Last-minute tips for securing hotel elite status

By | December 1, 2022

Having elite hotel status can have a significant impact on the quality of your vacation. While airline elite status is useful when traveling to or from a destination, you will enjoy the benefits of hotel elite status while traveling.

If you haven’t traveled enough to earn or maintain your elite status this year, here are some last-minute tips you need to know to secure your benefits for another year.

How to earn elite hotel status

Great Hyatt Nashville. HYATT

If you want to achieve elite hotel status, the traditional option is to book as many stays as you need to earn elite night credits or points for the level you want to achieve. Since many of us don’t travel a lot, travelers also need to take advantage of the other avenues that hotel loyalty programs offer to qualify.

Here are the most common ways to earn elite status:

  • Elite Night Credits: You will earn one Elite Night Credit for each Eligible Night paid at a Participating Property. Most hotel programs also count award nights and “points and cash” stays toward elite status, and you can earn elite night credits with some credit cards.
  • stays: How often do you stay at one of the hotel’s properties. Whether you stay one night or multiple nights, it counts as one stay.
  • Points earned: Earn points based on your spend at participating hotels. Generally, only “base points” count towards elite status, which generally excludes bonus points earned from status, promotions, and other offers. Spending money on partners may also apply, depending on the program.
  • elite credit card status: Many hotel and travel credit cards offer automatic elite status as a perk.
  • Renewing your credit card: Each year that you renew your co-branded hotel credit card, you can receive elite night credits to earn elite status.
  • Credit card expenses: Some hotel credit cards allow you to earn elite status or progress towards it based on your spending each year.

Related: Is the hotel’s elite status still worth it?

Hilton Awards

The Lloyd Stamford, Hilton tapestry collection. CHRIS RANDALL/HILTON
Silver Gold Diamond
nights 7. 28. 42.
stays 3. 14. 21.
basis points 17,500. 52,500. 84,000.

End of elite year: December 31th.

Hilton is one of the hotel’s loyalty programs that count award stays towards elite status qualifications. If you have Hilton Honors Points or Free Nights certificates, redeeming them for Free Nights brings you closer to elite status.

For travelers who want the benefits of Hilton elite status right away, the quickest route is to obtain one of Hilton’s many co-branded credit cards. even without annuity American Express Hilton Honors Card includes free Silver elite status, with the ability to earn gold by spending $20,000 per year.

O Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card includes complimentary Gold elite status. Spending $40,000 in a calendar year will upgrade you to Diamond status. Small business owners get the same benefits of elite status with American Express Hilton Honors Business Card🇧🇷

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For members who don’t want to deal with the high spending hurdle, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card includes Auto Diamond elite status. While this card has a premium annual fee, the annual free night, high earning power and up to $500 in annual credits more than make up for it for people who stay at Hilton properties on a regular basis.

Amex Hilton Aspire card information was independently collected by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: 3 Reasons Why I’ll Open the Amex Hilton Aspire Card Before I Arrive at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives

IHG One Rewards

Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives. KATIE GENTER/THE DOT GUY
Elite Silver Elite Gold Platinum Elite Elite Diamond
Eligible Nights 10. 20. 40. 70.
qualified points N/A. 40,000. 60,000. 120,000.

End of elite year: December 31th.

IHG offers several ways to earn elite status, including booking Award Stays using points or Free Night Certificates. However, with the introduction of IHG One Rewards, points earned from credit card spending no longer count towards elite status points qualification.

IHG offers three different credit cards with free elite status, including one with no annual fee. O IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card comes with Silver Elite status automatically and an upgrade to Gold Elite when you spend $20,000 in a calendar year.

Both the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card and IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card include automatic Platinum Elite status. While IHG credit card spending no longer earns qualifying points, you can earn Diamond Elite status by spending $40,000 on any one of these cards in a calendar year.

Another option for achieving IHG One Rewards elite status is to purchase an InterContinental Ambassador membership. For $200 or 40,000 points, you’ll enjoy Ambassador benefits for 12 months from the date of purchase. This membership offers several benefits, including automatic Platinum Elite status.

