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Match your British Airways Gold or Silver card to Star Alliance Gold via TAP

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TAP has been running this very generous offer now for around 18 months.  I thought it was worth covering again, especially as the prospects for travel in 2022 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.  That said, I timed it badly.  I applied back in Autumn 2020 and, due to covid, my match had been unused when it expired in Autumn 2021.  Appeals to TAP for an extension fell of deaf ears, although I know some people got lucky.

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 since 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.

This may have been fixed, but when I signed up, you had to remove the first ‘0’ in your phone number or the form would not be accepted (and it wouldn’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 2020 and ran until the end of September 2021, when I had a hard landing to the base level.

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.

(One benefit of TAP Miles&Go Gold – gifting Gold membership to a friend – is NOT available to status matched members.)

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.  I got it very wrong when I applied back in August 2020.

It is worth thinking about.  It is especially interesting if your British Airways status has been extended to 2023 – you will not need to earn any additional BA tier points for a while and could experiment with Star Alliance at no risk to your future Executive Club tier.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 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 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 card

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) 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.

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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 sign-up 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.

Comments (39)

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

  • Warwick says:

    Any ideas how to match over from Qantas Gold?

  • VK says:

    Does this mean trips on Lufthansa or Swiss would need to be credited to TAP?

    • HAM76 says:

      Depends on the benefit…

      Your ticket will only be in the priority boarding group if you have status with the program you credit to. Boarding with a higher group number by showing your status card is possible, but requires a manual override by the agent and might not be popular with everyone around you.

      For seat selection you either have to credit to TAP at the time of booking or call by phone to have the seat changed.

      With lounge access it wasn’t a big issue to show the card at the entrance. They will have to enter some details manually, most times you need to scan your boarding pass twice and the TAP app doesn’t make it exactly easy to get to the digital card, but it’s not a big issue.

      LH doesn’t make it very convenient to change the FF number, though. When you book with the app or are logged into your MM account at the time of booking, the number is added automatically and can only be changed via the call center.

      • JFSV says:

        In my experience, Star Gold gets you priority boarding with LH flights perfectly fine (with the ff nr linked to the booking). Same for all other benefits: lounge access, star gold/business check in, etc.

        Lounge access, you are right, is indeed probably the easiest one, just flashing the card whether or not the ff number is in the booking.

        What I typically do is to have my Star Gold FF nr linked to those LH bookings where I do not get mileage credit (i.e., cheap intra EU LH tix) in order to get the Star Gold benefits and then, 7d after the flight, do the retroactive mileage credit for Miles & More. A bit more burdensome but works fine for those cheap booking classes.

        • HAM76 says:

          Yes, if you credit miles to TAP, all benefits work as expected, including priority boarding.

          Another benefit that works just by showing your *G card is First-Class check-in. In MUC this also includes a dedicated line for security.

          • JFSV says:

            Agree — in my below example I was referring to another *G program (I have Asiana, and not TAP) when flying LH but I guess the same principles would apply with Star Gold from TAP.

  • Christopher says:

    I also timed this wrong and got absolutely nothing in return. The tier extensions in my opinion should have been automatically applied to all those who paid to be matched! I therefore will never even consider TAP airways for any future travel plans due t their poor customer relations.

  • Dawn says:

    I’m Ba Silver. I’m flying LHR to IST with BA on 1 Feb and then on to Hurghada with Turkish Airlines after a nine hour wait in Istanbul airport. Returning on the Turkish airlines HRG – IST -DAL on 30 March.
    Is it worth getting the match to use the lounges if I can also sign my husband in?
    Or would we need to pay for him?

    • HAM76 says:

      *G are entitled to one guest who is on the same flight with them. So unless the lounge is really full you will be able to enter with your husband if the flight is operated by Turkish airlines.

    • AJA says:

      I’d say it is worth it but I think you’ve left it too late as it takes at least a month for the process to work.

      I’m like Rob I got the status match but never used it and am back to base level.

      • Dawn says:

        I was thinking it might be too late as we fly on 1 February. However, I would be taking out new membership and paying for that straight away as I am not a TAP member at all. Do you think that would work in time?

        • Ikaz says:

          I applied in June (and chased them straight away as I was flying soon), got an answer in October to pay for upgrade, and my status was updated in November, so no point trying to speed it up by pre-paying

          • Dawn says:

            @lkaz thank you for this! I don’t think it’s worth the hassle for this one trip. 🙂

          • Alex Sm says:

            They do take their time while doing things down there in Portugal! 🇵🇹

  • S says:

    I took advantage of this in November 2020 as I knew I had a number of Lufthansa flights over the last year. Be aware that many of these didn’t credit to TAP despite my TP number being in the booking. Chasing it retrospectively via Twitter and the contact form it took more than 2 months for a reply, and then I was told that the booking class wasn’t eligible for miles – need to check this, as the flights were actually in several booking classes. Trying to use TAP miles is made challenging by websites that make BA’s look world-leading (both LH and TAP’s are incredibly buggy, inconsistent and unreliable). The match was useful for the additional luggage allowance and (Corona-limited) lounge access on LH, but the experience of TAP’s own programme has been underwhelming.

    • John says:

      Surely you would have checked the booking class at the time of booking to inform your choice of which program to credit to. Majority of fares that a normal person would pay get close to nothing in any program other than the operating airline’s.

      Once an M&M number is associated with a LH group airline ticket it is nearly impossible to get it disassociated.

      • Tony says:

        “Majority of fares that a normal person would pay get close to nothing in any program other than the operating airline’s.”

        Utterly misleading comment, I’d say. With the shift to revenue based earning on the home carrier, you’re as likely to get more miles crediting to something rather more exotic.

        • Mr. AC says:

          Indeed! I’ve advised a relative living in a different country to follow a strategy to get status that involves crediting all their flights to an airline based in a different country.

      • S says:

        Given how few miles are involved, I’m really not that fussed. But my frustrating isn’t about the booking class or non crediting flights per se: (having now checked, I’ve been credited for one set of flights in a specific class, but not for another – so there is some very clear inconsistency going on).

        The issue is that contacting TAP support has been a pretty woeful experience and their IT doesn’t let you do many things online – eg in this case the “submit missing miles claim” didn’t recognise the airport code.

  • Vahan says:

    If you matched last year, you may be able to do it again this year. I first applied in September 2020 and was matched until end of November 2021. Then I applied again in December 2021 and was told I could match my BA Silver again, if I bought a higher tier membership for €400. This was after repeatedly being told on the phone that extension of the status match is not possible.

  • James says:

    Are there any options for doing the reverse of this at the moment? I have ended up with Krisflyer Silver (Singapore Airlines/Star Alliance) and would really like to match to BA if possible. Thanks!

    • Rob says:

      BA does not match. You would need to find a oneworld partner airline. Try statusmatcher.com

      • Alex Sm says:

        That’s a big shame for BA – they could have benefitted massively from goodwill and brand loyalty

  • ianM says:

    “… the prospects for travel in 2022 are getting brighter”

    This was the bit that puzzled me !!

    • Geoff 1977 says:

      They are brighter. Eg America is now open and wasn’t for most of 2021.

      Will probably be a few years before things get back to 2019 levels though (if ever)

      • RonnieB says:

        Agree re USA, I was across in November, but I think prospects have taken a big hit with the absenteeism with Omicron, witness the thousands of flights cancelled over festive period. I think 2021 is a very low bar.

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

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