status with another airline. Programs can give a match or specific criteria to fulfill to be awarded a status match in the new loyalty program.

Hotel Elite Status Match

Top hotel loyalty programs like Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, IHG One Rewards, and Wyndham Rewards welcome elite members from other programs to experience their respective elite status perks. For example, elite status can grant you room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, and other benefits.

When Should You Status Match?

The best way to earn Elite status with an airline or hotel is by showing your loyalty to the company when traveling. Many people who achieve this status have regular trips on an airline and always stay at qualifying properties for hotel loyalty programs. But, if your chosen airline or hotel is preferred or more convenient for your frequent travels, why is there an elite status match?

While we all have our favorite airlines and hotels, there are always reasons why we may need to book with a different company. There are two main types of people that use elite status match:

  • Travelers who need a temporary solution for an upcoming trip
  • Travelers making a permanent switch to a new airline or hotel

Temporary Use

Elite status gives loyalty members an unmatched level of comfort when traveling. Once you’ve experienced the perks of upgraded seats, priority boarding, lounge access, room upgrades, etc., it’s hard to imagine traveling without them.

Suppose you have an upcoming trip via a different airline or hotel than your elite status membership. In that case, the status match is an excellent opportunity to maintain your travel standards even with a different company.

Permanent Change

Elite Status Match is convenient when your travel preferences change. For example, suppose you’re starting a new long-term work project with a client in a new city, or your office has relocated and a closer hotel is more convenient for traveling. With the elite status program, you no longer have to start from the bottom with the new company and can automatically be awarded the elite status to begin taking advantage of the new loyalty program perks immediately.

Popular Elite Status Match Programs

Regardless of whether they have an official elite status match program or are contacted directly, there are several loyalty programs for airlines and hotels that will give you a status match. Some of the top loyalty programs for an elite status match are:

Airline loyalty programs:

  • Delta SkyMiles
  • American Airlines Advantage
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • Frontier Miles
  • Air France Flying Blue
  • United Airlines MileagePlus
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • jetBlue TrueBlue

Hotel Loyalty Programs:

  • Best Western Rewards
  • Hilton HHonors
  • IHG One Rewards
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Wyndham Rewards
  • Comfort Privileges
  • Radisson Rewards
  • Choice Privileges

How to get an Elite Status Match with a new Loyalty Program

Elite Status Match has become a popular request by members of loyalty programs. Sending in your request through the correct channels can increase the likelihood that they will grant an elite status match and expedite the process so that you can start taking advantage of the perks sooner!

The most common methods for getting an Elite Status Match are:

  • Complete Status Match application
  • Send an email inquiry

Status match programs like Southwest Airlines and Choice Hotels welcome members of other loyalty programs by setting up an application to apply for a match. They may have dedicated web pages with information on how their elite status program works or may provide a direct email contact to field all match requests.

Alternatively, some loyalty programs don’t mention status matches but can be contacted to see if they can honor your status from another loyalty program. The results for email inquiries vary as it depends on the program and what status you’re trying to match.

Remember that sending in your status match application or inquiry does not guarantee approval for the program. If you are approved, you may receive an automatic status match. Some programs may request additional actions to show your intent to be a loyalty member by requiring a number of flights or hotel stays before receiving the elite status.

Avoid getting your Elite Status Match denied

It’s important to note that Elite Status Matches are not always granted. Loyalty programs have different success rates, so theirs is always a chance that your request can be denied. Here are reasons you might not be given an elite status match:

  1. You didn’t meet the match requirements

Not all elite status matches are granted immediately. Loyalty programs want members to prove their elite status. The simplest way is to send in your status details. However, you might be challenged to meet certain flight miles or stays within a period to receive the elite status match.

  1. You’ve already received a match with the loyalty program

Elite status match is typically granted only once and canceled after the membership period if you don’t choose to continue. Therefore, repeatedly applying or requesting an elite status match can lead to rejection.

  1. Program not active

Some loyalty programs had elite status match programs in the past but do not have them active. If a loyalty program has paused its elite match program, you must wait until it reopens before you can get approved.

  1. Status doesn’t match

Airlines and hotels field many inquiries about members trying to take advantage of the elite status match program to get a higher level status with another company. Companies do thorough research into confirming your status and knowing how you achieved it. Therefore, loyalty programs must have similar requirements.

  1. Elite status bought, not earned

In a unique scenario, your elite status in one loyalty program won’t be recognized or accepted. For example, an elite status achieved through credit card bonuses doesn’t confirm your loyalty to an airline or hotel without proof of flights or stays and can be rejected.

Tips for Elite Status Matching

  • Thinking about using your elite status to match for another program? Here are a few tips that can help you get the most out of elite status matching:
  • Use websites like StatusMatcher.com, which compares loyalty programs and details reports by members who have tried to get a status match.
  • Elite status matches are usually granted for one membership period. Since these periods last for the current calendar year, you’re best to get a status match at the start of the year. One strategy is timing your request in the latter half of the year for a chance to have the elite status carried over for the following year.
  • Airline and hotel mergers can benefit members of the respective loyalty programs. With the numerous mergers and acquisitions for airlines and hotels, you can simply use your loyalty status for partnering companies instead of matching with another company.
  • Did you know that you can also get an elite status match converted between hotels and flights? Some programs accept status or points with a hotel to get elite status on an airline and vice-versa.
  • Most Elite Status Match programs are for one year and are granted only once. So, use it strategically to take advantage of a big trip or if you’re sure you can meet the requirements to maintain the status once renewed the following year.
  • Apply or send an inquiry about an elite status match in advance before booking your trip. Some programs may take time to hear back about your request and can affect your travel plans if done last minute.

Elite status match programs give loyalty members more options for travel. Since the airlines and hotels want your business (especially for elite members), they have a lot of incentive to let you experience another program.

Hotel and airline status match are worth the effort if you’re planning to use the status immediately. Consider partner companies through your current loyalty program first to see whether an elite status match would be a better option.

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