Related: Stayed at the InterContinental New York Times Square as a Platinum Ambassador: Here’s What It Was Like

marriott bonvoy

A Marriott sign in Hamburg, Germany. JEREMY MOELLER/GETTY IMAGES
Elite Silver Elite Gold Platinum Elite Elite Titanium Elite Ambassador
nights 10. 25. 50. 75. 100 and $20,000 in spending.

End of elite year: December 31th.

Marriott makes earning elite status simple and straightforward. You must spend nights at your hotels, have a credit card that offers elite status, or earn elite night credits from your credit cards.

Marriott Bonvoy Point redemption nights and Free Night Certificates also count toward elite status qualification. Its top-tier status is Ambassador Elite, which not only requires you to stay 100 nights, but you must spend $20,000 on Marriott properties each year. Note that this requirement will increase to $23,000 in 2023.

Chase and American Express offer several Marriott personal and business credit cards that include complimentary elite status. All of these cards include at least 15 elite night credits for the desired status level, including the zero annual fee. Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card🇧🇷 With recent updates, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card now includes 25 elite night credits.

Members can accumulate elite night credits from Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card with any of the personal cards to earn 30 elite night credits each year (or 40 if you have a Brilliant card), putting the highest elite levels easily within your reach.

The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card includes complimentary Gold Elite status, while the Brilliant Card offers automatic Platinum Elite status, among other premium benefits. Likewise, business owners automatically receive Gold Elite status when they have the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card and can upgrade to Platinum Elite by spending $75,000 a year on the card.

No Marriott card includes Titanium Elite or Ambassador Elite status. However, you will earn one elite night credit for every $5,000 spent on Unlimited Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card every year.

Related: 6 reasons to strive for Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite status

Hyatt World

The Park Hyatt in Washington, DC HYATT
discoverer explorer globalist
nights 10. 30. 60.
basis points 25,000. 50,000. 100,000.
meetings and events 3. 10. 20.

End of elite year: December 31th.

With Hyatt, you can reach elite status based on nights stayed or base points earned at properties. When calculating elite night credits, also include nights booked with World of Hyatt points or Free Nights certificates.

There are two Hyatt credit cards available – one for consumers and one for business owners. Both cards have unique features that can help you achieve Hyatt elite status quickly.

O World of Hyatt credit card includes entry-level Discoverist elite status. While this status may not offer many outstanding benefits, you can spend your way to higher status. You start with five qualifying night credits each year and earn an additional two credits for every $5,000 spent on the card.

Business owners also earn Discoverist status with the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card🇧🇷 However, this business card is unique on this list because it allows the cardholder to gift Discoverer status to up to five employees. In addition, you will receive five Tier Qualifying Night Credits for every $10,000 spent in a calendar year. This rate is 25% higher than the rate offered by the personal version of the Hyatt card.

Related: Here’s how to quickly stock up on Hyatt points for your next vacation

Other ways to get hotel elite status

The Chicago Athletic Association. HYATT

You can earn elite hotel status — or at least receive similar perks — in ways other than having a co-branded hotel credit card. Use these strategies if you don’t want to be stuck with a hotel credit card.

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: This luxury travel card includes complimentary Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status. To receive these benefits, you must contact American Express customer service to activate them. You also get these statuses with The Business Platinum Card® from American Express🇧🇷
  • Fine Hotels + Resorts: An exclusive hotel booking program for Amex Platinum cardholders offers elite-level benefits and promotions at premium properties worldwide. This includes things like property spending credit, room upgrade, and late check-out.
  • The hotel collection: Offers benefits at participating properties and is available to Amex Platinum or American Express® Gold Card🇧🇷
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection🇧🇷 When you have a Visa Signature card and book through this site, you will receive exclusive perks at participating properties.
  • Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services🇧🇷 Reserve a room at any of the 4,000+ participating properties with your eligible Mastercard card to receive elite-level benefits.

Related: What elite status does the TPG points and miles team hold for 2023

In short

For travelers running out of time to earn elite hotel status this year, there’s still hope.

Many of the most popular hotel loyalty programs have alternative ways to gain elite status without making a massive mattress run. In most cases, you will receive elite status just for owning one of the hotel’s co-branded credit cards. If you want even higher status, you can earn it by spending on your card.

When these options are not feasible, consult hotel reservation programs aligned with Visa, Mastercard and American Express. They offer elite-level benefits without qualifying or requiring loyalty to any specific hotel program.

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