Status match success: TPG reader success story

Aug 23, 2020

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We’ve been asking to hear your travel success and mistake stories to both celebrate and help our TPG U.K. community — even if you’re not travelling right now.

Recently, we featured a TPG reader mistake story from Helen regarding the recent TAP Portugal status match offer. Helen faced various hurdles in trying to match her existing status to TAP, to the point where she gave up.

Related: TAP Portugal offering lucrative status match to Star Alliance Gold

Since then, I’ve been contacted by several other TPG readers to share their success with the match and pass on some tips.

Rudi said:

“I successfully matched my British Airways Silver status to TAP Portugal Gold status last month. It wasn’t easy, but I am glad I didn’t give up as it’s a great offer. I struggled to make the Qualifying Miles purchase online that was needed for the match to be completed. TAP’s app and website are a bit of a nightmare — very buggy.

I ended up having to call TAP customer service to make that miles purchase over the phone. Once the status match was approved, I found the dedicated Gold team email ( quite helpful, and they were finally able to sort out my technical issues. Now it’s all up and running. I wasn’t asked for a VAT number — possibly because I had to call customer service to join TAP Miles&Go and made the qualifying miles purchase over the phone? 

I have several Star Alliance flights coming up and will be looking forward to the Gold benefits.”

Jack said:

“I encountered the same problem as Christian did when trying to subscribe to the TAP Miles&Go programme — it asks for a Portuguese VAT tax number, which I don’t have. However, when just buying the minimum number of miles on a standalone basis, it doesn’t demand the tax number. It is there on the form, but isn’t a mandatory field so you can go ahead without entering it. Once I received an email asking me to subscribe/buy the miles within 10 days, I bought miles after figuring out I couldn’t subscribe to the programme without a tax number.

I just got confirmation of my Gold status after buying the miles on 7 August. It’s not as good as the subscription offer, but secures the status.”

Sean said:

“Like Helen in your story, I reached a blocker when I tried to sign up to the €99 Club Miles&Go package, as I don’t have a Portuguese VAT number. I then emailed asking for advice on how to proceed. I received a response 24 hours later saying they’d tried to contact me, which they hadn’t. I replied with my mobile number in international format and they called back that evening.

The guy who called said that there wasn’t anything they could do if I don’t have a VAT number but he said he could take my purchase over the phone, which he did, and I received the confirmation email shortly after. It doesn’t strike me as a very good or scaleable service if they can only process the sales of these packages over the phone.

Hopefully this might help other readers, and hopefully they’ll adjust the online form soon so that non-Portuguese residents don’t have to enter a VAT number.”

Related: What are hotel and airline status matches and how do you get one?

If you have struggled to complete the status match with TAP Portugal, it is worth persevering, following the suggestions from Rudi, Jack and Sean above. This will be especially beneficial if you have any upcoming travel planned with TAP Portugal or its Star Alliance partners.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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