Easy Star Alliance Gold with TAP Portugal’s new status match

Mar 2, 2020

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TAP Air Portugal has been making a big push in the United States, adding flights to new destinations around the countrywith more on the way — and upgrading aircraft throughout North America, with new additions including the Airbus A330neo and A321LR.

Now, the carrier hopes to expand its Miles & Go loyalty program beyond the 280,000 U.S. members enrolled today, with growth to the elite ranks as well. And the easiest way to accomplish that? Offer access to a higher tier right off the bat, in the form of a status match.

For the month of March, TAP is offering new members 1,000 bonus miles when enrolling using promo code BIRTHDAY01, plus the ability to qualify for a Silver or Gold status match.

A wide variety of frequent flyer programs qualify, as long as the carrier is not a Star Alliance member. Within the U.S., Oneworld Sapphire members (American AAdvantage Platinum and above) and SkyTeam Elite Plus (Delta Gold and above) will qualify for TAP Gold status, as will JetBlue Mosaic and mid-tier levels from programs around the world.

Two steps are required to enroll for the match. New members can begin the process by enrolling in the Miles & Go program now, by entering BIRTHDAY01 in the promotional code field and uploading a picture of their current elite status card. Meanwhile, members who enrolled for a new account in 2020 are eligible as well — TAP plans to add a landing page to assist with account upgrades.

There is a big catch, though. In addition to providing proof of current status with another non-Star Alliance program, you’ll need to complete one of two revenue transactions, by March 31, 2020. First, you can purchase a subscription to TAP’s Miles & Go Club, which earns you redeemable miles and other perks on an annual and monthly basis, as outlined below.

Alternatively, you can qualify by purchasing miles, including as part of TAP’s current sale. Also during March, the airline is offering up to 5x miles when you purchase a package, broken down as:

While that may sound like the deal of the century on the surface, note that TAP’s redemption rates are higher than those you can expect to find on many other carriers — a one-way business-class flight to Europe on a Star Alliance carrier like Swiss, Lufthansa or United requires 100,000 miles, for example. Aeroplan, meanwhile, charges as few as 55,000 miles for the same flights, but you may be responsible for high surcharges, which don’t apply with TAP bookings. Additionally, TAP miles expire one year after purchase, regardless of activity, unless you’re a current Gold member, or have a current Club Top or Club Platinum subscription account.

Once approved, your status will be valid until Sept. 30, 2020, though you can extend it through 2021 by earning 25,000 status miles for Gold status, or 10,000 miles for Silver. Normally, you need 70,000 status miles to qualify for Gold, or 50,000 miles to keep it. Silver, meanwhile, requires 30,000 status miles the first time, or 20,000 miles to renew.

If you don’t want to jump through those extra hoops, there’s an alternative, specifically for current American AAdvantage and Delta SkyMiles elites. Depending on your tier, you may be able to qualify for United MileagePlus status — up to Premier Platinum, if you’re an AA Platinum Pro or Delta Platinum and above.

You’ll be granted temporary status right away, and will have 90 days to qualify for an elite tier through the rest of 2020 — that’s a year less than you’ll earn with TAP, though, since customers who qualify based on flying requirements will keep their earned tier through 2021.

TAP’s program offers one other major advantage, too: Miles & Go members who earn Gold status will have full Star Alliance Gold benefits, including access to United Clubs when traveling on a domestic United itinerary — a perk not available to United’s own elite members.

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