How about this for worst timing ever? Right at the start of the pandemic Star Alliance airline TAP Air Portugal launched a huge marketing campaign for its 75th anniversary, to make their frequent flyer program relevant for Americans. They offered miles for sale at less than a penny each and an elite status match program.
Members who took them up on the status match, fortunately, had that status extended. However what I didn’t realize, but that One Mile at a Time pointed out is that the status match offer is still available.
You need to have current elite status with another airline, and then either:
- Buy a ‘Club TAP Miles & Go’ subscription, starting at $122 per year and giving you miles
- Just buy some miles, which can be done for less if all you want is to meet the criteria for status match
Star Alliance Gold gets you lounge access on your Star Alliance flights, including access to United and other Star partner airline lounges when flying United domestically. Matched status lasts 12 months and can be extended by earning 25,000 status miles and a minimum of four flights on TAP Air Portugal. And you may actually find yourself flying TAP because they’ve been running some amazing business class fares to Europe (of under $900 roundtrip).
Award pricing in the program is expensive, and they do add fuel surcharges to redemptions. However if you’re looking for an easy path towards Star Alliance Gold this is worth considering along with the Singapore Airlines offer to earn elite status by transferring bank points.