How We’ll Keep Status In Each Hotel Program In 2023

by joeheg

While we don’t chase hotel status, over time I’ve realized it doesn’t suck to have some status with hotel programs. Whether it means getting free premium Wi-Fi, free breakfast or at least keeping us from getting the worst room in the hotel, it’s undoubtedly better to have status than not to have status.

Of course, there can be times when you get an upgraded room without having status but those are the exception and not the rule.

In 2022, we earned decent status in one hotel program and will keep status in other programs by holding a co-brand credit card. Here’s where we’ll sit in 2023.

Marriott Bonvoy

a busy city street with cars and people

The only status we “earned” in 2022 was Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite. Between the 25-night credits from the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card, 15-night credits from the Marriott Premier Business card and 10 nights of award stays, we hit the 50-night threshold to requalify for Platinum status.

I think Platinum status is the sweet spot for the Marriott Bonvoy program because that’s when you’ll earn the following benefits:

  • Guaranteed 4 PM late checkout – except at resort and convention hotels and Design Hotels, where it is based upon availability.
  • Welcome gift of points, breakfast or amenity
  • Enhanced Room Upgrade (including select suites for Platinum)
  • Lounge access
  • Guaranteed room type (cash compensation if not available)
  • Annual Choice Benefit (5 Suite Night Awards or gift options)

If we keep the Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX, it now includes Platinum status but you don’t get the Annual Choice Benefit until you hit the 50-night threshold. We’ll have status until 2024 so we have plenty of time to decide if it’s worth it to keep it or not.

World of Hyatt

a building with trees and mountains in the background

While we have Marriott status, I do wish we had World of Hyatt status instead. Despite having the World of Hyatt Visa and putting a considerable amount of spending on the card to get an additional free night, we’ll end up with only Discoverist status again. That’s the status we get from having a co-brand credit card.

That gives us the following benefits on Hyatt stays:

  • Complimentary premium Internet where available
  • Bottle of water daily
  • Upgrade to a preferred room based on availability at check-in
  • Dedicated check-in reserved for elite members
  • Extend your stay until 2:00 PM upon request (subject to availability at some locations)
  • Resort fees are waived on free night awards

Getting waived resort fees is something we don’t get from Marriott, so that’s a nice perk. Sure, I’d love to stay at Hyatt’s enough to be a Globalist, but that’s just not in our travel plans. If we want the perks, we can use points to book a club room, like we did when staying at the Grand Hyatt Kauai.

Hilton Honors

flags on the front of a building

Until now, Sharon and I both had Honors Gold status. Mine was because I spent several nights at Hilton hotels for work in 2019 and my status was extended through March 2023.

Sharon will keep her Hilton Gold status because she has an AMEX Hilton Surpass co-brand card and I will keep my status by holding the American Express Platinum card.

Hilton Gold is also the sweet spot of the program, providing the following benefits:

  • 80% Elite Status Bonus on base points
  • 5th Night Free on reward stays
  • Standard Internet Access
  • Late check out
  • Two complimentary bottles of water (per stay)
  • Daily food and beverage credit at U.S. hotels (depends on the hotel)
  • Space available upgrades (depends on hotel)

Sure, the free breakfast benefit has been reduced to an F&B credit but you don’t get much more for being a Hilton Diamond.

IHG One Rewards

a building with a sign in front of it

Sharon and I both are IHG One Rewards Platinum members by having the IHG Premier credit card.

Most of our IHG hotel stays are at Holiday Inn Express and Candlewood Suites properties so we don’t see much from our status. However, Platinum members get the following benefits:

  • Extended Check Out
  • Free Internet
  • Priority Check-In
  • 50% Bonus Earnings on Top of Base Points
  • Complimentary Room Upgrades

We’ve received upgrades to larger rooms so the status isn’t useless but I can’t say that having the status has impacted our experience at IHG hotels.

Final Thoughts

We can keep the status we have with each program just by paying the annual fee for each hotel’s co-brand credit card. For IHG and Hyatt, the free night certificates we receive cover the cost of the card. We’re evaluating the increased price for Marriott and if it’s worth it for the 85K free night.

The outlier is the Hilton Honors program. I’m not sure if we will renew the AMEX Platinum so we may keep the Hilton Surpass card for the Hilton Honors Gold status.

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