Loyalty pays-especially when it’s towards your favorite airline, hotel chain or cruise line. Generally, status, the higher the status you attain, the better the amenities or perks you may be offered. Status is usually earned by staying in the same chain of hotels, flying with the same carrier or alliance and sailing with the same cruise company. But did you know that sometimes, you can be status-matched into another travel provider’s loyalty program? In fact, you can. Status matches may involve a challenge, especially to maintain them after the trial period. You’ll also need to provide proof of status for the hotel chain, airline or cruise line with which you have high status. Also, since many status matches are granted for a limited time, or based on calendar year, you might want to wait until January 1 to try! While status matches may not be easy to find, you can sometimes be granted a match or challenge simply by asking. Hilton Honors offers a status match through this link: https://hiltonhhonors.hiltonapps.com/ . You’ll receive equivalent status for 90 days. If you fulfill the requirements for the challenge, you’ll have status (as of this writing) through March 31, 2018. Hyatt’s Gold Passport status matches are harder to come by; however, there’s no harm in contacting them to ask. You may be able to request a status match challenge from Marriott as well. Loyalty programs often reevaluate their status matching opportunities and sometimes, it may be the luck of the draw. This summer I was successfully able to be status matched to Hilton HHonors Diamond based on my Marriott Platinum status. While I didn’t make enough Hilton stays to maintain the status for the entire time, it was nice having a taste of being Diamond! Marriott International recently completed acquisition of Starwood hotels and loyalty members in each program can combine their accounts and get reciprocal status. For instance, Marriott Rewards Platinum Members will be status matched to Platinum in Starwood’s Preferred Guest program. (While the two programs are not yet fully integrated, having matching status in each program is a great benefit). Additionally, Delta airlines will allow Starwood Platinum Preferred members to sign up for Delta Crossover Rewards, allowing members access to free upgrades when flying! See this link for further information: https://www.delta.com/profile/spgLanding.action. Airlines will offer status match challenges though there may be a fee involved for you to do so. Rules for status challenges vary based on the carrier, and are subject to change. Delta makes it easy to apply for a challenge right on their website. ( Check it out here) United also has a status challenge and information is available on line though the current program ends on December 31, 2016. (promo page) American Airlines will generally offer status match challenges, for a nominal fee, by contacting the AAdvantage support line. Finally, MSC Cruises USA offers a status match program. I actually did this last year when the program was first rolled out. I submitted my membership information from the cruise line with which I have almost the highest status, Royal Caribbean, and was granted top tier status with MSC, before I even set foot on one of their ships. My Diamond Plus status with Royal Caribbean equaled Black Card status with MSC’s Voyager Club, and I was entitled to, among other things, a 5% fare discount, free specialty dinner, on board credit and a welcome back cocktail party! For more information, (click here) With a little research and some legwork, you too can earn a status match and enjoy the benefits afforded frequent, loyal travelers. The benefits you can receive are well worth the time spent to achieve the higher status! Good luck!