Shortcuts to Airline Elite Status with Status Match or Fast Track Opportunities Shortcuts to Airline Elite Status with Status Match or Fast Track Opportunities

Shortcuts to Airline Elite Status with Status Match or Fast Track Opportunities

AwardWallet receives compensation from advertising partners for links on the blog. Terms Apply to the offers listed on this page. The opinions expressed here are our own and have not been reviewed, provided, or approved by any bank advertiser. Here's our complete list of Advertisers.

Offers for the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®, Hawaiian Airlines® Business Mastercard®, JetBlue Plus Card and JetBlue Business Card are not available through this site. All information has been independently collected by AwardWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer. Some offers may have expired. Please see our card marketplace for available offers.

Award travel in and of itself is pretty amazing. Whether you fly economy class and opt for economy-style accommodations or splurge for premium cabin awards, the fact that you don't have to pay (or pay very little) sometimes feels too good to be true.

When you have elite status with an airline, that's where the real magic can happen. But sometimes the thought of qualifying for airline status can seem nearly impossible—especially for the casual flyer. Fortunately, many airline programs offer the ability to more easily snatch up elite status via a status match or a fast track.

Options for Status Match, Fast Track, and Credit Card Shortcuts

When it comes to quickly earning status with airlines, there are a few options you should know about. The first is a status match. This is when you have elite status with another airline and—in an effort to win over your allegiance—a competing airline will offer to match that status.

Option two is known as a Fast Track. Airlines will sometimes offer a shortened route to status via a fast track. For this, you won't need to match elite status from a competitor. However, you will be required to complete certain tasks—which is what you normally would do when earning status, but at a reduced rate and typically in a shorter time period.

Some airlines allow you to earn elite status—or at least reduce requirements—when you spend a specified amount of money on that airline' co-branded credit card.

Finally, there is a hybrid option that combines status matches and fast tracks. This is more common with airlines than it is with hotels. In fact, most airlines offering a status match attach stipulations. You'll need to meet specific criteria in order to keep your status, making it into more of a status match challenge.

Here are the airlines offering shortcuts to elite status via status match, fast track, or other paths.

Air Canada Aeroplan

Picture of an Air Canada plane taking off; this airline offers a status match from other programs

Status Match

Air Canada—Canada's flag carrier—is a member of Star Alliance. Its Aeroplan loyalty program is one of the most generous when it comes to booking award flights with partners. And speaking of generous, the airline offers an easy status match option that all U.S.-based flyers can participate in.

First, you'll need to sign up for a free Aeroplan account. Next, send an email with your request for a status match. Include a copy of your current elite status membership card from another airline and your eligible flight history to status.match@aircanada.com.

Fast Track

Aeroplan also offered a way to fast track your way to status with its Get A Head Start on 2023 promotion. Several levels make up the challenge, including completing tasks to earn extra qualifying miles, double SQM, SQS & SQD on Air Canada flights, and bonus SQD and SQM on Air Canada Vacations. However, this promotion ended April 30, 2022.

Credit Cards

Aeroplan® Credit Card– Get complimentary Aeroplan 25K Status (Star Alliance Silver status) for the remainder of the calendar year, plus the following calendar year, when opening the card. Keep your Aeroplan 25K Status with $15,000 in account spend during a calendar year. As the Primary Cardmember, you will have the ability to earn Aeroplan 35K Status or an Elite Status Level Up of one tier for existing status holders with $50,000 in account spend during a calendar year

Reduced Requirements for 2022

Aeroplan is not currently offering reduced qualification requirements. However, if you were an elite status member in 2021, your status will automatically be extended through the end of 2022.

Related: Complete Guide to the New Aeroplan Program

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Photo of an Alaska Airlines plane flying over water and a bridge; this airline offers a status match from other programs

Status Match

Don't let the name of this airline fool you. Despite being named after one of the least-populated states in the US, Alaska Airlines is based out of Seattle, Washington and has an extensive network of routes. Where it can't take you its Oneworld and non-alliance partners can.

Mileage Plan members can try out Alaska's elite status for 90 days when you match from an eligible airline. To request a status match, head over to the Alaska Airlines website and fill out the form, which you can access here. Make sure to have your Mileage Plan number, current airline membership number, and a screenshot of the airline account you are matching.

After you register for an Alaska Airlines status match, you'll have 90 days to meet the criteria required to keep your status. You must take several trips on Alaska-operated flights.

