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STILL RUNNING: Match your British Airways Gold or Silver card to Star Alliance Gold via TAP!

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It’s been three months since we mentioned this hugely generous offer.  It is still running so I thought it was worth running again, especially as the prospects for travel in 2021 are getting brighter.  It is an EXCEPTIONAL opportunity for a mid-tier British Airways Silver to get Star Alliance Gold!

Here’s the deal.  You can use your British Airways Executive Club Gold or Silver card to get Star Alliance Gold status via a TAP Air Portugal status match!

TAP status match

This would give you top tier privileges when travelling when any Star Alliance carrier, including Lufthansa, SWISS, United, Air Canada, Aegean, Turkish etc, for at least 12 months.  This makes it an especially good offer for a British Airways Silver member who would suddenly become top tier across Star Alliance.

The match is not entirely free but it won’t be hard to recoup the modest cost of €99.

I have done this match myself and I can confirm that it works fine.

How do I get a TAP Air Portugal status match?

Full details are on the TAP Portugal website here.

You must be a new member of Miles&Go (you can do the match at the same time as applying) OR have joined in 2020.  If you have an older Miles&Go account you may want to quietly abandon it and start again.

The match is open to anyone who has status with AAdvantage, Aeroflot Bonus, Aerolineas Plus, Air Europa SUMA, Cedar Miles, Club Premier, Etihad Guest, Executive Club, Finnair Plus, Flying Blue, Iberia Plus, LATAM Pass, MilleMiglia, OK Plus, Privilege Club, Royal Club, Safar Flyer, SkyMiles, Skywards, Smiles or TudoAzul.

You CANNOT apply if you have previously had a TAP status match or, in the last six months, if you have previously applied and been rejected.

The exact match you get can be seen by looking under clause 2.3 in the small print at the bottom under ‘Application Process’.  For British Airways:

Executive Club Gold = TAP Miles&Go Gold = Star Alliance Gold

Executive Club Silver = TAP Miles&Go Gold = Star Alliance Gold

Executive Club Bronze = TAP Miles&Go Silver = Star Alliance Silver

I should say upfront that Star Alliance Silver doesn’t have many benefits – you don’t get alliance-wide lounge access for example – so if you are British Airways Bronze this is probably not worth the effort and the €99 cost.

The process is clearly explained on the website.  You send TAP a copy of your British Airways Executive Club membership card and the other information they require.  If you are not already a member of TAP Miles&Go you can join and apply for a match at the same time.

When signing up, remove the first ‘0’ in your phone number or the form will not be accepted (and it won’t tell you why it won’t be accepted!).

TAP Miles&Go status match

What happens next?

TAP will notify you within 30 days that your match has been PROVISIONALLY made.

You then need to do one of two things within the following 10 days:

Purchase at least 4,000 Miles&Go miles or

Join Club TAP Miles&Go at one of the four membership levels (the cheapest is €99 for a year – you receive 14,000 Miles&Go miles for this, although they are dropped into your account over the 12 months)

Club TAP Miles&Go is the cheapest option at €99.

How long does my status match last for?

The website says that it will be valid for a minimum of 12 months.  Mine was approved in August and runs until the end of September 2021.

You can renew your status at a 50% discount to the standard requirements:

  • Renew Gold with 25,000 Status Miles and flying 4 times with TAP Air Portugal
  • Renew Silver with 10,000 Status Miles and flying twice with TAP Air Portugal

The four segments could be obtained relatively easily with a return trip to a small city in Portugal, changing in Lisbon or Porto.  TAP flies from Manchester as well as Heathrow and Gatwick so this is also an option for those outside London.

TAP Miles&Go status match

What are the benefits of Star Alliance Gold?

I am not focusing on the specific benefits you get with TAP because I am assuming that most HfP readers would do most of their Star Alliance flying with other carriers such as Lufthansa.  You can see all the benefits of TAP Miles&Go Gold here.

(The rules state that one benefit of TAP Miles&Go Gold – gifting Gold membership to a friend – is NOT available to status matched members unless they successfully requalify for a further period of membership. TAP does not have very good IT, however ….)

You can see the benefits of Star Alliance Gold on the Star Alliance website here.

You get:

  • Lounge access (Gold members often have access to higher quality lounges than other members, for example the Senator room in the Lufthansa Lounge in Heathrow Terminal 2)
  • Fast track security and boarding
  • Priority check-in
  • Priority baggage handling (which often works, unlike on BA!)
  • Extra baggage allowance
  • Free First Class upgrades on all your Heathrow Express trips

Conclusion

This could work out very nicely.  It is an exceptionally good deal for British Airways Executive Club Silver members who will find themselves with top tier status in Star Alliance.

The match isn’t free, but the cost of €99 to buy cheapest Club Miles&Go package is attractive.

The only issue is whether you will get full benefit from your membership.  Will you be doing a lot of Star Alliance travel over the next 12 months?  You are spending some money to set this up and it is a ‘once per lifetime’ match.

It is worth thinking about.  It is especially interesting if your British Airways status has been extended to 2022 – you will not need to earn any additional BA tier points until your 2021 membership year starts and could experiment with Star Alliance at no risk to your future Executive Club tier.

Once travel resumes, I look forward to using my Gold status to bring you updated reviews of the many Star Alliance lounges at Heathrow Terminal 2!

Comments (52)

  • Alan says:

    In normal times this would be interesting but I’m not expecting much travel to be possible until the 2nd half of 2021 so would mean €99 for just a few months of status. If it was for 2 years would be potentially more interesting.

