If you’re in the credit card game, or if you’re a frequent traveler, you’ll know that having status in popular hotel or airline reward programs can provide some nice perks. Just image having extra benefits that the normal customer doesn’t have: late checkout, free meals, and lounge access. For example, our benefits from our Hilton Diamond status gives us free breakfast if the hotel has an executive lounge. Sometimes they might even give you a free meal in the hotel restaurant.
What if you don’t have status in the desired hotel or airline?
Because of competition, many companies are opting to allow status match from one reward program to theirs. By enticing customers free status upgrades, companies allow someone to sample their products or services at the highest level in order to gain a loyal customer. Not everyone will turn out to be a loyal customer but it’s worth it for the company to take the short-term risk and gain someone who could be a steady customer for the long term.
With a status match, companies can look at the “status” level of your loyalty program and offer something in the same status level. So, if you’re a Hilton Diamond, Wyndham can provide a Diamond level status, which is their highest level status.
How does one get the status match?
This is often simple. Typically, the matching company reward or loyalty program has a webpage for status matching. They’ll ask you for your personal and loyalty information. Some might even ask for your last statement from the competing company.
In our case, we status matched from Hilton Diamond to Best Western Diamond Select. Best Western required some information and the last invoice or statement that showed that we are Hilton Diamond members. The process was simple and quick and we got a fast turn-around as a confirmation email was sent in a few days.
The Best Western status gives you free upgrades, amenity gifts, and others. We haven’t reserved a Best Western yet, but I believe it should grant us some nice status upgrades in the future.
What If I Don’t Have any Status for Loyalty Program?
If you don’t have status in loyalty or rewards program, you might be surprised that you don’t have to spend so many nights or loads of money. Interestingly, you can buy your way into status through major credit cards.
For us, we used the American Express Hilton Aspire. This is a card that offers some pretty impressive perks including Hilton Diamond status and a free weekend night. The card, though, comes with a hefty $450 fee, which makes it a card that you need to think about before you decide to apply.
Amazing Status Match Examples
Currently there are some incredible status match options that will give you free hotel nights, free money, and even some entertainment tickets. As I write this, there is a status match for Wyndham hotels to a number of gambling hotels such as mLife (MGM Grand, Aria).
If you have Gold or Platinum status with Hilton or Marriott, you can match this to Wyndham’s highest level of Diamond. Though the Wyndham hotel rewards program is adequate, there are far better options that can be gained from transferring your Wyndham Diamond status to other programs.
In this case, if you transfer to a program like Total Rewards, you can gain valuable paybacks such as a free night, money for gambling, $100 dining credit and much more. Imagine free stays in Atlantic City or Las Vegas where all or most of the expenses are paid by the hotel.
The great thing about a status match is that you can match status from a different hotel, airline or system and, sometimes, get a match from a competing company to gain your business. If you’re starting in the credit card game, you could gain valuable benefits from various cards. Think about your status and see if you can follow the dots to other programs. You might find freebies and other benefits that might get you far with free benefits.