  • MVP status: fly 5,000 miles on Alaska Airlines
  • MVP Gold members: fly 10,000 miles on Alaska Airlines
  • MVP Gold 75K members: fly 20,000 miles on Alaska Airlines

Fast Track

Alaska Airlines is allowing members who could not requalify in 2021 another chance to keep their elite status. Through April 30, 2022, Alaska Airlines has extended all elite status tiers. To keep your status for the remainder of the year, you need to earn the follow number of base miles by April 30, 2022:

  • MVP members: 5,000 miles
  • MVP Gold members: 10,000 miles
  • MVP Gold 75K members: 20,000 miles

Credit Cards

Although co-branded Alaska Airlines credit cards don't help you on your journey to elite status, these are still loaded with benefits like a solid welcome offer and an annual “Famous Companion Pass”.

Reduced Requirements for 2022

While Alaska is no longer offering reduced requirements in 2022, it extended elite status through April 30, 2022 for all elite members.

Related: Ultimate Guide to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

American Airlines AAdvantage

Photo of the tail of an American Airlines plane, with the back door open and stairs leading up to it

Status Match

American Airlines does not currently offer any opportunities to match your status.

Fast Track

Recently, American Airlines completely revamped its elite status program. The traditional qualifications were replaced with the all-new Loyalty Points program. While overall the changes seem to be a win, one thing that has disappeared along with the old way of qualifying is the option to fast track your status.

One other option to quickly get AAdvantage elite status is by taking advantage of its partnership with World of Hyatt. Top-tier elites with World of Hyatt, known as Globalists, have been targeted in the past for complimentary status.

Credit Cards

Although status matches and fast tracks have all but disappeared with AA, because of the nature of the Loyalty Points program, it can all be just kind of a weird fast track when all is said and done. Base miles earned from spending on an American Airlines credit card (meaning it doesn't include things like a sign-up bonus or bonus miles from certain categories) will earn Loyalty Points. And that's how you earn American Airlines elite status.

Here are the co-branded cards that can help you achieve status with American Airlines:

It's also possible to earn Loyalty Points with American Airlines' credit cards in other countries.

Reduced Requirements for 2022

AA does not have reduced requirements. You can see our guide for the standard earning requirements going forward.

Related: A Complete Guide to American Airlines AAdvantage Elite Status

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles

Photo of a Delta Air Lines plane parked at a jet bridge

Status Match

Delta Air Lines allows you to submit a request for a match to elite status once every three years. You can enroll here. You'll need to fill out a form online and show proof of your current elite status with a qualifying airline. Following the approval of your request, you'll have 90 days to complete the requirements to keep your new status:

  • 6 months of Silver Medallion Status when you complete four qualifying one-way flights
  • 12 months of Gold Medallion Status when you complete eight qualifying one-way flights
  • 12 month Platinum Medallion Status when you complete 16 qualifying one-way flights

Fast Track

Delta's fast track option is a part of its status challenge. For more information, see above.

Credit Cards

American Express offers various Delta credit cards that can help you reach elite status:

  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card — Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs — up to two times per year.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card — Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs — up to two times per year.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card — Earn up to 60,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 15,000 MQMs – up to four times per year.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card — Earn up to 60,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 15,000 MQMs – up to four times per year.

Reduced Requirements for 2022

Although Delta has not continued to reduce its elite status requirements, it's extended elite status for Medallion Members.

Frontier Airlines

Photo of a Frontier Airlines plane flying; the airline currently doesn't have a status match offer

Status Match

Frontier is not currently offering any opportunities for a status match with its airline loyalty program. However, in the past, Frontier has run status-matching promotions. And while the details will probably change for the next status match opportunity, the overall promo will most likely stay the same. So, it's probably worth your time to do a quick read on the requirements so you're ready to go next time it comes around.

Fast Track

There is no option to fast track to elite status with Frontier unless you hold an eligible Frontier Airlines credit card. We'll talk about this more below.

Credit Cards

Each time you use your FRONTIER Airlines World Mastercard®, you will earn elite-qualifying miles. For every dollar spent, you'll receive 1 Qualifying Mile.

Reduced Requirements for 2022

Like most airlines, Frontier has returned to its original qualification requirements to reach elite status.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330-200 Flugzeug Flughafen Los Angeles, the airline has a status match program

Status Match

Hawaiian Airlines is an airline that offers a traditional status match with no strings attached. If you request and successfully receive the match, you'll enjoy status for up to 12 months. You'll need to head over to the Hawaiian Airlines website and submit a form, along with a screen shot of the airline status you want to match from.

Fast Track

No fast track options are currently available with Hawaiian Airlines.

Credit Cards

The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® and Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Business Mastercard® issued by Barclay Bank do not offer a way to earn elite status, but these cards do come with some other perks that are worth exploring.

Both cards offer a one-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip economy travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines.

Reduced Requirements for 2022

Hawaiian Airlines is no longer offering reduced requirements for elite status.

JetBlue

Photo of a JetBlue plane flying

Status Match

The airline is not offering a status match at this time.

Fast Track

JetBlue is not offering any fast track options for status at present.

