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Deal updates: my TAP Star Alliance Gold status match and the Santander Cycles Amex bonus

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I wanted to update you today on two of the deals we have covered in recent weeks which I have now seen through to completion:

Star Alliance Gold status match with TAP Air Portugal

TAP Air Portugal, a member of Star Alliance, is currently offering to status match British Airways Executive Club members, as well as various other airlines.

It is actually better than a match. As well as offering Star Alliance Gold to British Airways Executive Club Gold members, it is also offering Gold status to British Airways Executive Club Silver members.

(Arguably this is fair, because you need to be Star Gold to get airport lounge access across the entire alliance.)

This HfP article explains how the TAP Air Portugal status match works and how to apply.

The last time I wrote about this, TAP had confirmed that it had accepted my match. I was given 10 days to either buy 4,000+ Miles&Go miles or join Club Miles&Go at a range of prices which started at €99. This was cheaper than buying 4,000 miles so I went with that.

I paid my €99 and, 24 hours later, received an email confirming that my Gold match would be processed within 14 days. It has now gone through.

I currently have 3,200 Miles&Go miles. This comprises 200 for opening the account, 2000 as a bonus from Club Miles&Go and 1000 as my first months miles from my Club Miles&Go membership.

By the end of my Club Miles&Go subscription, I will have a total of 14,200 miles which should be good for something.

My Gold card is valid until 30th September 2021. My plan is to use my status to update our reviews of all of the Star Alliance lounges in Heathrow Terminal 2!

There is one extra titbit to note. One benefit of TAP Gold status is the ability to gift Gold status to a friend. According to the status match rules, this benefit is not available to matched Gold members. Looking at my account – and reading reports from others – this does not seem to be the case in practice …..

My 1,000 Membership Rewards points from Santander Cycles arrived

A few days ago we covered a new American Express Membership Rewards offer. Assuming you were targetted and opted in, you would receive 1,000 Membership Rewards points for making three transactions with Santander Cycles, the London bike here scheme.

I suspected this would work for anyone in the UK if they used the Santander Cycles app, and I was right. Whilst on holiday last week, I booked 3 x £2 day passes. These need to be bought 24 hours apart because each one is good for 24 hours.

It wasn’t fully clear that app transactions worked, and I was a little unsure when they posted to my American Express card as ‘Back Office’.

However, my 1,000 bonus points arrived just after the 3rd £2 transaction posted.

1,006 Membership Rewards points for £6 is a good deal in my book.

The middle transaction on the statement above is a £5 Shop Small credit 🙂


best travel rewards credit cards

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – June 2024 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current 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 card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

HUGE 60,000 POINTS BONUS UNTIL 2nd JULY and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card

1% cashback uncapped* on all your business spending (T&C apply) Read our full review

Comments (25)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Ian M says:

    I applied for the status match the day the first article was published and have also sent 2 follow up emails oin the last 2 weeks. I’ve received no responses whatsoever.

  • Nick says:

    Ditto Ian! Not much else to do really I suppose…but wait!

    • Jonathan says:

      Wouldn’t chase it too hard given it’s a 12 month status & you’re probably not doing much *Alliance flying right now!

  • Liam says:

    How does gifting gold status work in practice? How long does the gifted status last for? I have visions of gifting gold to my girlfriend just before mine expires and it lasting a further year for her (and therefore a further year of lounge access for me when on the same booking) but I presume it’s not that generous.

    • Rob says:

      No. The gifted status expires on the same day as your Gold status, irrespective of when you gift it.

    • Colin JE says:

      Unfortunately the gifted status expires the same date as yours does.

  • TinaHammond Hammond says:

    Is the TAP offer open ended? No expiry date in article…

    • Rhys says:

      Still available – TAP aren’t giving an end date, although it could clearly disappear at any moment.

  • Graham Smith says:

    I have a British Airways Amex card and I’m a Blue tier member Does this deal apply to me? G Smith

    • Rob says:

      Neither deal apply to you unfortunately. The Santander Cycles deal requires you to have a Gold or Plat Amex, whilst the TAP deal requires you to have BA Silver status or higher.

      • Scott says:

        Hi Rob….. if helps, the Santander offer is also available on my Amex Rewards Credit Card.

  • David S says:

    Good luck with TAP. They make BA Customer Service look world class. Over many years I have never had any response to a complaint or a backdated ticket to book to my TAP account. Yet I get at least 3 emails every week from them about the Miles and Go Programme. And I do really mean 3 every single week

    • Doug M says:

      Continually emailing has to be negative in the long term. First you start deleting without reading, and eventually you filter or block. One thing I hate about hotels.com is that within 30 minutes of checking any destination I’m receiving emails with made up prices for said destination. I know I should use private browser tabs but too much bother at times.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Agree on hotels.com. Sometimes I just browsing on the app to look at potential costs and I’ll send up getting emails for days. Prompted me to sort out my marketing preferences tbh

        • ChrisC says:

          And that’s the solution to ending emails!

          I unsubscribed from TAP emails and have never had one from them since.

        • Alex Sm says:

          OMG, I didn’t have it with travel companies but had a lot of sudden unsolicited jobs emails from LinkedIn and Glassdoor as soon as I check something there

  • Alex Sm says:

    Great plan re lounges! Lufthansa one in T2A is currently a travesty though… and the back Senator room is completely shut. But T2B lounges were great for a crawl with a stylish United + great cocktail bar, yummy Singapore with a signature Sling cocktail and less impressive Air Canada one which served Waitrose Essential drinks but treated people to decent pancakes

  • The Original Nick says:

    Has anyone managed to get a card? The only option I can find is a digital card.

    • Rob says:

      I don’t you get one. However, I think you can flash it via the TAP app.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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