Turkish Airlines has matched my BA Gold – I am now Star Alliance Gold for two years
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A couple of weeks ago I wrote a lengthy piece on Star Alliance airlines who are taking pity on ex-BMI Diamond Club members and matching their old BMI status to enable them to retain status in Star Alliance.
This status match offer was not much use to me as I was only BMI Silver. And, sadly, Silver status in Star Alliance offers very few benefits when flying with a different airline from the one that issues your card. Since almost all my Star flights are on Lufthansa or Swiss, and there was no Miles & More match available, there was little benefit in taking that route. I also have Miles & More status until next February in any event.
As part of my research for that post, I realised that Turkish Airlines was matching pretty much anyone – SkyTeam, OneWorld or Star Alliance. This is not totally surprising, as Turkish is (fairly quietly) on a mission to create a hub airport similar to Dubai or Abu Dhabi. It has invested in a large new fleet with impressive cabins, and wants to use its Star Alliance status to win transit business that would otherwise have gone to a Middle East carrier.
Here is their business class seat, which seems totally acceptable:
I therefore decided that I would try to get a status match via my British Airways Executive Club Gold card. This is how it went:
- Last Thursday – joined Miles & Smiles and email Turkish (address in the status match post above) with a PDF of my BA Gold card, a screenshot of my British Airways Executive Club home page (which only shows the last two transactions), and my Miles and Smiles number
- This Monday – received an email saying that my BA card was indecipherable!
- This Tuesday AM – rescanned my BA card, having first taken a colour photocopy to quadruple the image size and lighten the background colour, and emailed it to Turkish
- This Tuesday PM – checked my Turkish account and found I had been upgraded to Elite status (Star Gold equivalent). A confirmatory email followed a few hours later.
My Miles & Smiles Gold card will run until 31 July 2014. This is a real result, giving me lounge access across ALL Star Alliance carriers, plus all the other benefits of Star Gold. (I should probably have waited until 1st August to match, and thus get an extra month of status, but I honestly didn’t expect them to process my match so quickly.)
Now, it is fair to say, from other reports online, that Turkish can be inconsistent in granting status match requests. However, it worked well for me, and shockingly quickly (although I don’t know how long it will take to receive the physical card).
It is not clear how long Turkish will continue with its generous status matching policy, so you should move sooner rather than later if you are interested. (Although it would be good if readers of this site staggered their applications over the next few weeks!)
Remember, though, that it is only worth doing if you are matching Gold to Gold, as a Miles & Smiles Silver card won’t do you much good with any airline other than Turkish.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.