Credit Cards

Cardholders of two of Barclay's JetBlue co-branded credit cards can spend their way to Mosaic or Mosaic+ status. For Mosaic elite status, you'll need to spend $50,000 on the card annually. For JetBlue's newest elite status tier, Mosaic+, you'll need to bust out $150,000 in spend per year.

Reduced Requirements for 2022

Status requirements have returned to standard levels.

Related: A Guide to JetBlue's TrueBlue Loyalty Program

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards

Photo of a Southwest Airlines plane parked at a jet bridge, the airline offers a status match from pretty much every airline in North America

Status Match

Southwest Airlines will match your status from pretty much any U.S. airline to its top-tier A-List membership. To apply for a match, head over to Southwest's website and fill out the online form. Once your match has been approved, you'll have 90 days to meet a list of requirements so that you can retain your newly-acquired status. The requirements are as follows and must be booked and flown within 90 days from your date of enrollment:

  • Fly three round-trip qualifying flights, or
  • Six one-way qualifying flights

Note that the flights must be booked after your status match is approved. Existing bookings do not count.

Fast Track

There are no offers available to fast track your way to A-List status.

Credit Cards

While you can't fast track your way to A-List status, you can spend your way there. You'll receive 1,500 TQP (Tier Qualifying Points) for every $10,000 you spend on a qualifying Rapid Rewards credit card.

You can also quickly acquire the Southwest Companion Pass, which requires you to earn 125,000 Rapid Rewards points each year. And while the requirement remains at 125,000 points, you can easily accumulate enough of them via Southwest's co-branded credit cards to qualify for a pass.

Reduced Requirements for 2022

Southwest resumed its regular requirements and no longer offers reduced criteria to meet elite status for 2022.

Related: A Complete Guide to Southwest Rapid Rewards

Spirit Airlines

Photo of a Spirit Airlines plane taxiing to the runway; this is an airline that offers a status match from other programs

Status Match

Believe it or not, Spirit Airlines offers its own version of elite status. The low-cost carrier actually offers some great money-saving perks to its elites, such as free checked bags, free seat selection, no fees for cancellations, etc.

Spirit Airlines will match your status from another airline and give you its equivalent status, which is either Silver or Gold Free Spirit elite status. To request a match, you'll need to fill out this form. You'll then have 90 days to complete several requirements in order to keep your status.

  • Silver: Earn 500 SQPs, Spirit's tier-qualifying points. Normally, you would need to earn 2,000 SQPs.
  • Gold: Earn 1,250 SQPs, normally 5,000 SQPs.

SQPs can be earned via flying qualifying Spirit Airlines flights or by spending on the Free Spirit® Travel More MasterCard® from Bank of America.

Fast Track

Spirit does not offer any other ways to fast track to its elite status.

Credit Cards

Spirit Airline's co-branded card from Bank of America allows you to earn SQPs toward status. Free Spirit® Travel More MasterCard® — earn 1 SQP for every $10 spent on the card in a calendar year.

Reduced Requirements for 2022

Spirit is no longer offering reduced requirements for 2022.

Related: Complete Guide to the Free Spirit Program from Spirit Airlines

United Airlines Mileage Plus

Photo of a United Airlines plane flying

Status Match

United Mileage Plus members can request to participate in the Premier Status Match Challenge. Now through December 20, 2022, you can get upgraded to Premier Silver, Premier Gold, or Premier Platinum status — depending on your existing status with a competitor's airline. You'll enjoy that status for 120 days.

During that time, you'll need to complete the following criteria. Additionally, qualifying trips must be on flights operated by United or United Express.

  • Premier Silver: Fly 4 Premier-Qualifying Flights (PQF) and earn 1,000 Premier-Qualifying Points (PQP)
  • Premier Gold: Fly 6 PQF and earn 2,000 PQP
  • Premier Platinum: Fly 10 PQF and earn 3,000 PQP

To begin your status challenge with United, make sure you are a MileagePlus member and then head over to United's website to fill out the request form. You can request a status match challenge from United once every five years.

Fast Track

United does not offer a fast track option beyond the status match challenge mentioned above.

Credit Cards

Several United credit cards offer spending boosts toward elite status:

PQPs are earned as follows: 500 PQPs per $12,000 spent on your card each year.

Reduced Requirements for 2022

United has reduced requirements for status qualification. The airline has also deposited PQP into members' accounts based on 2021 status earning for the 2022 membership year.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to United MileagePlus

Bottom Line

Plain and simple, airlines want to win your loyalty. They'll throw out some pretty enticing offers to do so, hence the reason they will match status from another airline to draw you in.

Not every status promotion is a good deal for everyone, though. Always know your travel goals and do your research beforehand to make sure it coincides with your overall objective.

Have you ever participated in an airline status match? Did you think it was worth it?

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments