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How (and why) I paid $49 to enjoy top-tier airline status through the end of 2022

Dec. 03, 2021
11 min read
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Editor's note: As of midnight Pacific Time on Dec. 7, 2021, hotel elite status matches with Frontier Airlines will only match up to the Elite 50K tier. The airline has updated its chart on the status match FAQs page — and we've updated our announcement article accordingly.


Earlier this week, we saw the return of a lucrative status match opportunity — and amazingly enough, it was even better than the 2020 iteration.

Frontier Airlines is currently offering the ability to enjoy elite status in the Frontier Miles program through Dec. 31, 2022. The only requirements are as follows:

  1. You must hold elite status with an eligible loyalty program (there are 15 airlines and 15 hotel programs on the list).
  2. You must pay a one-time, nonrefundable application fee of $49.

Once your status is verified — which Frontier claims will take up to 72 hours — you'll be upgraded to the elite status tier corresponding to the program you used for the match.

In my case, it took less than one day for my newly-minted, top-tier Frontier 100K status to take effect.

And now, I can fly Frontier across the U.S. (and to select destinations in the Caribbean and Central America) and enjoy an array of valuable perks for more than a year.

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Here's how (and why) I made the decision to utilize this promotion.

Step-by-step guide to Frontier's status match

The process of utilizing this status match offer was very straightforward.

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First, I navigated to the dedicated landing page for the promotion. There, I entered my first name, last name, email address and Frontier Miles membership number, then clicked Continue.

Next, I selected how I was planning to match my status. In my case, I had earned World of Hyatt Globalist status thanks to lucrative promotions from earlier in the year, so I clicked Hotel.

On the next page, I selected "Hyatt — World of Hyatt" from the first drop-down box, selected Globalist from the second one and entered my Hyatt number. Then, I clicked Continue.

Then, I needed to provide proof of my status. While Frontier indicates that the status you submit will be electronically verified, I was still asked to submit one of the following items:

  • A photo of my physical Globalist membership card, OR
  • A photo of my computer screen logged into my World of Hyatt account.

I opted to take a screen shot of my online Hyatt account — which looked like this:

Then, I needed to confirm that I was submitting truthful information before clicking Continue.

(As an aside, do not submit fake credentials — for this or any other status match opportunity. For starters, it's unlikely to work. In addition, an airline or hotel could decide to cancel your account entirely. Simply put, it's just not worth it.)

Frontier then asked how I had earned my Hyatt status. This was interesting, but the page clearly showed that this was for data purposes only and wouldn't impact my request in any way. Since I earned it through nights, I clicked Continue on the left box.

Finally, I needed to pay the $49 application fee.

For this, I used my Chase Sapphire Reserve. I hope that this will count as a travel expense and thus qualify for my recently-reset $300 annual travel credit — though it remains to be seen if that's the case.

Related: The best travel credit cards of December 2021

I received a confirmation once my payment was processed, and this included a six-digit application number.

This was very handy, as you can track the status of your request online at this page.

As noted on the above screen shot, Frontier indicated that my account would be upgraded within 72 hours of validating my existing Hyatt status. That validation happened within an hour of my submission, and just 15 hours later, my online profile reflected my newly-minted 100K status.

Overall, I was very pleased with how easy it was to complete the status match process, and I was impressed at how quickly it was processed and approved.

Related: Current airline elite status match and challenge options you should know about

Why I opted to pay for the match

Frontier Airlines isn't for every traveler. If things like first-class upgrades, lounge access and international partner airlines are non-negotiables for you, utilizing this match probably won't make much sense.

However, there are some key reasons why it made a lot of sense for me.

Extensive service from Florida

I am based on the east coast of Florida — roughly halfway between Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. This offers me an incredible array of destinations to explore thanks to Frontier. At the time of writing, the carrier offers nonstop service to over 70 different airports across the U.S., Caribbean and Central America from Orlando (MCO) — and it'll soon launch service to 12 destinations from Fort Lauderdale (FLL).

I actually took my first-ever Frontier flight earlier this year, from Orlando to Milwaukee (MKE) to attend the Ryder Cup with some friends. It was inexpensive and came at a perfect time — and I look forward to taking similar flights in the 13 months to come.

Read more: Everything you should know before flying Frontier Airlines

Perks that remove many extra charges

One of the biggest complaints about airlines like Frontier and Spirit is that everything costs extra. Seat assignments, checked bags, carry-on bags, drinks — the list goes on.

Thankfully, 100K status on Frontier removes the vast majority of these.

Here's what I'll enjoy every time I fly Frontier between now and Dec. 31, 2022:

  • Free carry-on and checked bag
  • Free seat selection at booking — including the carrier's "stretch" seating
  • Complimentary Discount Den membership, offering savings on flight purchases
  • 50% bonus miles

And when I use Frontier miles to book an award ticket, the redemption fee will be waived.

But there's a final element to this status that kicks it over the top ...

My new status allows me to pick Stretch Seating on any Frontier flight at booking. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Many benefits extend to companions — including refund

At Frontier's top-tier status, travelers enjoy Family Status. This means that booking a ticket comes with the "Works" bundle for me and up to eight companions on the same reservation. That includes some of the above perks — like free bags and seat selection — but it also comes with incredible flexibility.

With the Works, I can change our flights without incurring any change fees (though I would need to pay any fare difference). But most importantly, the Works bundle offers full refunds.

Note that this isn't just free cancellations. Other programs offer this to elite members — like JetBlue Mosaic. However, choosing to cancel your flight on your own typically gives you a voucher for future travel. Avoiding a cancellation fee is nice, but you're still left with credit that must be used by a certain date.

With my new Frontier status, I could book a flight for next April today and then rest easy, knowing that if my plans change and I need to cancel the ticket, I can get all of my money back.

Just note that the free changes and full refunds only apply when they're done at least 24 hours ahead of the flight. If not, the tickets will be subject to standard fees.

Related: Why one of the best deals in frequent flyer programs comes from a budget airline

Important details to note

All that said, there are some important restrictions to note if you're considering utilizing Frontier's lucrative status match opportunity.

  • It's nonrefundable: As noted previously, your $49 fee is nonrefundable — meaning that if your request is (for some reason) denied, Frontier will keep that fee. This shouldn't be a problem for the vast majority of travelers, as you should never submit fake credentials for a status match as it is. Just be aware that you won't get your money back if your request is unsuccessful.
  • It only applies to select airline and hotel programs: Frontier has provided a handy chart to indicate which airlines and hotel chains are eligible for the match, but if you hold status in one that isn't listed, all hope isn't lost. Go ahead and follow the first step above — and then choose the "Other / Not Listed" option from the drop-down menu. You can then select you non-participating airline, and Frontier will notify you if you qualify for a status match at a later date.
  • Status earned from credit cards counts: Earning elite status doesn't always come from actual travel. Many credit cards include it automatically — like the Marriott and Hilton Gold status you can enjoy with The Platinum Card® from American Express (enrollment required). Don't be deterred by the question that asks for the source of your status when applying. As long as your status is active at the time of enrollment, you should be eligible.
  • You must apply by Dec. 31, 2021: If you want to utilize this offer, be sure to submit your request by the end of this month. However, I would strongly suggest that you do so as soon as possible. A lucrative opportunity like this is bound to see a lot of interest — so Frontier may decide to pull it at any time. And since your status should be updated within a few days of applying and will last through Dec. 31, 2022, there's really no reason to wait.

Be sure to check out the FAQs page of Frontier's status match site for additional details.

I'm excited to give Frontier Airlines a shot in 2022. (Photo by robert cicchetti/Shutterstock)

Bottom line

Frontier Airlines is back with a status match opportunity, and it's even better than the last go round. I'm thrilled that I was able to match my World of Hyatt Globalist status to Frontier's top-tier 100K status, and I'll now enjoy valuable perks when flying the airline for nearly 13 months. With a ton of nonstop flights from near my home either currently operating or set to take flight early next year, I'm hoping to utilize my new status for several trips in 2022.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more