  • Concerto says:

    I was wondering if I could in 2021 continue to requalify for Miles & More FTL (requiring 30 segments) and use the TAP Gold card to access the lounges with a companion. I suspect one way would be to not enter my M&M number into my booking but I don’t want the TAP one in either because M&M FTL will be more useful for me. You see, even with a continual degradation of service from Lufthansa and the coming introduction of BoB catering there’s no way you can avoid LH Group in much of central Europe, we are all prisoners of what is basically mostly a monopoly. In Geneva we’ve got a bit more choice due to a big easyJet presence, but I’m not a fan of them either.

    • Doug M says:

      Try FT forums for this. Certainly on OW alliance you can use say a BA card to enter a lounge having put (say) your AA number in the booking. But you risk some kind soul updating your FF number in the booking as a result. Also if you don’t use your status FF number in the booking you don’t for example get access to seat selection. No idea how this would play out on *A, so think FT would be the place to find out.

    • Pangolin says:

      My trick is to enter my *G FFP (A3 or SQ) into my booking or OLCI, then switch it to M&M once I’m inside the lounge – assuming it’s a better deal to credit the segment to them. With LH/LO this is very easy to do.

      You can still board in Group 1 as a *G (just flash your physical card at the gate check).

      Technically *A T&Cs gives lounge entry to *G on any *A flight – even if the BP doesn’t indicate it – as long as you show the physical card as proof of *G status.
      In practice, the lounge dragons often kick up and a fuss and then you have to waste time quoting the T&Cs to them. Switching the FFP once you’re inside means you don’t have to deal with this and gives you the best of both worlds.

    • Lady London says:

      A few years back I tried to balance A3 and LH in this way. Basically at that time I was using LH group lounges, often flying LH Group, sometimes other *A, but always in Business due client rules.

      So quite often I had a choice of 3 – which I was flying, which lounge(s) [important the (s)], and lastly to which airline I wanted to book the earnings.

      What I can tell you is I got into a bit of a mess with some flights not even crediting at all after struggles. Normally there’s a good chance you can check in using one *A, then access lounge and at that point (sometimes even at the gate) decide to accrue the points to a different airline.

      What I found was that if I had my LH group number on the booking anywhere at any time it was really hard to stop the flight accruing to LH group. Even if overwritten by another *A number at a time between booking and flying. (I’d book logged in to LH Group which sticks the LH group number on it from the get-go. Even though there are 2 fields and you can have 2 membership numbers on a ticket I found several times still accrued to LH Group even though agents had changed it for me.

      So if you want to accrue to LH I think you will be fine. But if you want to mix and match but accrue somewhere else than LH Group then best to tty to do without letting your LH number anywhere on your booking as even if your other number is there, LH might ‘grab’ the flight and accrue the points there.

    • The real John says:

      M&M numbers are sticky as LL says, especially with LH group flights. Just put M&M number in all your bookings, then wave the TAP card to enter lounges. If you don’t really care about stuff like trying to choose your seat in advance (where the airline gives this benefit to Star Gold) there wont’ be any issues

  • Mark says:

    I started this match when there was no option for travel but i did not go fully through with it after setting up my account. I have no made silver, is there a way to start again does anyone know?

    • Mark says:

      I have made BA silver since*

    • southlondonphil says:

      If you joined TAP Miles & Go earlier in 2020 and didn’t do a Status Match at the time because with Covid there didn’t seem much likelihood you could benefit, you can still apply for a match by going to https://www.flytap.com/en-gb/miles-and-go/promotions/status-match-campaign and following the link under the “Already a Client? Apply!” heading.

      Tip for those looking to fly Lufthansa – Busines Saver class ‘P’ fares get you nothing on TAP, but the same fare bucket on SWISS will get you 100% miles so book a codeshare or route via ZRH/GVA.

      • Lady London says:

        Ahem I think if I had joined the T program earlier in 2020 I would start afresh with a new account then match. Reason is I would be worried about matching for the fag end of a year.

        • southlondonphil says:

          The match gets you a full 12 months Gold status from the date of the match, not the date you joined TAP, so it will overlap your 1st anniversary of joining the programme. Admittedly, if in that first 12 months you rack up the 25000 miles and 4 sectors required to extend status you will only get it extended to the next (i.e. 2nd) anniversary, so if you originally joined in January you wouldn’t get much benefit from the lower requalification threshold, but someone who signed up in August would still be able to get around 20 months of *G for relitvely little ‘effort’.

  • Rob S. says:

    Anyone else getting this error when attempting to sign up?
    Some error ocurred
    FlyTAP.DataAccess [sic]

  • Simon says:

    Should anyone be in the gifting mood 🙂 — Christmas 🎄 is just around the corner after all! — I’d be a willing beneficiary of Gold status, in return, of course, for a token reciprocal 🎁. Feel free to contact me at vikingsfanuk at hotmail dot com should you be interested.

  • Mike P says:

    This seems a good offer, particularly if one can then gift Star Alliance Gold to someone else!

  • A says:

    As a few have said, if anyone would be willing to gift their gold status to me, I would be more than willing to take it off your hands. Happy to provide a token amount in return as thanks – drop me a line pointsandmiles7 at gmail dot com

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    Anyone willing to wager on the expiration date of the status match? Want to leave it as late as poss to apply but, y’know, ideally not too late…

    • Dan says:

      In a previous iteration of this article, someone in the comments section said December this year after speaking to a TAP CS Rep – not enstirely sure if we should belive this or take this with a pinch of salt…

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Well, is a plausible date… perhaps best not to leave it too long then especially if there are any obstacles. Might wait til 1 Dec and then pull the trigger

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