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Easy Ways to Get Hotel Status
Elite status with a hotel brand can come with some pretty nice perks including discounts, extra reward points, room upgrades and the list goes on. Unfortunately, the more valuable benefits that come with higher status usually require lots of stays and/or spend but there are some shortcuts and I think these are 7 easy ways to get hotel status without much effort or at least some of the easiest ways.
There are two ways to use credit cards to earn hotel status.
- Card Benefits: Some credit cards offer elite status as a benefit of being a card member. For example, the Amex Platinum Cards offer both Hilton and Marriott status and the Hilton Aspire card comes with top level Diamond status.
- Spending requirements: Another way to use credit cards to earn elite status is to meet spending thresholds on co-branded cards. For example, if you spend 40K a year on the Hilton Honors Ascend Card, you’ll be upgraded to Diamond Status.
Included in the benefits of FoundersCard is Hilton Gold Status, Caesars Rewards Diamond Status, which can be matched to Wyndham Diamond Status and access to the best Marriott Platinum status challenge I’ve ever seen (click the link for complete details.)
Hotel Status Matches and Challenges
If you have any elite status you can usually parlay that into elite status with a few loyalty programs. A status match is when a loyalty program gives you elite status of a similar level to your status in a different program. Matches essentially waive the usual requirements, while status challenges provide a shortcut by reducing the usual elite status requirements. Statusmatcher.com is an awesome site which gives data points for matches and challenges offered by loyalty programs. Here’s a concrete example for anyone who’s still unclear on the concept.
Currently, Choice Privileges is offering a status match whereby members with elite status from another hotel rewards program such as Hilton Honors can request a status match by simply emailing Choice with the following information:
- Full Name
- Choice Privileges Member Number
- Proof of Elite status in another hotel program:
- Screenshot or copy of your other program’s loyalty card (with expiration date)
- Or, screenshot or copy of other program’s current statement or account status page.
Once the match is approved the member will have status without ever completing a stay.
Hotel Booking Engines (ex. Expedia, Hotels.com)
Third party booking sites aka online travel portals allow you extreme flexibility since you can book your top hotel choice regardless of brand and still earn rewards. One major advantage to rewards programs like Expedia Rewards and Hotels.com (unlike most hotel loyalty programs) is that you can use your free night for any night or points at any hotel available on the site, since there are no blackout dates or property restrictions.
Buy Elite Status
IHG allows anyone to purchase Intercontinental Ambassador status for $200/year which automatically comes with IHG Platinum Status. It also comes with a free weekend night certificate that could easily justify the cost of membership for anyone who needs status and can make use of the free night. IHG Platinum Status qualifies as top or second tier status by most match and challenge opportunities as well as IHG hotels as a whole.
Corporate Travel Programs
If you own a company or work for one that is a member of a hotel’s business program, you may be eligible for automatic elite status. Best Western offers Gold Status to employees and Diamond status to account owners. Similarly, IHG Business Edge offers travelers Gold Elite status after their first Business Edge stay.
Airline and Casino Partnerships
If your preferred hotel has an airline or casino partner you may be able to get a free match simply by having elite status with the airline or casino rewards program. An example of this type of partnership would be American Airlines AAdvantage and World of Hyatt.